Why doesn’t your nonprofit have a Google Grant?

March 17, 2015

One of the most challenging budget decisions that many nonprofits we work with have to make is whether it’s worth investing in paid digital advertising. The return on investment with nonprofits can be difficult to quantify. Is your goal to build your organization’s audience? Are you simply trying to get more website clicks, or are you trying to get more donations? We’ve talked about the importance of setting goals in digital content creation, and it’s no difference in advertising.


What can a Google grant do for your 501(c)3? It’s simple. When you get a Google Grant, you land $10,000 in free digital ads per month. That’s $330/day, and potentially hundreds of daily clicks to your website that you never saw beforehand.

There is, of course, a semi-complicated process to apply for a Google Grant;something Veracity can help navigate. Google requires your organization to have a working website, to be on Google Apps, to have an employer identification number (EIN - you can find these in the IRS’ database), and to fit in with Google’s non-discrimination policies.

Veracity Media has real, firsthand experience getting Google Grants for our clients. We know the process, we know Google, and we know how to make it work for your organization.


Once Accepted

Remember when you were a kid, with a bunch of friends, and running into a brand new playground? Yeah, it’s a little bit like that.

Google asks you to get your first campaign running within the first month, which requires only a few basic setup steps: writing an ad, adding some keywords, and boom! You’re good to go.

After that, the world is your oyster. You can run as many campaigns as you find necessary to run, and by segmenting and testing your ads, you can scale up in a huge way. One of our biggest recommendations is to first draft several ads that fit with the messaging of your organization. Always thinking on your feet to come up with new ad ideas is a pain. Pre-writing ad copy can save you a ton of time down the road, and hopefully take off some of that stress of being reactionary.


How To Utilize The Grant

One piece of wisdom is to realize that it no matter how great of a copywriter you might be, your first ads are probably going to need to be replaced over time. The idea with Google’s Adwords is to have two ads be split-tested against each other for some period of time (if you have a high budget: 1 week, and if you have a low budget: 2 weeks). Then, pause whichever ad is lagging in performance, and write a new one. It might be extremely similar. Maybe you simply replaced a few words with synonyms, or With Every Word Capitalized, but it needs to be a new ad. A perfectly honed ad campaign will ultimately have a perfect split in impressions, clicks, and engagement, but don’t expect this right off the bat--that typically takes a long time to accomplish.

The account structure of an Adwords campaign looks like this:



Every Adwords account can have as many campaigns as needed.


The Nonprofit Bump

In our post about [starting a nonprofit], we talk about considering your mission and being topical. Everything in the Google Grant has to be about your organization, and has to be something that people are going to click on to be successful. Otherwise, you’ll lose clicks, ad shares, and the overall quality of the ads start to decline significantly.

A Google Grant can help grow your organization’s digital footprint in a number of ways. Here are several types of landing pages that you could serve ads to:

  • Donation pages
  • Email signup pages
  • Petitions
  • “Like us on Facebook/Twitter” pages
  • Latest blog posts
  • Latest actions
  • Latest videos
  • Subscriptions for classes

The list goes on and on. If your website is new, or you don’t have the capacity to build these pages, your homepage can be the home for your ads.

Veracity Media can help you create a digital-first strategy to building your nonprofit. A Google Grant is a powerful tool to help, and we know how to help you get and implement them.

Questions? Fill out the form below, and an organizer will be in touch soon!

Let Veracity help you engage, activate, inform, and inspire your community.

Click me