Any registered charity is eligible for the Google Ad grant for charities of £90,000 a year in free online advertising. This resource explains what it is and gives you the key things you need to know to claim your Google Ads grant for your charity or non profit, including how to find and assess an Google ads grant management provider.
My thanks to the Access Group Not For Profit for their expert Google ad grants technical support in creating this resource.
When you enter a search into Google, the system searches the internet for those 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, smaller charities don't have the sophisticated search engine optimisation and back links that large charities and commercial companies do, so lose out. You appear on page 3 because you're too small and that's why you don't get many clicks.
Google has monetised this with ads and 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. Google Ad grants for charities 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.
Use Funding Finder, to find a huge range of grants and Help Finder to find lots of free fundraising support and also companies that make donations. There's a fundraising online health check, with 50+downloadable funder lists and the huge resource base.
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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.
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.
Access Group Not For Profit provide a Google ads grant management service. They can apply for your 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 provider.
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.
A registered charity ourselves, we provide 8 online health checks, the huge information hub, Quality Mark and 3 online directories.
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