Google Ad Grants – Everything You Need to Know…Simplified

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by Sally Benson, Digital Marketing Manager on Aug 1, 2019 / Perspective

Google Ad Grants seems like a great freebie to try to apply for, and it’s a great resource for non-profits, but it’s not an easy get. It’s also not an easy learn. So, I have written this article to breakdown everything you need to know about Google Ads Grants in one place. Qualifications, Requirements, and Maintenance because once you get your grant, you have to make sure you qualify to keep it. Let’s break everything down…

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What are Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants are monetary grants given by Google to non-profits in the amount of up to $10,000 to be spent on Google Ads. There are a lot of qualifications, processes and requirements but don’t worry, we will cover everything in an easy-to-understand way in the rest of the article.

5 Steps of Google Ad Grants

1. See if you’re Eligible

2. Apply for Google for Nonprofits

3. Submit the Ad Grants pre-qualification form

4. Create your Google Ad Grants Account

5. Submit your account for review
Once you’ve created your account and set up your campaign, submit your account for review!

Let’s dive a bit deeper into how to accomplish those 5 Steps above…

Eligibility (U.S. Only)

For U.S. Non-Profit Organizations, the following are the eligibility requirements:

  • Must be recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary, scientific, or other tax-exempt purposes.
  • Fiscally sponsored organizations are not eligible for Google for Nonprofits.
  • Organizations, such as churches, that are automatically considered tax-exempt under group exemption must still obtain recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS to qualify for the Google for Nonprofits program.
  • Organizations must be validated by TechSoup.

Examples of Qualified Organizations:


  • Museums
  • Theater and film
  • Zoos and botanical gardens
  • Humanitarian efforts
  • Educating girls for computer programming


You must first become a Google for Nonprofits website by visiting the Google for Nonprofits website.


Now, go back to your Google Ad Grants Account:

  • Create your campaign
  • Submit your account for Review
    • In the top-right corner of your account, locate your customer ID by clicking the person icon. Your Google Ads customer ID is in the format of xxx-xxx-xxxx.

    • Sign in to Google for Nonprofits, Click Activate under Google Ad Grants, Enter your customer ID, From the drop-down make your selection, click Enroll.


3 Core Components

  • Mission-Based Campaigns
    • Mission-Based Keywords
      • ie) instead of “computer” use “computer coding classes”
  • High Quality Website
    • Google Ads gauges the quality of your website traffic partly by how long a user will stay on your site. It is essential that your site content relate to the ad they clicked, as well as the keyword they searched before seeing that ad. All 3 things need to be related so Google Ads can ensure a top-notch experience for every user. Keywords must relate well to ads, and ads must related well to your website.
  • Active Account Management (Continual Work)
    • Ad Grants Requires a 5% CTR (click through rate).
      • Your account must meet the program’s minimum average CTR to remain active.
        • To Do’s: Geo Target Campaign, Assign Negative Keywords, Utilize Ad Extensions, Add Conversion Goals like Donations, Maximize Conversions (bid strategy).
    • Review Account Often
    • Add Sitelinks if you’ve updated your website
    • Refine keywords
    • Set New Goals

Stay Qualified

If you fall out of compliance, there is an extensive online help center to get back into compliance. Once you’re ready, you can request reinstatement here.

What’s Similar

Google Ad Grants are very similar to Google Search Ads. Contact your Certified Google Ads Manager to get started.

What’s Different

Not Shopping Campaigns! Google Ad Grants can’t communicate with Google Merchant Center at the moment, so you are unable to run shopping campaign for Google Ad Grant money.


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