How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant for Nonprofits

By Ilia Jones | April 2021


Google has been offering grants for nonprofit organizations since 2015. While most grant applications are long, complex and drawn out processes, Google has made applying quick and easy. So, if your nonprofit isn't taking advantage of the $10,000 in-kind ad dollars per month, it's time to get started! 

We all know that advertising can help drive traffic to your website, gain social media followers, and raise awareness for your cause. To help you take advantage of this excellent opportunity, we've broken down the application process into four easy steps. 

Websites for Nonprofits

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the Google Ad Grant, your organization must be nonprofit and have valid charity status. Which, in the U.S., means being a registered 501(c)(3). 

However, there are some exceptions that may impact eligibility:

  • If you are a hospital or healthcare organization. Nonprofits that operate in the healthcare sphere, such as disease awareness organizations or research organizations will still qualify. 
  • If you are a government organization or entity. 
  • If you are a school, university or other academic institution, Google has a different program for education. Though, if you are a philanthropic organization dedicated to education or a charitable organization associated with an educational institution, you are still eligible. 

Additionally, you must also agree to Google's nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use requirements. And, you must have an active website that Google deems has "substantial" content. 

Step 2: Register and Get Your Validation Token

Once you've determined eligibility, it's time to register your nonprofit. Google uses TechSoup to verify nonprofit organizations applying for their grant. TechSoup is a nonprofit organization that partners with companies like Google to offer technology, tools and resources at a discounted rate to other nonprofits. 

How to Register:

Google has streamlined their application and registration process, so all you need to do is go to the Google Ad Grants page and click Get Started.

Answer the questions, provide the necessary information and you can expect to be verified in 2-14 days. 

Step 3: Activate Your Products

Once you've received confirmation that your nonprofit organization has been verified, you will be invited to activate your Google products. Once activated, you can start using them, including your Google Ad grant.

You do not need to create a Google Ads account. An account will be created  for you when your organization has been activated.  

Step 4: Advertise!

It's go time! Now that you're all set up with Google Ad Grants, verified and activated, all that's left to do is start working your advertising muscles.

Though, there are a couple of things you should know before you jump in. 

Know Your Bid and BUdgeT Limits

There are limits to the bids and budgets for your ad campaigns through the Google Ad Grant program. Specifically, Google Ad Grant accounts have a limit of $10,000 per month (or $329 per day).

This limit applies even if you have multiple campaigns. So, the total daily or monthly budget should be divided between campaigns. You can, however, allocate more budget toward your more impactful campaigns. 

Bidding is a strategy that can help you maximize conversions and meet your performance goals using advanced machine learning. Google has resources to help you learn more about automated bidding.   

Understand Ad Quality Requirements

The Google Ad Grants program has a quality filter for ads to ensure that they are high quality and likely to bring a return on investment. The filter is based on the quality of comparable ads in the country where you are located. 

The quality score that Google uses is based on three criteria:

  • Expected click-through rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience

You can check your quality scores in your Google Ads account. Google also offers some guidance on how to use your quality score to Improve Ad Performance


Want Help Making the Most of Your Google Ad Grant Dollars?

At ArcStone, we've helped several nonprofit organizations maximize their Google Ad Grant funds. If you want to learn more about some of our successes, check out our Ad Grant + Paid Ad Mashup = Love blog post. 

Are you still feeling overwhelmed? Do you want some guidance on how best to leverage your Google Ad Grant to further your nonprofit organization's cause and engage with your target audience? ArcStone offers a wide range of digital marketing and strategy services. And our blog provides a wealth of information specifically for nonprofits

If you're interested in learning more about what we offer and how we can help your nonprofit make the most of your Google Ad Grant, contact us today! 



Topics: Digital Marketing