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What is a Google Ad Grant and how can charities benefit?

14/03/24

Georgie Street-Cash | Digital Marketing Manager

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Calling all charities! What is a Google Ad Grant?

You’ve probably heard about Google Ads, or at least clicked on a sponsored ad in your time whilst Googling, whether that’s looking for a local hotel, your nearest coffee shop, or the latest toys for your kid’s birthday. You also probably know that every time you click on a sponsored ad, the company pays Google. But did you know that non-profit charities within the UK can actually benefit from sponsored ads and not spend a penny of their own money? 

Sounds too good to be true, right? Think again; in this article we’ll explain everything, answering the questions ‘what is a Google Ad Grant’ and help you to get those clicks rolling in for free!

Many businesses rely heavily on Google Ads to bring in their website traffic, especially when ranking for certain keyword terms organically can be tricky. Whilst daily budgets on your Google Ads are very flexible, you’ll likely be spending a minimum of £2,000 per month on ads to see a high return. 

So, here’s the good news…if you’re a qualifying non-profit business, you can access up to £7,000 per month of ad spend which will show on Google.com. 

Let’s give you some context to that figure…   

If you were averaging a cost per click (CPC) of £1.20 and spent your full £7,000 advertising budget, you could be bringing in over 5.5k clicks to your website. With an average 3.5% conversion rate, this means you could have over 200 new conversions every month! 

Who’s eligible for a Google Ad Grant? 

You must fit the below eligibility criteria to be able to register for a Google Ad Grant account: 

  • Hold a current and valid charity status
  • Agree to the terms and conditions set out by Google regarding asking for donations and using donations obtained from the grant
  • Have a functional and secure (HTTPS) website which the charity owns, with the necessary information about your charity on

Benefits of using a Google Ad Grant account

  • Increased brand awareness and exposure 
  • Increased donation revenue 
  • Improved rate of volunteer applications 
  • Boost the attendance at charity events

Surely there’s a catch? 

In one word, no! There are limitations to the *free* money within your Google Ad Grant account, which we’ll get to later. But there isn’t really a catch, and it seems to be one of those very handy marketing tools that not many people know about (maybe Google doesn’t shout about it enough). 

What is a google ad grant? Example

What are the limitations of a Google Ad Grant account? 

The limitations you need to be aware of are more linked to the way your ads are performing and setup, which include the following: 

  • Have a high ad quality score – you must have a high quality score for your ads to be verified and pushed live on Google. You can improve your quality score by using relevant descriptions, headlines and keywords, as well as improving your website content. 
  • Keyword choice – when creating ads using the Google Ad Grant money, you must not use single word keywords; this avoids ads being too vague.
  • You won’t have access to the Google Display network – your grant ads will only run on the Google search network, as opposed to other Google networks (such as YouTube). 

Can I have a standard Google Ads account alongside my grant account?

Yes! This is sometimes the best option, allowing you to take advantage of the free monthly ad spend from the grant whilst also giving you more flexibility within your standard paid Google Ads account. This strategy means you can reach more people through the other Google networks. 

Don’t forget – your grant account and your standard account will be completely separate in terms of set-up! 

How can a marketing agency help with your Google Ad Grant account?

We understand that this may be another thing on your long list of jobs to tick off, so hiring a marketing agency to take the strain off is where we come in. Whilst you’re not going to be using the charity’s money to pay for your ads, you want to make sure that it’s set up correctly so you reap as many of the benefits as possible. Here are some of the areas our AdWords experts can help charities: 

  • Account set up – making sure you’ve ticked all the boxes when it comes to starting up your Google Ad Grant account. 
  • Keyword research – this can make all the difference between a successful and failing campaign. Nailing your keywords should be high on your priority list. At Halo, we use sophisticated SEO tools and techniques to ensure we have the right keywords for your ads. P.S there are also certain rules you need to follow when it comes to choosing your keywords
  • Campaign strategy – depending on your business, you may have a lot to shout about and actually £7k will end up being spread too thin if you attempt to reach every relevant keyword search. A campaign strategy allows us to do the hard work and suggest which campaigns and ad groups would work best for you.  
  • Website refining – as mentioned, there are certain website requirements that you need to have before you get started. Our website wiz-kids can help get your website up-to-speed in no time as well as making sure your landing pages have conversions in mind! 
  • Optimising, reviewing and reporting – it’s all well and good having a Google Ad Grant account, but if you’re not regularly checking it and making changes, you can waste money on clicks that aren’t relevant to your charity. 

Ready to snatch up your free ad money? 

We hope this article has helped you understand a bit more about Google Ad Grants and how they can help you. 

If it sounds like something you’d like to chat to us about, get in touch today. Our Google AdWords expert, Georgie, will be happy to answer your questions! 

Take a look at some of these useful resources to see how we’ve helped other UK charities with their marketing: 

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Georgie Street-Cash | Digital Marketing Manager

What is a Google Ad Grant and how can charities benefit?