Google Grants: Get $120,000 in Free Paid Search Advertising for Your Nonprofit

What if you could raise more than $100,000 for your annual online advertising budget? Well, you can. Google Grants is an in-kind extension of Google AdWordsthat grants qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofits up to $10,000 per month worth of AdWords campaigns. You can use this money to promote your organization’s mission through pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google search result pages. The best part? $10,000 per month is actually a massivesearch engine marketing (SEM) budget that most nonprofits couldn’t exceed if they tried.


Applying for Google Grants is surprisingly easy. It takes about 10 minutes, and you’ll find out within a couple of weeks if you’re approved. You can find the application on the Google for Nonprofits page.


The program is pretty straightforward, but there are a few guidelines to understand beforehand:
  • You can only promote your mission and initiatives—nothing openly sales-driven
  • The maximum cost-per-click (CPC) is $2.00, so you might have difficulty competing for top keywords
  • You can only run keyword-targeted campaigns and text ads
  • Your ads will appear only on Google search result pages
None of this is very limiting, including the $2.00 maximum CPC. You can still claim plenty of lower-competition and long-tail keywords within that budget.


Once you’re approved, it’s best to have an experienced search marketer create your AdWords account for you. Since your boundaries and budget are wide, you’ll want them to spend some extra time on keyword research and queuing your campaigns so that you don’t have to worry about day-to-day maintenance. When set up correctly, your AdWords account can run virtually on autopilot. That means you can enjoy increased traffic and interest while minimizing your operations and management costs.


Without analytics, you have no way of measuring and enhancing the effectiveness of different campaigns. Before diving into PPC, it’s important to have Google Analytics linked to your website so you can create tracking URLs and monitor traffic. You should also opt for weekly or monthly analytics reports. These stats can be sent directly to your marketing manager, agency, or any other designated leader.


We’ve helped quite a few nonprofits capitalize on Google Grants. One of them has seen more than 20,000 new site visitors in the last 3 months, while another has had a nearly 400 percent increase in site traffic. Both were from Grants-funded PPC alone. To explore what this awesome program offers for your nonprofit, contact us, and we’ll gladly guide you through the application and setup process.