What is the Google Ad Grant? 

The Google Ad Grant provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month to spend on ads that appear in Google searches. The program was created by Sheryl Sandberg, who is now the CEO of Facebook. The purpose of the program is to allow nonprofits to reach new audiences online and expand the impact they are making in the world.

The Google Ad Grant is one of the coolest programs available to nonprofits and probably the most valuable tool that any nonprofit has access to. We’ll give you a quick overview of how it works.

How the Google Ad Grant Works

Have you ever typed something into Google and seen the ads that appear towards the top of the screen? For example, maybe you typed in shoes or soccer cleats and noticed an ad for Nike, Adidas, and so forth. Those ads are paid for by advertisers. So when you click on those ads, you get taken to their website, and the advertiser is charged a few dollars. So if you type in soccer cleats and click on the Adidas ad, Adidas is probably paying Google $3, $4, or $5 for that click. It’s worth it for them because they know that you are literally raising your hand saying, “I want soccer cleats.” Adidas offers soccer cleats, and therefore, they’re happy to pay for you to click on the ad.

The Google Ad Grant does the exact same thing. It allows you to place your own ads there. Let’s say you are an animal rescue organization and you have dogs available for adoption. You could advertise to people who are in your geographic area who are searching for dog adoptions or other things about dogs like “are puppy mills bad.” You could have educational content around that. Your ads will appear when people search for those terms, and then when they click on them, the person will be taken to your website as normal.

With the Google Ad Grant, instead of you forking over that $4 or $5, Google covers the cost of that click using the credit from the Google Ad Grant. Basically, Google pays for that click. You can “spend” up to $10,000 per month for these clicks. Depending on how many people are searching for what you provide, you can end up reaching a lot of people for free using the Google Ad Grant. It’s a wonderful program, and we think probably one of the most underutilized resources that nonprofits have available today.

Everything about the Google Ad Grant is designed to not only bring people to your website but also to have them take meaningful action once they get there. Many people focus on the fact that they have $10,000 per month to spend, so they want to spend the entire amount. That’s actually not the best thing to optimize for. Instead, what you want to look for is what you are getting for your spend, what the output is, what conversions are taking place as a result of people coming to your website. Are people landing on the website and filling out sign-up forms? Are they donating? Are they signing up to volunteer? Are they adopting animals? Are they watching videos that you’ve created to educate them about different topics? These are the outcomes that really matter. Google has structured the entire program so that you actually don’t focus on spend. They’ll discourage you to do that at every turn, and instead, encourage you to focus on valuable conversions.

Google Ad Grant Eligibility

To quickly address eligibility, any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the United States that is not a hospital, school or college, or government institution is eligible for the Google Ad Grant. Of course, you will have to agree to the terms of use and so forth, but those are the main eligibility requirements. For the vast majority of nonprofit organizations, this means you are eligible for the program and it’s something that you can take advantage of. If you would like more in-depth information about program eligibility, check out our article “Google Ad Grant Eligibility Explained.”

That is the Google Grant in a nutshell.  You have $10,000 per month to spend on ads in Google search results to reach people who are searching for what you do, bring them to your website, and encourage them to take the next step in supporting your work.

If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help you. Please feel free to drop us a line.


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