Free Google Ad Grants For UK Charities - Everything You Need

A guide to Google ad grants for UK charities - what are Google Ad grants, the requirements, are Google ad grants worth it and ad grant management

Free Google Ad Grants For UK Charities

Google ad grants for UK charities and non profits - what are Google Ad grants, what are the requirements, are Google ad grants worth it and how to choose an ad grant management company.  This resource gives you the key things you need to know to claim your Google Ads grant for your charity or non profit.  My thanks to the Access Group Not For Profit for their expert Google ad grants technical support in creating this resource.

What are Google Ads

When you search on Google, the system searches for the web pages that best fit your criteria and displays your results. What really matters in getting people to click your link is to be at or near the top of the page.  However, charities struggle to compete with commercial companies, so usually lose out.  Moreover, Google allows organisations to buy Google Ads which appear at the top of the screen.  When you Google looking for a snazzy new pair of training shoes and an ad for Sports Direct comes out top - that's a Google Ad.

What are Google Ad Grants For Charities?

The Google Ad grants for charities is allows your charity to 'pay for' Google ads to jump the queue and appear at the top of the screen.  Every time someone clicks on your ad the cost is deducted from your grant and, if you spend it all, it simply stops, so you don't have to pay anything, and you can't accidentally incur any additional costs.  You can use it to secure donations, raise awareness and recruit volunteers.

Google Ad Grant Requirements

There are various ad grant requirements but the key one to qualify for Google Ad Grants in the UK, is you must be a registered charity.  There's more information on their Ads Grant FAQs page.

How Much is the Google Ad Grant for Charities?

The Google Ad grant for charities is US£10,000 a month.

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Are Google Ad Grants For Charities Worth It?

Yes, Google ad grants for charities are very definitely worth it.  If you set-up and run your own Google Ads account, the financial cost is zero and the only cost is your time. If you pay for ads management, you lose the time cost and, as long as your income exceeds that cost, you have an ongoing income surplus.

I can't find any robust Google Ad grants return on investment data but one of the Access Group's charities achieved an 800% increase in donations. To be honest, I think it's a 'no brainer' for most, with 2 caveats.  It works for any country, but you can't narrow it down below UK wide, so it'd be of less value to a charity that works very locally, because people at the other end of the country would be less likely to donate or volunteer. And it's (obviously) particularly good for those causes that most appeal to the public.  Here's the Access Group introductory guide.

How Difficult Are Google Ads To Set Up And Run

Google Ads is a hugely powerful platform that's used by all the large charities and all major commercial companies, some of whom have entire Ads Teams. However, Google wants to make money from everybody, so it's designed to be usable by most organisations.  I've twice set up and run charity Google Ads accounts myself and I'm no digital native.

However, it is a very sophisticated system, so there's no way I could run an account as well as a professional. It takes me longer and my results aren't as good. If you’re technically savvy and have the time, you may not get as good results as a professional but the cost you save in not paying one might make this the best option for you.  If you're not technically savvy and hard pressed for time, paying someone to do it for you might be best.

Google Ad Grant Management

Access Group Not For Profit provide a Google ads grant management service.  They can apply for your ad grant for you, set up and manage your account, but there are other providers.  Here are the questions you should ask when considering whether or not to choose a Google ad management company.

  • Do they have specific charity experience?
    • To make ads work well you need to understand your 'customers' what they want, the search terms they use and what types of searches are most likely to lead to a conversion (doing what you want them to - e.g., donate). If they don’t have that they won't.
  • Is their pricing clear and transparent and can you afford it?
  • What do you get for your money?
    • There's a world of difference between just setting and account up with standard ads and key words and leaving it to pretty much run itself and actively managing your account to maximise your return.
  • Is their contract fair and reasonable, without locking you into long term commitments you can't get out of?
  • Do they have a track record of success with charities?
    • Look for quotes and case studies and speak to those already using them.

Here's a case study that Access Group gave me that explains more. And/or click here to chat to them and arrange a demo.  I recommend them, but because we operate to very strict ethical guidelines, I would add that they help fund our charitable work.

Google Ad Grant for Charities FAQs

  • What are Google Ad Grants for charities?  Google Ad Grants for charities provides up to $10,000 USD per month of free Google ads advertising for qualifying non profits globally, including UK charities.
  • How does Google Ad Grants work?  With a Google Ad Grants account, you create ads for your charity which appear in Google Search. Your charity’s ads will appear either independently or below paid ads. These text-based ads are displayed on search results pages.
  • What are the Google Ad Grants charity requirements?  To qualify for Google Ad Grants, you must be an eligible non profit, have a high-quality website that meets Google’s website policy, and comply with their ads policies.  The key point for UK charities is that you must be registered with the relevant UK regulator.
  • How long does the charity Google Ads grant last? As long as your charity continues to meet the Google eligibility requirements, your entitlement will last indefinitely and there’s no limit to the donations you can receive.
  • What is the limit on the non profit Google ads grant? You can spend up to a maximum of US$329 a day but you can’t carry over any unspent amount into the next day.  Any you don’t use, you lose.
  • Is Google Ad Grants worth it? If you set-up and run your own Google Ads account, the financial cost is zero and the only cost is your time. If you pay for ads management, you lose the time cost and, as long as your income exceeds that cost, you have an ongoing income surplus. It works for any charity but works best for those with public appeal and which work nationally.
  • What are the benefits to charities of Google Ad Grants? Charities can use their ads grant to secure donations, raise awareness and/or recruit volunteers.  Other benefits are that income is generally unrestricted, it provides a new and predictable  income stream and is an opportunity to acquire new supporters.

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