Google Grants Program: Part 1

By Lauren Kade | Nov 21, 2011
More Articles by Lauren

Are you a nonprofit?  Are you looking for free online advertising?  Then look no further than the Google Grants program.

What is it?

A program that “empowers non-profit organizations to achieve their goals by helping them promote their websites via advertising on Google.”  Basically, if you are eligible and apply for a grant, you could be approved for $10,000 a month to advertise free through AdWords.

Are You Eligible?

In order to apply for a Google Grant, your organization must follow the following guidelines:

  • you must have have a 501(c)(3) status as assigned by the IRS
  • you will be considered ineligible if your website or mission falls under the following categories: commercial goods/services, communities and groups, or “other.”  Read more of the Google Grants restrictions.

Discover AdWords

If your organization is eligible, then you can apply!  But before you do, Google recommends that you get a better understanding of how the Grants program will work.  You can watch their video What is Google Grants?, or if you really want to understand everything about AdWords and how to most efficiently spend the money, you can become an AdWords Certified Professional.  This includes studying the AdWords Learning Center (a valuable resource even if you’re not planning on becoming certified) and taking two exams.  Full disclosure, each exam costs $50, so it does costs $100 total to become certified, but if you plan on managing the account yourself, I believe it is worth the cost to ensure that you’re using the grant money as effectively as possible.

How to Apply

Apply online through the Google Grants application. In the application, Google is going to ask you for several things, including the organization’s mission statement, primary objective, target audience, how you think Google AdWords can help your organization, and more.  Answer everything truthfully, but remember to make your organization look good.  I’m sure your organization is saving the world – one child, whale, or tree at a time!  Don’t just fill this application out in one sitting – write down the questions, and take time to carefully prepare your responses.  Every time you re-read your responses, you should feel a swell of pride in what an amazing organization you’re a part of.  If you don’t feel it, how will Google?

What Happens Next?

Google only reviews the applications once every quarter.  So it really varies as to how long it takes them to get back to you.  They could review your application in two weeks, or it could take three months.  You can call the AdWords help line and inquire about your application, but the Grants team at Google is not very large and they have a big job, so usually they don’t take phone calls.  And you don’t want to call too often and anger the Google gods!  Just remember, patience is a virtue – especially when it’s grant money involved.

Want to know more?  Stay tuned for the second part of this blog post, the Google Grants Program: Part 2, where I’ll give tips for managing your account once you’ve received the grant, and what Google Grantspro is and how it can help your organization.  Have questions now?  Leave a comment below.

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