Guide to Google Ads Grant for Non-Profit Organisations- Singapore

Google Ads Grant

If you are managing a non-profit organisation, here is an interesting grant that you might not have heard of. Instead of dispensing funds, which is what most grants conventionally do, the Google Ads Grant gives eligible non-profits US$10,000 per month in advertising credits on the Google Ads platform.

Now, US$10,000 worth of free advertising each month is certainly nothing to be sniffed at, particularly on the world’s largest search engine (and, arguably, one that is without peer). With it, one could use Google Ads to attract more donations, or recruit more volunteers, or simply to raise awareness of one’s organisation and charitable endeavours.

The monthly grant also does not look like it will expire, as long as the participating non-profit organisation manages to retain its eligibility.

If this is starting to sound too good to be true, it is important to note that there are some significant caveats that come with tapping on the Google Ads Grant. We will be mentioning them below as we cover everything you need to know about this grant.


What is Google Ads

Basically, Google offers paid advertising spaces above their search results on Google, as well as on other websites that have partnered with Google and agreed to host their ads.

It is here that the first caveat emerges. The Google Ads Grant only applies to advertisements on google.com; advertisements that appear on other websites via the Display Network or AdSense programmes will not be covered.

Advertisers then choose to bid for keywords, basing each bid on how much they are willing to pay for a Google user to click on their ad. Keywords often include words that are relevant to their organisation or business operations, and those which people would often use to search for the advertiser’s product. Based on this, an ad will be produced.

When someone clicks on the ad, they will be directed to your website. Google then deducts a fee from the US$10,000 a month based on the auctioned keyword as well as a Quality Score that is attributed to the ad. Higher quality ads utilising more popular keywords will thus be able to make more use of the grant.


How to qualify for the Google Ads Grant

Here comes another caveat: to qualify for the Google Ads Grant, a non-profit has to go through a fairly convoluted application process.

First, in order to be eligible, an organisation must:

·        Hold current and valid charity status;

·        Acknowledge and agree to Google Grant’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use; and

·        Have a high-quality website that provides adequate detail on its non-profit operations

The following organisations are not eligible for Google Grants:

·        Governmental entities and organisations

·        Hospitals and medical groups

·        Schools, academic institutions and universities (but philanthropic arms of educational organisations are eligible).

If your non-profit fulfils these conditions, then the next step is to apply to Google for Nonprofits. This is a programme that offers qualified organisations access to free versions of paid Google products and special features designed for non-profits. The offering available to non-profits in Singapore include G Suite for Nonprofits, premium access to YouTube via the Youtube Nonprofit Program, Google Earths and Maps, and of course, the Google Ad Grant.

As a Singaporean non-profit, you will have to register with TechSoup Asia first in order to be validated. The process takes up to ten business days after the receipt of any necessary documents. Once you have done so and obtained your validation token, you may create a Google account to apply for Google for Nonprofits.

Sign in to Google for Nonprofits, click “activate” under Google Ad Grants, and fill in the eligibility form. Once that has been submitted for review, it should take around three working days before you receive an email confirmation with further instructions.


How to maintain eligibility for continued use of the grant

Getting the Google Ads Grant already needed quite a few steps. But maintaining eligibility for the grant is arguably even trickier. To do so, your organisation must abide by Google’s very comprehensive programme policies. There are a lot of terms and conditions involved but below are a few of the main ones:

·        All the ads in your account must link to the non-profit URL that was approved in your application process.

·        You must log into your Google Ads account monthly. If not, the account is subject to being paused without notification.

·        The ads being promoted must reflect the mission of your non-profit. Advertisements for the purposes of selling products are allowed as long as all the proceeds go towards supporting your non-profit programme.

·        An exception to this is financial products, such as mortgages or credit cards, which are not allowed to be advertised. Your ads also cannot ask for donations in the form of large goods such as cars, boats, or property donations.

·        The ads you create cannot point to pages that are used to primarily send visitors to other websites.

·        Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links while participating in Google Grants.

Violating any of these guidelines could result in your non-profit’s removal from the program. Google also reserves the right to supplement or amend these eligibility guidelines at any time.


Other restrictions

As stated earlier, the Google Ads Grant only applies to ads displayed on google.com. You will also need to manage your own Google Ads account as if you were a paying advertiser. This may require a member of your staff who is skilled at managing Google Ads.

Some of the more technical restrictions include the fact that the US$10,000 is set at a maximum daily budget of US$329, and that you cannot have keywords with a Max CPC (cost-per-click) over US$2,00. With these restrictions in place, the fact of the matter is US$10,000 is very difficult to use up. And any money you don’t manage to use up each day is simply lost. Finding out how to make the most of the grant money is the key. You see what we mean about needing someone who is skilled at this.


Should you apply for Google Ads Grant

Ultimately, free money is free money, even if it can only be used narrowly for a specific form of advertising. If you run an eligible non-profit organisation that is in need of advertising, there is almost no drawback to apply for it, save for the slight inconvenience of following through with the application process.

However, the point is not to be too taken in by the stated amount of US$10,000 per month. The restrictions in place ensure that it is very difficult, if not near impossible, for your advertising dollars to reach that sum each month. In addition, in order to make good use of this grant, you really do need to already be familiar with running Google ads, with all the concepts of keyword selections and match types and assessing ROIs etc. This may be free money, but it certainly isn’t easy money.

Read also: How can Singapore Businesses Keep Their Heads Above Water in a Recession
Read also: Everything You Need To Know About Writing and Issuing Cheques In Singapore

Read also: The Best Business Banking Accounts in Singapore


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