How To Apply For the Google Ads Grant

If your non-profit organisation doesn’t have the Google Ad Grant already then it’s a no-brainer. Apply and get access to $10k of monthly ad spend.

How to apply for the Google Ad Grant

Working for a not-for-profit is often fraught with challenges; not enough time, not enough people, not enough budget. The Google Grant programme was introduced a number of years ago to help introduce not-for-profits to the world of paid search advertising. This thing of beauty gives you access to at least $10k/month in free Google AdWords ads. If you work for a registered not-for-profit and haven’t yet got access to the Google Grant we recommend you move it to the top of your priority list and get your application submitted today.

How Do I Apply?

Applying for the Grant is a piece of cake, here are the instructions for organisations registered in Australia:

  1. Review eligibility requirements – check that your organisation is eligible for the Ad Grant programme. If you’re a registered charity then the program is widely available across a number of countries, you’ll need to meet the specific eligibility requirements for your county.
  2. Register at Google Nonprofits – you’ll be asked for specific details about your nonprofit including full registered name and contact details (see more on this below).
  3. Wait for verification – this can take up to 2 weeks. Google uses external validation partners (Percent and TechSoup) to verify organisations. You may hear from these partners if they need additional information or documentation so that they can verify your organisation (check your email inbox and junk mail regularly).
  4. Activate your Ad Grant account – after verification is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Google. You can then login to your account and start activating specific products. Head to – login to your account and then select the activation option for the Ad Grant.
  5. Confirm account details for your Ad Grant – activating your Ad Grant may take a few days. When the process is complete you’ll receive an email letting you know it’s ready, you need to click a link in the email to activate and login to your Ad Grant. If you don’t do this in a timely fashion your activation link may expire so it’s important to click the activation link as soon as you can.

When your Ad Grant account is activated you’ll need to start advertising! We recommend starting with a basic Google Ads campaign with an Ad Group and relevant keywords, please get in contact if you’d like us to help you get started with this. Otherwise, a good starting point is to target your brand keywords i.e. your charity name and close variants. You probably rank at number 1 organically already, however, targeting your brand keywords using a Google Ad account can be extremely valuable as you get to control which page your supporters arrive on – this can have a significant impact on your conversion rates!

Remember, the process of building and managing a successful Google Ads campaign takes significant time and if done right can land you with at least 5,000 extra users to your website each month (that’s $10k divided by the $2 bid cap).

I need help getting my Ad Grant going

The Ninjas are ready and waiting to help you with your Ad Grants questions and challenges – just enter your details and hit the button to send out a distress flare.

    Jon Dawson, CEO of Digital Ninjas
    Jonathan will get back to you soon

    Google Ad Grants Limitations

    The Ad Grant programme is an excellent way to reach more potential supporters and service users. As ever with “something free” It does come with some restrictions that can limit its usefulness in certain scenarios, these restrictions are:

    • Maximum cost per click of $2 – this makes it hard to get traffic for more competitive search terms that are likely to cost more than $2 to achieve top position. Google have tweaked this policy to allow your Ad Grant account to bid above the $2 bid cap if you’re using some of their “automatic bid strategies” – for example Maximise conversion bidding.
    • Google Search Only – you can only display your ads on the Google Search page not the Google Search Partners network (that’s third-party website owners who have installed the Google search bar on their website), this isn’t a biggie as you’ll still have plenty of people to target.
    • No access to display network – you can’t run banner or text ads across the Google Display Network (GDN) that includes both display prospecting and remarketing. You know the ones, those nifty little ads that you see when viewing news or general interest websites.
    • The $10k monthly budget is split into a daily budget of about $329 a day, this means that if your budget runs out on any given day, your ads will stop displaying. Likewise if you don’t spend the daily budget then your free ad spend does not roll over to the next day.

    So there you have it, everything you need to get started with Google Ad Grants. Contact us if you’d like to know more about how to squeeze more out of your Grant account.

    Who Is Eligible For Ad Grants?

    The Google Grant is available to registered not-for-profits in most countries across the world. To qualify in Australia your organisation must meet the following criteria (taken from this page):

    1. Organisations must be currently registered with Connecting Up, TechSoup Global’s regional arm.
    2. Organisations must be a non-government income tax exempt (ITE) non-profit organisation as defined by the Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission (ACNC) and/or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

    As part of the sign-up process for the Non-Profit programme, Google will ask you for specific details about your organisation as shown below:

    Google Ad Grant sign-up

    Google also use third parties to validate your eligibility as an eligible non-profit as shown below:

    Screen shot showing that Percent will verify your organisation and asking for a few more specific peices of information.

    When your application for an Ad Grant is submitted you need to keep an eye on your email. When the validation process is complete you’ll be able to activate specific products in your Non-Profit console, including the Google Ad Grant:

    Notificcation from Google advising to keep an eye on email. The validation process can take 2-14 working days.