Google Grant

A Google Grant allows you to use Google Ads to advertise your non-profit. And, as the website tells you, it can help “Raise awareness, attract donors, and recruit new volunteers using Google search ads.” I’ve helped three clients (so far) with Google Grants and would like to outline this outstanding oppurtunity in the chance that you qualify to benefit from one.

what a google grant will cost you

First, embarking on this will cost you nothing, except either the time to manage the campaign, or pay someone to manage it for you. The client that I have helped the longest with their Google Grant – here in Cape Town, South Africa – is Innovation Edge and when we do our annual checkin for marketing budget and whatnot, I always point out that to get $10,000/month of free advertising, for the price I charge, it’s a business no-brainer. At the time of writing this, that is roughly R180,000/month and I’d charge less than 20 times that amount to manage the account.


what do you get?

shake on it

Second, you need to know what you are getting, and what you are not getting. You aren’t going to see your brand appear in display ads (like an image you’d see advertising that 10 day hotel package in Mauritius), neither will they appear on YouTube, or Gmail, or across the display network. It’s strictly search ads. Search in this context means: someone searched for something on Google. They typed in words and got a result. Not Bing, not Yahoo, not Yandex, and no other place. This is obviously costing Google nothing, as they wouldn’t be able to afford $10,000/month for a million plus companies/NPO’s/NGO’s etc.

google grant and the marketing mix

Third, it’s probably important to realise with such a huge budget, you might not use all of it, or the quality of the site traffic might not be that great. Obviously it could be incredible, and “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”, so be grateful. But, I’d say take a step back and look at your whole ‘marketing mix’ and see how it can slot in and complement other efforts, assuming you have a marketing strategy, and other channels and methods for attracting eyes to your website.


how to get started

Those three important disclaimers aside, let’s get into the nitty gritty and show you what you need to get started:

  1. A website to send people to
  2. Someone to manage your ads
  3. Realistic expectations of how much traction it will give your business/NPO
  4. Some method of reporting – Google Analytics, and other tools can help with this
  5. A one-year plan of what you hope to achieve, and a list of goals, and KPI’s that will get you there. They don’t need to be Harvard-MBA level, just a basic list of reasonable goals. the SMART framework works for most situations.
  6. Some keyword research of what you are going to bid on
  7. An idea of your target audience: age, gender, location, etc
  8. Some idea of your competitors and what they are up to
  9. Copy you are happy to use to attract attention to your ad over another
  10. Images to show them: In two formats
  11. Any video to show them: Links to YouTube ones are ideal

Then, sign up and get your account going, and then reach out to me to help manage it. I have the experience from having helped a few people in this space before, and the savvy in Google Analytics and Looker Studio to give you actionable insights.