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How to set up Google AdWords Grants for Non-Profit Organizations

AdobeStock_144746582If your non-profit organization isn’t taking advantage of Google AdWords Grant program yet, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to boost traffic to your website and build awareness for your brand. It’s easier than you’d think to set up!

Google Ad Grants offer Non-Profit Organizations up to $10,000/month through their program AdWords. This allows organization access to a broader audience and streamlines the donation process. AdWords is a text based advertisement that will appear when someone google searches the keywords your organization has selected.

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How Google AdWords Works?

AdWords is an entirely text based advertisement system based on keywords. Ads appear on google results pages, below paying advertisers. There are two options:

  • AdWords Express: AdWords automatically manages where/when the ads appear. Your organization only inputs the audience, daily budget, and three lines describing the purpose of your NPO. This option is good if you don’t have experience with AdWords or don’t have the time to set up an entire campaign.
  • AdWords: You create the advertisements and choose keywords. The NPO will gain access to tools that will help optimize their campaigns. This option is good if you are looking to control your results and have the time/resources to track the data received.

Rules to keep in mind

  • There is a 5% rate floor – if the account does not achieve a minimum of 5% CTR (click through rate) for two consecutive months, it will be cancelled.
  • In order to show up more often in a higher position AdWords, quality scores must be high. Quality scores are based on the relevance of keywords and advertisements.
  • The mac CPC bid is $2.00, the only way to get around this is to choose the option ‘enhance bids by conversions’. This raises your bids for clicks that seem more likely to lead to conversions.

Steps to apply for Google Ad Grants.

  • Determine if your organization is eligible by clicking here.
  • Apply for Google Nonprofits.
  • Enroll in Google Ad Grants
  • Submit account for review, once approved, begin creating advertisements!

3 Ways to Maximize Success with Google Grants.

  • Don’t set it and forget it: once you set-up AdWords be sure to frequently check-in. Google is constantly changing the format and rules, which is why it is important to stay on top of things.
  • Choose the right Keywords: sometimes less is more. Google will recommend key words based on the advertisements you have created. Not all of these words will be relevant to your ad, look through them to determine which will attract your target audience. Also, keywords should match with what you are using on your landing pages and advertisements because this will boost your quality score.
  • Optimize your ads: when the account is set-up, Google will track your advertisements through Google Analytics. Modify keywords based on success, ensure that landing pages are up to date and determine which ads are resulting in the most donations/volunteers.

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Success Stories

Old Sturbridge Village was using their Ad Grants account, but came to us for help with optimizing their account to boost traffic and results. s a client of ours who has seen growth with their Google Grant. By creating event-specific campaigns, with targeted keywords and geography, we were able to increase their CTR by 50% over the course of four months.

Kiwis for kiwi is another organization that was able to increase their web traffic by 105% by using the keyword planner tool in their Ad Grants account.


Google Ad Grants gives non-profit organizations access to the powerful marketing tool AdWords. When used right, AdWords can put your organization's advertisements in front of potential donors and volunteers.

If you need help setting up or managing your AdWords account, reach out to us to learn more about our services.


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