Google Ad Grants

Want to know how your charity can get £7,500 of free Google ads each and every month?

 Calling all charities and non-profits – did you know that you might be eligible for around £7,500 of free advertising from Google each month? Philanthropic organisations can apply for Google Ad Grants, which provides a daily grant of $329 – around $10,000 or £7,500 a month – towards paid-for advertising on search results pages. More than 20,000 organisations in over 50 countries have signed up, including arts organisations, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and humanitarian and educational charities. Here at The Search Mechanics, we’ve recently gained a grant for a local charity, CPRE Kent, who help to protect the county from inappropriate development.

How do Google Grants ads work?

The ads appear above the Google search results – where you would normally expect to see advertising – and below those from paying advertisers. They are text only, with no videos or images. You’ll choose keywords for your ads and a message, just as you would with a normal pay-per-click advert, and can show them to a global or local audience.


Google says: “The more frequently your ads appear next to search results, the more people will be aware of your cause.” Organisations which have benefited include the Fred Hollows Foundation, which treats and prevents blindness across Australia, the Pacific, Asia and Africa; the charity has reached thousands of supporters through Google Ads. The Elder Wisdom Circle, which pairs volunteers aged 60 or over with younger people seeking advice, attributes 71 per cent of its visitors and 15 percent of both its donations and volunteer applications to Google Ads. Founder Doug Meckelson said: “In the absence of our Google Ads campaigns, the Elder Wisdom Circle would likely cease to exist.” You can use Google Analytics and conversion tracking to see how your ads are performing, which keywords are the strongest, and what type of support the ads are attracting, for example donations or volunteers. Organisations registered with Google Ad Grants have access to online support and also have access to a network of agencies, consultants and trainers who work with non-profit organisations through Google Ad Grants’ Certified Professionals directory.

How to apply for a Google Grant account

Google Ad Grants is part of the Google for Nonprofits programme, a range of tools to help charities and non-profit organisations with awareness and fundraising. To be eligible, you need to be a registered charity and have a live website with what Google describes as “substantial content”. You need to enrol with Google for Nonprofits, and once that’s done, set up a Google Ad Grants account. Government organisations, hospitals and healthcare organisations, and academic institutions aren’t eligible, though philanthropic arms of educational institutions are. When it comes to managing your account, you have two options. If you have limited time or resources to invest in your campaign you might prefer the AdWords Express option, where you choose your audience and write your text, but where and when your ads appear is automatically managed for you. If you prefer to manage, target and optimise your campaigns yourself, the Google Ads option lets you do this. Alternatively, you can get a business like Search Mechanics to manage the advertising campaigns on your behalf. Give us a call if you’re a charity or not-for-profit organisation looking for some assistance with Google Ad Grants.

Jon is the founder of the Search Mechanics, specialist PPC agency based in Kent.
He has worked in the PPC industry for over 15 years and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to all things related to online paid search including Google Ads and Bing Ads, he also has a thorough understanding of ad server systems as well as Google Analytics.