If you are part of, work in or direct an NGO , this article can be of great help for your marketing strategy. Whether you are looking to increase your visibility, attract donations or get volunteers, Google Ad Grants is the ally you need to achieve your goal.
This program was founded in 2003 with the intention of offering non-profit organizations the opportunity to advertise for free online , an instrument that can enhance their impact and growth. According to its website, “ Google Ad Grants helps nonprofit organizations share their causes with the rest of the world . ”
- What is Google Grants?
- Who is eligible to be a beneficiary of Google Ad Grants?
- Google Ad Grants application process
- Benefits of Google Ad Grants
- Google Ad Grants account: maintenance conditions and limitations
- Tips for a good strategy using Google Ad Grants
- Success stories in Google Ad Grants
- Google Ad Grants: get moving towards your goals
What is Google Grants?
Google Grants is a tool within the program offered by Google for nonprofits (G4NP) , which guarantees free access to all its applications, allowing entities that qualify for the program to have a credit of $10,000 per month (with a daily limit of $329) to carry out online advertising campaigns within the Google AdWords platform .
In case you don’t know it, Google Ads is an online advertising program from Google , which allows you to create ads that appear both on its display network and in search engine results.
Even though the program has been running for almost 20 years, there are still many charities that are not part of it . Due to ignorance, they may be missing a great opportunity to increase their visibility and boost their conversions. Whatever the reason your organization isn’t using Google Ad Grants yet, in this article we’ll tell you how and why you should get started.
Who is eligible to be a beneficiary of Google Ad Grants?
This tool is not available to any charity , but there are certain requirements that must be met. The first refers to organizations that are not eligible:
- Schools or educational institutions.
- Government organizations.
- Hospitals or healthcare organizations.
Criteria that your NGO must meet to benefit from Google Ad Grants
It must also be taken into account that, sometimes, the requirements to enter the program offered by Google may vary a little between different countries, although, generally, they follow a very similar structure.
Among the most common eligibility criteria are the following:
- Possess valid charity status and is registered as such in one of the countries included in the program. The necessary requirements demanded by said country must be met. In this link , Google specifies what these requirements are in each of the countries.
- Accept the certifications required by Google regarding non-discrimination and donation management. Additionally, you must also comply with the rest of Google’s usage policies , which include following the Google Ad Grants terms and conditions, Google Ads standard policies , Google’s general terms and conditions, and account management policies.
- Have a functional website that offers a significant amount of unique quality content, related to the mission and activities carried out in the NGO.
Google Ad Grants application process
Once you have verified if your organization meets the requirements, you can begin the application process. How to do it? By following these simple steps:
1. Register on TechSoup
TechSoup is an organization that collaborates with other companies (like now Google), which is responsible for verifying that NGOs are really registered correctly . Once they verify that you meet all the requirements, you will obtain a validation token that you must provide to Google.
2. Sign up for the Google for NonProfits program
This step is necessary to be able to apply for the subsidy program, but it also offers many other advantages that you can take advantage of, such as Google Apps (free version of the package for companies), YouTube NonProfit Program or Google Earth Solidario.
3. Request an Ad Grants account
Once you have been accepted into the Google for NonProfits program , you can apply to the Google Grants program. To do this, you must:
- Access your Google for NonProfits account.
- Search the Google Ad Grants section.
- Click on “activate”.
- At that point, you can fill out the eligibility form and return to the NonProfits page where you were.
- Once there, you just need to click on the checkbox as you have filled out the form.
- Once finished, you can activate your account and start managing your campaigns.
Keep in mind that this process may take a while, as you need to be verified more than once. If you take this into consideration, you will be able to better control your timing and organize yourself well.
Once this process is finished, the most complicated and important part begins: taking advantage of the grant to boost your organization .
Benefits of Google Ad Grants
A common problem for NGOs is to achieve greater visibility in the community , a challenge that increases in difficulty if they do not find a way to obtain resources to carry out their activity. That’s why you shouldn’t delay taking advantage of Google Ad Grants, which offers a subsidy of $10,000 per month for free advertising .
This contribution can become a key resource to publicize the organization and enhance the fulfillment of its objectives, whether it is obtaining donations, partners, collaborators, attracting signatures or promoting events.
Let’s find out what Google Ad Grants can offer you and why you should apply for it if you meet the eligibility conditions:
Improve the visibility and engagement of your website
Google campaigns allow all the quality content you generate for your website to have a higher number of visits, which improves its visibility.
Furthermore, by segmenting by keywords, each user will be redirected to the content that interests them most and finds most valuable. In this way, the user experience improves and content delivery is optimized.
As I mentioned in previous lines, the greater reach your cause has, the more people you can impact and inspire, which will increase the number of people who want to get involved in your cause.
With Google campaigns, you can redirect users to landing pages where they can carry out the conversion action that interests you most according to your objectives: donations, becoming partners or collaborators, capturing signatures, becoming volunteers or signing up for events.
Google Ad Grants account: maintenance conditions and limitations
Maintaining a certain level of activity, providing relevant content for the user and guaranteeing veracity are three requirements that Google Ad Grants imposes for those who wish to maintain their account in this program.
Those who wish to take advantage of its benefits must know them, but also be aware of the limitations of this program compared to normal advertising on Google. Let’s delve into these details.
Conditions for maintaining the account
In the event that your organization no longer meets the requirements (or aligns with the policies) necessary to be part of the program, Google will suspend your account. Although it is true that it is a complex tool that requires you to invest time in it, it is not advisable to leave it abandoned, as this would lead to suspension and you would automatically stop being able to enjoy the associated benefits.
To manage your account efficiently and avoid this problem, follow the following best practices:
- Activity. Google wants to make sure you’re using the grant appropriately, so you’ll need to log in to your account at least once a month and update it every 90 days.
- Relevance of advertisements . The ads and keywords in your campaigns must match the content and services that your organization offers. It’s important that your ads reflect your organization’s mission. In addition to being consistent regarding the content, you must also be consistent regarding the location/region in which you segment .
- Security/Truthfulness . Your ads must only redirect to your previously approved domain, and the content of the advertised web page cannot contain links to other websites or commercial purposes (all income must go solely to the NGO).
Limitations of Google Ad Grants compared to regular advertising on Google
There are differences between doing Google Ads campaigns with the usual platform and doing them with Grants. The reason is that within Google Ad Grants there are certain limitations when it comes to campaigns, in relation to the partner network or display ads, among others. The requirements for the campaigns to circulate normally are:
- Do not exceed a maximum daily budget of $329, which corresponds to a total of $10,000 per month.
- Maintain a minimum CTR of 5% monthly . To achieve this, make sure that your copies and creatives are attractive and of quality, and use extensions to attract the user’s attention and thus increase your number of clicks.
- The keyword quality percentage must be greater than 2 . The quality of the keywords will depend on three different factors: expected CTR, relevance of the ad and experience in LP. If your keyword is low quality, review these three metrics to see which ones need to be optimized.
- Your campaigns should be organized so that at least two different ad groups are used , and that each group contains at least two ads.
- You must add at least two sitelink extensions to your ads . This is a positive requirement, because extensions help ads achieve better results.
You can only make search ads targeting keywords. Therefore, you cannot run Display or Shopping campaigns . Additionally, ads will only appear in Google search results, they cannot be included in the partner network .
Tips for a good strategy using Google Ad Grants
Once you have gone all the way to access the program, configured the campaigns and defined metrics, it is very important to focus your efforts on optimizing each initiative to the maximum in order to take advantage of it and amortize the resources invested (time, subsidy, etc. ) .
Therefore, I would like to propose a series of good practices to really get the most out of this tool… but if you think that you are not going to be able to dedicate the time and effort necessary to make the 10,000 dollars a month fruitful , it can always be a good idea to hire to an agency to help you (in this post you will find the keys to making the right choice). Let’s see what are the good practices for your campaigns with Google Ad Grants:
Choose relevant keywords
When choosing the keywords on which you are going to bid, you must take into account several issues:
Avoid bidding on generic keywords like “donation” or “NGO”
The reason is that, in addition to being very competitive (which will cause your ads not to be shown), they will not give you results. On the contrary, I recommend that you use keywords that are more related to the mission of your NGO or the activities you carry out.
Make your keywords highly related to the rest of the elements of your campaign
In other words, make sure they are relevant. To obtain a good quality percentage, the keywords you choose must also appear in the URL of the destination page to which you redirect, in the titles and/or subtitles of the destination page and in the ad copy . The more relevance a certain keyword has, the better quality Google will give it and the more optimized your ads will be.
Use “negative keywords”
They work just the opposite of keywords. These serve as an exclusion, and will prevent your ad from appearing in Google searches in which you are not interested in appearing , this way you will avoid wasting resources and ensure that you are impacting your target audience (which implies a higher CTR , because it is the audience that may really be interested, and this a better % quality of the keywords).
Organize your campaigns well
To improve your results, improve the user’s customer journey and create synergies between your ads, you need to structure your campaigns efficiently.
An effective way to achieve this is:
- Separate the different keywords you want to bid on into more generic categories, and then launch different campaigns per category.
- Regarding each campaign, divide them into ad groups by categories.
- And, within each ad group, use different ads that allow you to test different copy and images to see which works best, but making them all redirect to the same landing page.
Apart from being the most efficient way to structure your campaigns, this will allow you to compare different ads to identify what type of texts or creatives work best . In this way, you obtain learning, and, based on it, you will be able to optimize your ads along the same lines.
Write and design your landing page correctly
Make sure it is clear what is expected of the user and what the conversion action is. This allows you to make the customer journey easier and increase the conversion rate. Pay attention to the copies you include, and make sure that the message is correct , in addition to including the campaign keywords.
In this work at an operational level you must ensure that the page is fast, secure, that all elements load correctly and that they are visually attractive. I recommend that you include a CTA and complementary images that add value.
Combine campaigns with different objectives to generate synergies
By having such a high budget, you can run different types of campaigns that meet different objectives for your organization. For example, you can combine donation campaigns with branding and awareness campaigns.
Success stories in Google Ad Grants
The success stories that I have selected for you will allow you to see how other NGOs have taken advantage of Google Ad Grants to create promotable content that inspires the audience, diversify the strategy, impact the right audience and combine their efforts with other marketing strategies to enhance the synergies.
Do you want to know how non-profit organizations around the world use Google Ad Grants to increase their visibility, attract donations, and recruit volunteers?
Social Olympics World Games
Athletes from 165 countries challenged themselves and the brands registered to date in their sports specialties, while the organization overcame another challenge: holding a global event that required 30,000 volunteers, would have half a million spectators and dozens of millions of dollars in donations. It was the 2015 Special World Games in Los Angeles.
This event was an important milestone, as it was planned to promote acceptance and inclusion. To do this, it was necessary to achieve the maximum number of visits, something that was possible thanks to the Google Ad Grants program.
The way in which they used Google Ad Grants was aimed at gaining focus based on the analysis of web behavior and achieving an international audience , a public, this one, that was attracted by the publications and videos used to be able to launch those messages. The result exceeded expectations: “It generated 44% of the new users of the Special Olympics website and half of the subscriber registrations.”
Van Gogh Museum
The challenge that globalization posed for the van Gogh Museum a decade ago has become an opportunity. The way this non-profit organization uses Google Ad Grants allows it to connect with a global audience and thus meet its objectives .
From ticket sales to the promotion of special events, the opportunity that the program offered by Google has not been wasted at any time, and for this reason it has contributed to making the museum known to a wider audience and improving visitor numbers. visitors.
The analytical capacity of decision makers has been boosted, and with it, the care of their strategies. At the same time, in the twelve years of participation in Google Ad Grants, an evolution of the content can be observed that has caused a measurable impact, specifically, “it contributes to 15% of the total ticket sales of the Van Gogh Museum and generates 40% of your total website traffic.”
Action Against Hunger
Every year 1 million children die from malnutrition and it could be prevented (with just $45 per child). This non-profit organization works for this, seeks to create lasting changes and its purpose is to eradicate hunger in the world. To achieve this, communication is essential.
However, decentralization posed a significant challenge for Action Against Hunger and its communication tools. It was necessary to overcome this barrier to reach a larger audience and get more people involved with the aid projects underway.
Taking into account the importance of communicating through the appropriate channels and with the most accurate messages, this NGO took advantage of the Google Ad Grants program. Having the functionalities of Google Analytics at their disposal, it has been easier for them to attract visits (158,000 users in the last year, where a collection of more than $66,000 was recorded), increase their positive ratings (they have raised more than $20,000 from YouTube) and continue to move forward effectively towards achieving their goal.
Google Ad Grants: get moving towards your goals
Google Ad Grants is a tool with enormous potential, which offers an incredible opportunity to NGOs . Even so, there are still many non-profit organizations that do not take advantage of it , so, if this is your case, I encourage you to take the leap.
Don’t be intimidated by the work it may take to get everything up and running, as the return is incredibly beneficial and is a resource that should be taken advantage of. Think about your goal, set priorities and get going.