06 April 2016

How charities can benefit from the Google Grant

Tags : Charity

By James Phillips

How Charities Can Benefit From The Google Grant

Imagine how $10,000 in advertising a month could help your charity expand and grow...

What if we told you that you could be eligible to receive exactly that every month for free? Sounds good, right? Well, that could be a reality as your charity might be eligible for a Google AdWords Grant. Then you could advertise for more volunteers to help grow your organisation, or generate more donations to help fund the great work that you do. If this sounds like something that could be of interest to you, read on. Here, we explain how to find out if you’re eligible, with tips on making the most out of the grant.

What is the Google Grant and how does it work?

Although it might seem too good to be true, Google is genuinely giving eligible charities $10,000 per month (the equivalent of £6,200 at the time this blog was posted) to spend on Google AdWords. If you haven’t heard of it before, AdWords is Google’s pay-per-click advertising system that can get you above the organic search results keywords chosen by you, that relate to your charity. You might have noticed a Google ad before, as these appear as the first search results and will have a yellow (or green) ‘Ad’ logo next to the web address. Normally you pay every time somebody click on your ad, but with the Google Grant, you're advertising for free. This means you can get noticed online for relevant searches and attract the attention of potential supporters, donors and volunteers.

 

How can I get a Google Grant?

In order to be eligible for the grant, charities must be based within the UK and registered with the Charity Commission or Inland Revenue. In addition, you can also qualify if you are registered with the Office for Scottish Charity Regulator. Basically, this just means that you need to hold a valid charity status. You must also have a fully functioning website with substantial content to be eligible for the program.

There are some non-profit organisations that are not eligible to receive the grant. This includes governmental entities, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centres, universities, political parties and lobbying groups. You must also maintain your eligibility by doing the following things with your account:

  • Your ads can only link to one non-profit website domain that has been approved
  • You are required to actively manage the AdWords account by logging in at least monthly
  • There must be at least one change made every 90 days based on performance
  • You ads must reflect the mission or goals of your charity
  • Strictly commercial advertising is not allowed and 100% of the profit must support your charity
  • Your website can't display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising

Failure to follow any of these can result in your campaign being paused or suspended. 

Can I manage AdWords myself and how do I make the most out of it?

Anyone can manage an AdWords account for themselves and learning the fundamentals can seem quite easy. However, to make the most of your Google Grant, you will need to dedicate a lot of time and effort. Not only will you need an understanding of how AdWords works, but experience of analysis and research platforms such as Google Analytics is vital.

There are some restrictions to the account. For instance, you are only allowed a budget of $330 per day and a cost-per-click (CPC) limit of $2. This means that for certain keywords you might not be able to compete with non-Google Grant ads, unless you really know your way around AdWords. However, depending on your charity's sector, you should be able to find plenty of keywords that are relevant.

So what's next?

Before even applying for a Google Grant, you should first identify what you are hoping to achieve through using the platform. This will ensure that your application is accepted and that you are well set to make the most out of your account. For example, whether you’re looking for donations, subscriptions or volunteers, will affect the way you run the campaign. Once you're ready, apply here.

If this is already sounding rather complex, then you could consider the help of a digital marketing agency. A Google AdWords certified agency will be able to support you with all aspects of the grant: from helping with your application and setting up your account, to offering ongoing advice and campaign management.

The Google Grant for charities is definitely something that you should make sure you take advantage of. It isn’t often that someone gives you $10,000 a month for free, so why not make the most of it?

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