How Charities can make most of the Google Grants scheme

Are you taking full advantage of your $10,000 per month?

By Graeme Watt, 23 February 2016

The Google Grants Program was introduced around 12 years ago and is a program for non-profit organisations.

It provides the opportunity for charities to advertise on the Google AdWords platform at no cost. That’s right £0! It provides registered charities a budget of $10,000 per month to bid for keywords that will provide adverts in the advertising section within Google search.

To qualify you have to hold a valid charity status and have a functioning website, that’s it. That being said there are a few restrictions in terms of what you can do with your $10,000 per month. These are:

  • Adverts must be entirely text based
  • Your ads will appear only on Google search pages and nowhere else on the Google network
  • All campaigns must be keyword targeted
  • There is a maximum cost per click (CPC) of $2.00

The scheme is really popular with a large number of UK charities now utilising the grant however many are simply not taking full advantage of it.

Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your Google Grants PPC account:


Direct users to carefully crafted landing pages rather than your homepage

Throwing up an advert and directing it to your homepage may seem like the simplest thing to do but chances are it’s not doing a thing for your charity.

Take some to consider which page you want to send people to, this should be relevant to your ad copy and your keywords, you will find your bounce rate dropping and conversions increasing from this simple task. As with all PPC activity be sure to measure results and continually test alternatives.  


This is an example of an excellent PPC landing page from Children with Cancer. It has a clear call to action, uses emotional imagery, has a clear message and directly relates to both the ad copy and the search performed. 

Get creative with your keywords

The biggest obstacle when it comes to Google Ad Grants is the $2.00 maximum CPC. Many competitive terms such as “children’s charity” or “cancer charity” will be well out with your bidding limit, try to think of the more long tail terms that will help drive traffic which is specific to your charity.

For example rather than targeting “cancer” consider targeting “living with breast cancer” Make sure you are using a quality keyword research tool, these will reveal terms that you would never have managed to think of on your own. the Keyword Planner within Adwords is a great place to start however there are many other paid and free tools out there which are worth look as well as other creative ways of expanding your keyword list


Spend some time crafting your ad copy

The text that is written within your advert plays a vital role when trying to convert impressions into clicks. You don’t have much space to work with when it comes to ad copy so it’s important to be concise in what you are saying.

Try to include your targeted keywords as well as a call to action at the end. It’s important to create around 2-3 variations of your advert to analyse which performs best with your target audience.



Google Grants for nonprofits is a great scheme and best of all its free however it’s only worth doing if you are going to get value from it.

Hopefully the above tips should help you refine your account however in truth this is only a fraction of the work which will help get you value from AdWords.

Zen have been working with third sector clients for over 17 years and are currently working with NTS the largest charity in Scotland on improving their Google Grants account.  

If you would like to discuss how we can get more value for your business from your Google Grant please get in touch with us.

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