Google ads can be excellent for utilising as part of a marketing strategy for non-profits and charities
Google Ads Grants have been available for years, and are not a response to the COVID-19 crisis. They are part of a set of resources that Google has been making available to non-profits and charities for many years.
However, if your organisation is eligible, now could be a could time to use this option.
The grants can make $10,000 available per month. This budget must be spent every month. There are some conditions to keeping this grant that Google themselves don’t reveal to applicants. However, the grant is usually easy to get for organisations that meet the eligibility criteria.
Under normal circumstances the application process doesn’t take that much time. However as of todays date – March 8 2020, there are delays in the process due to the an influx of applications.
Your organisation must be registered in your country as a charity or nonprofit.
You must have a website that has been built to a reasonable standard.
You can’t run ads on your own website.
Your organisation must agree to Googles standards regarding nondiscrimination and donation use.
You must be approved through a pre-qualification process, and continue to observe the policies of the program.
Ad spend must be applied effectively: the ads must maintain a 5% clickthrough rate.
This is where expertise comes in. Your ads should be created and tested by an agency or consultant that knows how to use Google Ads effectively. Although Google Ads is relatively easy to learn, some skill and experience is required to create ads that get sufficient response.
Other eligibility requirements include keeping the account active, keeping ads relevant and appropriately geotargeted and conducting a Keyword Performance Report once a month. This helps to maintain the quality of ads measured against the Quality Scale that Google Ads provides.
What You Can Do With The Grant
The grant allows you advertise via Google Search Ads: that is, the ads that display on Google search results pages. You can’t use the display network or YouTube ads. You can’t use the ads to drive traffic to pages that are designed to drive traffic elsewhere.
Google Ads be entirely text-based. You can’t use videos or images. So it’s important for your copy to be tight.
Google Search Ads can be very effective for driving awareness, engagement and conversions. In the world of nonprofits and charities ‘conversions’ often means donations. This is useful to know, but it means that your donation pages should be optimised.
Google Ads Grants is one of the most underutilised resources available to charities and nonprofits. Technically its’ free. The investment required is in the expertise and labour required to run the actual ads. And as long as you can keep spending the free virtual money that Google gives you to spend on the ads, you can continue to expose your message and drive engagement at low cost.