Digital Advertising

The Simple Guide on How to Apply for Google Ad Grants

Photo of Jasmine LeBlanc Jasmine LeBlanc - January 5, 2018

Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published in January 2018, but was updated in June 2020 with the latest information on how to apply for Google Ad Grants.

Could you imagine receiving $120,000 yearly 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.

Eligibility

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 enrolled in Google for Nonprofits program
  • 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!

Part 1: Pre-Qualification Approval

Google will need to pre-qualify your nonprofit first. Here are the steps you will need to complete for this part:

  • Create a new Google Ads account

Even if you already have a paid Google Ads account, you will need to create a brand new account that will be tied to Google Ad Grants. Create this account through the Google for Nonprofits link, click here to get started.

Do not enter in a credit card number at any point during your account set up. Once your Google Ad Grants are approved, you will no longer receive any notification to add a payment method. 

  • Fill out pre-qualification survey

This short survey helps Google better understand your organizational goals to help you have a great experience with Google Ad Grants.

  • Watch a short video and take a very simple quiz on it

To make sure you understand the Google Ad Grant policy requirements and some key best practices, you'll watch a 5-minute video and then complete a short quiz afterwards. Watching the video and completing the quiz are essential parts to being pre-qualified, so don't skip this step!

After you complete these 3 steps, you are ready to submit your account for a pre-qualification review. 

When you are logged in to your Google for Nonprofits account, click Activate under Google Ad Grants. From there, you can submit your account for approval by clicking Enroll.

Google will review your new account and determine whether you will be approved. This process typically takes 5-7 business days.

Part 2: Campaign Set Up

So now that Google has pre-qualified you, it is time to create your first campaign. You will submit this campaign for approval to Google so that they can ensure you set it up correctly.

Setting up a campaign may sound daunting, especially if you are new to the Google Ads platform, but you are provided with step-by-step instructions along the way!

Reminder: Your account is still not fully approved at this point, so you may be seeing notifications to update your billing information. Do not enter in any credit card information at any time during your campaign set up. These notifications will disappear after you submit your campaign for review and it is approved.

Once you submit your first campaign, you will have to wait up to 10 business days to hear back from Google.

That's all you have to do to earn up to $10,000 a month for your nonprofit's advertising! If you haven't already, be sure to take the time to apply for this program for your nonprofit so that you can expand its reach without digging into your own budget.

 

*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.