You Have a Google Grant—Now What? A Guide for Nonprofits

More nonprofits are beginning to see the immense value of the Google Ad Grants and have acquired it for themselves. If you’ve managed to get the grant for your organization, you deserve a hearty congratulations.

However, as many nonprofit professionals know, acquiring the grant is only the beginning. From there, your organization has to stay on top of task management to maintain compliance with Google’s standards, make the most of your Google Ad Grant, and jumpstart your organization’s digital marketing efforts.

As an agency that specializes in Google Ad Grant management, Nonprofit Megaphone has extensive experience in managing the Grant. Whether you choose to employ an agency to manage your grant or are doing it in-house, there are proven principles that will help you maintain compliance with Google and use your digital marketing successfully. Successful Google Ad Grant management includes the following steps:

  1. Assign a Google Ad Grant Manager
  2. Plan Your Ads
  3. Track Conversions
  4. Make Sure Google’s Requirements Are Met
  5. Consider Outsourcing

Once you’ve followed these key steps, you’ll be well on your way to making the most of your Google Ad Grant. Let’s get started.

  1. Assign A Google Grant Manager

Having the Google Ad Grant benefits your whole organization. Further, it gives everyone in it an opportunity to write good ads and produce high-quality content for your website. One of the great virtues of the Google Ad Grant is how it easily synergizes with other aspects of your web presence. Any work done on your website can easily be amplified by the Google Grant.

While every member of your team has a role to play in using the Grant successfully, it’s a good idea to designate one person as the Google Grant manager. This person will be responsible for maintaining compliance, analyzing the data, and making the day-to-day changes necessary to use the grant to its highest potential.

This can be done with other duties, but having one person responsible for the Google grant ensures that they have the knowledge they need to make the most of it. For larger organizations, it may be necessary to have a larger team dedicated to ad grant management. In any case, you’ll want your ad grant management to be as consistent as possible in order to maximize its effectiveness.

  1. Plan Your Ads

The Google Ads infrastructure contains three essential components:

    • The ads themselves. These appear within a Google search as sponsored links and are the vehicle for bringing people to your page.
    • Landing pages. Each ad has a landing page attached to it. These pages are where visitors land after clicking on the ad, making them an important space to make a first impression.
    • Keywords. Keywords are associated with ads and determine whether the ad is shown during any Google search. Further, Google’s algorithm determines whether the keywords are relevant to the page the ad is attached to. If they are not relevant, the ad will never be shown with those keywords. Successful grant management involves synergizing these three components. A good place to start planning is with the ads.

After acquiring your Google Ad Grant, you’ll want to start thinking about the advertisements you want to use. Considering you have up to $10,000 worth of ads to use each month, the only limits are your knowledge and creativity. Creating successful ads is no easy task and requires you to consider many different variables. Here are just a few of the things you should consider while planning and writing your ads:

Keyword Selection

As mentioned, each ad within the Google Ads environment is attached to various keywords. These keywords partly determine which ads are shown and how much of your budget is spent on that ad space. The most important aspect of keyword selection is relevance. Irrelevant keywords will threaten your ads and undermine your compliance. Beyond that, good keyword selection involves studying trends and data to determine what people are searching for that is relevant to the ad you want to run and the page the ad is attached to.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the places on your site that visitors will “land” on after clicking on an ad. This makes them extremely important as they’re the first point of contact for many visitors. Landing pages should be focused, relevant to the ad and its attached keywords, and clearly guide the visitor to take further action on your website.

Many nonprofits mistakenly load their landing pages with a lot of text. A well-optimized landing page should be short and simple. They should answer a question or provide information that entices the reader to click on an important link.

Writing The Ads

The process of writing ads is fairly straightforward. You only have a few words to capture the reader’s attention, so make the most of that space. Many keywords will be attached to this ad, so the text will need to be broad so as to be relevant to a plethora of keyword searches.

Many organizations use A/B testing in order to refine their ads over time. A/B testing is the process of running two ads that are distinct from each other, but are attached to the same page and keywords. By comparing the performance of the two, you often can gain valuable insights on which ads perform better and why. This ongoing process is part of what makes Google Ad Grant management such a valuable skill.


Many nonprofit organizations serve only their local communities or a specific geographical region. In these cases, it’s a good idea to use geo-targeting to efficiently target people within your region. This is an efficient use of resources, as it ensures that your ads will only be shown to searchers who could reasonably use your services. This may not be the ideal solution for all organizations, as some may benefit from developing a national presence. In any case, this is a powerful feature that should be considered when using your Google Ad Grant.

  1. Track Conversions

While the above are important considerations for any Google Ad Grant manager, whether you act on those considerations should depend on the data and analytics you receive on your Google Ads account. The most important metric you should use when making decisions are conversions. 

In Google Ads, conversions are any important action that a user takes on your website. What constitutes a conversion may differ between organizations, but every organization would count important actions like donations, newsletter sign-ups, or video plays as valuable conversions. With conversions as the primary metric, you can use them to distinguish successful ads vs unsuccessful ads.

Google tracks which ads lead to a conversion and which do not, giving you a direct insight into their performance. You’ll have to use creativity and experimentation to pinpoint why some ads perform better than others, but that is another part of the ad grant management skillset.

  1. Make Sure Google’s Requirements Are Met

While making the most of your Google Ad Grant has a lot of moving parts, maintaining compliance with Google’s requirements is much more straightforward. Compliance is important because without it, your Grant could easily be suspended or, in rare cases, terminated. These results would undermine all of the hard work you’ve done to acquire the grant and limit any digital marketing efforts that are underway.

There are a couple of important requirements that you need to keep in mind:

  • Keyword Regulations: Google prevents you from advertising on certain keywords. Often, these keywords are easy to avoid. Typically, any keywords that contain a copyrighted term, controversial topics, or illegal activities will be flagged. Good ad grant managers will avoid these terms and quickly respond if any of your keywords are flagged.
  • Click-Through Rate: Maintaining at least a 5% click through rate (CTR) is an integral part of maintaining compliance with the Google Grant Requirements. This CTR threshold tells Google that your ad grant is being used competently and constitutes a minimum goal. The CTR is a function of how many people view your ad divided by the number of people who click on the ad.
  1. Consider Outsourcing

With these tips, managing and utilizing your Google Ad Grant should look like a surmountable opportunity. However, some organizations choose to outsource their grant management to an outside agency to make it easier to stay compliant or because they simply don’t have the in-house resources to manage the task.

The majority of organizations that outsource do it because it allows them to focus on what they do best. Ad grant management is a specialty like any other. You may save money by doing it in-house, but letting experts handle it may bring better results depending on your capacity.

By pursuing and acquiring the Google Ad Grant, you’ve made a valuable contribution to your organization’s future. With these tips, you can not only ensure that your Ad Grant remains compliant with the standards, but also provides your organization with positive, measurable results.

For organizations with more resources, you can use these tips to build an in-house ad grant management team to lead you to long-term success with the ad grant. For others, outsourcing the Google Ad Grant’s management to a dedicated agency frees up time and resources for you to pursue your mission in other ways.

Still, no matter what your engagement with the Ad Grant, you’ll benefit from examining your website and web content and seeing how it could be improved. With high quality content and optimized ad grant management working in tandem, nonprofits can share their mission and expand their audience like never before.