Google for Nonprofits: Free Advertising Money and Google Tools

Every second, there is an average of 40,000 searches on Google, according to Internet Live Stats. In a market ranking report forDecember 2015, comScore reported that Google had 63.8% of the search market share in the United States for desktop searches. The closest competitor would be Microsoft with Bing at 21.1% – a large difference.

So how can nonprofits take advantage of the large audience that utilizes Google day in and day out? Simple, the Google for Nonprofits Program. There are many nonprofits that are not aware of Google’s programs or don’t feel that it would benefit them. However, that is far from true.

What is the Google for Nonprofits Program and Am I Eligible?

The program grants qualified organizations a free-pass to paid Google products with special features for nonprofit organizations. In order to be considered a qualified organization in the United States, you must:

  • be recognized by the IRS as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary, scientific, or other tax-exempt purposes.
  • not be a governmental entity or organization, hospital or healthcare organization, school, childcare center, academic institution, or university (although philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).

The best way to find out if you are eligible for the program is by applying (you have to have a Google account to apply). The entire application process can take as little as ten minutes to complete. You will want to have your Employer Identification Number (EIN) on hand for United States organizations. Applications can be approved within seconds in some cases, and in others, it can take up to two days before you are notified.

Once approved, you will have access to enroll in Google products such as Google Apps, YouTube for Nonprofits, and Google Ad Grants, which is one of the larger benefits.

How Can I Get Free Money to Spend on Google Advertising?

When you’re searching for things on Google, often you’ll see search listings that show up with a small “Ad” icon in yellow next to the listing. These are pay-per-click ads that are run through Google AdWords. If qualified for the Google Ad Grant, you are eligible for a free $10,000 a month ad spend (a monthly budget) to create ads of your own.

These ads can be used to help spread awareness of your organization in support of your cause, reach a broader range of donors, and advertise programs that you are running through your organization. There are a few limitations such as not being able to spend over $2.00 a click, only being able to advertise on Google, not their Search Partners, and text ads only; but the benefit of having $10,000 to reach a larger target audience outweighs the limitations.

Often times, organizations find it impossible to spend $10,000 a month. To help maximize your utilization once you are granted access, be sure to:

  • Create campaigns for every program your organization runs.
  • Use a large keyword list with targeted keywords and branded terms.
  • Remember calls to action – you don’t want to send someone to a page that doesn’t require them to take an action such as signing up for a newsletter, volunteering, making a donation, etc.

Other Benefits of Google for Nonprofits

While the Google Ad Grant is a large benefit, it is just a part of the overall Google for Nonprofits Program. Other benefits include:

  • YouTube for Nonprofits – allows you to add donation cards to your videos so that viewers can click through to donate to your organization.
  • Google Apps for Nonprofits – create unlimited email accounts with your domain name, utilize storage and collaboration tools such as Drive, Docs, Hangouts, and more.
  • Google Earth Outreach – utilize Google’s mapping technologies to raise awareness about your cause.
  • One Today – a mobile app that helps with fundraising by providing a streamlined mobile process.

To apply for the Google for Nonprofits Program, you’ll need to go here and start the process by logging into a Google account, preferably one used as an administrative or dummy account for your organization.
Contact us today if you have any questions!


Jeshanah McLeod

Jeshanah McLeod

Marketing Director

Jeshanah handles all facets of the internal marketing department, including, but not limited to, the overall marketing strategy, branding, public relations, website content management, social media, and event planning. She also advises clients on marketing strategies based on evaluation of their goals and current strengths.