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How Google Grants Can Help You Grow Your Nonprofit Organization

How Google Grants Can Help You Grow Your Nonprofit Organization

How to get Google Ad Grants for your organization

Could your nonprofit benefit from $10,000 per month in free online advertising? If you answered “yes,” you should know about a program called Google Ad Grants. If your nonprofit qualifies, you’ll receive $10,000 in in-kind AdWords advertising every month, with a daily budget of $329.

Google Ad Grants work just like Google AdWords, displaying your message to people searching for terms that you define. These ads will appear on Google search results pages and can be targeted to the population you want to reach. You can use these ads to promote and bring awareness to your organization’s mission and services, attract more volunteers, and for fundraising.

Who is eligible?

Non-profit organizations that hold current 501(c)(3) status as determined by the IRS.

Who is not eligible?

Governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and health care organizations, educational entities including schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (with the exception of philanthropic arms of educational institutions).

How to apply

The first step is to get accepted into the Google for Nonprofits program. Go to and follow the instructions. Have your organization’s nonprofit ID number handy. Once your application is complete, submit it to Google and wait for a response.

According to Google, “Most applications can be reviewed within a few seconds of submission. If your application requires a closer look, you will receive a decision within two business days. While you’re waiting, you can sign into your Google for Nonprofits account at any time to check the status of your application.”

What happens next?

Once your organization is approved for Google for Nonprofits, you can sign up for Google products designed for nonprofits and apply for a Google AdWords grant.

How to apply for a grant

Step 1: Go to to get started. There you can choose the best option for your organization and your capacity to manage your campaigns.

If your capacity is limited you can simply pick your audience, write several lines of text about your nonprofit, set your daily budget, and let AdWords Express do the rest.

If you prefer to manage your campaigns more closely, you can choose that option. Google will provide you with the tools you need to create, target and optimize your campaigns.

Step 2: Follow the prompts and instructions carefully to create your AdWords account.


Do use the same email address you used in your nonprofit application.

Do skip the billing process as instructed.

Do not enter any credit card information. You are setting up a grant account, not a paid account. If you enter credit card info, you’ll have to start over.

Step 3: Create your AdWords campaign. Here you will determine where you want your ads to appear and in what language and set an advertising budget within the $329 daily maximum.

Step 4: Write your ad text and include keywords or phrases. These are used to trigger your ad based on the words a user enters in a search.

Step 5: Submit your application. According to Google, “You’ll receive an email from the team with your status within about 5 business days.”

Once Google gives you the green light, you can start spending up to $329 per day in free AdWords ads!

Google will provide you with plenty of analytic tools to track the effectiveness of your campaigns so you can make adjustments as you go along.

TIP: Do spend out the grant every month to achieve the best results. It’s a “use it or lose it” grant, so use it!

Want more grant money?

Once you have a successful track record, your nonprofit might qualify for an increase to $40,000 per month of in-kind AdWords advertising, with a daily budget of $1,315.

Need some inspiration?

Doug Meckelson, Founder and President of the Elder Wisdom Circle, an organization that matches senior citizen volunteers with younger people seeking advice and wisdom, had this to say about their experience: “In the absence of our AdWords campaigns, The Elder Wisdom Circle would likely cease to exist. There is no viable advertising alternative for our organization that would be as successful.”

Read more about nonprofit organizations that have achieved great results with their Google Ad Grants:

At Dream Local Digital, we can help you apply for AdWords Grants, and help you manage the campaigns if they are awarded to you to insure that your non-profit gets the most from the advertising dollars that you are awarded. Contact us today to get started and see if this program is right for you.

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