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Budgeting Time For Google Grants

At ConnectAd, one question we often get asked is: “how much time does getting and managing a Google Grant take?” For busy charities (i.e. every charity) it’s an important question because someone within the organization will have to be responsible for securing and maintaining a Google Grant in order for it to be successful. To answer this question you need to understand the process of getting a Google Grant.
Step 1 is submitting an application for a Grant. Depending on your eligibility, you will be approved or rejected by Google. If you’re successful, you move on to step 2 where you have to set up an actual AdWords account with campaigns. Upon completion, you must submit the account for Google to review. Should you pass the review, your Grant funds of up to $10,000 per month begin. This takes you to step 3, which is monitoring how your Google Grant is performing and making improvements. So how much time does each stage take?

1. Google Grant Application

Time Commitment: 10-20 Minutes
The Google Grants application has been streamlined so that it should only take you about 10 minutes to complete. All you have to do is submit a couple pieces of basic info about your charity and upload a document proving you’re a registered charity. If you are a U.S. charity the process is a little different in that you have to apply for the Google For Nonprofits program first. However, that’s a quick submission as well.

2. Google Grant Activation

Time Commitment: 5-10 Hours
Officially Google advises that you spend 5-10 hours at this stage setting up your AdWords account for the first time. Bundled into this recommendation is the time required for you to familiarize yourself with PPC advertising and running AdWords campaigns. Then you have to do the actual work by setting up your campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and 2-3 unique ads for each group. In my experience, 5-10 hours is a fair estimate and you’ll likely be on the high end of that range. Even if you have some experience with AdWords, running a campaign for a charity is different and there will still be a learning curve.

3. Google Grant Management

Time Commitment: 4-8 Hours Per Month
Again the official recommendation is that you check your account at least once a month. Based on your familiarity with AdWords and how comfortable you are with running a Google Grants campaign, my suggestion is to budget for 4-8 hours a month. Of course, you can get by with less time but the benefit you derive from the Grant correlates to how much time you invest. You’ll be spending your time looking to generate more keywords, experimenting with different ad text, and regrouping your keywords to maximize your quality score. You should also be monitoring for poor performing keywords that you can get rid of or move elsewhere.
Now that you understand the time commitment that Google Grants demands, you can better assess whether this opportunity is right for your charity. However, the benefit you can gain from a well run Google Grants campaign is tremendous and worth the time. For those who simply can’t find the hours to support their Grant, we can help.

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