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Are You Optimizing Google Ad Grants for Your Nonprofit?

Is your nonprofit using Google Ad Grants? If not, you should look into it. But, even if you are using Google Ad Grants, you might be leaving money on the table.

As you might already know, Google Ad Grants offer eligible nonprofits $10,000 per month for in-kind Google Ads advertising to promote their mission and grow their nonprofit on Google search result pages. This offers a tremendous opportunity for nonprofits. But it requires active optimization and maintenance to get the most out of it.

Here’s a case in point:

The challenge

Dogs for Better Lives (DFBL) wanted to improve their online presence. They had a Google Ad Grant, yet knew they were not using as much of the grant as they could. Of the potential $10,000 per month, the nonprofit was using only $1,000 and capturing only a small percentage of impression share (the percentage of impressions received compared with the total number of impressions their ads are eligible to capture). In addition, they found it difficult to track and understand what was happening with their Google Ads.

The solution

The Google Ads Grant program has been a great value for many years. But, the rules of the program have changed considerably in the last few years, making it a bit more challenging to take full advantage of the grant.

With these rules in mind, the Cathexis Partners team worked with DFBL to boost the use of their Google Ad Grant. Some highlights of the project:

  • Google Ad Grant account audit
    We started by auditing DFBL’s Google Ad Grants account. We found some ways that the account was not in compliance with Google Grant policies, putting it at risk of being turned off. We made the appropriate improvements to bring the account into compliance with Google Ad Grant policies.
  • Search engine marketing best practices
    We also identified specific activities, based on best practices, that would improve the amount of qualified traffic going to the organization’s website, including:

    • Keyword research – We researched and identified more targeted keywords.
    • Ad relevance – We identified ads that could point to pages with content more relevant to each ad (versus pointing to a general home page or other web page).
    • Ad split testing – Google Ad Grants requires two ads to run against each other in every ad group (also an advertising best practice). We put this into place for DFBL.
  • Dashboard
    We created a Google Ads dashboard for DFBL so they could easily see key metrics and trends with their Google Ads.

The results

Within a few months, Dogs for Better Lives saw tremendous improvements with their Google Ad Grant utilization and results. Here are some key results:

  • Increased utilization of Google Ad Grant from $1,000 per month to $4,000 per month
  • Boosted ad impression share from 11% to 40%
  • Lifted conversions for a specific DFBL service from eight per month to 18 per month in a four-month period
  • Increased online revenue by more than 30% in a one-month period
  • Improved the percentage of clicks for DFBL keywords from about 15% to 45%

Don’t leave money on the table

Setting up and optimizing a Google Ad Grant might sound daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

Join us for this free webinar to learn the basics on how to get started and make the most of Google Ad Grants: Optimizing Google Ad Grants for Your Nonprofit Wednesday, August 19, 2020 1:00pm Eastern

RSVP now

Also, Cathexis Partners has created The Nonprofit’s Introductory Guide to Google Ad Grants to get you started.

And if you need more help, check out our affordable service to help you set up, maintain, optimize your use of Google Ad Grants.


by Eric Werner, Interactive Marketing Consultant, WernerKnows

Eric is an award-winning interactive marketing consultant specializing in search marketing. He has led interactive marketing initiatives with organizations including Natural Resources Defense Council and The Humane Society as well as companies including Microsoft, CNN, Lowes, and The Home Depot.

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