How To Secure The Google Ad Grant

A Step-By-Step Guide By ConnectAd

What To Expect

Welcome to our Google Ad Grants application guide! By the time you’re finished, you and your nonprofit will be able to:

  • Determine your eligibility for the program
  • Prepare for the application process
  • Submit a high-quality application
  • Understand grant account management

By creating this guide, we hope to share the knowledge we’ve gained as Google Certified Professionals to help you secure the Google Ad Grant and start growing your nonprofit’s impact. Let’s dive in.

Comprehensive Checklists

We cover every base. You’ll be able to determine your eligibility, prepare for the application process, submit a high-quality application, and understand grant account management.

Google Certified Professional Advice

As a Google Certified Professional company, we’re sharing the expert knowledge and inside advice we’ve gained to help your nonprofit secure the grant.

Transparent Timelines

We’ve included clock icons ⏰ to indicate the amount of time we estimate it will take to complete each step, so that you’re not left guessing or waiting.

Extra Tips & Tricks

On top of walking you through the mandatory steps, we’ve provided inside tips to make your application the best it can be.

What Is The Google Ad Grant?


Google gives eligible nonprofits a whopping $10,000 USD in credits per month to use on their Google Ads platform — as long as your account complies with Ad Grant policy. The grant allows you to save on marketing expenses while helping your organization achieve its goals.

Some of its most popular uses are to:

  • Generate awareness of a cause
  • Promote events and programs
  • Ask for donations
  • Encourage email sign-ups
  • Acquire volunteers

How Does It Work?

Google Ads is a platform that allows advertisers to create ads and show them to users based on their quality and how relevant they are to what the user searched. Grantees can only create text ads that show on Google’s search engine results page, or the page that populates after you enter a search on Google.

Google Ads uses a pay-per-click model, meaning you’re only charged for an ad when a user clicks on it. When a user clicks your ad, the payment is deducted from your $10,000 in credits. And don’t worry: Google will never charge you for going over the $10,000 in budget every month. If you spend the full credit, your ads will simply stop running until the following period.


It’s important to make sure you’re eligible for the grant before you apply. If your nonprofit fits the following criteria, you can be confident about your eligibility for the Google Ad Grant:

You’re A Registered Nonprofit

Your nonprofit must be registered in one of the 50+ countries where the grant is available. For a full list of eligible countries, click here. Note: Nonprofits based in the United States must be a 501(c)(3) registered charity.

A Secure Website

The grant works by sending relevant search traffic to your website, so Google requires your nonprofit to have a professional website secured with HTTPS in order to apply. HTTPS ensures that the data passed from your website to each user and vice versa is safe and encrypted. If your website URL starts with instead of, you already have HTTPS. If not, you can learn more about upgrading to HTTPS here.

You Own The Domain Name That Hosts Your Website

The web domain users see before they click on your ads must be owned by your organization. If you use free web hosting from companies like or and your website URL is, you will need to upgrade your account to host a domain name for your website.

You Are Not On The List Of Exceptions

Google does not allow the following organizations to receive the grant:

  • Government entities and organizations
  • Hospital or medical groups (exception: hospital foundations)
  • Academic institutions and universities (exception: philanthropic arms)

Application Guide

Things You Need Before You Begin

Once you’ve determined your nonprofit’s eligibility, there are a few more items you’ll need in your toolbelt before you start the application process:

1. A Google for Nonprofits Account

If you already have a Google for Nonprofits account but can’t find or remember your login credentials, follow the instructions linked here. Note: It can take up to 14 business days to retrieve lost login credentials.

If your organization does not yet have Google for Nonprofits, now is the time to apply. Here is the two-step process:

Step 1: Organization verification through TechSoup.

⏰ Inside the U.S. – 2 to 14 business days, no action needed

For organizations based in the U.S., Google sends your info directly to TechSoup for the nonprofit verification process so you don’t have to do anything else. Most requests will be reviewed within 2–14 business days. TechSoup will contact you for the necessary information or documentation.

⏰ Outside the U.S. – 7 to 11 business days

▢ Apply for Techsoup in your country. Google uses Techsoup to verify that you are a registered nonprofit or charity. You’ll need to use an email ending in the domain of your nonprofit’s website or an email that is listed on your nonprofit’s website when you apply. Once approved, get your Techsoup validation token.

Step 2: Apply for Google for Nonprofits.

⏰ Google for Nonprofits: 0 to 14 business days

▢ Apply for Google for Nonprofits.

Once you have your Techsoup token, the Google for Nonprofits approval process is usually immediate.

2. A Generic Google Email Address

Choose or create a Gmail email address (either through GSuite or Gmail) to use throughout the application process. If you already have a Google for Nonprofits account, use your G4NP login email for your Ad Grant account as well. It will make life easier to use the same email address from start to finish. The more consistent you are with login credentials, the easier it is to manage user access.

3. A Mission-Based Website With Nonprofit Registration Details

If you reviewed the eligibility requirements, you’re already familiar with the need for an HTTPS-secured website. You also want to check that your registered charity ID is listed somewhere on your website. The Google Ad Grants team will review your website to make sure it is organized, up-to-date, and clearly states your nonprofit’s mission and objectives.

4. Google Analytics

Make sure Google Analytics is properly installed on your website, and give administrative access to the email account you’ve chosen to use for your Google Ad Grants account.

Installing a snippet of Google Analytics code on your website collects data about users’ interactions with your website and compiles it into reports. In Part 2 of the Grant Application, you’ll have to link Google Analytics to your Google Ads account so that you’ll be able to analyze the interactions that happen on your website after a user clicks one of your ads.

5. Time

Once you receive the grant, be prepared to dedicate at least 4 to 10 hours per month to managing your account. Google regularly rolls out policy updates, so it’s important to stay informed and catch violations before your account gets suspended.

Let’s Get Started

Now that you have the prerequisites taken care of, it’s time to start the Google Ad Grants application. Part 1 relates to the application, while Part 2 covers what to do after your grant account has been activated.

Part 1: The Google Ad Grants Application

⏰ 2 to 5 business days

  • The application process allows the Google Ad Grants team to determine your eligibility and learn about your nonprofit.
  • Log in to Google for Nonprofits with the Gmail email address you created.
  • Under the “Products” section, scroll to Google Ad Grants. Fill out the eligibility form linked from the Ad Grants product activation. This required form includes questions about your organization’s marketing activities but your answers will not affect your eligibility.
  • Submit the Google Ad Grants Eligibility Form.
  • Return to Google for Nonprofits
  • Confirm you have completed the form in the Google Ad Grant product activation box
  • Click the “Activate” button

The Google Ad Grants team will review your account within 2-3 business days but can sometimes take longer. If you meet eligibility requirements and receive an account activation email, congratulations! Continue on to Part 2.

Part 2: Google Ad Grants Account Setup

⏰ 1 to 2 business days

Once you receive the account activation email, it’s smooth sailing from here. The email includes your brand new Google Ads account ID. You’ll be asked to log in and:

Step 1. Provide a Billing Contact

The Google Ad Grant is completely free and you will not be billed for ad placements. However, Google does need a primary contact for the account. This is done by filling out a billing profile. Ideally, the email address in the profile is the same Gmail email address you’ve been using for the entire activation process. The email address must also be an administrator of the Google Ad Grant account, otherwise you won’t be able to input your profile information.

Step 2: Accept the Terms and Conditions

That’s it! Your Google Ad grant account is activated and ready to use.

Part 2: Google Ad Grants Account Setup

⏰ 6 to 29 business days

In Part 2 you will set up your first campaign so that Google can see how your nonprofit will use the grant, and check that you can set up a campaign compliant with grant policy.

It’s important to follow each step carefully to avoid a rejected application.

Step 1: Set Up Conversion Tracking

Google Ad Grants requires grantees to track conversions, or meaningful actions users can take on your website after they click your ad (such as signing up for your newsletter, submitting a “contact” form, making a donation, or calling your listed phone number). Conversion tracking will help you and Google understand the value that the Google Ad Grant program brings to your organization. Click here for more information about conversion tracking.

For the Google Ad Grant application, we recommend starting off with one of the following simple conversion goals.

Track when a user calls the phone number listed in your ads and stays on the line for 30 seconds or longer.

1. Turn On Call Reporting 

▢ Make sure your organization is in the list of eligible countries for call tracking
▢ Sign into your Google Ads account
▢ Navigate to All campaigns in the left-hand menu
▢ Click Settings
▢ Click Account settings
▢ Select On under Call reporting

2. Create A Call Extension

▢ Navigate to Ads & Extensions
▢ Click Extensions in the menu bar at the top of the page
▢ Select Call extension
▢ Add to your Account
▢ Enter your phone number
▢ Click Save

3. Set Up Your Conversion Goal

▢ Click the Tools icon in the top right hand corner of the Google Ads interface
▢ Navigate to Measurement and click Conversions
▢ Click the blue plus button
▢ Click Phone calls
▢ Click Calls from ads using call extensions, then Continue
▢ Select each drop-down menu and choose the following (for more information about each item, click here):

Category: Lead
Value: None
Count: One
Call length: Choose a duration of 30 seconds or more
Conversion window: 90 days
Include in Conversions: Yes
Attribution model: Position-based

▢ Click Create and continue

For more information on call tracking click here, and for Google’s full setup instructions, click here.

Track when a user is redirected to a thank you page after they submit a form or complete a transaction.

1. Create A Destination Goal

▢ Sign into Google Analytics and click Admin in the bottom left-hand corner
▢ Select Goals under the View column
▢ Click +New Goal
▢ Select Custom, then Continue
▢ Name your goal (e.g., Donation Thank You Page)
▢ Select Destination as the goal type
▢ Under Goal details, select Equals to and then enter the URL after your domain (e.g., if your destination goal is, enter /thank-you-confirmation)
▢ If your goal has a value or average value, enter that number
▢ Click Save

2. Import Goal From Google Analytics To Google Ads

▢ Make sure your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts are linked
▢ Sign into Google Ads
▢ Click the tool icon in the upper right hand corner
▢ Under Measurement, click Conversions
▢ Click the blue + icon
▢ Select Import from Google Analytics and then Continue
▢ Select the confirmation page goal and click Done
▢ Save the following settings by navigating to Edit Settings:

Category: Lead or Signup
Count: Every
Conversion window: 90 days
Include in Conversions: Yes
Attribution model: Position-based

▢ Click Save

For Google’s setup instructions, click here and navigate to:

  • Part 2: Account set-up
  • Track a sign-up
  • ‘Use Google Analytics to track the thank you page’
Step 2: Create A Campaign

Pinpoint a program, service, or event you offer and build your first campaign.


Set Up Your First Campaign

▢ Open Google Ads and click Campaigns
▢ Click New campaign
▢ Click Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance
▢ Under Campaign Type, select Search
▢ Under Select the results you want to get from this campaign, select Website Visits and enter your domain
▢ Click Continue
▢ Name your campaign
▢ Under Networks, double check that the boxes for Include Google search partners and Display network are unselected
▢ Under Locations, choose the most relevant locations for your nonprofit’s goals (usually one or two countries, or a state)
▢ Under Languages, select the languages you plan to write ads in
▢ Under Budget, enter 329 USD or less (this is the amount per day you will have to spend across all campaigns)
▢ Under Bidding, click Select a bid strategy directly (we recommend Maximize conversions which sets bids that will help you get as many conversions as possible)
▢ Under Sitelink extensions, click the down arrow and then New sitelink extension
▢ Create 2 sitelinks, which may show beneath your text ads as links that will take users to important pages on your website, such as your event calendar or contact page
▢ Click Save and continue

Create Ad Groups With Keywords

▢ Under Set up ad groups, create a name for your ad group, which should contain similar keywords that will show the same ads to a subset of users searching for those kinds of keywords
▢ Enter 2 highly relevant keywords
▢ Click New ad group and name it
▢ Add 2 more keywords that are different from the first ad group and are highly relevant to your new ad group
▢ Click Save and continue
▢ Under Create ads, click New ad
▢ Create 2 ads for each ad group
▢ Click Done

For tips on creating effective ads and choosing the right keywords, click here.

Step 3: Set Up Compliance Strategies

These measures prevent your account from falling out of compliance and getting suspended.


Create An Automated Rule

Automated rules are a tool in Google Ads that can help you comply with Google Ad Grant policy without having to constantly monitor your account. The following rule will pause keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2, which are prohibited in grant accounts.

▢ Click Keywords in the left-hand menu and navigate to the icon with 3 dots
▢ Click Create an automated rule
▢ Select Pause keywords
▢ Choose All enabled keywords
▢ Under Condition, select Quality Score, and less than < 3 (deselect “—”)
▢ Set the Frequency to Daily at 11:00PM using Same day data
▢ Save the rule

Add Negative Keywords

Negating keywords makes sure your ad is not triggered when a user searches for a keyword that is not relevant to your nonprofit.

▢ Click the Tools icon in the top right-hand corner of the main Google Ads page
▢ Under Shared library, select Negative keyword lists
▢ Click the blue + icon
▢ Under List name enter Ad Grants Negative Keywords
▢ Enter a few keywords you’d like to negate
▢ Click Save
▢ Select Apply to campaigns
▢ Click Apply

Step 4: Submit Your Account For Final Review

⏰ About 10 business days

Once you’ve carefully set up your first campaign, you’re ready to submit your application.


▢ Sign into Google for Nonprofits
▢ Navigate to Google Ad Grants and click Activate
▢ Under Part 2: Account Review, enter your 10-digit Customer ID in the format xxx-xxx-xxxx
▢ Click Activate

That’s it! You can expect to hear back from the Google Ad Grants team via email within about 10 business days.

Need help with your application?

Grant applications are included in our management service.

You’re Approved! What’s Next?

Congratulations! You’ve been approved for the Google Ad Grant. What comes next? Read on to learn more about how to keep the grant.

If you choose to use Smart campaigns, Google will automate most of the work for your campaigns, but if you want to get the most from the Google Ad grant, use regular search campaigns. The caveat is that search campaigns are subject to Google’s rigorous account management policies and must follow compliance requirements.

Our Google Ad Grants mantra is monitor, adjust, monitor. Google is strict about policy violations and reserves the right to suspend your account if they find it noncompliant.

At a bare minimum, maintaining your Google Ads Grant requires weekly monitoring and monthly optimizations. But to get the most out of your grant, we highly recommend daily compliance checks, weekly data analysis, and monthly check-ins to reevaluate strategy and take action based on your findings.

Here are the three most important areas to monitor for compliance:

Campaign Structure
Campaigns must have 3 ads per ad group and at least 2 unique sitelink ad extensions.

The locations in which you choose to show your ads must be relevant to your organization.

All grantees must use conversion-based bidding (Maximize conversions, Maximize conversion values, Target CPA, or Target ROAS).

Clickthrough Rate
Your account must maintain a 5% click-through-rate (CTR) across all campaigns (failing to hit 5% in two consecutive months will trigger an account suspension). Tip: The average CTR for Google Ads is 1-2%, so maintaining a 5% CTR requires regular monitoring.

Conversion Tracking
Google emphasizes the importance of tracking meaningful conversions in order to understand the impact of the Google Ad Grant on your nonprofit. Be sure that you are recording at least 1 conversion per month, and that your conversion goals are not broken. Read through Google’s guide to Google Ad Grants conversion tracking for an in-depth explanation.

No single-word or generic keywords

Since your Google Ad Grants account is meant to be mission-driven, overly-generic keywords such as “e-books” or “toys” are not likely to show your ads to the right users. For a list of single keyword exceptions, click here.

No keywords with a Quality Score of 1 or 2

Google gives each of your keywords a Quality Score from 1 to 10 based on the relevance of your ads, landing page experience, and expected click-through-rate. Make sure you pause all keywords with a low Quality Score, or set up an automated rule to pause them for you.

Negative keywords

Adding negative keywords to your campaigns can help ensure that your ads are showing to the right users. Negating makes sure your ad is not triggered for a disinterested user when a user does a search related to your keyword. For instance, if your organization provides aid for natural disasters, you will want to use the word “movie” as a negative keyword so that your ad doesn’t appear when someone searches for “natural disaster movies.”

Tip: An easy way to add negative keywords is to navigate to your Search Terms report in Google Ads and look for search terms with a lot of ad impressions but very low click-through-rates, and add them to your negative keyword list.


HTTPS was a prerequisite to receiving the Google grant, so now that you’ve worked to receive the grant, ensure your website’s HTTPS security certificate is always up to date so that your ads stay online.


Your website must be relevant to your ads and keywords, and clearly describe your organization’s mission. The connection between your website and a successful Google Ad campaign is much greater than meets the eye. Visit our resource on how your website relates to Google Ads for more tips.

No Display Ads On Your Site

Your site cannot display ads unless they are highly relevant to your cause and not obtrusive to the user.

In Closing

Here at ConnectAd we’re huge believers in helping nonprofits find and use available resources to improve their marketing efforts and grow their impact. We hope that our application guide grant will help you secure the Google Ad Grant, create effective ads, and achieve your organization’s goals.

If you need assistance with the Ad Grant application or think your organization could benefit from professional account management, check out our affordable month-to-month subscription plans. Our team of Google Certified Professionals has never failed with an application, helping over 300 nonprofits secure the grant and grow their impact.