How to Get Free Advertising for Your Nonprofit Using Google Ads Grants

Google Ad Grants. Free Advertising for Nonprofit Organizations [Ad Grant Specialist]


Looking to grow your nonprofit organization? Look no further than Google’s Ad Grants for nonprofits program. This program gives nonprofit organizations, that qualify, $10,000 / month of Google Ads as an in-kind donation!

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about what these generous grants can do, how to qualify for them, and how to stay in compliance to retain the $10,000 / month grant.

What are Google Ads?

In order to understand how Google Ad Grants work, it is beneficial to have a basic understanding of Google Ads.

To put it briefly, a Google Ads campaign is a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platform whereby advertisers bid to have their ads shown to relevant audiences online on the Google Search Network and Google Display Network.

Google Ad Grants focus on displaying text ads on the Google Search Network. These ads appear like so:

There are a number of benefits to having a Google Ads Campaign for a business, but for a nonprofit organization, these benefits include:

  • Reach a broader audience
  • Recruit more volunteers
  • Attract more donations

What are Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants is an in-kind advertising program that allows nonprofit organizations to promote their mission and services using Google Ads. These text-based ads can only display on the Google Search Network and yet, they provide an incredible amount of exposure for causes all over the world.

There is an application process involved, and once the nonprofit organization is approved, it gets $10,000/ month to use towards Google Ads advertising dollars, every year so long as they remain compliant to Google’s standards (we’ll get to those in a bit).

Google distributes this ad money by giving the organization a daily donation of $329 in Google Ads money.

With Google Ad Grants, nonprofit organizations can utilize a $10,000 Google Ads advertising budget to raise awareness, recruit volunteers, and attract donors to their nonprofit organizations.  

Join the Nonprofits Already Benefitting from Free Google Ads

Google Ads grant Build a Well in Africa example | Hyperlinks Media

Google Ad Grants program works with over 20,000 organizations in more than 50 countries.

Last year alone, Google provided billions of dollars of in-kind donations to over 35,000 charities, not only raising awareness for their causes in their respective communities but also attracting willing volunteers and donors.

Just take a look at the awesome testimonials by various charities who have engaged with the program:

DonorsChoose.org Case Study

We Care Animal Rescue Case Study

Federation of Canadian Artists

Not only do organizations like these have the ability to spread the word about their causes, but they make their services easy to find by those who truly need it.   

How to Apply

In order for a nonprofit organization to be deemed eligible to receive a grant, they need to comply with Google’s eligibility standards. The organization must:

  • Have a current 501 (c)(3) status as a nonprofit
  • Have an organization website that is functioning and provides adequate detail about the nonprofit.
  • NOT be a governmental entity
  • NOT be a healthcare or hospital organization
  • NOT be an academic institution (this includes schools and universities)

Should an organization comply with all of Google’s eligibility requirements, it must be registered and validated with TechSoup; a nonprofit organization that partners with corporations (such as Google) to provide nonprofit’s technology tools at discounted rates.

Upon validation, TechSoup will issue the organization a validation token. Once this validation token is acquired, your organization uses your newfound token to apply for the Google for Nonprofits program.  

Organizations that are not eligible to receive Google Ad Grants are as follows:

  • Governmental entities and organizations
  • Academic institutions and universities
  • Schools
  • Hospitals and medical groups
  • Childcare centers

*Philanthropic extensions of schools are eligible. If you are an educational institution looking for a similar program, however, Google does have a program specifically for this.  

How to Sustain Qualification for Google Ad Grants

Congratulations! If you’ve reached this section of the checklist then you’ve joined the Google for Nonprofits club! You have reached the final stage of the process i.e. to create a Google ads campaign and submit it to Google for review.

Before you begin, here are a few guidelines to follow.  

  • Every ad in your account must link to the nonprofit URL that was approved in your application process.
  • Be proactive in your Google Ads management by logging in to the account monthly. If a nonprofit advertiser who has a Google Grant does not log into their Google Ads account, the account is subject to being paused without notification.
  • The ads must reflect the mission of your nonprofit. You can advertise to sell products as long as 100% of the proceeds are going to support your program.
  • The ads you create cannot point to pages that are used to primarily send visitors to other websites.
  • Your ads cannot offer financial products, such as mortgages or credit cards.
  • Your ads cannot be asking for donations in the form of large goods such as cars, boats or property donations. Keywords related to this activity are also not allowed.
  • Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links while participating in Google Grants.

Google declares that any violation of these guidelines is subject to eviction from the program. They also reserve the right to supplement or amend these eligibility guidelines at any time.

Managing Your Google Ads Account

Once you start earning Google Ad Grants, that’s when the real fun begins. From this point on you are responsible for operating and managing your ad grants account, which is essentially a Google Ads account. You will have total control of your ad campaign and Google will not be managing your account.

There are a few guidelines that come with managing your Google Ads account in compliance with Google’s standards. These consist of the following stipulations;

  • Your keywords cannot have a max CPC (Cost Per Click) of over $2.
  • You can only place your ads (strictly text) on Google.com.
  • You need to make sure that your ads are geo-targeted in order to show ads in locations that your audience is in.
  • You are required to have at least 2 active ad groups per campaign, each containing a set of closely related keywords yet, unique text ad.     
  • Ad Grants accounts that are not exclusively using Smart Campaigns must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR).
    • If this CTR is not met for 2 consecutive months, your account will be temporarily deactivated.   
  • You need to have at least 2 unique Sitelink ad extensions

Sounds like a lot to handle? We’ve got you covered.

Of all of the facets involved in the success behind a Google Ad Grants account, managing one is the biggest. It not only requires attentiveness but because it is, in fact, a PPC campaign at its core, it requires digital marketing expertise by which ad campaigns can gain the best results.   

While it isn’t recommended to run a PPC campaign without the aid of a professional, many organizations attempt to obtain and manage their own accounts. Here at Hyperlinks Media, we are proud to provide around-the-clock expertise to not only obtain your Google Ad Grants, but maintain them so your organization continues to benefit.

We are Google Ads Certified Partners, and offer the following services for those looking to partake in the Google Ad Grants program:

  • Set up and management of Google Ads Campaigns
  • Maintainance of account to stay in compliance
  • Reports and insights regarding Google Ads performance
  • Development of strategic plans to achieve your mission & goals

We offer the following in-kind donations to get your nonprofit started:

  • Complete the Google Ad Grants Application process at NO charge.
  • Create your Google Ads account at NO charge          
  • Provide a discounted management fee for non-profits only!

We invite you to call and discuss this incredible grant program including all of its benefits with one of our Google Ads Certified Professionals.

They will be able to answer all of your questions and let you know if the Google Ad Grant program setup and management are obtainable through Hyperlinks Media.

There is absolutely no risk to apply, however, Hyperlinks Media also has eligibility requirements for its free services and discounted management fees for non-profits.  

Imagine what your nonprofit could do with $10,000 per month in Google Ads. The number of people that your organization could reach could increase by the thousands. It’s our pleasure to help you turn that highly attainable vision into a reality.