A Guide to Google Grant Management
You are probably aware that Google provides Google Ad Grants for charities. But how much do you know about Google charity grants and how can a grant help your charity?
Daily Bread Consultancy is a Google Partner organisation that manages advanced Ad Grants for many charities. Our consultants are Google certified.
Reading this page will provide you with the basics to help you get started but if you would like some additional help from our Google professionals then why not book a call.
We not only manage grant accounts for charities but can also set goals and events in Google Analytics (with the help of Tag Manager) to produce valuable monthly reports. Analysing Ad and web data can be used to inform decision making that will significantly benefit your beneficiaries and organisation. Get in touch to find out more.
Did you know that Google also provides G-Suite (Google’s version of Office 365) free for Nonprofits, a YouTube Nonprofits programme and free Google Earth and Maps?
What is a google charity grant?
Google charity grants or Google Ad Grants, as they are also known, work just like Google Ads online advertising.
People use Google to search for information and the top few results are usually adverts. In the example below you can see that “Breast Cancer Support” was the search query and the first result is an Ad for Macmillan.
You can tell the difference between Ads and organic listings because they have Ad in bold next to them.
If you’re a qualifying nonprofit / charity, you’ll receive $10,000 USD in in-kind Google Ads advertising every month.
Whilst a Google Ad Grant can be incredibly powerful for your charity, there are a few points to keep in mind:
- Your ads will be entirely text-based (no videos or images).
- They’ll appear only on Google search results pages, in positions below the ads of paying advertisers.
Who is eligible for a google grant?
If you’re applying for a grant for a UK registered charity then you are in luck as the UK is an eligible country.
To qualify for a Google Ad Grant, your charity must:
- Hold valid charity status. (See the Google for Nonprofits site for definitions of charity status in your country.)
- Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use.
- Have a high-quality website that meets the Ad Grants website policy.
- Get approved through the Ad Grants pre-qualification process after your organisation is enrolled in Google for Nonprofits.
There are, however, some exceptions. You organisation can’t qualify for the Google Ad Grant if it is a:
- Hospital or healthcare organization (nonprofits working in the healthcare sector, such as Autism Hampshire or Wessex Cancer Trust, still qualify)
- Government entity or organization
- School, academic institution, or university (check out Google for Education for its schools program). Philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.
How to apply for a google grant
You can apply for a Google charity grant by visiting the Nonprofits site. Your charity will need to meet the eligibility criteria (above).
And you will need a gmail account that will become the administrator account with Google Nonprofits. Once set up you can add additional users and administrators to the account.
You will also need a TechSoup validation token and some additional details about your organisation.
What is a TechSoup validation token?
A TechSoup validation token is a unique code that enables nonprofits / charities that have been validated by TechSoup to obtain nonprofit offerings from partners such as Google.
To get your TechSoup token you will need to register for an account with Charity Digital. As an aside, you may find Charity Digital to be a very useful resource for your charity. With a Charity Digital account registered charities can access discounted software and hardware.
In some cases, it can take up to 30 days to be validated and TechSoup may contact you to request additional information or documentation.
Once your charity has been validated, you can access your TechSoup Validation Token. It will look something like this: 123a4576@1b234c5de67890000. This code is needed for your Google Nonprofits application.
Two types of Google Ads Grant setup
We recommend the beginners version if you have no experience in managing Ad words or other types of PPC accounts. This basic / beginners version utilises Smart campaigns for quick and easy set-up, minimal ongoing management, and automated performance insights. You’ll save time and your account will not be subject to Ad Grants’ performance and conversion tracking requirements.
The advanced version for experienced advertisers gives the user a lot more control over the account and if well managed will provide much greater results for your charity.
We can help you set up and manage the advanced version of the grant account to maximise the impact it can have for your charity.
The advanced version is subject to performance and conversion tracking requirements but it is this measurement that will provide your organisation with the valuable data that can be used to improve your organisation.
Understanding the terms that people use to find your website, what they do once on your site, and what the pain points are that cause them to not take the actions you want them to take can be the difference between success and failure. Understanding your website audience can help you to further demonstrate the impact of your organisation and provide what your beneficiaries want and need.
How to track conversions
Google Tag Manager is a great free tool that can be used to track specific actions on your website without having to edit your website code. Track what happens after someone interacts with your ads — whether they donated, purchased, called your support line, signed up for your newsletter, or downloaded your app.
When someone completes an action that you’ve defined as valuable, these completed actions are called conversions. Using Google Tag Manager we can set up tracking code on your site and measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.
Google Ad Grants policy requires active and accurate conversion tracking.
How to set up a google ad grant account
First you must enroll in Google for Nonprofits. This needs to be set up before you can apply for the Ad Grant. And as mentioned above, this gives you access to their other services – G-Suite, YouTube Nonprofits programme and Google Earth and Maps.
Once you have enrolled and have been accepted with Google for Nonprofits you can apply for a Google charity grant.
First set up your Google Ads account. You can do that using this link
- Choose the appropriate billing country and time zone for your charity.
- Choose USD as the currency (This is a grant requirement – DO NOT USE GBP).
- Click submit.
- Once you’re in your new (empty) Ad account, make sure to record your customer ID in the top right corner (XXX-XXX-XXXX format).
- Never enter any payment / credit card information — even if it asks for it. Ignore any screens or emails that request payment information. If you do input this info, you’ll be setting up a standard paid account, not a Grant account, and you’ll have to start the process all over again.
Fill out the 10-minute pre-qualification survey provided by Google to give them a better sense of your charity’s goals and to help them improve your Google Ad Grant experience.
Complete the Ad Grants training. The training involves watching a 5-minute training video and completing the following quiz. The video explains policy requirements, guidelines and best practices for managing your account. You do need to pay quite close attention as you will not be approved for pre-qualification if the training and quiz aren’t completed correctly!
This is the final step in pre-qualification. You can now you submit your new account, survey responses, and training results for review:
- Sign in to your Google for Nonprofits Account
- Look for the option to “Activate” under Google Ad Grants
- Use your customer ID (XXX-XXX-XXXX format, from the top-right corner of your account)
- Provide an answer to the “How did you hear about Google Ad Grants?” question
- Submit your account by clicking “Enroll”
- You should hear back from Google about your pre-qualification submission within 5 business days.
Completing your Google Ads Grant setup
Once your charity has been approved for pre-qualification, it is time to set up your first campaign. Google provides a useful guide for setting up a Smart campaign if you’re a beginner. Or you can follow the expert activation guide and campaign set-up instructions instead if you’re an experienced advertiser.
Consider which pages on your site you’d like to drive traffic to. What actions do you want people to take on those pages? What keywords or search queries will lead them there?
Once you have completed every step in the enrollment guide, you can then submit your account for the final review. Follow the same process you did to submit for pre-qualification. Google will then get back to you within 10 business days.
As soon as you get the go-ahead from Google, you can start spending up to $329 per day on through your free Google Ads Grant account.
A few last points to mention
If you have gone for the advanced setup then make sure your account is complying with all of the Ad Grant requirements, including:
- Log in and make some change to the account at least once every 2 months. To get the most out of the account you will need to do this a lot more.
- Have at least one goal set up in Google Analytics so you can measure the impact of Google Ads traffic to your site. Start with this how to set up Google Analytics goals guide.
- Maintain a 5% clickthrough rate (for the whole account) and a keyword quality score of 2 or higher
- Complete Google’s surveys about the impact of the program (they usually send a survey annually)
Your Ad grant challenge
Your next challenge is to try and spend the full grant every month. The $10,000 monthly budget is use-it-or-lose it, so aim to max it out every month to get as much web traffic as possible. This can be easier said than done, especially for smaller charities with smaller websites and less web content.
Regularly optimise your account. Keep working on it to improve it over time and generate even more impact for your cause.
Need help? Get in touch
For the past 9 years Sam has been managing numerous Google ad grant accounts for charities, and ad accounts for businesses. Otherwise known as PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing. Sam is Google certified and is passionate about online marketing and the power that the internet can have for good.
Combining effective ad management with specific, relevant web content can result in an incredible transformation for your charity or business. Content that has been optimised for well researched long tail key terms and is targeted at an audience local to your location can lead to an uplift in all areas of your charity business.
It is the quality of the traffic visiting your charity website that is important. Not just the quantity of visitors.
For instance, if you run a homelessness charity, it’s likely that you will attract more valuable prospects by targeting a key term such as “volunteering for a homeless charity,” rather than “homelessness.” That is because there’s a good chance that someone searching for “volunteering for a homeless charity” is looking for information on volunteering for a homeless charity … and that person could be perfect for you!
Optimising for broad terms, such as “homelessness” has its place. But there is no doubt that a broad keyword will attract a more generic audience. And they might not be looking for what you have to offer. Instead be more specific and go for the relevant, long-tail keywords.
Whether you are looking to recruit more volunteers, increase attendees at your events or share the impact that your work is having on your beneficiaries, having a well managed Google grant account can help.
Launched in 2003, Google have been offering charities $10,000 USD worth of in-kind ads per month.
Despite having existed for over 17 years, many charities are still unaware that they could access a significant grant from Google to help them. We can help you with your Google grant application and account setup. Book a call today.