Google wants to give $10,000 dollars/month to your nonprofit organization. Really, they do!
It’s through a program called Google Ad Grants, and that $10k comes in the form of in-kind Google Ads funding.
The requirements are minimal, but the payoff is huge.
Let’s dig into why.
When you search a term in Google, the search listings retrieved are called Ads. They are ordered on the page by relevance to your search term or by the use of paid ads.
Here’s an example:I searched for “Marriott hotels".
This is what comes up first.
Notice the top left corner, the bolded word Ad?
Marriott has paid to have this particular ad show up first in the listings. If you try this search yourself (just do it now) you’ll see the organic Marriott ads come up next- because they are most relevant to your search term.
If you don’t know, it’s pretty expensive to pay to make your Ad listing show up on the first page, which is why Google created the Ads program. They want to elevate the do-good messages of nonprofits to a global audience, in order to more significantly impact the world. It’s a win-win for Google and the community that you serve.
So now let’s search for something more generic: animal rescue charity.
The first four listings are paid Ads, for huge charities, and the search yielded over 356 million results.
So how do you get closer to the front page?
Your mission is unique. You don’t just run an animal rescue charity, you work with blind dogs in Colorado. That’s a much more specific search term, yielding fewer results- meaning it’s easier to get you to the top of the page, especially when you have $10k burning a hole in your pocket.
Now that you understand why you want, no, NEED this grant- it’s time to get eligibility out of the way. You must be a recognized 501(c)3, have a high-enough quality website, and agree to their policies.
The website requirements are simple and should not slow you down.
You must own the domain name of your website. The domain name is the part before the dot com…i.e, Google’s domain name is google.com.
Your website must have a clear mission statement, information, events, programming, etc. It must have regularly updated content and provide a good user experience.
The content must be unique to your organization
It must load quickly, not contain broken links, and be secured by HTTPS. Don’t let the acronym scare you - https is the new baseline standard for security- so your site should already be protected by default.
Once you’re approved, you have the keys to the kingdom.
The more complicated part is in creating your Ads portfolio and maintaining it. It’s actually not that easy to spend $10k/month, and I say that from experience. It takes a couple of months to learn and build, but it is an investment in your growth and future.
You’ll raise awareness, drive more traffic to your website, and easily reach more people who need you.
Google Analytics also comes with your grant, meaning you can track and analyze your efforts for maximum effectiveness.
Here are a few good resources, for after you’ve been approved, to help you set up your first campaign.
Everyone will have a very different approach to their ad campaign setup.
It truly depends on your organization’s individual needs and desires, and availability of staff to work on creating and maintaining a well curated campaign.
It requires an investment of time and effort on a weekly basis, at minimum(!) to utilize the tools at your disposal. If you have the desire to really grow your organization, and are committed to a long-term growth plan- this is a must-do.
Nonprofit organizations are run by the same metrics as life: it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Your goals are even similar: focusing on relationships and making the most out of each one.