Google Ad Grants For Non Profits

The Irish Charity sector is a crowded space.  There are some 18,539 non-profit organisations in Ireland, of which 8,194 are recognised by the Revenue Commissioners for tax relief and 12,500 are registered with the Charities Regulatory Authority

If you run a charity or fundraise for one, you will be all too aware of how competitive this space is and how difficult it is to raise money.  Sheer numbers of ‘similar’ charities are one issue – for example there are 48 charities directly involved in suicide care in Ireland alone.

The difficulty of fundraising has been made even harder over the last few years with the sector being dogged with controversy, with damaging stories emerging about several charities including Rehab, Console and the CRC.  This has resulted in declining trust in the sector.  A recent survey by Wheel (the sector’s representative body) found that one third of those surveyed reported falling donations due to the impact of these controversies.

It is evident the sector faces significant challenges.  Collectively charities must rebuild trust.  Individually, charities must compete with one and other and ensure they avail of all the assistance and grants that are available to them, to ensure the longevity of their own fundraising organisation.

The remainder of this post discusses one such grant available – the Google Non Profit Grant.  This grant is provides eligible organisations free advertising every month on the Google AdWords advertising platform

Benefits of a Google Non Profit Grant

  • Receive USD$10,000 in Google Advertising every month in Google Adwords with the potential to drive at least 5,000 additional clicks to your website every month
  • Attract more donations by reaching people who are looking to donate
  • Recruit more volunteers who are searching for charity work
  • Share your charities story with people all over the world and grow your charities profile

Who is eligible for Google Grants?

Your non profit must be validated with TechSoup’s local provider which is EncludeIt in Ireland (they look after technology donations for Irish non profits) and satisfy their eligibility criteria

  • Eligible organisations must have Tax Exemption status [CHY number], as granted by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners
  • Require A letter of authorisation from an officer or trustee of the applicant organisation that includes confirmation of the organisations registered / official email address, the organisations CHY number and details for the main contact person

Guidelines for AdWords for Google Grants for Non Profits

Following a successful application an AdWords account must be set up.  Here are some useful points to remember

  • The default currency must be set to dollars regardless of your location
  • Ignore alerts to enter your billing details (this must remain blank)
  • Only text adverts are allowed (no rich media such as images or videos)
  • Adverts will only appear on Google’s search network, on their search engine results pages, in positions below those of advertisers paying for ads
  • Campaigns have to employ keyword targeting
  • The maximum cost per click that can be set is USD$2.00

Getting your AdWords account live

Before going live the newly created AdWords account must be submitted for review.  Prior to submission you must have:

  • At least one ad campaign containing
    • At least one ad group containing
      • At least one keyword & one text advert 

Retaining your eligibility for Google Ad Grants

If you satisfy Google’s terms and conditions the USD$10,000 per month tap of free advertising clicks will remain turned on.  For this you must:

  • Link your ads to one (and only one) website domain, which should be the same one that was approved in your initial application
  • Actively manage your AdWords account by logging in once a month and making at least one change to your account every 90 days
  • Your ads and keywords should match your organisation’s programs and services
  • Strictly commercial advertising is prohibited. If you’re promoting products or services, 100% of the proceeds must go directly to supporting your program
  • Your ads must not link to pages that are primarily composed of links to other websites
  • Your ads may not offer financial products (like mortgages or credit cards), nor can they request donations of cars, boats, or other property
  • Your site can’t display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links

In summary

Google Ad Grants, provide a significant opportunity for Non-profits to advertise their charities on Google, driving thousands of targeted visitors to their website every month.  In the ever increasing competitiveness of this sector, having a presence here might give charities the competitive advantage they need to grow, or even just to survive.


Do you want to find out more information about Google Grants for Non Profits?  Drop us a line here at SWOT Digital or telephone us on 01 254 4034