What is the Google Ad Grant?  The Google Ad Grant is one of the coolest programs available to nonprofits and probably the most valuable tool that any nonprofit probably has access to. We’ll give you a quick overview of how it works. In other videos, we’ll cover who is eligible,  some best practices and ways to stay compliant with the rules, and so forth.

To give you a quick overview of how it all works – the Google Ad Grant provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month to spend on ads that appear in Google searches. So if you’ve ever typed something into Google and have seen the little ads that appear towards the top of the screen – for example, if you typed in shoes or soccer cleats, you’ll probably see 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, you click on the Adidas ad – Adidas is probably paying Google $3, $4, to $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, so let’s say you are an animal rescue and you have dogs that are available for adoption. You could advertise to people who are in your geographic area who search, for example, adopt a dog 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. 

The difference is that Google pays for that click. So instead of you forking over that $4 or $5, Google actually pays for the click using the credit from the Google Ad Grant. You can pay for up to $10,000 per month of these clicks. Depending on how many people are searching for what you provide, you can end up reaching a lot of people effectively for free using the Google Ad Grant, which is very cool. It’s a wonderful program, and we think probably one of the most underutilized resources that nonprofits have available today.

A couple of quick comments on how it works and some of the back story.  The Google Ad Grant was created by Sheryl Sandberg, who is now the CEO of Facebook, back in the day when she was at Google. The purpose of it was to allow nonprofits to reach new audiences online with their messages and expand the impact that they were making in the world. 

Everything about the Google Ad Grant is designed to not only bring people to your website, but also to have them truly take action and make a difference once they get there. So a lot of people focus on, for example, we have $10,000 per month – let’s spend all $10,000. That’s actually not the best thing to optimize for. Instead, what you want to be looking at, is what are we getting – what is the output – what are the conversions that are happening as a result of people coming to our website. So 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 we’ve created, educating 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, but instead, focus  on the meaningful conversions. We’ll get into that in some of the other videos.

The quick summary in terms of eligibility, and we’ll have the video on this focused on its entirety, but to quickly address eligibility, any non profit in the United States that’s a 501(c)(3) organization that is not a hospital, a school or college, or a government institution is eligible for the Google Ad Grant. You will, of course, have to agree to the terms of use and so forth, but those are the main eligibility requirements. That means that for the vast majority of nonprofit organizations, you are eligible, and this is something that you can be taking advantage of.

We’ll have a whole video on the application process, but just to get that out there. If you’re watching this, you most likely are eligible, which is really exciting. 

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. 

Thank you so much. We look forward to seeing you in other videos.


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