How Non-Profits Can Leverage Google Ad Grants

August 19, 2020

If yours is like most non-profit organizations, you are always thinking about how you can raise more money. After all, the more money you raise, the more people or pets your charity or church can help. This is especially true during this COVID-19 crisis, which has increased the need for assistance in many sectors and has made individuals and companies less secure about their finances and, thus, less willing to donate to churches and charities. One way to help you overcome any shortfall is to take advantage of free advertising for non-profit organizations and churches through the Google Ads grant program for non-profits. Currently more than 20,000 charitable non-profit organizations in more than 50 countries are making this program work for them.

What is the Google Ads Grants program?

Google Ads Grants is a program set up to help non-profit organizations increase their advertising and solicit more donations. The program makes available up to $10,000 worth of Google Search Ads (no display or remarketing ads) to qualifying non-profits every month. Google Search Ads are text-based ads that can appear on Google search engine results pages when your clients or customers are looking for specific products or services using keywords or search terms. For instance, if your non-profit is an animal rescue, your ads might appear to viewers who frequently search for pet products or information about pet health and behavior.

Who is eligible and how to apply

In order to be eligible for the Google Ads grant program, your organization must have legal non-profit status. Per the Google website, “Governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google for Nonprofits, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.” In addition, you must “acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use”, “have a high-quality website that meets the Ad Grants website policy and be pre-approved via the Google Ad Grants website.

Tips for leveraging the Google Ads Grants program

Getting accepted into the Google Ads grant program is just the first step in making the most of Google’s generous offer. In order to best leverage your organization’s exposure and potential via this program, we suggest…

1. Use your keywords strategically. Make the most of Google’s free digital marketing for non-profits by choosing the keywords associated with your ads carefully. These are actually phrases, such as “Peoria IL Methodist church” or “Cleveland OH food bank”. You’ll want to avoid overly generic terms, such as “Ohio charity” or even “Dayton OH charity”.  You may also want to add negative keywords. These are words you don’t want included in the search for your ads, words like “jobs”. Lastly, you’ll want to become familiar with the rather involved Google rules surrounding their Google Ads program.

2. Make sure to keep your website content current. You don’t want to entice people to visit your organization’s web pages only to have them find dated and stale content or, worse, no interesting content at all. You’ll want to show your visitors what your charity or organization does, tell how it spends its money and give anecdotes and stories about your people in the field.

3. Make it easy for people to donate. You don’t want visitors to your organization’s pages to have to search for a way to donate to your organization. Don’t be subtle. It’s not wrong to have a big “donate now” button on every page (above the “fold”). Make sure your pay portal is secure, so that donors don’t have to worry about their personal information being compromised.

No non-profit can afford to leave money on the table. Ramp up your organization’s digital marketing efforts by applying for the Google Ads grant program and leveraging these free ads to make the most of your online fundraising. At 20North Marketing, we can help your non-profit organization set up and manage a successful Google Ads Grant program.