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Google offers registered charities up to $10,000 of in-kind advertising spend each month through the Ad Grants program. This amazing resource enables charities to attract service users, supporters and donors to their websites, and generate valuable donations by appearing in Google search results.

In this guide, we will cover the basic steps you need to take to join the Ad Grants programme. There are some tricky steps, but it’s 100% worth sticking with it to help your organisation reach new and existing supporters.


What is in-kind advertising?

In-kind advertising is a type of charitable giving that offers nonprofits ad spend for advertising campaigns. This grant enables charities to place adverts on the Google Search Network without paying for the ad spend themselves.


How does the Google Ads Grant work?

  • Registered charities receive $10,000 of advertising spend each month.
  • This ad spend can be spent on text-based adverts that appear on the Google search results page.
  • You can reach your target audience with keyword-targeted campaigns that relate to search queries.


What are the steps to applying?

  1. Find out if you are eligible
  2. Apply to join Google For Nonprofits
  3. Apply for the Google Ads Grant
  4. Get started with the Google Grant

1. Are you eligible for the Google Grant?

In order to get the Google Grant, make sure you have the following:

  • A registered charity number – Google works with nonprofits in over 50 countries. Your nonprofit must hold a valid charity status in one of these countries.
  • A live website – You must have a website with substantial content to send search visitors to.
  • A TechSoup accountTechSoup is an organisation who help nonprofits access technology. You must register with TechSoup so that they can verify you to Google.


2. Apply for Google for Nonprofits

Before you apply for the grant, you must prove your charity status and apply for a Google for Nonprofits account:

  • Prove your charity status with TechSoup – Sign in to your TT-Exchange account and request a validation code which looks like this 123c456@YourOrgName. This is required for Google to recognise you as a registered charity. Keep this to hand as you will need this code when you’re completing the Grant application.
  • Register with Google For Nonprofits – Sign up to Google For Nonprofits using the email address you and your team will use to log in to your Google Ads account.


3. Apply for the Google Ads Grant

This is the last stage in the application process – you’re almost there! Now it’s time to enrol in Google Ad Grants. Here’s how:

  1. Start on the Google for Nonprofits website and go to ‘Get Started’.
  2. Make sure you’re logged in to the Gmail account that you and your team will use to log in.
  3. Enter your TechSoup validation token when prompted.
  4. Fill out your organisation’s information and agree to all the terms & conditions.
  5. Wait for Google to approve your application via email. They say it will take 14 days, but it’s often sooner than that.


4. Get started with the Google Ad Grant

Once Google has approved your application, the next step is to set up the grant in your Google for Nonprofits account. Follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Google for Nonprofits account – Simply log in using the email you signed up with.
  • Skip billing information – When prompted, it’s very important to skip the billing information, as this will create a paid account that the grant cannot be applied to.
  • Select United States as your billing country – You MUST select United States as your country, even if you are in the UK or another country. This enables Google to later apply the $10,000 grant to your account.
  • Select US dollars as your currency – You MUST also select US dollars as the currency of your account, even if you are in a country that uses another currency. This enables Google to later apply the $10,000 grant to your account.
  • Create your first campaign! – Keep it simple and start with a branded campaign. Use Google’s guide to account creation if you need some support on this. Make sure you create an account that is in line with the Google Ad Grants policy. Find out what this means in our blog, 5 ways to be compliant with the Google Grants policy.


Well done, you have been given $10,000 of advertising to spend on Google search marketing campaigns every month!


We’re a Google Ad Grants certified agency. We can help you build an effective Google Ads Grant account to help you reach your objectives – get in touch if you’ve got any questions!


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