The Nonprofit Scoop: Google Grants (Part 2)

Did Part One of our The Nonprofit Dish: Google Grants series convince you to check into Google Grants for your nonprofit organization? Or do you need more info to seal the deal? Either way, we’ve compiled a list of numerous tips meant to save you nonprofitresearch time and demonstrate how to fully utilize your Google Grants account.

Recent Google Grants Updates

Before we really get into the in’s and out’s of your Google Adwords account, lets talk updates. Earlier this year, Google announced the following changes to their grants program:

  • Starting January 28, 2013, Google Grantees can now bid up to $2.00 on keywords. This increase from the previous CPC (Cost Per Click) $1.00 bid cap allows your ads to enter auctions previously unavailable to Grantees.
  • To balance the interests of businesses who pay to advertise on Google search, your nonprofit organization’s ads will now appear below the ads of traditional AdWords advertisers.

News of Google’s announcement spread like wildfire, leaving behind a trail of speculation and predictions concerning the program’s future. Many pondered what these changes would mean for nonprofits already enrolled as well as future enrollments. Around the two month anniversary of Google’s announcement, several sites released reports showing positive results with a noticeable increase of clicks and impressions. Now that you know about Google’s most recent update, it’s time to stop talking about the past and start discussing your organization’s future.

I’ve Been Awarded a Google Grant! Yay! Now What?


Placing immediate focus on branding is vital to your Google Grant’s Adwords Campaign. Do you have a list of target keywords ready? Use tools within your Adwords account (or use historical data from a previous Adwords account if your had one), to determine which keywords best describe your organization’s goals. Prior to creating actual ads, consider who your target audience is. What group of people do you want to reach? Who do you think would be searching for your target keywords? Defining your “person of interest” early on simplifies the type of compelling content you should be writing. Before you submit your ad, keep in mind there are rules standing between you and your ad being considered “launch ready” by Google.

Making Sure Your Ad is Approved

Sometimes writing dynamic content is hard. Seriously. No one understands this better than Google. However, to ensure no one is using their Grants’ account for shady or malicious reasons, Google examines all ads prior to launch. Any ads not meeting Google’s criteria will be declined. To save you from any denied ad drama, here are a few tips to guarantee a smooth ad submission and approval.


    • Cool it on the !!!!

Avoid using exclamation marks in your ad’s title. Use only one exclamation mark max in your ad’s content.


Capitalization is fine if used in it’s normal fashion at the start of each sentence. Using excessive capitalization will land your ad right in the rejection pile.

    • Shape Your Landing Page

If your ad is asking for donations, Google requires your landing page note that any donations made are tax exempt and your “501(c)(3)” status is displayed. If for some reason your ad is declined, you’ll receive a follow-up email with a link containing relevant policy violation info from Google’s Help Center.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Adwords Account

    • Build New Keywords

Don’t stick with dried up, mundane words. You have the tools to create your own keywords or phrases. Jot a few ideas down, then consider if these could be popular search terms. Keep your current campaign in mind as well. For example, if you wish to boost volunteer sign ups, ask yourself if your current key terms are relevant to your campaign.

    • Add Negative Keywords

To efficiently narrow down your target audience, add negative keywords to your Adwords account. Negative keywords are search terms you do not want associated with your keyword. If you’re advertising for an upcoming cat adoption event, you could add “dog” as a negative keyword. This way, when people search for cat adoptions, your ad won’t be displayed. Thanks for checking out the second part of the Google Grants series.

If you missed Part One, you may find it helpful to read through before submitting your application to Google for their Grants program. We genuinely hope this information helps you decide if applying to the Google Grants program is right for your organization. Leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts on Google Grants. Toodles!