Google Ad Grants: What Are They, and How to Get One.

Google Ad Grants: What Are They, and How to Get One.
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Google Ad Grants: What Are They, and How to Get One.

Advertising is an expensive endeavour. A bigger budget usually means a bigger reach, but not all companies are capable of maintaining a hefty advertising fund. Effective campaigns can sometimes set businesses back millions of dollars, and public institutions and nonprofit organizations rarely have reserves of that magnitude to spend on ads. 

Luckily there are a number of ways to get the support you need to fund your latest ad campaign. Whether you’re getting the word out about an upcoming event, workshop, new exhibit, or anything else, the Google Ad Grant is here to help. 

What is a Google Ad Grant?

You know when you conduct a search on Google and the first few results have the little “AD” next to the title? Those are Google Ads. Businesses and nonprofits alike can pay to have their organization appear as an advertisement when end-users make a relevant search for goods or services that they offer. This is an extremely effective method of advertising, and allows users to reach a much greater number of potential audience members than might be offered by traditional marketing methods.

The Google Ad Grant program is designed to make Google Ads more accessible to nonprofit organizations. Eligible institutions receive free access to the Google Ads tools, unlimited ad campaigns, and up to $10,000 a month in in-kind advertising. Google wants to help you “share your story with the world,” and posits that their grant can help organizations to attract more volunteers, donors, and create a bigger audience base. Successful recipients of the Google Ad Grant include the Federation of Canadian Artists, Van Gogh Museum, Science Buddies, Kiwis for Kiwi, and many more.

How can my organization get a Google Ad Grant?

Nonprofit organizations of all kinds, including art museums, zoos, aquariums, and other public institutions may be able to get a Google Ad Grant. The first step to getting your company’s ads out there is determining eligibility. Google lists the following steps organizations should take to qualify for the program:

  • Apply for Google Nonprofits. Your company should hold a valid charity status before applying. You can discover definitions of a charity in your country by visiting the Google Nonprofit website. Academic and governmental institutions as well as universities are not eligible to receive the grant.
  • Agree to and comply with required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipts.
  • Have a website that meets the standards of the Google Ad Grants policy.
  • Complete the pre-qualification process after enrolling with Google for Nonprofits. 

Before you enroll with G for N, you need to register your organization with TechSoup, a nonprofit that pairs with corporations like Google to bring tech and other tools to charity companies. TechSoup will validate your organization and supply you with a Validation Token which you will input while registering with Google for Nonprofits. Your application will include this token, your personal contact information as well as details about your organization. Once you click submit, all you have to do is wait!

What do I spend my Google Ad Grant money on?

First things first: once you’re approved for the Google Ad Grant, make sure not one dime goes to waste. Leftover funds are reabsorbed by Google at the end of each month, never to be seen again by your company. It may take some creative thinking at first, but you should be ready and willing to maximize the impact of this in-kind grant. Google makes no stipulations as to how organizations should use their funds, so you can apply the grant to your company’s best advantage in whatever way you see fit.

Here are a few ideas to help get you started. 

Event advertising.

Even if you’re an institution with a well-known cause and a healthy membership base, your annual and special events could always use a little extra hype. And advertisements for special occasions such as the unveiling of a new archaeological discovery or the birthday of your oldest exhibit will definitely consume your monthly budget, so nothing goes to waste!

And before the crowds begin to flock to your big event, ACME can help you get them their tickets. The ACME solution streamlines and optimizes the ticketing process, whether for general admission or special events. You can even sell timed tickets to your guests to keep everyone safe during a global pandemic. To see how ACME can work for your organization, visit us today at

Donor questionnaires/surveys. 

The Google Ad grant doesn’t limit you to just traditional advertising, either. Any form of outreach which furthers your cause may be applied to your GAG funds. Surveying your frequent donors is a great way to help you improve the donations process, learn why your donors choose to give their money to you, and find out how you can have a better reciprocal relationship with your contributors. 

Volunteer applications. 

It takes time and money to process your volunteer applications. And with Google Ad Grants, you can recruit and support even more volunteers by offsetting your costs. GAG can help to fund a better application, improved onboarding and volunteer training, and even the ways in which you say “thank you” to your most generous donors of personal labor. 

Looking for ways to express gratitude to your volunteers? Check out ACME’s article “Thank You, Volunteers!” for ideas.

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