What Is Google Ads Grant For Nonprofits?

google ads grants


Google for Nonprofits is a free program where Google gives away premium services (like $10,000 a month in Ads credits and custom G Suite accounts) at no cost. For organizations that qualify, Google for Nonprofits gives access to a collection of premium apps that might otherwise be too expensive for NPOs.

Google Ad Grants is perhaps the most popular program in Google for Nonprofits, where Google gives nonprofits $10,000 a month to spend on advertisements in Google search results.

Regardless of how much time you have to spend on using the applications, it is well worth applying. Many of the products continue to amplify your non-profit’s work, even if you forget about them after the first set-up.


What Features Does Google For Nonprofits Have?

Listed below is a breakdown of each of the products included in the Google for Nonprofits program, listed in order of “most widely useful” to “useful in a few cases”. Each piece is powerful in its own way, so the best way to evaluate them is how relevant it is to your NPO.

Not all products are available in all countries. Check the list here.

G Suite For Nonprofits (Google Workspace)

First up is G Suite (the for-profit version of this for businesses is now called Google Workspace). If you have a Gmail account you’re probably familiar with what G Suite offers; it’s essentially the enterprise version of Gmail. Since every non-profit uses email, documents and spreadsheets, I rank this as the most widely useful app in Google for Nonprofits.

What it gets you:

  • Unlimited Gmail accounts that end in @yourdomain.com, vs @gmail.com
  • Google drive, docs, sheets, slides, etc. All those fun little apps
  • 30GB of space (up from 15 in personal accounts) for Drive documents and email hosting
  • 24/7 actual person support via phone, chat and email
  • Admin access over all your organization’s accounts

Biggest potential use:

We all know how useful Google docs are, but I think Google hosting the data while giving you full control is the best feature of this product. This frees up space on your server, and you can auto-archive emails after a certain period to automate ongoing maintenance. But most importantly, this all gives your organization control over its data.

I’ve seen several organizations auto-forward their emails to personal Gmail accounts because they’re familiar with the interface. While this works fine initially, it eventually brings up concerns about confidential information. If an employee leaves on bad terms, you can’t get your organization’s emails back from their personal Gmail! Creating emails with G Suite gives users the familiar Gmail UI, while keeping your Nonprofit’s data inside the organization. And now with Google for Nonprofits, cost is no excuse for making sure your NPO is secure.

Other ways to maximize this resource:

  • Use Google Sites to quickly create intranet pages for new hires, organizational knowledge or projects
  • Use Google Hangouts to create an office phone line. Or send messages and video chat with multiple users from within Gmail

Cost savings:

$5 per person per month compared with paid accounts

Google Grants (Google Adwords)

Overall I think Google Grants is the most powerful of all the apps in Google for Nonprofits because Google is literally giving you $10,000 a month to spend on fundraising via pay-per-click (PPC). For those not familiar with PPC, it refers to the text ads you see while searching Google. It falls second in the list because while everyone could use free money, the steep learning curve might scare people away.

What it gets you:

  • $10,000 / month of free money to spend on pay-per-click advertising.
    • Unlimited cost-per-click, if you install a tracking code and use their smart-bidding features
    • Ads are text only, and run only on Google.com, not any search partners or ad networks
  • The full Google Adwords platform to manage and measure your campaigns

Biggest potential use:

Getting people to your nonprofit’s website is of course the biggest use for Ad Grants. You can use it to promote your next event, gain new email subscribers, attract people who are likely to donate or just spread the word about a program you put on. The $10,000 translates into roughly 5,000 website visitors per month!

But more than just boosting your website’s stats, the beauty of Google Ads is that you can laser-target specific niches. Go for keywords like “science conventions” to promote your geeky gathering, or try out “volunteer opportunities near me” to recruit some more manpower. The possibilities are truly endless.

Other ways to maximize this resource:

  • Create content targeted towards topics you want to be an authority about, like “water crises” and use Adwords to noticed in your space.
  • Install Google conversion tracking on your website so you can track which campaigns, keywords and ads perform the best. Then, once you collect enough data, you can turn on Google automated bidding tools to maximize the numbers of conversions you receive from your campaigns.

Cost savings:

Up to $10,000/month, and it generates donations!

YouTube Nonprofit Program



For NPOs that see the value in video, the YouTube Nonprofit Program elevates your YouTube channel to the next level and amplifies your donations. It even gives you the ability to plug into YouTube’s vast universe of content creators and develop meaningful partnerships. It’s definitely more intensive than some of the other apps in Google for Nonprofits, but it’s well worth the effort.

What it gets you:

  • The ability to have “donation cards” and “link anywhere cards” on your videos. These are beefed-up YouTube annotations that make your videos an interactive experience.
  • ZERO transaction fees on any donations processed by YouTube
  • For channels with 1,000+ subscribers: access to YouTube Space, Google’s professional production studios located around the globe

Biggest potential use:

We all know telling your non-profit’s story is important to get donors aligned with your cause. So build a process for creating engaging videos for each project your charity oversees! For example, child-sponsor organizations could create a short video per child and include a donation card at the end. This connects the donor with the project, eliminates barriers to giving, and saves your nonprofit the 3% processing fee! Here’s a video that describes how cards work:

Other ways to maximize this resource:

  • Build your subscriber count throughout the year, and connect with Google Spaces to create a grand-slam year end appeal video. There’s not much info on how quickly YouTube Spaces replies to requests, or how selective they are, but the application asks if your channel has over 10k subscribers. It’s probably a good idea to reach that goal before applying.
  • Connect with content creators and authority figures to get them to put donation cards to your non-profit. Any YouTuber with a solid following has access to these donation cards, and they can link to any eligible organization. Try developing a partnership with an influencer to put a donation card on one of their videos. Google even provides an outreach toolkit; it could be a great way to reach a new audience!

Cost savings:

Donations through YouTube will spare you the 2.9% + .30 fee other processors charge, while the value of YouTube spaces is probably in the tens of thousands.


Who Can Participate in this service?

To qualify for Google Ad Grants, your organization must:


  • Begin by applying to Google for Nonprofits. Your organisation must hold valid charity status. Please see the Google for Nonprofits site for definitions of charity status in your country. Governmental entities and organisations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, academic institutions and universities are not eligible for Google for Nonprofits, but philanthropic arms of educational institutions are eligible.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
  • Have a high-quality website that meets the Ad Grants website policy.
  • Get approved through the Ad Grants pre-qualification process after your organisation is enrolled in Google for Nonprofits.



As a digital marketer with many years of experience in the fields, I have managed over $4.5 on google ad spend and many nonprofits organizations.

If you need help with your non-profit, from the initial application to accounts creation, ad creation, set up, and campaigns management, connect with me by filling in the below form.




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