5 Google Grant Myths Debunked

August 10, 2015 mogoarts

What is a Google Grant?

A Google Grant, or a Google Ad Grant is an edition of AdWords for nonprofit organizations.

A Google Ad Grant provides such organizations with $10,000/month in AdWords advertising to promote their missions and objectives in Google’s search results

While there are many nonprofit organizations (including arts organizations) who have run successful search campaigns with the help of a Google Grant, there are some myths about the Grant that prevent eligible participants from ever applying!

Here are 5 common Google Ad Grant myths, debunked – so you can focus on getting your application ready if you don’t have a Grant, making the most of your Grant if you do have one, and ramping up for some successful Google Search campaigns!


1. Only charities can apply for a Google Ad Grant

Google’s definition of “charity” refers to any organization that has received Charity Status. In the US, this would include anyone with a 501(c)(3) status.  So, even if you aren’t organizing a coat drive like in the Google Ad Grant video, if your organization has this status, you can apply. Exclusions do apply to government organizations, some educational institutions, and others.  Find out about eligibility for the Google Grant in other countries here.


2.  I don’t have time to run an AdWords account

One of the biggest drawbacks to using AdWords is the time it takes to manage it. Fortunately, you can execute successful Google Ad Grant campaigns in AdWords without having to dedicate much additional time to doing so. If you’re working with a digital marketing partner, ask them if they will manage your Google Ad Grant spend. Google can also offer basic campaign management through a program called AdWords Express. However, depending on the nature and breadth of your search campaigns, it’s critical to choose the most scalable option for your organization. Google also requires Grant recipients to regularly maintain their AdWords accounts to remain Grant-eligible.


3. I can’t compete with larger, for-profit organizations on Google AdWords, even with a Grant

Many marketers, even in the for-profit sector, are under the impression that they must “pay to play” on Google AdWords – meaning, if they don’t spend as much as someone else, it’s pointless to try. This fallacy has long prevented many companies from recognizing their potential with a Google Grant or with Google Search in general. Actually, smaller organizations can compete with larger traditional advertisers. Google ranks search results, even pay-per-click search results, with keywords and location relevancy. So if you’re relevant (which you are!), you’ll be seen. While you’ll probably rank below the results of traditional advertisers, it’s not worth missing out on potential conversions. In fact, the effective utilization of a Google Grant has the potential to drive between 10,000 and 40,000 new site visitors to your website.


4.  I won’t ever spend $10,000/month – it’s too much!

It’s true, with the Google Grant spend allocation, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Many arts and nonprofit organizations struggle with spending the $10,000 monthly. This shouldn’t be discouraging, but rather encourage you to optimize your Grant. If you don’t have the resources to optimize your Grant, find a partner to help. Even if you’re only spending 25%-30% of your monthly credit, your Grant is a sound, valuable budget resource.


5. I can’t use a Google Ad Grant to sell tickets or get website conversions – so what’s the point?

This is a relatively grey area to many arts organizations as the rules do in fact state that you must use only mission-based keywords in your ads. However, that does not exclude the general promotion of tickets or other activities that will ultimately raise funds to go back into your non-profit organization.  Strictly commercial advertisement is not allowed. For more information, check out Google’s copy examples.

The Google Ad Grant is an incredibly effective tool for arts and other non-profit organizations to drive more site traffic, conversions, and revenue. Does your organization have a Google Grant?

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