Google Ad Grants: Your Money Tree Awaits

For nonprofit organizations, it’s not uncommon to have a challenge securing a sufficient budget for impactful advertising. Google has a program that can help change that.

There are plenty of tasks that we can do on our own. Nowadays, you can Google just about anything and learn how to do it yourself. Many of us bought into this idea at some point over the last two years of this pandemic if they hadn’t already. When we couldn’t find someone to come fix the leaky sink, we Googled it, and fixed it ourselves. You know what we didn’t do? We didn’t stop ordering food from restaurants. Yes, you could have cooked every single meal that you’ve eaten over the last two years, but I bet you didn’t. You saved time by ordering takeout, they made it better than you ever would have, and all you had to worry about was lifting your hand for your next bite. It’s an investment in pleasure or time saving that many have been willing to make.

For many, Google has become their menu, just as it has their phone book. This is why Google has become an important part of many marketing budgets. Because often, people take action on Google first. While it may not be for everyone, we believe you should take a look at your marketing mix to determine if search ads should be a part of your marketing mix.

When it comes to nonprofit marketing, it’s not uncommon to have a challenge securing a sufficient budget for impactful advertising. Google has a program that can have a tremendous impact on your nonprofit marketing budget. Google Ad Grants.

Google has offered the Google Ad Grant program for over 15 years now. The program provides up to 10 thousand dollars a month in advertising dollars towards Google Search Ads for all participating nonprofits. Once you're an approved organization, you can run your search ads for free, and spend that budget every single month. This won’t work for everyone, but for an organization who offers a service or product that people are looking for online, it may be a good fit. For some organizations, it is a game changer.

How to Use Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants are free, but unfortunately, there is a little more to it than simply turning them on. In order for an advertising strategy to perform successfully, you’ll still need a solid strategy, and a keyword strategy that will get the results you are looking for. Whether you do it internally, or with the support of your team at Matchbook, start by developing a set of goals for your campaign. Based on your goals, determine the audience you want to reach, the action you want them to take, and what message will reinforce your brand and resonate with the audience.

To set up your Google Ad Grant account, you’ll need to create an account with Google For Nonprofits and get verified as a nonprofit organization. The steps are described here in great detail. Once you are verified, you can begin setting up your campaign.

Like with anything free, there is always a catch. Google Ad Grant has certain rules and regulations that you must comply with. Google Ad Grant policies are designed to ensure they are donating to an eligible nonprofit, and their campaigns are not causing harm. The policies are reasonable, but if you fail to follow them, your account may be suspended.

Google Ad Grants are required to have at least two ad groups and two active ads per ad group. As time goes on, each ad will perform differently, allowing you to optimize the ad with tweaks to its message, audience and other factors. The ongoing tweaking should result in improved results if done right.

From Grants to Grand Ballrooms

The Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, came to us with hopes of improving their Google Grant ad campaigns. Prior to hiring us, the ICO was running general awareness campaigns that were generating impressions and clicks, which helped the organization spend its grant money and drive traffic to the website. However, spending money on advertising without strategy does not lead to sales. Their original campaigns generated traffic and clicks from surrounding states but did not lead to an increase in event ticket sales or target the ideal customer.

To help ICO improve the impact of its ads, we used geotargeting, audience targeting, and strategic messaging to reach actual customers. Since then, ICO has seen a tangible improvement in the performance of its Google ads, resulting in ticket sales and revenue.

If you’d like to learn more about advertising on Google and determine if Google Ad Grants are right for you, contact us here to schedule a free strategy session.

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