I recently came across Google’s ‘Ad Grants’ for non-profits, and wanted to share my insight from this to EVOC’s members and readers.
Google Ads are a great way of attracting the public and web users to your website, attracting more volunteers, advertising a fundraising campaign and receiving donations, or simply sharing your message and story with the world.
What are they?
These Ads are what pushes your website/page to the top of a google search, see below for an example. Here, WWF comes up as a top search for ‘adopt an animal.’ You can see the word ‘Ad’ in the corner of their Google Ad.
Google Ad Grants offer non-profits up to $10,000 USD (equivalent to around £9,000) of free advertising budget per month to advertise online.
However, there are eligibility conditions to meet and you must meet Google’s high standards to stay qualified for using the advertising grants each month, otherwise you’ll lose the free ‘credits’ in your account.
You can find out whether you’re eligible here.
Eligibility includes having a website that meets Google’s standards – one of these, for example, is having a ‘high quality’ website. Therefore, I would not be recommending these Grants to organisations that don’t have a dedicated team that look after their website, communications and digital. Additionally, those who have outdated websites, will struggle.
You will also need to ensure that the staff member or person managing your Google Ad Grant account has the appropriate knowledge, training and expertise to understand Google keywords, searches, SEO and paid advertising. To sustain the Google Ad Grants, you need to ensure that the keywords and search terms you are using are up to a certain standard. I would advise that anyone looking to use the Grants ensure that they have done some research and taken advantage of free online courses (Google Digital Garage have a lot of great ones) or other training in this area.
Additionally, I met with a Marketing and Digital consultancy firm, Storm ID in Edinburgh who offer a third party service to manage Google Ad Grant accounts. Whilst this is a costly option, it may be worth the investment for larger organisations looking to expand their digital reach and reputation. As mentioned above, taking on Google Ad Grants can be incredibly beneficial for your organisation, but also require work to upkeep and maintain, the use of another provider may be the best option for those without expertise and who have capacity to invest in their digital. More details can be found on their service here.
This post is purely for raising awareness of the grants, but there are much more comprehensive blog posts from Pedalo here and CharityComms here that further explain in detail the process for sustaining Google Ad Grants and the criteria for eligibility.
Written by: Sarah Virgo, Communications & Marketing Officer
Please note that these are my personal opinions and this blog has been written in a personal capacity.