The Liberty guide to Google Grants: Free Pay Per Click advertising for charities

Last modified:
Philip Woodward

Training and Consultancy Lead

Sometimes the internet can seem like a cut-throat place. In such an environment non-profit groups and charities with limited budgets can lose out. Fortunately there are many good guys scattered across the web and, luckily, search engine giant Google is just one of them.

What are Google Grants?

Google have been running a programme called ‘Google Grants’ for a number of years now. The Google Grants programme allows non-profit, charitable organisations to give their online presence a significant boost by providing them with their very own AdWords account. This Google Grants AdWords account comes with up to £310,000 worth of online advertising every year, allowing charities to make a big splash online.

Why should your charity go for a Google Grant?

A well-managed AdWords account allows users to display their adverts right at the top of Google search results.

Put to good use, Google Grants are your organisation’s route to increased visibility, a greater presence, a louder voice, widespread support and significantly boosted donations.

To date, Google Grants have supported and empowered more than 6,000 non-profit groups by giving them free access to highly effective AdWords advertising. The Google Grants programme has been responsible for some incredible charitable successes. From boosting Shop UNICEF’s profits by 43%, to gaining 10% more volunteers for CoachArt; Google Grants can be used to achieve great things.

Is my organisation eligible for Google Grants?

If you are a registered UK charity with current charitable status, you can apply for a Google Grant. Google Grants are available to you if you are registered with:

  • The Charity Commission of England & Wales
  • The Inland Revenue
  • The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator

Along with registered charity status, you will need the following in order to be eligible for the Google Grants programme:

  • An up-and-running website to link to your Google AdWords Pay Per Click account
  • A set of targeted keywords relevant to your charity
  • No money-making adverts (this means no affiliate ads and no Google AdSense etc.)
  • The ability to make the absolute most of the Google Grants programme and your free AdWords account.

This last point is an important one. The team in charge of the Google Grants programme are obviously looking to ensure that the Grants they award are used to the greatest advantage. This means that they are far more likely to be given to organisations with a good understanding of how AdWords works.

How do I apply for the Google Grants programme?

Before you do anything, make sure you know exactly what you are signing up for. Ensure you fully understand how Google Grants work and how you can turn a free AdWords account to your advantage. When you make your application you’ll need to:

  • Suggest potential keywords for your AdWords campaign
  • Provide compelling adcopy to work alongside them
  • Explain exactly how your charity will benefit from the Google Grants programme

If you are at all confused or uncertain about any element of Google Grants or AdWords, speak to someone who knows their stuff. Here at Liberty we have a dedicated and talented Pay Per Click team who work extensively with Google AdWords. Our Pay Per Click advertising experts can provide you with all the advice, training and information you need to make your Google Grants application a success. Call us now on 029 2076 6467 to discuss how we can help make your application stronger and take away a lot of the hassle.

Once you’re on top of all the facts, you’re ready to make your application. Just fill out the online Google Grants application form and wait for it to be reviewed. Due to the high number of applications, the review process could take up to 5 months. Once the review has been completed you will be contacted with the result. If your Google Grants application has been successful you will also be sent instructions to help you set up your Google Grants AdWords account and get started!

What do I need to know about Google Grants?

Once your organisation has been accepted onto the Google Grants programme you will continue to benefit for as long as you continue to make good use of the award and stick to its rules. Here are a few key things to bear in mind regarding Google Grants:

Use it or lose it

Once you’ve won your Google Grants account, you’ve only just begun. In order to manage a successful AdWords campaign and to continue receiving free advertising from Google you’ll need to regularly work on and monitor your AdWords account. Signing in regularly and responding promptly to communication from the Google AdWords team will give your grant a longer life.

Stick to the rules

You can be taken off of the Google Grants programme if you fail to keep to the rules. There are a number of rules, but if you are using your free AdWords account for your own charitable purposes you’re unlikely to break any of them. The conditions include:

  • Only ever linking your free ads to your organisation’s website
  • Never using irrelevant keywords
  • Never using bids of more than $1.00
  • Never using your free ads for purely commercial purposes
  • Never using Google Grants ads to advertise financial products or vehicle and property donation

You have the power to boost your budget

If you prove that you are using your allotted Google Grants budget shrewdly and successfully (and to its full extent), you may be rewarded with an increased budget. Google Grants generally start at around £75,000 per year and could be increased to a maximum of £310,000 per year. To push budgets up and to create the most successful AdWords campaigns, many charities outsource the management of their Pay Per Click advertising to an online marketing agency like Liberty.

If you would like to learn more about Google Grants and how to boost your non-profit organisation using Google AdWords, get in touch with us today. Our AdWords experts can help you to win a place on the Google Grants programme and make the very most of all that Google has to offer.

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Philip Woodward

Training and Consultancy Lead

Phil has 15 years of digital marketing experience, specialising across all things creative – copywriting, digital PR, content marketing and social media and loves finding solutions to problems, analysing what makes people tick and getting nerdy about words.  Phil is responsible for Liberty’s training output, while also helping our biggest clients out with strategic and…

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