Google Ad Grant Eligibility – Are you eligible for the Google Ad Grant? Let’s find out. To begin, the first question to ask yourself is are you a nonprofit? I’m guessing if you’re watching this video, that you are, in fact, a nonprofit. In the United States, that would be designated by a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status. If you have that status, that is a prerequisite for being eligible for the Google Ad Grant, so you’ll want to make sure that you do have that status. We’ll talk about some caveats there, in terms of organizations that are tax exempt by default but not  501 (c)(3) by default and how to address that, but that’s the first thing to look at – is your organization a 501 (c)(3).

The second question to ask yourself is are you A) a hospital, B) a school or a college, or C) a government agency. If you are one of those three organization types, unfortunately, you are not eligible for the Google Ad Grant.  Although, if you’re a college or a school, you are eligible for a different program called Google for Nonprofits, which doesn’t have the Google for Ad Grant benefits, but it does have some other features that you can take advantage of. So sorry about that.

If you are a college or school, that said, you may have a 501 (c)(3) foundation, which is eligible. It can promote its work, not, for example, your classes, if you’re a school, but it can promote the work of the foundation, fundraising for the school, and so forth. Or if you are a research lab that’s a separate entity associated with a college, then you are eligible and you can promote your research and fundraising for your research, but you can’t promote the college itself or the university itself.

Those are the main requirements. Google also asks that you agree to their terms of use and follow their terms of use and that you don’t discriminate in the provision of your services, but typically, it’s those three areas where people end up being disqualified.

These are specifically the rules for the United States. The Google Ad Grant is available in dozens of countries, and the requirements for those countries are listed on the website at Google.com/grants, which is just a great resource to check out and see your country, if it’s listed, and what the requirements are.

In the United States, and in many other countries, your nonprofit status is verified by an organization called TechSoup, so while you apply for the Google Ad Grant, one of the first steps that you’ll have to take is to create or log in to your TechSoup account and get a token, which verifies your nonprofit status, which is how Google determines whether or not you might be eligible for the program. That’s a very important thing to keep in mind.

One of the areas or caveats that I mentioned is that if you’re a church or a religious institution – churches are tax exempt by default under American law, but they are not 501 (c)(3)s by default. They essentially have 501(c)(3) status without having to apply for it.  So if you are a church, you are eligible for the Google Ad Grant. You’ll just want to make sure that you’ve applied for and received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Your accountant or your lawyer can talk to you about that. Many churches have done that, just as a matter of course, so you would be totally fine to use the program.

I hope this has been helpful. I hope this has been encouraging. If you are in one of the vast majority of cases, your nonprofit is most likely eligible, which is really exciting. We’re very thankful that Google has made this program available to so many nonprofits and so many diverse causes, in terms of the areas that they help. So you most likely are eligible. 

If you’re not eligible, and you’re one of the organizations that is in the three excluded categories, you can still benefit from Google Advertising through a paid AdWords account, which has different cons and benefits – the cons being that you have to actually pay, but there are some benefits of having a paid Ads account in terms of the other ways that you can advertise. So that is definitely still worth looking into if there are lots of people searching for what you provide online, and they would have a lot to gain by learning about your work.

Thank you so much. I hope this has been helpful. If you do run into questions or you are unsure about your eligibility, or you’re applying for the Google Ad Grant and you’re running into issues, please feel free to let us know, either in the comments down below or through our website – nonprofitmegphone.com. We’d be happy to help you think through that and make sure that, if you are eligible for the Google Ad Grant, you are able to benefit from it. Thanks so much.

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