In the years since its inception, Google’s growth from simple search engine to provider of multiple web services has seen it release a number of tools and programs for both users and webmasters to take advantage of. Some, like AdWords and Gmail, are well-known by name; others fly under the radar and take a little more digging to discover. One example of these lesser-known programs is the Google Grants program. Although the criteria for this are rather specific, it is set up just like an AdWords campaign – albeit with some limitations. If you’re familiar with AdWords and are eligible for the Google Grants program, this may be perfect for bringing your non-profit business the online boost it needs.
This article consists of two parts. The first half will give some background on what the Google Grants program is, who is eligible for it, how you can apply if you meet the criteria and certain limitations advertisers face. The second half will outline a real-world case study, showcasing how an agency using the Google Grants program worked to improve the position and click-through rate of their campaign.
Part One: What is the Google Grants Program?
Google defines the Google Grants program as follows:
“Google Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Grants empowers non-profit organizations, through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords™ advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.com.” –http://www.google.com/grants/
So, in short, Google Grants is “AdWords for Non-Profits”. If you’re running a company that meets Google’s criteria for this, the Google Grants program gives you a helping hand with promoting your products and services. Businesses that are eligible and participate in this program receive a $10,000 monthly grant for their campaign.
Eligibility for the Google Grants Program
There are several criteria that a business must meet in order to be eligible for the Google Grants program.
They must hold 501(c)(3) status, as determined by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and must acknowledge and agree to the application’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use. The program is only available to companies in the countries listed here, and governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and health care organizations, and schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (with the exception of philanthropic arms of educational organizations) are not eligible.
A full list of criteria is available at http://www.google.com/nonprofits/join/
How to Apply to the Google Grants Program
- Read the eligibility requirements
- Apply to the program
- Once approved, enroll in specific Google products
- Get started with product tutorials
Limitations to the Google Grants Program
There are some restrictions to using the Google Grants program. Daily budgets are set to $330.00 USD, Costs-Per-Click are limited to $2.00, campaigns can only be keyword-targeted and ads can only be text ads.
The full list of restrictions and limitations can be viewed here.
Additional information on limitations:
Limits to Where Ads Show
Ads can only be shown on the Google Search Network, not the Display Network or on Search partners. Campaigns can only be keyword-targeted and cannot use CPM bidding.
More information on limits to where ads show is available here.
Limits to Budgets and Bids
The maximum daily budget you can set is $330 U.S. dollars, which is equivalent to about $10,000 per month. Within the last year, Google has increased the Cost per Click bid for keywords to $2.00 USD from the original $1.00 bid per keyword. Accounts can only use Manual bidding for clicks; automatic bidding is not allowed. You are unable to set Display Network bids or managed placement bids.
More information on limits to budgets and bids is available here.
It is important to note that Grant accounts will only run for as long as your organization remains actively engaged with your AdWords account. Google states that they reserve the right to terminate your organization’s participation in the Google Grants program for any reason without notice at any time. We recommend to any Grant Account Managers to consistently check in on the AdWords campaign at least once a month to keep the campaign active and to check for any urgent notices from Google or changes to the Grants program.
Why spend so much time getting the Grant approved and then waste it away on inactivity? Getting accepted in Google’s Grant Campaigns is an extensive process, but the benefits of the program are limitless. Do not take the campaign for granted and be sure to check in on the campaign multiple times each month to be on the safe side and it’s also a great practice to follow for any AdWords campaign.