How To: Maximising the Google Ad Grant For Not-For-Profits

  • Mel Gibbons

    6 January, 2024

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Navigating the Google Ad Grant: Unlocking Success While Adhering to Restrictions

The Google Ad Grant presents an exciting opportunity for not-for-profit organisations to amplify their presence online. Offering up to $10,000 USD per month in in-kind advertising, this initiative enables not-for-profits to reach wider audiences, promote their causes, and drive meaningful actions through Google Ads. However, navigating the grant’s restrictions and setting up for success requires a strategic approach. This guide demystifies the process, outlining key restrictions and offering insights into leveraging the grant effectively.

Understanding the Google Ad Grant Restrictions

To maintain the integrity of the Google Ad Grant program and ensure it benefits genuine not-for-profit initiatives, Google has set forth several restrictions. Here’s what you need to know:

Eligibility Criteria

Only not-for-profit entities with recognised charity status in their respective countries can apply. Certain organisations, such as governmental entities, hospitals, and schools, are ineligible.

Ad Content and Quality

Ads must be mission-based, promoting the organisation’s initiatives and services. They should directly reflect the not-for-profit’s goals and be relevant to the content on the landing page.

Keyword Restrictions

Google Ad Grants do not allow for the bidding on branded keywords that the organisation does not own. Moreover, overly generic keywords, single-word keywords (with some exceptions), and keywords with a Quality Score of 2 or less are prohibited.


Ads must be geotargeted to locations where the organisation operates and serves its community. This ensures the ads reach the most relevant audience.

Active Account Management

Grantees are expected to log into their Google Ads account monthly and make at least one change to the campaign every 90 days to demonstrate active account management.

Setting Up for Success with the Google Ad Grant

Navigating these restrictions successfully and maximising the potential of the Google Ad Grant involves careful planning and continuous management. Here’s how to set up your not-for-profit for success:

Strategic Planning

Define Clear Objectives: Establish specific, measurable goals for what you aim to achieve with your ad campaigns, such as increasing donations, volunteer sign-ups, or event attendance.

Understand Your Audience: Conduct research to identify your target audience’s interests, behaviour, and search patterns. This informs more effective keyword selection and ad messaging.

Crafting Effective Campaigns

Keyword Strategy: Focus on keywords that are closely aligned with your organisation’s services and mission. Utilise long-tail keywords to capture more specific search queries.

Compelling Ad Copy: Write clear, engaging ad copy that highlights what makes your not-for-profit unique. Include a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages users to take the desired action.

Optimised Landing Pages: Ensure your landing pages are relevant to your ad campaigns, providing a seamless user experience that encourages engagement and conversions.

Ongoing Management and Optimisation

Regular Monitoring: Use Google Ads and Analytics to monitor your campaigns’ performance regularly. Pay attention to metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and Quality Score.

Adapt and Refine: Based on performance data, continuously refine your campaigns. Test different ad copy, keywords, and landing pages to discover what resonates best with your audience.

Stay Informed: Keep up to date with any changes to the Google Ad Grant policies and adjust your strategies accordingly to remain compliant.

Leveraging Support

Google for Non-profits Community: Engage with the Google for Non-profits community for support, advice, and insights from other not-for-profit organisations utilising the grant.

Professional Help: Consider partnering with a digital marketing agency or consultant specialising in managing Google Ad Grants. Their expertise can help navigate restrictions, overcome challenges, and maximise your ad grant’s impact.

Conclusion: Maximising Impact Within Boundaries

The Google Ad Grant is a powerful tool for not-for-profit organisations, offering a significant boost to digital marketing efforts without the financial burden. By understanding and navigating the grant’s restrictions and adopting a strategic approach to campaign management, not-for-profits can effectively leverage this resource to amplify their message, engage with more supporters, and drive action towards their mission. With the right strategies in place, the path to digital success is well within reach for not-for-profits worldwide.

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