Google offers $10,000 in free ads for your 501(c)(3) certified church or nonprofit organization every month. That’s a lot of money to spend on digital advertising, but the very thought of applying for a grant makes even seasoned administrators dream of taking a sledgehammer to their laptop.
But guess, what? It’s much easier than you think.
The entire process might take an hour of your time. If you can fill out a Google form, you can apply for a Google Ad Grant. In fact, the Google Ad Grant application is the only form where “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer.
Read on to learn how to apply for the Google Ad Grant in 5 easy steps. And if you don’t have time right now, that’s okay, too. We’ve created a free, downloadable PDF you can use later or give to your organizations’ leadership.
Step 1: Determine Which Gmail Account Will Be Used
The first step is to determine which Google account will be used to apply for and manage the grant. You may want to use a general church admin account or a specific staff member’s account.
You may also create a new account specifically dedicated for managing your organization’s Google Ads, such as YourOrganizationNameAds@gmail.com. When you create a new account, Google asks for your phone number, date of birth, recovery email, and gender. Since you’re creating an account for an entity, you can skip all entries except the date of birth. You can put in any date of birth that says a legal adult is managing the account, perhaps even the date your organization was established.
Always log out of all other Google accounts before logging into your Google Ads account for every step in this process. This will ensure all links open in the Google Ads account, instead of the open account you logged into first that day.
Step 2: Apply for Google for Nonprofits
The next step is to apply for Google for Nonprofits so your organization will then be eligible to apply for the Google Ad Grant. You’ll need the following basic information about your organization to complete the application.
Go to https://www.google.com/nonprofits/ and click “Get started.”
Continue following the prompts by clicking “Continue” and “Next.” Some of the application is required, while other fields are optional. As we continue to take you through the process step by step, please note that required responses are in italicized text.
- Indicate where our organization is registered.
- You do not have a TechSoup account.
- Provide the legal name, street address, and phone number of your organization.
- Provide the main email address for your organization. This is most likely not the Gmail you’re using for the Google Ad Grant.
- If you choose to provide your organization’s website, be sure to copy and paste the https:// URL for your site from another browser.
- For churches, the Primary Category and Activity is “Religious Organization” and “Religious Activities,” otherwise, choose the most relevant options from the dropdowns.
- Mission Statement is optional.
- EIN is required.
- Provide the name of who will manage the grant.
- Job title is optional.
- Provide the phone number for who will manage the grant.
- Provide the Gmail for Ad Grant.
- Uncheck if you don’t want to subscribe to their newsletter.
- Read and agree to the terms and conditions.
- Click “Submit.”
You’ll get a message to watch your Gmail for a message from TechSoup in the next 2-14 business days.
Moments later, you’ll get a confirmation email from Google for Nonprofits advising you to watch for an email from TechSoup so you can verify your 501(c)(3) status.
Step 3: Send 501(c)(3) Letter to TechSoup
A few days after applying for Google for Nonprofits, you’ll receive an email from TechSoup at firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line Re: (Your organization): Qualification required for transaction: (long, seemingly random number). Don’t delete it—it’s not spam! Google partners with TechSoup to verify your organization’s 501(c)(3) status, so you’ll need to submit your organization’s determination letter.
Attach your determination letter and type “Hi, Attached is the 501(c)(3) letter for (your organization’s name). Thank you, (your name).” Click Send and wait a few more days.
Step 4: Apply for Google Ad Grant
A few days after sending your determination letter, you’ll get another email from TechSoup confirming your nonprofit eligibility status, as well as an email from Google for Nonprofits to get started.
You can file the email from TechSoup.
Activate and Confirm Your Google for Nonprofits Account
Click “Activate products” in the “Get Started with Google for Nonprofits” email, and then confirm your account.
Access the Form
To access the application form, scroll down a bit to the “Google Ad Grants” section, and click “Get Started.”
On the next screen, enter your organization’s website by copying and pasting it from another browser so you’ll include the https:// prefix. Click “Submit website.”
Then click the hyperlink to the “Ad Grants eligibility form” before checking the box that you’ve completed the form. You’ll come back to the checkbox later. The hyperlink will open a new window and take you to the actual grant form.
Complete the Application Form
The purpose of the Google Ad Grant Application is for Google to get to know your organization a little better. In fact, it’s probably the simplest grant application you’ll ever complete because it doesn’t matter how you fill out most of the form. The only bummer is that there’s a test at the end, but don’t sweat it; we’ve got you covered!
Again, we’ll list the important, required elements in italics, and questions you can either skip or answer how you want in regular text.
- Enter your organization name as it appears for your Google Ad account.
- Enter your organization’s URL (with https://).
- Choose what you want for:
- Engagement preferences
- Overall comfort level
- Significance of digital search advertising.
- Geographic Focus. (Select the most appropriate option, but it has no bearing on getting the grant).
- Fundraising Goals
- Marketing Budget
- Fundraising and/or marketing channels
- Do you have a paid Google Ad account? (Select “I don’t know” even if you have an account, but don’t know your Customer ID).
- Fundraising Campaigns (You can select “no” simply to avoid the next question).
- The Ad Grants Training and Qualification Quiz is mandatory. Reply correctly, but it has no bearing on getting the grant. We recommend watching the brief video to get an introduction to how Google Ads work. As promised, here’s the answers!
- All of the above
But Wait! There’s More!!
Remember the box we wouldn’t let you check when you were getting access to the form? Well, now’s the time to go back to the open tab to indicate that you’ve completed the form, and then click “Submit activation request.”
Then you’ll be taken to a screen where you’ll see “Activation request received.” Within a few moments, you’ll also get an email from Google for Nonprofits confirming receipt of your application.
Then you wait for a day or three.
Step 5: Activate Your Google Ad Grant Account
A few days after submitting your application, you’ll get three emails from Google for Nonprofits: an invitation to accept your payments profile, a notice that your activation is approved, and an invitation to your Google Ads Grant account. The emails may arrive in different order than presented here, but that’s okay. These final steps are simply to finish setting up your account.
Invitation to access your Google Ad Grants account.
Click the “ACCEPT” button inside the email, and in the “Accept Invitation” screen.
Notice That Your Activation is Approved
No action is required. You may file this email.
Invitation to your Google Ads Grant account
Click the “ACCEPT INVITATION” link in the email.
Accept the Terms and Conditions and click “SUBMIT”
Your Google Ads Preferences page will appear. Don’t worry about the ominous red banner. Just click “FIX IT” and update your browser until it goes away. You’ll see your organization name, Gmail, and Google Ads Admin code at the very top. It’s a 10-digit code in the same format as a social security number (123-456-7890). Copy code using Ctrl+C (or COMMAND C) and paste it into your records. You’ll need the code to create ads.
Next Steps: Implementation
That’s all there is to getting the Google Ads Grant! Now the real work begins! Start your SEO research and crank out content to make your ads more effective. We have a lot more resources to help you get started. Here’s a few more articles from our blog.
- The Google Ad Grant: An In-Depth Guide & Video
- How to Write a Blog (For Churches & Nonprofits)
- Google Grant for Churches: The Ultimate Guide
At Click Nonprofit, we know things like digital marketing, SEO, and content creation isn’t for everyone. If you don’t have the time or resources, or if this stuff just isn’t your jam, please give us a holler. We live for this kind of thing, and we’ll be glad to help!
In any case, Happy Publishing!
PDF Step-by-Step Guide for How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant
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