What is a Google Grant?
A Google Grant, also called a Google Ad Grant, is an edition of Google AdWords for nonprofit organizations.
A GoogleGrant provides not-for-profit organizations with the value of $10,000/month in free AdWords advertising. The goal of Google Grants is to allow nonprofits a greater opportunity to promote their missions and objectives in Google’s search results.
While there are many nonprofit organizations in a number of industries (performing arts, visual arts, museums, public media, and others) who have run successful search campaigns with the help of a Google Grant, there are some myths about the Grant that prevent eligible participants from ever applying! Don’t let that happen to you.
Below we’ll explore five commonly-used Google Grant rumors and disband them. We’re really familiar with the Google Grant and what it takes to run successful Google Grant-based AdWords campaigns, but we’ve double and triple fact-checked all of these anyway – so you can focus on getting your application ready and ramping up for some successful Google Search campaigns!
1. My organization isn’t a charity, so I can’t apply.
It might be semantics, but Google’s definition of “charity” refers to any organization that has received Charity Status. In the US, this would include any organization with a 501(c)(3) status. So, even if you aren’t feeding the hungry or organizing emergency kits for natural disaster victims, if your organization has 501(c)(3) status, you can apply. Exclusions do apply to government organizations, some educational institutions, and others. Click here to learn more about eligibility for the Google Grant in other countries.
2. Managing a Google Grant will take up all my time! I don’t have time for that.
One of the biggest drawbacks to using AdWords or running search campaigns is the time it takes to do so. Fortunately, you (or someone else) can execute successful Google Ad Grant campaigns in AdWords without having to dedicate much additional time to it. If you’re working with a digital marketing partner or looking for one, ask them if they will manage your Google Ad Grant spend. Google also requires Grant recipients to regularly maintain their AdWords accounts to remain Grant-eligible, so it’s helpful to have a partner to assist you in maintaining your Google AdWords account. Google does offer basic campaign management through a program called AdWords Express, but depending on the nature of your campaign and marketing program(s), it’s critical to choose the most scalable option.
3. I can’t compete with large, for-profit organizations on Google AdWords, even with a Grant, so what’s the point?
While this sounds kind of negative, we really don’t think you should “throw in the towel” just because you aren’t a billion-dollar brand.
Many marketers, even in the for-profit sector, are under the impression that they must “pay to play” on Google AdWords – meaning, if they don’t spend as much as someone else, it’s pointless to try. This fallacyhas unfortunately dissuaded several eligible companies from recognizing their potential with a Google Grant or with Google Search in general. Small organizations can compete with large ones in Google Search results, and here’s why:
Google ranks search results, even pay-per-click search results, with keywords and location relevancy. If you’re relevant, you’ll be seen. While you’ll probably rank below the results of those aforementioned billion-dollar brands, it’s not worth missing out on so many potential conversions. In fact, the effective utilization of a Google Grant has the potential to drive between 10,000 and 40,000 new site visitors to your website. And don’t even get us started on what you can do with a GrantsPro “super grant.”
4. My company has no need to spend $10k a month on advertising… and maybe never will.
It’s true, many nonprofit organizations do struggle with spending the full $10,000 monthly – with the Google Grant spend allocation, if you don’t use it, you lose it. However, this shouldn’t discourage you, but rather encourage you to optimize your Grant spend as much as possible. If you don’t have the resources you need to do this, find a partner to help. Even if you’re only spending 25%-30% of your monthly credit, your Grant is a sound, valuable budget resource. Something is definitely better than nothing.
5. I can’t solicit my organization or get leads with a Google Grant, right? Why would I want a Google Grant, then?
This is a relatively grey area to many nonprofit and public organizations as the rules do in fact state that you must use only mission-based keywords in your ads. That rule does not exclude the general promotion of tickets, subscriptions, or donations, or other activities that will ultimately raise funds to go back into your non-profit organization. Strictly commercial advertisement is not allowed. For more information about the types of search ads allowed to run under a Google Grant budget, check out Google’s copy examples.
The Google Ad Grant is an incredibly effective tool for nonprofit organizations to drive more site traffic, conversions, and revenue. Is your organization using a Google Grant?