2. Registering For The Ad Grants


Welcome to part two of our comprehensive guide to Google Ad Grants for charities and nonprofits.

In this section of the guide, we’re going to go through the actual Google Ad Grants setup process.

Your charity or nonprofit has decided to try the Google Ad Grants, so now you need to get things up and running. This guide will lead you through that process, covering common questions, issues and problems that people encounter.

The Ad Grant is one of the most highly leveraged marketing channels available, but like any great opportunity, it’s not always easy. The signup process can be notoriously tricky, and you can find many examples of organisations getting stuck in the process on the Google Ad Grant Community Forum.

Our objective in this section of the guide is to help you get things up and running. Let’s get started!

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2. Registering For The Ad Grants


Let’s start with a top-level view of the process. The Google Ad Grants is one of a range of offerings Google has for non-profits via their Google for Nonprofits programme.

The application process consists of three main steps:

  • Registering for free with an organisation called TechSoup. In the UK, this is handled by Charity Digital (formerly known as Tech Trust)
  •  Registering with Google for Nonprofits
  • Setting up your Google Ad Grants account

To use the Ad Grant, you have to first setup an account with Google for Nonprofits. To use Google for Nonprofits, you need an account with TechSoup, an organisation who help non-profits utilise technology. Confusingly, in the UK this is done through Charity Digital, who work in partnership with TechSoup.

Once set up with Charity Digital, you’ll get an authentication token. You’ll need this token during your Google for Nonprofits account registration process. After that, you’ll have a Google for Nonprofits account.

The next and final step, is to closely follow Google’s setup instructions to create a Google Ads account that you can link to your organisation’s Google for Nonprofits account.

Are you with us so far? OK, let’s dive into the specifics.

How To Apply For Google Ad Grants

2.1. Registering with TechSoup

Your non-profit must be registered with TechSoup to be considered for the Ad Grant

Learn more

2.2. Registering with Google for Nonprofits

Learn how to register for Google for Nonprofits

Learn more

2.3. Setting up your Google Ads account

Set up your Google Ads account and submit it for review

Learn more

2.1. Registering with TechSoup


Google has several eligibility requirements for non-profits in each country where the programme is available. You can read the specific eligibility requirements here: https://support.google.com/nonprofits/answer/3215869

One of the requirements is that an organisation is registered with TechSoup. This charity is US-based but has partner organisations in different countries. The UK partner is called Charity Digital.

Please follow the steps below to register with TechSoup:

  • Go to techsoup.org
  • Select the country where your organisation is based from the dropdown menu
  • You will be redirected to the relevant partner website in your country
  • Create a free account on your relevant partner website (e.g. Charity Digital in the UK)
  • Follow the steps. In the UK, you will need your charity number or equivalent identifier
  • Now that you’re a registered user, go to “my account” and register your organisation
  • Once registered, the partner website (via TechSoup) will send you a validation token. It will look something like this: 123a4567@1b234c5de6789000

Now that you have successfully registered with Techsoup and got your token, it’s time to set up your Google For Nonprofits account.

2.2. Registering with Google For Nonprofits


To set up your non-profit organisation on Google for Nonprofits, you’ll need a Google account that you can use for this purpose.

We’d recommend using a gmail account that is specific to the organisation (instead of a personal Gmail account), and that can be easily accessed, even if there are staff changes in the future (for example, a general admin or marketing email address).

Bear in mind that you’ll need to either use an email address which will have a regularly monitored mailbox to keep up to date with emails from Google, or alternatively you can set up mail forwarding to another email address to ensure you receive communications.

Why is this important? Well, we often encounter nonprofits where a staff member set up all the accounts and since left, and logins have been lost. This adds time to get the account access back. (For reference, if you’re in this situation, please see this helpful link to recover it: https://support.google.com/nonprofits/answer/1722005?hl=en-GB)

Go to accounts.google.com and either log in to your account or create a new one to use. Once you’ve done this, continue to the steps below to register with Google For Nonprofits:

  • Go to https://www.google.com/nonprofits/
  • Click "Get Started"
  •  Sign in with your Google account that you want to use for the organisation's account (if not already signed in to Google)
  • Follow the steps to register your organisation
  • Enter the token that you received from your TechSoup application completed above
  • Complete the application
  • Click on “Activate products” and select Google Ad Grants
  • Fill in the Ad Grants Eligibility Form
  • Submit your activation request

Once registered with Google For Nonprofits, you’ll now be able to access a variety of free services they provide to organisations, which you’ll see in your dashboard.

Once your application for Google Ad Grants is approved in Google for Nonprofits, you will get an email to accept a payment profile and to accept a Google Ads account setup.

After you accept, your Ad Grants account will be ready and you can start creating the campaigns.

2.3. Setting up your Google Ads account


Google Ads is a software Google provides to advertisers who want to advertise on its search engine. You’ll need an account for your organisation.

You can either set up a Smart Campaign or a Google Ads account (on expert mode). We recommend the latter, but both instructions from Google can be found below:

Smart Campaigns: This is the simpler version of Google Ads. The set up is faster and easier, and most of the management is automated but you lose the control and personalisation you’d have with an expert Google Ads account.
https://support.google.com/grants/answer/6077350?hl=en&ref_topic=9842577

Google Ads (expert mode): We recommend creating an expert account, it will give you more control over your keywords, targeting and budget.
https://support.google.com/grants/answer/1689506?hl=en&ref_topic=3500132

Using the “proper” Google Ads setup, what we call “Google Ads Expert Mode”, gives you maximum control over your account. Within a Google Ads account, you can create Campaigns which in turn contain Ad Groups and Keywords.

If you choose to create an Expert Mode account, you’ll need to follow Google’s policies. Which means your account needs to have:

  • At least one active campaign
  • Each campaign must have at least 2 ad groups
  • Each ad group must have at least 2 ads
  • Ad groups need at least 1 keyword
  • Single-word or overly generic keywords are not allowed
  • Campaigns must have at least 2 sitelinks ad extensions

There are other policies that your account must follow, but these are the ones to keep in mind when setting up your account. Learn more about Google’s rules here https://support.google.com/grants/answer/9042207?hl=en-GB

Phew! Well done – once you’ve got your Ads account set up and approved, you can now start driving visitors to your website!

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