A Step-By-Step Guide to Google Grants for Nonprofits

Did you know that your nonprofit can get up to $10,000 in free advertising from Google each month? I sure hope so, because I wrote about it back in January. For those of you who missed it, here’s a video overview from Google:

So how do you get Google Grants? The process takes a bit of time (mostly for Google to review the application) but isn’t too complicated. Plus the benefits are huge: potentially introducing thousands of new people to your organization’s mission each month—for free!

Here’s what your nonprofit needs to keep in mind:

Eligible Organizations Must:

  • Hold current and valid charity status, e.g. 501(c)(3) status
  • Not have revenue-generating advertising on your website (such as Google AdSense)
  • Have a website that is both functioning and provides adequate detail on your nonprofit

Who isn’t Eligible?

  • Governmental entities and organizations
  • Hospitals and medical groups
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities* (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible)

*Though do note that Google does have a similar program for educational institutions

How do I Apply?

Visit the Google for Nonprofits website and click “Join the Program.” You’ll be taken through a series of questions to help Google determine whether or not you’re eligible.

Then What?

After being accepted into the program, your Google AdWords account will function almost exactly like any other advertiser’s.

You’ll pick keywords based on the work you do and the audiences you’re trying to reach, and design short ads that appear at the top of the search results, like in the image at the top of this post.

Once your ads start running, you’ll be able to see how many new visitors come to your website, along with which of your ads are performing the best and worst. Knowing this information can help you refine your ad strategy.

While it is helpful to have somebody set up your account that has experience in Google AdWords, there are many resources that simplify the process. See Google’s Account Creation Guide here to get started.

Are you using Google Grants to run online ads? Is it working? Tell me about your experience in the comments.