An Introduction to the Google Ad Grant for Nonprofits

4 min read

Taking advantage of the Google Ad Grant is a significant opportunity for charitable organisations who are wanting to boost their online presence.

This initiative provides eligible nonprofits with a considerable advertising budget, aiming to enhance their visibility and impact on Google search results. Understanding and utilising this grant can transform an organisation's digital strategy, helping to reach more donors, volunteers, and the communities they serve.


What is a Google Ad Grant?

A Google Ad Grant(external link) operates like free Google Ads advertising, allowing nonprofits to appear in search results at no cost to them. The program offers $10,000 per month in search ads displayed on, providing nonprofits with a chance to promote their causes and initiatives to a broad audience without tapping into their budgets.

Why Apply for the Google Ad Grant?

$10,000 USD of Increased Investment

Receiving up to $10,000 USD monthly in advertising credits significantly lowers the barrier to entry for effective online marketing, allowing nonprofits to run sustained advertising campaigns aimed at increasing their visibility and reaching wider audiences.

Increase Brand Awareness

The Google Ad Grant helps boost brand awareness by increasing the frequency and prominence of the nonprofit’s ads on Google search result pages. This increased visibility can attract more visitors to their website, enhancing public engagement and support.

Boost Engagement

With strategic ad placements, nonprofits can effectively engage users, encouraging them to learn more about their causes, sign up for newsletters, volunteer, or even donate. The Google Ad Grant provides the tools to create compelling ads that resonate with potential supporters.


Who is Eligible for a Google Ad Grant?

Eligibility for the Google Ad Grant(external link) requires that organisations must hold valid charity status in their respective countries (such as 501(c)(3) status in the United States or receiving a "charitable status" registered under the Charities Act 2005 in New Zealand(external link)). They must also have a functioning website with substantial content that meets the Google Ad Grants’ policy requirements. Governmental entities, hospitals, and schools are not eligible for the Google Ad Grants program, although philanthropic arms of educational institutions may qualify.


How Do You Apply for a Google Ad Grant?

Applying for the Google Ads Grant for nonprofits involves a few key steps(external link):

  1. First, confirm your organisation's eligibility by ensuring it holds valid nonprofit status as recognised by your government.
  2. Next, register with TechSoup to receive a validation token, a necessary step for verification by Google. Once verified, proceed to apply through the Google for Nonprofits program.
  3. Following approval, you will need to set up a Google Ads account that meets specific requirements set by Google, such as structuring campaigns and selecting relevant keywords.
  4. After setting up your account, submit it for review to start using the grant for your nonprofit advertising efforts.

The process requires careful attention to detail to ensure all requirements are met.

If you need help our Google Ad experts at Somar Digital are here to help! You can contact the team here:

Get in touch for a free consultation

Somar Digital Can Help You Manage Your Google Ad Grant

Setting Your Website Up

Somar Digital assists nonprofits in optimising their websites to meet Google's standards, ensuring they are ready to maximise the impact of the Google Ad Grant.

Get the Most from the $10,000

Our team helps organisations strategically manage their $10,000 monthly grant to ensure the most effective use of these funds, focusing on creating high-quality ads that target the right audiences and achieve the best possible outcomes.

What Kind of Results Can I Expect from the Grant?

Nonprofits can expect increased web traffic, higher engagement rates, and more conversions. The specifics, such as the number of new visitors or the increase in donations, vary depending on several factors, including the effectiveness of the ad campaigns and the nature of the nonprofit's goals.

man making a donation for cancer society nz on mobile

Case Study: Cancer Society NZ

The Client

Cancer Society is one of New Zealand’s most trusted charities(external link) and aims to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer in Aotearoa, NZ. Cancer Society uses the Google Ads Grant to help boost their online donations and increase their visibility. Before we undertook any work for Cancer Society we met with them for a discovery session to help understand their needs for their Google Ads account and the most significant pain points they were facing.

The Results

Since Somar Digital took over the management of Cancer Society's Google Ad grant account, there have been numerous improvements. Below are some highlights looking at the first 8 months with comparison year on year.

  1. Increased Investment for Greater Impact: Cancer Society’s Google Ad account now maximises the Google Ad grant that is available to them. This means the account now spends the full $10,000 USD that is available, a significant rise of 200.8% from previously. This has directly resulted in generating more traffic to the donation page as well as helping users find their local Cancer Society, accommodation for people travelling for cancer appointments and treatment, and the cancer hotline, which helps connect people with cancer support nurses.
  2. Enhanced Visibility: There's been a 56% surge in impressions, with Cancer Society’s ads reaching an impressive 252.8K people, compared to 162.1K the previous year. That's nearly 100,000 additional users getting familiar with the Cancer Society brand.
  3. Dramatic Jump in Engagement: Cancer Society’s ads are not only seen but clicked on. We've driven an impressive 31,517 clicks, an upswing of 93.7% compared to the previous period's 16,217. This substantial increase shows how the Cancer Society NZ brand is compelling more people to explore and interact.
  4. Superior Click-Through Rate (CTR): The effectiveness of the ads has also improved, with CTR increasing to 12.5%. That's an increase of 24.2% from last year and significantly higher than the industry average of 4.41%, signifying a higher percentage of viewers who are not just seeing, but engaging with their ads.


An introduction to the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits showcases how this significant resource can help organisations amplify their digital marketing efforts without compromising their budgets.

With professional support from partners like Somar Digital, nonprofits can effectively utilise this grant to drive awareness, engagement, and support for their causes, ensuring they make a measurable impact on their communities.

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Google Ad Grant FAQs

How do I apply for a Google Ad Grant?

Who qualifies for a Google Ad Grant?

How long does it take to get a Google Ad Grant?

Are Google Ad Grants worth it?

How long does the Google Ad Grant last?

Why use Somar Digital to manage your Google Ad Grant?

by Somar Digital