How to Boost Your Fundraising with the Google Ad Grant

Monday, August 28, 2023

Your nonprofit needs funding from individual donors and grantmaking organizations to fulfill its mission. As technology advances, more and more opportunities to secure this essential revenue online become available.

The Google Ad Grant is one of these game-changing opportunities. Unlike traditional grants, the Google Ad Grant is an in-kind contribution that awards $10,000 in free ad credits to eligible organizations every month. With these dedicated funds for marketing, you can tailor your Google Ad Grant strategy to accomplish a number of goals, including fundraising.

To get more out of your Google Ad Grant, we’ll explore four ways to set your campaigns up for success:

  1. Optimize Your Landing Pages
  2. Choose the Right Keywords
  3. Track Key Metrics
  4. Reach Out to Experts If Needed

Since the program launched, the Google Ad Grant has led to over 14 billion clicks to nonprofits’ websites, improving their ability to connect with donors and build support for their missions. Ready to start making the most of this valuable resource? Let’s dive in.

1. Choose the Right Keywords

Thanks to Google’s global popularity, advertising on its search results pages can be a powerful marketing and fundraising opportunity if approached with a thoughtful strategy. 

Once you’ve applied for and created your Google Ad Grants account, set your nonprofit up for success by selecting the right keywords for your ads. This is essential for maintaining your eligibility for the program and reaching the users who are the most likely to support your cause.

Follow these best practices when choosing your Google Grants keywords:

  • Conduct keyword research. To reach potential and current supporters online, put yourself in their shoes. What types of search queries are potential supporters entering that are relevant to your nonprofit’s work, cause, or engagement opportunities? Then, leverage tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to gain additional insights into your potential keywords.
  • Abide by Google’s guidelines. To remain compliant with the Google Ad Grant program, choose keywords that are multiple words, specific, and high-quality. Doing so also increases the chances that the right people will see your ads and feel motivated to click through to your website.
  • Balance search volume and competition. The higher your keyword’s search volume, the more users you’ll reach. However, these high-volume keywords tend to have more competition as well. Aim to select keywords with a high search volume and low competition for optimal results. Or, it can pay off to choose low-volume, highly specific keywords, since the audience that searches for them is more likely to be interested in your nonprofit.

After choosing your keywords, create specific ads to display for them with compelling text that inspires users to click through to your landing pages. Be sure to incorporate the keywords into your ad headlines and descriptions as well.

2. Optimize Your Landing Pages

Since your ads direct users to your landing pages, ensure that these pages compel visitors to take action once they arrive. While you can choose to send people directly to your donation page, most first-time donors prefer to learn more about a nonprofit’s work and impact before they complete the giving process.

Make your landing pages as strong as possible by:

  • Assigning an appropriate page to each ad, considering your conversion goals and the user’s search intent.
  • Including powerful visuals that capture the impact of your nonprofit’s work.
  • Incorporating a clear call to action that specifies the next step visitors should take to learn more about or contribute to your cause.
  • Maintaining consistent branding with the rest of your website to build credibility and instill trust in visitors.
  • Improving user experience with clear navigation and working links to satisfy the Google Ad Grant’s website policy.

In addition to encouraging users to make a donation, consider adding calls to action to other landing pages that invite them to sign up for your email newsletter or register for an upcoming event. This allows you to build a stronger foundation of support in the long run.

3. Track Key Metrics

The Google Ad Grant offers more in-depth marketing capabilities than you might first assume. Connect your account with Google Analytics to learn more about the audience that clicks on your ads. Tools such as Google Analytics empower you to track conversions, click-through rates (CTR), and more.

Keep an eye on your website data and track your ad performance over time to identify areas for improvement. For example, a low CTR may signal that you should refine your ad copy with language that better inspires people to click through. Or, if you notice a high bounce rate, you might want to further optimize the user experience to keep visitors on the site longer.

Furthermore, Google Analytics allows you to set goals. Goals are essentially a measure of how many supporters visit your website and complete a desired action, such as donations, event sign-ups, and more, so you can determine which ads lead to the most conversions.

While your nonprofit likely already has a comprehensive CRM system with features that allow you to generate detailed reports on your supporters, the Google Ad Grant can supplement that data, helping you learn more about donors and secure more funds.

4. Reach Out to Experts If Needed

While the Google Ad Grant is a flexible and cost-effective way to reach new donors, recruit volunteers, and boost awareness of your nonprofit, there’s a lot that goes into managing your account properly.

As with any grant, organizations must follow predetermined guidelines to gain and maintain access to the funds. Fortunately, there are many outside experts that can help maximize your Google Ad Grant results by:

  • Managing your account. Effective Google Ad Grant management involves creating and improving ad campaigns, maintaining data hygiene, and ensuring that all website content is optimized for users.
  • Maintaining compliance. A Google Ad Grant manager can ensure that your account follows the appropriate structure, keyword guidelines, and performance standards to continue making use of the grant month after month.
  • Reactivating your account if necessary. Should Google suspend or deactivate your account for any reason, these specialists can work toward getting it reactivated.

If your nonprofit is low on the necessary time and resources it takes to tap into the full potential of the Google Ad Grant, reaching out to Google Ad Grant professionals may be your best option.

Whether you’re just starting out with the program or you’re looking for ways to improve your efforts, the Google Ad Grant is a worthwhile addition to your fundraising strategy, as long as you take the time to understand the guidelines and best practices. As you hone your tactics, remember to keep a close eye on your metrics. This way, you can continually pinpoint how to boost your results and secure more support over time.