How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant (with Free PDF Download)

Written by Valerie Riese

18th August 2022

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.

You can use the easy button to apply for the google ad grant.

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.

IMPORTANT:
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.”

Google for Nonprofits home page

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.

Sent message when applying for the Google Ad Grant says to check your email for next steps. techsoup will follow up within 2-14 business days. Google will email you once you're verified.

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.

Title of confirmation email is "Google for Nonprofits: Your organization is being verified. Email body begins "Hello, Thanks for your interest in Google for Nonprofits. Next, Google's partner TechSoup will verify your organization."

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 googlenonprofit@techsoup.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.

Email from sender TechSoup Validation Support (TechSoup). Email body begins "We're working with Google to confirm that your organization qualifies for Google for Nonprofits."

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.

What the email with your determination letter should look like.

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.

subject of confirmation email from TechSoup is "TechSoup: Google for Nonprofits account status." First sentence is "TechSoup has completed our validation process, and your application has been sent to Google for final review."

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.

The subject of the email is "Get Started with Google for Nonprofits," and the top of the email is a box with electonics bursting out like confetti and says "Welcome! Let's get started"
bottom half of the welcome email says "Good News! (Your organization) has been verified, and you're eligible for Google for Nonprofits." Under the paragraph is a blue "Activate Products" button.
After clicking the "Activate Products" button, you'll be taken to a screen that says "Confirm Your Google Account" where you'll click a blue "Continue" button.

Access the Form

To access the application form, scroll down a bit to the “Google Ad Grants” section, and click “Get Started.”

The top part of the get started page will  say "activate Google for Nonprofits" and you'll see a blue "Get Started" button. Scroll down.
Scroll to the "Google Ad Grants" section of the page where it says "Run ads on Google Search at no cost so you can reach a new audience that's searching for info about your cause." Click the bule "Get Started" button in this section.

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.

Under the "Google Ad Grants" heading and number 2 "Complete the Eligibility Form" click the hyperlink that says "Ad Grants Eligibility form" that will pop out a new page.

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!
    • True
    • All of the above
    • False
    • True

Submit!

But Wait! There’s More!!

man in a suit reaching the finish line of a race

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.

confirmation message will say "Activation request received. This can take several days to be reviewed. You will be notified by email once a decision is made."
verification request email confirmation will say "Hello, Thank you (organization name) for your interest in Google Ad Grants. You'll receive an update within 3 business days."

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.

Invitation from Google Payments will say "Accept your invitation to a payments profile," followed by a paragraph and a blue "accept button"
the next screen will have a blue circle with an "i" inside and the words "Accept Invitation" and the page will include your payments profile number, your organization information, and a blue "ACCEPT" button toward the right. Click "ACCEPT"

Notice That Your Activation is Approved

No action is required. You may file this email.

Subject of email is "Google Ad Grants activation approved." Body of email begins "Hello, Congratulations! Google Ad Grants is activated for (organization name)

Invitation to your Google Ads Grant account

Click the “ACCEPT INVITATION” link in the email.

Invitation email will have the subject "you received an invitation to access your Google Ad Grants account." The body of the email will have your organization's ID followed by instructions "To access this account, accept the invitation" and a hyperlink with the words "ACCEPT INVITATION"

Accept the Terms and Conditions and click “SUBMIT”

click the "Accept" radial button and then the blue "SUBMIT" button

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.

The Preferences page will have a red banner at the top saying you must accept updated Terms and Conditions to continue. There is a red "FIX IT" button on the left. You'll need your Google Ads Admin number just above the scary red FIX IT button.

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.

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

Please fill complete the form for immediate access to the PDF Step-by-Step Guide for How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant.

You May Also Like…

Church Welcome Gifts

Church Welcome Gifts

A church welcome gift is a great way to make a lasting impression on your visitors, but every church is on a budget....

Church Growth Scriptures

Church Growth Scriptures

In this post, we’re going to look at how six church growth scriptures apply to online church attendance. Many church...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This