Capturing attention and spreading ideas across the Internet is not easy for nonprofits and charities. There are an enormous amount of charity websites that compete against each other for best visibility on a search engine result page. After all, with 3.5 billion Google searches every day, who doesn’t want to get the chance to spread its message and raise awareness for his own organization?
There are two options in order boost your online presence on search engines. The first one is search engine optimization, SEO, which is a strategy to rank organically high on result pages. In order to get a strong ranking position with SEO, you need to put in a lot of time and effort executing the strategy, and have patience as things will take time to show results.
The second, and faster method, is paid advertising, or also known as PPC. If you want to reach your organization’s goals within a shorter timeframe, then you should consider paid advertising. With an effective PPC strategy, you will gain a higher position on search result pages when potential supporters are searching for a similar charity to yours. One major drawback to PPC is that most charities do not have the budget to sustain an ongoing campaign, until now.
The Solution: Google Ad Grant
Imagine your nonprofit organization could gain more awareness and reach at no extra advertising cost. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? As a matter of fact, Google’s program Ad Grants for nonprofits makes it possible.
Registered charities are eligible to benefit from the Ad Grant program. This program supports organizations with US $10,000 per month for AdWords advertising. AdWords is Google’s tool for paid advertising campaigns that you will be able to use. With an annual budget of US $120,000 you can spend it on effective online advertising to reach your goals. The best part is, that the donation doesn’t expire. However, there are some important guidelines to keep in mind in order to stay qualified. We will come back to that a little bit later in the article.
To be able to use AdWords ads your charity needs follow these specific guidelines:
- Ads need to be text-based. They can’t include videos or images
- They will show up in Google search results pages; below ads of paying marketers
- Each advertising campaign has to be keyword-targeted. In other words, you need to define for which keywords your ads will show up. This is also called a keyword bidding strategy
Example of an in-kind text ad:
How To Apply For Google Ad Grants
- In order to be eligible, your nonprofit has to hold a valid charity status within the country you’re located
- You will also need a new AdWords account that has been correctly configured
- Before you start with the application, make sure that your website is updated and working properly and that your website content is relevant to the planned ad campaigns
- Google will then decide if your organization is eligible or not. After that, you’re ready to amplify your digital voice throughout Google
What To Consider
Even though the process might seem straightforward, it is quite challenging to plan an effective AdWords strategy with the set budget. Here some facts you should consider:
- Define your goals: You need to know what exactly you want to achieve with your AdWords campaign. This requires strategic thinking and often must extend beyond just receiving donations.
- Provide quality content on your website: Make sure that your website content is in line with what you want to promote
- Explore effective and feasible strategies: As most nonprofits’ goal is to increase donations, this ad strategy is highly competitive. Due to this reason, this strategy is not recommended as it may not lead to the expected impact
- Look at the broader picture of the customer journey: Consider this program to trigger a greater audience into your marketing funnel. If your advertising strategies are consistent, chances are high to finally convert them into donors in the long term
- Be creative: Think about some innovative ways how to build a unique presence online that catches the searcher’s eye
- Choose the right keywords: Research and uncover unique keywords that you can link with your website content
- Stay up-to-date: In order stay eligible, you need to make sure that you adapt your Ad Grant campaigns regularly
Are You Ready To Get Your Grant?
There are already 20,000 organizations in 50 countries participating in the Google Ad Grants for nonprofits. You could be next! If you want a real-world example, read our case study about getting a Google Grant with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
If you are a registered non-profit or charity and are ready to engage your supporters and amplify your message across the internet, we are more than happy to help you out. We will increase your chances of gaining the AdWord Grant and to create a successful paid advertising strategy for your organization. You can read more about our non-profit advertising here.