Go to content
Are you a charity? If so there’s some good news, Google provides a charity grant known as a ‘google grant’ which is $10,000 to spend on Google AdWords. This translates to around £6,330, a considerable amount to spend on paid search!

The benefits of making use of this grant are huge. On average the implications of using the Google Grant could bring 500+ users daily to your website.

Who is eligible for a Google Grant?

The Grant is available to registered charities in countries including the UK. Google does reserve the right to turn down charities, but cases like this are very rare. You will need to submit an application, highlighting the aims of the organisation and how AdWords would help (applications take 3-4 months to process).

The following organisations are not eligible for Google Grants:

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

Google does have a similar program for educational institutions though, see: http://www.google.com/edu/.

There are some limitations with the Google Grant:

  • A daily budget set to $329 USD, which is equivalent to about $10,000 per month
  • A maximum cost-per-click (CPC) limit of $2.00 USD
  • You can only run keyword-targeted campaigns
  • Ads will only appear on Google search result pages
  • You can only run text ads

There are also limitations on what you can advertise within the text of your adverts themselves. An ad may be disallowed if the text does not directly appear to be related to the charity:

AcceptableNot Acceptable
Shop and Fight Cancer
Our Pink Ribbon Collection has
Unique Gifts for a Great Cause.
Shop for cancer
Shop for breast cancer
Cancer store
Cancer merchandise
Buy Gifts Online
Apparel, Books, Music & More
Save Time and Money Now!
Buy clothing
Online clothing store
Online shoe store
Shop mp3s

Table from: https://www.google.co.uk/grants/details.html

Now we’ve gone over all the don’ts, it’s time to look at what you absolutely should do with your AdWords account:

  • DO work towards spending your full budget as there is a further grant available for those charities who hit the target of 9.5k in two months out of twelve. This grant ‘Grantspro’ is $40,000. Although this isn’t easy, given the limitations of keyword bids, it is possible with the right management.
  • You are limited to $2 max bid on keywords, this will make it harder to appear on the first page of search results, get creative and look into other keywords for your charity, longer tail phrases and keywords are a good source to tap into.
  • Unlike a traditional AdWords account, focus less on negative keywords and excluding searches, as part of your aim is likely to be providing visibility for your charity, a click is still someone viewing your charity and is still worthwhile, even if it is not 100% relevant. You also need to spend your budget, excluding traffic will limit spend.
  • Ad extensions are available to boost your ads and make clicks more likely. Although ad extensions site links will appear less than usual, they are still worthwhile adding.
  • Track your conversions – decide what the main goals and aims of the website are (besides raising awareness), do you want direct donations, newsletter sign ups or social media shares? These are all forms of conversions, and by setting up conversion tracking, you can find out which of your ads are the most effective.
  • Use broad match and broad match modified keywords, this means your ads will reach a broader audience. Spending your budget will be easier with broader keywords and you will be able to get more specific over time if your account requires it.

Managing your AdWords account

In order to maintain eligibility, there are some boxes you must tick:

  • All ads in your campaign MUST link to the URL that was approved in your application.
  • You need to log into your account monthly, if this does not happen then the account can be paused without notification.
  • Your ads must reflect the mission of your non profit. You can advertise to sell items as long as the profits 100% go towards the charity.
  • Ads cannot point to pages used to send visitors to other websites.
  • Your ads cannot ask for donations in the form of large goods e.g. cars, boats or property donations. You also cannot offer financial products such as mortgages or credit cards.
  • Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate ad links while using Google Grants.

Any violation of these guidelines can result in removal from the program, Google also reserve the right to supplement or amend these guidelines at any point.