Kenzie Blog: A Month into Google Grants

Google Grants- What I’ve Learned in One Month

A few months ago, I had no idea what Google Grants were.  I was asked about Google Grants in my internship interview with Ethic Advertising Agency, and my heart rate quickened because I was just asked a question to which I had no answer. But apparently Google Grants are like this hidden secret for non-profits that most people don’t know about.  I guess I nailed the rest of the interview because now I’m a month into my internship and learning and sharing everything I can about Google Grants to help non-profits get free Google AdWords advertising.  While I am still acquiring a lot of knowledge about this topic, I have already grasped so much.  It’s now my obligation to share what I’ve learned with non-profits as they look into Google Grants for themselves.


What are the Benefits

You don’t actually receive money from Google Grants, but instead you get up to $10,000 per month of free Search Engine Marketing (PPC) advertising for your non-profit.  That’s up to $120,000 per year.  Google’s Search Engine Marketing platform, Google AdWords, is how businesses pay to automatically show up at the top of Google search results. Non-profits however can get the same type of advertising for free through Google Grants.  For example, Ethic Advertising Agency’s client DePaul School for Hearing and Speech has a Google AdWords ad that showed up at the very top of the below Google search of “school for the deaf.” Normally they would have to pay a few dollars when someone would click on this link, but because we have them in the Google Grant program it costs them nothing, zero, goose egg, zilch…

depaul google grant adword search

Getting Started

There are a handful of minimum qualifications each non-profit needs to adhere to in order to qualify for a Google Grant. The main one is that the organization needs to be a 501(c)(3) category. The non-profit also needs to have a functional website, acknowledge Google’s criteria, and your organization cannot be governmental, medical, or academically based. If your nonprofit organization abides by these criteria then you are most likely a great fit for the grant program. Bonus note: There actually are some loop-holes for a select group of government and education-based organizations such as libraries and non-higher education programs/school.


Getting Deeper

Initially, I was thinking, “this seems pretty easy.”  As I started learning about the application and maintenance of Google Grants from Ethic Advertising Agency’s Google Grant experts, it made me realize how complicated it can be for non-profits.  Google has strict rules which grant applicants and recipients have to follow to acquire and keep the grant.  These rules make it very difficult to maximize the grant’s budget as well.  To me, it seems like a non-profit either needs to invest hours every month toward Google Grants or hire an expert in order to get the full value of the grant.

Some things you need to learn about if you choose to run it yourself are:

  • Text-Based Ads Only Limitations
  • Proper Application Methods
  • Maintaining a 5% CTR (Click Through Rate)
  • Location Targeting On An Ad Campaign
  • Building Multi-Layered Campaigns and Ad Groups
  • Niche Keyword Development
  • Website Optimization to Assist the Google Grant Campaign

These are things your nonprofit will need to get really good at to maintain your Google Grant at an optimal level. If this list seems like a bunch of foreign words to you, don’t worry.  I found a lot of great resources through, ironically Google searches and linked them below. You can also consult or hire an expert, such as Ethic Advertising Agency.


Final Thoughts

As I am writing this and I am only one month into this internship I cannot wait to see how much further I can take these thoughts and lessons with non-profits and the Google Grant program. Who knows how much more information I could know by the end of next month, but I am ready for it. As I continue to educate myself through this I get to also educate others with makes it all so rewarding to me. As these non-profits continue to dive in to what Google Grants is, I hope I get the opportunity to help them benefit from such a great program that is offered to them.

Author: Kenzie Kukla, Google Grants Intern