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  • Writer's pictureJanina Key

How Google Ad Grants Help Not-For-Profit Organisations To Be Found Online

Not-for-profit organisations can get a monthly grant of $10,000 to run Google Search Ads campaigns. For organisations whose main focus is to help others in various ways, such a large amount of free advertising money is more than welcome. This article explains how to get started and things to keep in mind when managing a Google Ads grant account.

How to get a Google Ads Grant account

Whether your cause is to help humans, animals, the environment or anything entirely different, the main requirement for a successful Google Grants application is to hold valid charity status in your country. The first step is to apply for Google for Nonprofits where you will have to provide all required documentation about your charity. Once this is assessed and approved, you can activate your Google Grants account and start setting up campaigns.

Best practices for campaign success

The Google Ads grant allows you to run Search campaigns and spend up to $10,000 USD per month, however, it doesn’t allow you to use Google’s other campaign types Display, Video, Shopping and App campaigns. Of course, you can always create a separate ‘regular’ Google Ads account to run these campaign formats using your own budget and complement your Search campaigns.

Since Google provides you with a large amount of free advertising money, the expectation is that you take care of your campaigns, monitor them regularly and improve them. Therefore, they have established a set of policies to ensure these quality standards are met. Your account needs to have a minimum CTR of 5% on a monthly basis. The CTR (click-through-rate) is the number of clicks divided by impressions and while individual keywords and campaigns can have a CTR lower than 5%, your account level CTR needs to be above this threshold.

When it comes to the choice of keywords, you can’t use single-word keywords as they are usually too broad and generate lots of irrelevant traffic. ‘I don’t have to pay for it’ – you might think but Google wants you to get the best results out of your Grant account and not just waste money. For example, a single-word keyword like ‘donations’ would be triggered by all sorts of search queries but only a fraction of these people would actually be your target audience. Instead, try to be more specific in your choice of keywords, for example ‘donations for children in kenia’ or ‘donations to homeless people’. This will significantly improve your chance to find people who care about your charity’s cause. If you’re having trouble finding relevant keywords, head over to Google keyword planner to find some inspiration.

Now that you’ve got your keywords sorted and get lots of relevant website traffic, you want to make sure to track all important user actions on your website with conversion tracking. Only then will you know which campaigns are most effective and what you need to work on. In a Grant account, having conversion tracking set up allows you to overcome the USD 2 bid cap that is set by default on all your keywords. If your chosen keywords have CPCs higher than USD 2 and you stick to manual CPC bidding, you simply miss out on showing ads for these keywords. With conversion tracking, you can switch to automated bid strategies like ‘maximise conversions’ or ‘target CPA’ where your bids are set automatically without any restrictions.


A Google Grant account is a great way for charities to be found online but requires regular maintenance and optimisation to get the best results for your organisation. If your charity is eligible, give it a go and spread the word about your mission to help others.

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