Did you know that Irish nonprofit organisations are eligible for $10,000 a month in free advertising from Google? Yes, really!
The Google Ad Grants programme is designed to help nonprofits around the world attract donors, raise awareness for your organization, and recruit volunteers with in-kind advertising on Google Search.
All they ask is that you set up a robust account with well made campaigns, and that you follow their list of policies and rules. These rules are designed to make sure you get the most out of your free advertising allowance – they don’t want you setting up the account and not using it to the maximum potential.
At Piquant, we help nonprofits set up their Google Ad Grants accounts, build a healthy list of campaigns, ad groups and ads, and maintain the account to make sure all policies are being followed and the account doesn’t get shut down (which it will if you don’t follow their rules). Here’s our 10 things to know about Google Ad Grants.
1. Who is eligible?
To qualify for Google Ad Grants, your organization must:
- Hold a current and valid charity status (CHY number for Irish charities)
- Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
- Have your own, high quality website that provides required details on your non-profit and is not for commercial use.
And that’s it!
Governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google for Nonprofits, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.
2. How to get set up
The first step to getting set up is to request a Google for Nonprofits account, and fill in the required details. After verification of your nonprofit status, you can activate and use Google products on the platform. Once you submit your activation for Google Ad Grants, a team in Google will perform a quick review and you will be up and running.
3. Once you are set up, there are rules to follow
Google has a dozen or so technical policies and rules for compliance that must be followed in order to keep your Google Ad Grants account running.These rules are designed to help nonprofits maximise the performance of their ads. If you are unfamiliar with the Google Ads interface, best practices, and how to optimize your account, staying on top of these policies can be a challenge. Google is always tweaking the rules, and it’s important to stay on top of policy changes to make sure your account stays compliant.
4. Your account can get suspended
Google can suspend your account and pause your ads without notification if you fall out of compliance with these policies.
5. But you can get it back
If your account is suspended, don’t panic, you can get it reinstated if you resolve the policy violations or issues, and submit an appeal. However, repeated offenses can result in permanently disabled accounts. Once the account is reinstated, it’s important to make sure you are sticking to those policies.
6. Google Ad Grants ads only run on the Search Network
The Google Ad Grants account is only eligible to run text ads on the Search Network, so you can’t run image, video, shopping, or display ads. So it’s a good idea to manage your Google Ad Grants account alongside your regular Google Ads account. On that point…
7. You can still use a regular Google ad account
Yes, you can still use a regular Google Ads account if you have a Grants account, and you should! Having both is a great way to expand your reach and run multiple different types of campaigns, such as YouTube pre-roll ads or Display ads on websites. And while paid ads from a regular Google Ads account always show before Grant Ads by default, they don’t actually compete with each other in the auction, so you can bid on the same keywords in your regular Google Ads account and Grant account at the same time.
8. Use it or lose it
You won’t be penalised for not spending the full $10k a month, but if you don’t use your allowance, you lose it! So the goal is to spend as much of your available budget as possible each month, and you can ensure this by having an expansive account with lots of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.
9. You have to check in regularly
One of those policies we keep mentioning is that you have to check in on your account regularly. Google will actually suspend your account if you don’t login within 30 days, and make at least one change every 90 days. So make sure you stay on top of it!
10. Google are passionate about this service
Since 2003, Google Ad Grants has given over $9 billion in free advertising to over 115,000 nonprofits in more than 50 countries. The program is led by Michelle Hurtado, who started her career working in nonprofit communications and saw how online ads level the playing field and give smaller organizations a voice. It’s a fantastic initiative and something every nonprofit should be taking advantage of.
Under Piquant’s Campaign Management services, we work with charities and NGOs to set up and manage their Google Ad Grants Account, including developing strategies, identifying key messaging, creating ads, monitoring and reporting.
View our Campaign Management work
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