So it’s the year 2023, and the Google Ad Grant has now been available for charities for more than a decade. Does it still work? Did it ever work? Is it too late to try? Read on and we’ll give you the low-down.
Quick Recap: What Is the Ad Grant?
If you already know what it is then skip this paragraph and get to the juicy bits. For those of you that are new to the Google Ad Grant – it’s essentially US$10k of free credit to spend on Google Search Ads. You’ve got to be an eligible non-profit, then if you are you can apply and start using the Grant as part of your marketing mix. It’s all about helping causes to raise awareness, increase donations and promote the good work you’re doing.
Notes on Limits
Whilst $10k of free ad spend is clearly not to be sniffed at. There are a few limitations that you should be aware of. Firstly, the Ad Grant doesn’t offer the same targeting capabilities as a standard Google Ads account, with limitations on the keywords and audiences that can be used to target potential customers. The biggie is that you can only advertise on Google.com (or local variations thereof) – so you can’t use your Ad Grant budget to run campaigns on the display network or YouTube.
Additionally, the maximum cost per click is limited to $2.00, which can limit the reach of campaigns. Despite these drawbacks, search marketing remains one of the most effective ways of reaching new audiences. It’s estimated that Google processes more than 60,000 search queries every second – so clearly there’s a big audience to be reached with search ads!
How can charities use the Ad Grant?
If you’re just about to get started with the Grant or perhaps you started a while ago but have run out of steam, here are a few suggestions on the type of searches that you could be targeting to help your cause kick some serious goals.
- Reach out to new audiences and boost your supporter acquisition – Use the Google Ad Grant to target potential donors or beneficiaries in new demographic groups or geographical locations.
- Increase brand awareness – Use the grant to create campaigns that focus on telling the story of your charity and increasing its reach. Remember, not all search activity needs to be about being a bottle of funnel (bottom of funnel = high-intent searches) marketer.
- Promote events – Use the grant to promote any events that you’re running, such as awareness days or fundraising dinners.
- Promote campaigns – Use the grant to promote campaigns that you’re running, whether it’s a Mother’s Day, end of financial year, or Christmas appeal. There are lots of ways to find those people searching for an interest in what you have to offer.
- Reach potential partners – Whether we’re talking corporate partnerships or partnerships with peer group organisations. Think about your audiences and research relevant search terms to get them to your site – don’t forget to make sure you’ve got awesome content that scratches their itch otherwise they’ll just leave (bounce) and potentially never come back.
- Drive donations – Use the grant to create campaigns that drive donations directly to your cause. This can be tricky to do if all you do is target those people looking to “donate”, think tangentially about the types of search terms those that are passionately engaged in what you’re achieving might use and then bring them through the funnel!
- Boost volunteer recruitment – Use the grant to create campaigns that target potential volunteers, helping you to smash your goals. There are a tonne of people out there searching for how they can volunteer and have a positive impact on the world every day!
- Promote merchandise / Shop Sales – remember that stockpile of branded t-shirts you’ve got left from the last campaign or those awesome mugs you were hoping to get in front of supporters. It’s time to start promoting them using your Ad Grant and Google Shopping Ads!
- Advertise job opportunities – get your next super-hire by targeting those people looking for relevant work.
- Generate leads – Whether you’re looking for email newsletter sign-ups, advocacy campaign participants or if you’ve got some amazing lead-gen focused value exchange in market. Google search can be a great way to find people with an interest.
I don't know where to start with my Ad Grant, please help…
The Ninjas are ready and waiting to help you with your Ad Grants questions and challenges – just hit the button to get in touch.
With the right approach, the grant can be a powerful tool in the digital marketing arsenal of any charity. Remember, to get the best results from your digital efforts you should aim to combine the Ad Grant with a multi-channel approach to achieving your objectives.