Digital Advertising

4 Step Guide on How to Apply for Google Ad Grants

Photo of Jasmine LeBlanc Jasmine LeBlanc - January 5, 2018

Could you imagine receiving $120,000 to increase awareness for your nonprofit organization? Well, you may be eligible to receive that through Google for Nonprofits!

Google gives back to eligible nonprofits by providing them with free tools and resources to build brand awareness, increase fundraising efforts, and much more. We’ve talked about Google for Nonprofits before and highlighted the tools it offers. But now, we would like to expand more on Google Ad Grants. We will discuss what it is, how to be eligible, and how to apply.

Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants allow you to “run text ads on Google Search results with $10,000 of in-kind advertising every month.” This enables nonprofits to save money to go towards their cause while expanding their reach.


So by now, you may be wondering how to begin the process to receive Google Ad Grants. Well first, you have to find out if you’re eligible.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a nonprofit charitable organization in good standing in your country.
  • Be recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization* formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary, scientific, or other tax-exempt purposes.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google's required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
  • Have an active website with substantial content.

Fiscally sponsored organizations do not qualify for Google for Nonprofits. You are not eligible if your organization is a:

  • Governmental entity or organization
  • Hospital or healthcare organization
  • School, academic institution, or university

Google Ad Grants Application Process

If you determined your organization is eligible, then you are ready to begin the application process for Google Ad Grants. Follow these four easy steps to get started!

1) Register with TechSoup.

TechSoup is a nonprofit international network of non-governmental organizations that gives technical support and technological tools to other nonprofits. They will verify you as a nonprofit organization.

2) Set up a new and correctly configured AdWords account.

It's important that you create a new account and do not use an existing one. The AdWords account must be new so that there is no billing set up. Here are some tips to successfully create your account.

  • Create a Classic AdWords account. Do not use AdWords Express when creating an account.
  • Set currency to USD.
  • Do not add billing information.
  • Set campaigns to Search Network Only.
  • Add at least one campaign, two ad groups, two ads, and closely related keywords.
  • At least 2 sitelinks for your ad
  • Your ad uses relevant geo-targeting
  • Your ad uses conversion tracking with defined conversion values

For additional tips, use the Google AdWords Account Creation Guide while creating your account.

3) Enroll in the Google for Nonprofits program.

For this step, you'll need your validation token from TechSoup to enroll in the Google for Nonprofits program. Make sure the person enrolling in the program is able to serve as the administrator for your organization's account.

4) Submit the application for review.

You've reached the final step to apply for Google Ad Grants! Log in to your Google for Nonprofits account and go to the Enrollments page. You will see all of the products you are eligible to enroll in. Select Google Ad Grants, fill out the application, and submit it for review! The processing part is usually quick; you should receive an email from the Google team with your application status within five business days or sooner.


*Organizations, such as churches, that are automatically considered tax-exempt under group exemption must still obtain recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS to qualify for the Google for Nonprofits program.