How Google Ads Grants can help your charity or non-profit

Google Ads (recently rebranded from Google Adwords) is an extremely powerful tool. Think about it, Google has 66% of the paid search market in the bag, so get your google Ads campaign right and you’ll have the majority of the market place at your fingertips.

But, with great power comes lots of hard work. Google Ads is a tricky tool to master. Anyone can run a pay per click campaign, but running one well takes patience, analysis and creativity.

It’s no surprise that charities and non-profit organisations with limited funds often don’t have the time, money or people to invest into a pay per click campaign that actually makes them money. Sound familiar? Is your charity missing out?

Well, imagine this. What if your non-profit organisation was given £7.5K to spend on Google Ads each month? Think about how far that budget could reach. It could help you recruit new volunteers, receive more donations or just get you the valuable brand exposure you need.

Enter Google Ads Grants. Set up exclusively for non-profit organisations, this scheme gives you a whopping £7.5K to invest in Google Ads every month!

First things first, let’s explain how it works.

Is your non-profit organisation/ charity eligible for Google Ads?

Before we start you need to make sure you’re actually eligible for Google Grants. Google’s criteria requires that you:

  • Hold a current and valid charity status in your country (UK description also includes Crown Dependencies such as Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man)
  • Have a functioning website that provides adequate detail about your organisation
  • Agree to Google Grants required certifications in terms of how to receive and use donations

PPC charities Google Adwords Grant

If your organisation’s eligible, great! Now the tricky task is keeping the grant.

How to maintain the Google Ads grant for your non-profit

To make sure you secure your Google grant each month, there are certain things you must be doing.

Firstly, all your ads have to link to the URL that was approved when you put in your application. Then, you need to be proactive with your Google Ads management. Log in to your Google Ads account at a minimum once a month, respond to your Google email and properly manage your campaign. At the end of the day, Google wants to reward those who are putting the work in, so neglect to do so and they’ll take the funds away.

Next, you’ll need to make sure your ads reflect your organisation’s mission. This can be a challenge when you’ve got just 140 characters, so you’ll need to get creative! Read this blog post about 12 ways to get ad copy spot on here.

Not forgetting the geolocation of your ad. As with any good PPC campaign, you will need to structure your campaign to target the geographic location where your charity is providing its service. For example, there is no point in showing your ads London if your charity is providing services in Birmingham.

On to the things you can’t do.

In terms of what you’re advertising, you can set up a campaign aimed at selling a product as long as you can prove that 100% of the profits will go towards supporting your organisation. But, you can’t promote financial products like mortgages or credit cards. Finally, your website can’t display ads from Google AdSense or any other affiliate advertising links.

Managing a successful campaign for charity

So, you’ve secured your grant and are receiving it on a monthly basis. Now you’ve got to build up an awesome PPC campaign. Simple, right? Well not quite, but don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the basics of creating a successful Google Ads campaign.

There are couple of things you’ll need to consider. Until very recently there was a $2.00 (£1.50) cap on cost-per-click budgets. The good news is this has been eliminated for organisations who instead choose to build their campaigns using ‘Maximise Conversions,’ an automated bidding strategy. This is Google’s own smart bidding strategy that will automatically determine the optimal CPC bid, helping you get the most conversions for your campaigns whilst ensuring your organisation spends its budget well.

Another big and fairly daunting change that has recently come into play is that in order to maintain the grant, your click-through-rates must stay above 5%. Fall below this for more than 2 months in a row and your account will be suspended temporarily. Yikes! You’ll need to work hard to increase your click-through rates and make sure your account isn’t shut down.

Finally, in order to continually qualify for the grant time after time, you need to ensure you keep the required keyword quality score to 2, as a minimum (this is rated on scale from 1 to 10).

We’ll take you through our top tips on building up an effective Google Ads campaign, so you can start reaping the benefits of Google Advertising.

Charity keyword research

Choosing relevant keywords is crucial– think about who your customers are, what they’re searching for and work from there. Bearing the new rule about keeping your CTR above 5% in mind, you’ll need to remove low-quality keywords as well as keywords that are targeting your competitors.

You’ll need to get creative. Take advantage of tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner for inspiration.

Not all keywords are created equal – so don’t waste time bidding on keywords that don’t convert! As a charity or non-profit you want to attract the right searchers. So, you need to choose your negative keywords carefully, putting time and effort into researching them.

To keep your CTR above 5% you’ll need to focus on long-tail keywords with high quality scores. These are the longer and more specific keyword phrases that searchers are usually typing in when they know what they’re looking for.

They’ll be super valuable when you master how to use them. Think about long tails as longer versions of the really obvious keywords you might bid on. For example if you’d normally bid on the keyword “breast cancer”, which could be searched for a variety of reasons including research, a great long tail might be “how to donate to breast cancer research”, a keyword that displays clear intent to donate.

Non-profit landing page optimisation

Neglecting your landing page is a big mistake! Ensure it contains powerful, relevant copy and a strong call to action. Your quality score is linked to your landing page as well as your keywords, so you need to be constantly monitoring it, making sure it’s working for you.

Getting your ad copy right is crucial. This is hugely important as the quality of your ad is perhaps the biggest influence on whether people click through or not. You’ve got a small space in which to tell your story, so you’ve got to make it count. You’ll need to get creative and clever with your copy.

Another way to make the most of that traffic data is to use a conversion tracking tool which is a powerful tool in Google Ads that identifies how well your ad campaign is generating leads, sales, downloads, sign-ups and any other key actions. It allows you see what’s working and what’s not working, so you can optimise your bids, ad text and keywords.

If you don’t know what’s happening to your clicks then how will you ever be able to improve your campaign and put more money into the things that work?

What’s next for charities and non-profits?

Google Ads grants are designed to help non-profit organisations and charities flourish. But, getting to grips with Adwords (now Google Ads) and learning how to master this tool is a tough task that takes time.

Here at Report Central crafting a clever Google Ads campaign is something we do every single day. Our PPC team know exactly what drives success, so they can keep doing more of it and get results. To see what we can do for your charity or non-profit organisation get in touch.

learn how report central drives results

Request a free consultation with our team of experts.


Share this blog post:

award nominations and accreditations.