Step By Step Guide to Applying for Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants

Having a few non-profit clients as a PPC Freelancer, I get asked often how to apply for Google Ad Grants. This guide aims to give you step by step instruction on how to do just that.

We shall begin by defining Google Ad Grants. This is a donation program which distributes free advertising to non- profit organisations. The qualifying non-profit organization can receive up to $10,000 (£8000) worth of advertising in a month.

This program is made available by Google alongside other services in over 50 countries. Google Ad Grants are meant for charitable organizations and the following organizations are not eligible:

– Medical groups or hospitals,

– Academic institutions,

– Government organizations.

Unlike most grant applications, applying for Google Ad Grants is simple. Using Google Ad Grants can also increase relevant traffic to your website. The following is a step by step guide which will see every eligible organisation be able to apply:

1. Find out your eligibility

The first step is to find out if you qualify for the Google Ad Grants. Your organization must be a non-profit organization and it must be holding a charity status in your country of residence. However, there are some exceptions for hospitals, government agencies, and schools.

Organizations which don’t find their countries listed in the program are advised to keep checking. This is because Google is constantly expanding to more countries. Ensure that your organization also complies with other eligibility requirements.

2. Register your organization with TechSoup

Now that you have confirmed that you are eligible, the next step will be to register your non-profit organization with TechSoup. This is an organization that partners with companies like Google. TechSoup helps brings technological resources and other tools at a discounted prizes to non-profit organizations.

Once you have registered your non-profit organization, you will acquire your validation token from TechSoup. For you to successfully register your organization, follow the following process:

– Visit the TechSoup registration page

– Select your country of origin and your preferred language.

– Click on the new member icon, register and agree to the conditions. Please note that this process might take up to 30 days and that the team may contact you for more information.

– After your non-profit organization has been validated, log in. you will be presented with a TechSoup validation token. You will get a code which you should include in your Google Nonprofits. The registration form looks like the image below. Fill out on all the blank spaces as prompted.

Google Non Profit Registration

3. Register with Google Non-profit program

Have you acquired your validation token? The next step will be to sign up for the Google Nonprofit program. You must have this step up before you can apply for the grant.

Non Profit Registration

You will also get other benefits from Google like the following:

– Some special Youtube features such as donate button, video annotations which link to your website.

– Google apps which are free such as Google Docs and Gmail under your domain.

– Listing on the Google’s mobile fundraising app known as One Today.

Kindly note that this will require you to enter your tax-id number, ensure that you have it with you handy. The process is simple and includes the following:

– Visit the Google Non-profit site

– On the non-discrimination statement, click agree,

– Then insert your validation token.

This is how to insert your validation token

– Give out your personal contact and information about your organization. Agree to be contacted by Google. Ensure that you give out an email address you use often. This is because Google will use the email address you have given to send important information about your account.

– Sit back and await Google’s reply. This should take at most two days. Once Google has approved your application, you will receive an email. It is quite unlikely that your application will be rejected so you shouldn’t lose any sleep over it.

4. Apply for the Adwords Grant Program from Google

Once Google has accepted your non-profit organization as a Google Nonprofit, you can go ahead and apply for the Ad grants Program. This process cannot be termed as an application but a three-step process.

Ad Grants Application

The process works backwards and it includes the following:

– Create your Adwords account after you have logged in. You can do this as soon as your organization has been approved for the Google Nonprofits program. Use the following tips:

1) Use this link it helps you skip the billing process. It is very important that you skip the billing process most people usually make this mistake while making the application. You are advised to use the same email address you used for the Non-profit application.

2) Always USD as your currency even if you use a different currency,

3) Do not enter your credit card details even when prompted to. This is because doing so sets up a standard paid account and not a grant account.

4) Include a least one campaign and two ad groups with closely related keywords.

5) Also, include two sitelinks for your organization’s ads.

– Go ahead and create your first campaign. It might be a bit scary so just create something simple and basic.

– Wait for Google’s approval. This might take 30 days but from our experience, the process is usually quicker. Constantly check your email for the approval.

After you get the go-ahead from Google, you can start spending up to $329 in a day in your free Adwords spending.

5. Set up your Adwords account correctly

To learn more about how Adwords works, let us look at the following guidelines from our ultimate guide:

Note that it is very important for you to get it right from the start. This will make it easier to maintain your account. This can be achieved by following the guidelines below:

a) Identify a leader

Pick a leader and set up a system for maintaining your account. Identify how many times they will be logging into the account, how many times they will be reporting the account’s performance to others etc. We recommend that you do this at least once every week.

b) Brainstorm

Think backward, your account is the solution so what is the problem? You should always brainstorm without even opening an Adwords account. Be creative when choosing the keywords you will be using.

Make use of the following tools:

– Google trends,

– Google’s keyword planner,

– Your own creative content,

– Google’s autocomplete feature.

c) Organize your keywords

You will need to organize your keywords in different categories. Separate your campaigns accordingly since Adwords only allows for geographical adjustments at campaign levels.

d) Identify landing Pages

Ensure you have conversion oriented pages which have a call to action and a clear purpose.

e) Write Ads

It is advisable, to begin with two ads per ad group. Too many ads bring unnecessary competition. With only two ads, you will be using your best ad.

f) Set it up

Set it all up and watch it grow. You can learn more about how to set it up from the following resources:

How Adwords work

– How to video

– All you need to know from Google.

g) Analyze and repeat

Ensure that your Adwords account is linked to Google analytics. This will enable you to analyze keywords or campaigns which work best. Go ahead and build what’s working and stop what is not working.

6) Wait for a decision

It will take close to five business days for you to receive a decision from the Google Ads Grants team. If you correctly set up your Adwords account, you will receive an email notifying you that your account has been activated.

You will also receive an email pointing out on any corrections you might have to do in case you didn’t set up your account correctly. The email will include instructions on how to correct the errors.

These guidelines will help you build your Adwords account from scratch.

Ensure that you comply with grant requirements which include the following:

– Apply for Google non-profits.

– Be a holder of a valid charity status.

– Agree to Google’s certification on nondiscrimination repeat and use.

– You should have a live website with substantial web content.

– Log in and make some changes to your account at least once after every two months.

– Set up one goal which you can use to measure the impact Adwords can have on your website.

– Make sure you only send traffic to your site’s domain.

– Always complete Google’s survey at the end of the year about the program’s impact.

Once you have successfully applied for the Google Ads Grant, your next step should include the following:

– Ensure that you spend the full monthly grant. If you don’t use the ten grand grant you will lose it. Your aim should be how to maximize the grant to increase traffic to your website.

– Make sure you have optimized the grant. You will achieve this by working on the grant to improve it.

Avoid the following five mistakes you can make in managing your grant

1. Failure to use the Ad Grant guidelines

If you happen to violate Google Ad Grants guidelines your account may get suspended. To avoid this ensure that you get a look at the guidelines which were updated by the team.

2. Promising what you cannot deliver

Avoid giving people bad directions. If you intend to use Google’s money, ensure that you are sending your visitors to the best pages of your website. Use the right keywords to send visitors to a specific destination.

3. Using a single ad in a group

You should be testing ad copies to see what people most people prefer. It is advisable to use at least two ads for every ad group. This is also a requirement from Google. Write your ads and compare them after they have been live for weeks.

Always swap the ad with the highest conversion rate and click through rate with the slower performing ads.

4. Wasting time on broad keywords

Use keywords which are not generic. Also, avoid broad keywords which are not likely to be featured since they are mostly being used by many organizations. Ensure that you use llong-tail-keywordsand which are more specific.

Using such keywords is not only cheap, but it will also help add more traffic to your website.

5. Ignoring landing pages

If you ignore your landing page, Google will notice and it might not want to send people your ads. Even if you are using quality keywords, a bad landing page will negatively affect the keywords. This might put your organization at a risk of losing the grant.

To help keep your cost-per-click low, your landing page should contain keywords you are bidding on. This keeps your quality score up and it increases your chances of attracting and retaining the most qualified audience.

Benefits of Google Ad Grants

The use of Google Ad Grants is beneficial to many non-profit organizations. Some of the benefits include the following:

1. It helps to change the world in a better way

Imagine what more visibility will mean for your charitable organization. This means more donations will flow your way. You will also get more volunteers from sharing your details with the right audience.

2. Reach out to the people who matter the most

The use of Google Ad Grant ensures that your search ad reaches the people who are searching for Google Nonprofit organizations like yours. People who were also unaware of your organization will get to hear about your organization.

You are always in control when using Google Grants. You are able to put your message across the globe; you can also put more focus on the people around you.

3. More donations

The use of Google Ad Grants usually makes it easier to increase more donations to your cause. If people find out that donating to your cause is simple, they are more likely to donate to your charitable organization.

4. Determine your message

Using Google Ad Grants, you are able to write your best lines and keywords to reach out to a wider audience.

5. Create better campaign Ads

There are lots of documentation available which will help you create better campaign ads. You can also make use of the many tools available to Adwords users which you make use to create better campaign ads.


I hope this article has given you a better understanding on how to apply for Google Ad Grants as well as some basic tips. If you are struggling to get setup or would like someone to manage your account for you. Feel free to get in touch with me here.