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Using Google Grants for Non-Profit Advertising in AdWords

Paid Search, Google AdWords 8th Oct 2014

Hello. My name is Tara, and today I’m going to be talking to you about AdWords for charities. So Google offer a special scheme called Google Grants, which allows charities and non-profits to get $10,000 a month in ad spend absolutely free. This video is going to look at who is eligible for this scheme, how it works, and different ways that you can use it.

So to be eligible you need to be registered as an official charity in your country. It varies from country to country, but there will be an official body that you need to register with in order to be eligible for the scheme. You then need to make sure that you’re not a government organisation or your charity is not education related, because unfortunately the Google Grant scheme doesn’t support those charities at the moment.

You need to make sure, if you’re selling products on your site, that 100% of the revenue goes to the charity. This is a condition of using the grant. So if you are selling products, it’s something you need to be aware of.

So how does having the grant affect your account? Well, the grant is only eligible to use on search campaigns, which means if you want to do remarketing or display advertising, you’ll need to do it from a separate AdWords account, and it will obviously be paid for separately outside of the grant. This doesn’t mean you can’t do them, it just means it needs to be done separately.

With the grant, it also means your bids are capped at $2 per bid. So it means you have to work a bit harder to optimise your account to make sure that everything is really working well in order to still get good ad positions despite only being able to bid a maximum of $2.

If you do manage to optimise your account well, you’ll find that you could be eligible for an extra $30,000 a month, which means you could get a total of $40,000 in a grant every month for absolutely free. To be eligible for that, you’ll need to be tracking conversions, you’ll need to have a good click-through rate, and you need to regularly optimise your accounts, that’s logging in and making changes on a regular basis.

You can only use one domain with the grant as well. So for example, with Macmillan, which they have their coffee morning campaign, they might have a separate domain to drive traffic to you for that particular campaign. Then that domain wouldn’t be eligible under the grant. You can only register one domain. So if you are going to have lots of campaigns with separate kind of sites, try and keep them in a subdomain rather than a micro-site on a separate domain.

So how can you use the grant? Well, obviously, one really obvious way is to bid on your brand name. This will help you show up behind the search results and make sure that you are literally the first result people can click on. Alongside this, if you run campaigns, for example, recently we saw the Ice Bucket Challenge, and we saw brands like Macmillan bidding on that term. Well, if you’re running a campaign and you’ve got a particular tagline or your charity event has a particular name, you can be bidding on that term to make sure that your site shows up first when people are searching for information on that event.

You can also use it for generic terms. So you might not think about this, but there will be people out there searching for things like charity volunteering if they’re looking to volunteer their time to charity or corporate charity giving, terms that are quite generic that your site probably won’t rank for organically, but that by using pay-per-click ads for them, you can make sure that your charity is visible when people are looking to donate their time or do corporate donations.

So those are just some of the ways to use the grant. To get registered for the grant, you just go to and there will be instructions on how to apply. If you want any help with this or any other advice, feel free to follow us on any of our social profiles.

Tara West
About the author

Tara West

Tara West is an experienced SEO and PPC specialist who worked at Koozai, with particular expertise within AdWords PPC and Remarketing. She has worked on a wide variety of verticals, from plumbing and travel to fashion and beauty.

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