Are you a non-profit organisation with a small marketing budget, that makes it difficult to afford PPC? Well, you may be in luck with Google Grants!

Google set up the Ad Grant programme all the way back in 2003, which grants free AdWords advertising to qualifying charitable organisations around the world (see below for available regions or visit their website).

google grants location

As you can see from the map above the UK and the USA are both areas which benefit from this programme.

The premise of this programme is that Google awards charities, who meet their strict eligibility requirements, the chance to advertise to people searching for information relevant to their charity via keyword-targeted ads (otherwise known as sponsored links).

So, how on earth does the programme work?

Well, if you qualify, you run Ads much like any other advertiser. You need to set up an account, create campaigns and optimise your campaigns for efficiency on a monthly basis (minimum). Google Grants have two handy help sections - Help Centre and Help Forum - which can be used to help get you started.

Participating in the programme means that the grantee must manage their account rigorously, even the named contact on the account must be responsive to all email requests sent by Google and log in to the account at least monthly to review and update campaigns. Failure to manage your account or respond to email could invalidate your account.

In an effort to be more transparent with those involved in Google Grants, they have created this helpful video to help explain things.

Not only do you need to follow the Google Grants policies, but you also need to follow Google’s standard AdWords policies which can be viewed here. Also take a look at the Google Ads T&Cs.

So let’s talk money… How much free advertising can you get?

The amount you will receive is dependent on many variables including (but not limited to) the search volume for your chosen keywords and whether searchers click on your organisation’s ads. As a result of this, it is difficult to predict and guarantee the value of the free advertising you will receive.

You can get up to $10,000 / £7,500 (equivalent to $329 / £246.71 per day).

Google requires that organisations within the programme are actively engaged in their AdWords account, so providing that your organisation actively manages the account, adheres to the programme guidelines and optimises campaigns, you will remain in the programme. Failure to meet the requirements above may see your organisation removed from Google Grants.

why you won't pass for a goole grants

It should be noted that Google reserves the right to terminate any organisation’s participation in the programme for any reason AND without notice. Once removed, your organisation would not be eligible again and will not be able to re-apply in the future.


So, the big question… Is your non-profit organisation eligible for a Google Grant? According to Google, to qualify your business must be a charitable organisation of good standing within your country of operation. You MUST be registered with the local TechSoup partner and be validated as a non-profit organisation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Begin by applying to Google for Nonprofits.
  • Hold a valid charity status. Please see the Google For Nonprofits site for definitions of charity status in your country.
  • Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
  • Have a live website with substantial content.

Although philanthropic arms of an educational organisation are eligible, schools, academic institutions and universities are excluded from this programme - they should visit Google Education instead.

what will keep you excluded from google grants

Other exclusions from the programme are as follows:

  • Government organisations
  • Hospitals and Healthcare organisations

You can read through Google’s most up to date version of their Programme Guidelines and Details via the aforementioned link. Google reviewed their policy on 1st January 2018 to tighten up their policy guidelines in an effort to raise the quality of their free advertising grants. This article is correct at the time of writing, but as we know from experience, policies do change. It is always worth it to visit the Google Grants website to check if there have been further updates.

“How do I apply?” you say…

In order to qualify, your organisation must meet Google’s eligibility requirements. It is also imperative that you have a deep understanding of how Google Grants work - see the Beginner's Guide if you are unsure. For a recap of this, please visit - "What is Google Grants?" - before you apply.

Apply today by completing our online application form.