Google Ad Grants: Charities can unlock up to £90,000 of free Google advertising

Vicky Anderson • 12th Apr 2017

Here at The Lane, we manage a number of clients’ Paid Search advertising campaigns.  Amongst them, we manage Google Ad Grants for a growing number charities and non-profits. Awareness within the charitiy and non-profit sector of Google’s advertising grant is still low though.  Or, if charities do know about it, they’re rarely able to maximise the opportunity as they often either don’t have the time or the internal skillsets.

Simply, if you work for a charity or a non-profit organisation, you should be taking advantage of a Google Grant.  It’s $120,000 (currently c£90,000) worth of free Google ad spend per year. It’s something we were keen to tell charities and third-sector organisations about when we attended the SCVO’s (Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations) Gathering event in Glasgow recently. If we didn’t manage to catch you for a chat that day, then read on to discover all you need to know about Google Ad Grants and how this can help maximise your budget in the new financial year.


So, what is a Google Ad Grant?

In Google’s own words;

“Google Ad Grants is a donation program that distributes free in-kind advertising to select non-profit organisations. Participating non-profit organisations are eligible to receive up to $10,000 per month in in-kind advertising within the AdWords search engine marketing platform.

Over the years, Google has made several changes to it’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), meaning the amount of SERP ‘real estate’ now delivers far more coverage for paid advertising than it used to.  This has made it harder for charities to stand out and deliver organic (i.e: non-paid) traffic to their websites.  It’s not all bad news though. Google’s original mantra was “Don’t be Evil” and in recent times this has evolved into “Do the Right Thing”. Google Ad Grants are their way of helping charities promote themselves and improve their online visibility.

So, with a Google grant, charities receive free adverts that are displayed on the Google search page.  These adverts can help you drive interested people to your website. You can choose the locations where people see the ads, you can choose the keywords (words that describe the great work your charity does and the fundraising you undertake etc) that you want your adverts to be shown for and you can create ads that include gripping copy about your charity.

Once your ads are created and set live then the grant will pay for each click on them.  Being a paid ad means your charity appears higher up in Google searches, boosting awareness and – more importantly – driving traffic to your site, which can be converted into more donations. That’s something every charity would benefit from.

What can Google Ad Grants do for your charity?

It’s easy for us to say the Google Ad Grants are right for you – we’re a media agency, you’d expect us to. But let me break down exactly what they can bring to your charity:

Contributions. Google Ad Grants makes it easier for people to donate to your cause. And the easier it is for them to donate, the more likely it is that they will.

Visibility. Show up in Search results and reach the people who matter the most – driving more traffic to your site and more awareness of your charity.

Testing. Once your ads are live you can use Google Analytics and conversion tracking to understand how your ads are performing. Which keywords are strongest? Which ads are driving donations or recruiting volunteers? Get answers to these questions – and plenty more. You can also use these Paid Search insights to inform an organic SEO strategy.

Of course, to get the most out of Google Ad Grants, it’s important to be working with people who understand the opportunities and the Paid Search world. This is where The Lane Media Agency can help.


What can Lane Media do for you?

If you want to take full advantage of this excellent opportunity, then we can make it as easy as possible to set your charity up with a Google Grant. We’ll identify your key campaign goals and KPIs from an initial planning meeting, apply for the grant on your behalf and create a bespoke account to meet your objectives. Once we’ve set up your account, we’ll manage and optimise it throughout and supply detailed reporting each month. It’ll be set up fully integrated with Google analytics allowing us to report on valuable insights for optimisation and continuous earning.  Even if your charity already has a Google Grant, then why not speak to our team about how we can help you maximise the full potential of the grant value?

We’ve already achieved great results for other clients:

“Working with Lane Media we have recorded increases of over 300% in total traffic delivered by paid search. Our Google Ad Grants account is now responsible for driving almost 40% of our website traffic which is proving invaluable to our online visibility.” Gemma Letton, Scottish Autism

To find out how Lane Media can help your charity make the most of the opportunities out there, please drop us an email to

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