Quick Guide to Google Grants for NonProfits

One of the hardest parts of being a nonprofit is raising awareness for your organization—funding can be tight, and marketing can be expensive. However, with Google Ad Grants, your nonprofit can reach people who might be interested at no charge. Keep reading to learn more about the grants and discover if your nonprofit is eligible.  

What Are Google Ad Grants?

If you are a qualifying nonprofit, you could receive up to $10,000 in advertising through Google search. That means when someone searches terms related to your nonprofit, you’ll show up at the top of Google.com’s search results page, increasing the likelihood that people will find you.

Since there’s no cost for this service, your ads will show up below paid ads, but this is still a great resource for higher site traffic. 

Who Is Eligible To Apply?

You are potentially eligible for Google Ad Grants if your nonprofit is set up specifically for charitable causes, regardless of whether you have a large- or small-scale operation. There are a few nuances, however. Here are some of the big qualifiers. 

Nonprofit Eligibility

First and foremost, your nonprofit must be registered as a charitable organization by TechSoup or a TechSoup affiliated partner. Some non-eligible organizations include:

  • Government entities and organizations
  • Hospital or healthcare organizations 
  • School, academic, or university institutions 

Charitable arms of healthcare or education organizations and foundations associated with healthcare are still eligible. 

In addition, there are some requirements based on the country of nonprofits. For the United States, in addition to being TechSoup validated, eligible nonprofits 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.” 

Organizations that are automatically considered tax-exempt under group exemption (like churches) need “recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS” to be eligible. Note that in the United States, fiscally sponsored organizations are ineligible for this program. 

You can check your country’s policy on this list. If you don’t see your country, you are unfortunately not eligible for the program. 

Website Policies

First and foremost, you must own your website’s domain. Direct-to-donation pages can be hosted on one of Google’s approved donation processors. Your website should be up to date, unique in content, and have clear user navigation where anyone can learn about your nonprofit’s mission and goals. In addition, you must have limited visible advertising and only display ads related to your cause. 

Commercial operations are allowed to some degree, but they can’t be the primary goal of your organization or website. All commercial activities must clearly explain where the funds are going and how they contribute to your nonprofit’s mission. In addition, your organization must help the public beyond just those who financially contribute to the nonprofit. 

Another important component is the security of your nonprofit’s website. Make sure your data is encrypted and your connection is secure with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). When someone clicks on their address bar while on your site, they must see that your URL starts with “https://” for your nonprofit to be eligible. 

For more specifics, check Google’s website policy checklist

Program Policies

Finally, there are multiple program policies to be aware of. To receive the grant, your nonprofit must accept these terms and conditions. This includes information about political content, copyright, and many others listed in Google’s advertising policies. Familiarizing yourself with these can also prevent your nonprofit from getting its funding revoked due to a breach of the terms and conditions. 

What Are the Benefits? 

Not only is this program free for nonprofits, but it might also drive more viewers to your organization. This could translate into more donations or support, which furthers your mission. Google has given over 10 billion dollars in grant money, and many nonprofits have experienced increases in donations and foot traffic because of it. 

According to a Chitika study, the higher your website is on the Google search results page, the more viewers you are likely to get—the number one spot alone attracts 34% of organic traffic. In addition, with good SEO, your nonprofit might rise even higher on the results page due to relevancy to the original search. 

Without a minimum spending requirement and a pre-loaded budget for this form of marketing, there are numerous benefits to the Google Grants program. You can even target your ads in specific locations if your target audience is concentrated in one place. Get started with your application or learn more about kickstarting a free, fruitful ad campaign. 

Final Words

If you’re interested in applying for a Google grant but are unsure where to start, Madak can help. We have experience doing Google grant ads specifically for our nonprofit clients, and we would love to help you get started. Contact us today to see how far a grant can take your organization!