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How to Use Google Ad Grants to Change the World

In this wide reaching world of digital advertising and online marketing, how can we benefit charities & nonprofits which are important to us? Hi there, I’m Shaylen, a relative newcomer to Adster Creative, and one of my first initiatives was developing a digital marketing proposal for a local nonprofit.  It is here that I learned about the Google Ad Grant program, and it blew me away!  More people need to know about this I thought, so here we go…

What’s this “Google Ad Grants” you speak of?

Our lovely friends at Google have created a nonprofit arrangement within AdWords, Google’s online advertising ecosystem.  It allows an in-kind credit, for eligible and valid nonprofits or charities, which can be applied to fund your Google AdWords campaigns.  Here are some basic campaign parameters:

  • $10,000/month ($329/day) of in-kind AdWords spend. (Unspent monthly credits are lost.)
  • $2.00 maximum CPC (Cost-per-click).
  • Run text only ads.
  • Keyword-targeted campaigns on the Google Search Network. (ie. Ads appear on Google Search results pages)

Why should I use Google Ad Grants?

Your donors are searching the web for timely, relevant and easy to find content about your cause.  AdWords is ‘pull advertising’, which means they see your ad when they are actively looking for you.  Google AdWords reaches hundreds of millions of users, and with over 3.5 billion searches per day, you can attract a lot more measureable attention.  So while Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may not be in the budget until the donations arrive, how can one argue with $10,000/month of free AdWords clicks to get noticed?

When can I use Google Ad Grants?

While you may have some unique ideas to implement within an AdWords Grant campaign, as a guideline, campaigns tend to be developed in these areas:

  • Raising awareness.
  • Driving donations.
  • Building connections (consent based email list).
  • Boosting event attendance
  • Sales of goods and services (proceeds must go to the nonprofit)

How do I use Google Ad Grants?

You will manage your Grants account in exactly the same way as you would manage a regular AdWords account.  Create campaigns, build Ad Groups and Ads around themed keywords, monitor performance on a regular basis.  AdWords can be challenging to manage without the correct training or previous experience – here’s where using an agency could yield better results and reduce stress, allowing you to focus on the operations of your nonprofit.

Alright…let’s make it happen!

Here are a couple of things that need to be done to get the ball rolling:

  1. Register your organization with TechSoup Canada.
  2. Register your organization with Google for nonprofits (G4NP).
  3. Create a Google AdWords account based on approval of step 2.
  4. Enroll for AdGrants, based on completing step 3.

Remember, Google does check to make sure rules are being followed before enabling accounts.  Finally there are a number of other things that you need to ensure are in place to maintain eligibility:

  • Run campaign ads to only the domain approved on the application form.
  • Actively manage your account by logging in monthly and making at least one change every 90 days.
  • Ads and keywords should match your offered programmes and services
  • Zero commercial advertising, sales of products or services must support your programme.
  • Landing pages cannot be primarily composed of links to other websites.
  • No financial products of any kind, nor donations of any property.
  • Your website cannot display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links

Overall, this is a pretty sweet program to give your favourite nonprofit or charity the jumpstart it needs to do great things for your neighbourhood, city, country or even the world.  Remember though, you’re not in this alone.  Reach out to Adster Creative and see how we can help you, help change the world!