Get the Most Out of Your Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits


How to Use Every Penny of Your Google Ad Grants!

Get Bang for Your Google Adwords Grants Buck

Are you looking to create Google AdWords for Your Non-Profit business? Do you have a grant from Google for your business, and want to get your full money’s worth? I will share my experience with grants from Google AdWords in order to help you get the most from Google’s allotted advertisement budget.


I am going to show you how I create ads for a charity that I work with, called Bridging the Gap. They get a monthly grant to spend on AdWords. $10,000. AdWords will help you get traffic for your website, and non-profit. The charity I am creating ads for now is called Bridging the Gap for Georgia. It is a charity that I love to help out. They help veterans. My dad, grandfather, and my mother are all veterans, so this is a cause I feel strongly in, and love to support. 

 If You Haven’t Applied for Google Adwords Grants for Nonprofits, Go Now!

Bridging the Gap Website

If you visit the nonprofit at their site, you can see their donation options. They allow you to contribute to a specific program, or to the charity as a group. They are currently spending money from Google AdWords Grants. If you have a charity, I highly recommend you apply for this grant. At the moment they are getting $0 in donations. I hope I can help them build this number up through Google advertising.Before this tutorial , l took Some time to learn about their Company.


Setting Up Conversion Tracking In Adwords.

The first part is quite repetitive. You need to set up conversion tracking codes from google. I am sending people to the landing page, but I want to track when people click on links to learn more about the program. This is what you should be most interested at first. Any interest people have in the programs will be helpful for the charity to find out what attracts people to donate. You add the conversion tracking codes to each of the pages on your website. This will be how Google tracks where your advertisements are leading people who click on your ads.

Conversion Tracking in Google Ad Words


Once we start getting donations coming in, we can switch the codes to ones that will track their actual donation conversions. The only reason I am not doing this now is to save myself from doing extra work that may not end up being useful to me, or the charity efforts. For example, if everyone does $100 donations, then there is no point in setting up the rest of the donation pages. If no one is actually donating to the page, there is no reason to track conversions on that page.

Google Adwords Main Navigational MenuClick on Conversions from the Tools Dropdown

In the Google page, you will find your conversions on the top menu of the page under conversions. Setting these codes is the most important part of running an ad campaign. If you do not set them up you will be shooting in the dark. You want to be able to find which clicks actually matter to you.

For a more in depth guide on setting up conversion codes, or Google Adwords: click here!


How Using Google Adwords Grants is Harder for Nonprofits.


Bridging the Gap Took a Forst Attempt to spend the Google Adwords Grants

After the tedious part is over, then you go to campaigns. You will see above that this company has taken a shot at setting up their own ads. Google AdWords grants have a specific set of guidelines that make setting up your ads more difficult than a normal AdWords campaign. For example, your maximum cost per click is $2. This prevents you from bidding on a lot of keywords. On the past 7 days with the grant, they have spent $17. Considering google is giving $333 or so per day in the ad budget, it is absolutely critical for them to be spending every dollar of it. This is a bit different than setting up business ads. You would not want to make sure that you spent your entire budget. You would want to focus on your cost per conversion, then try to increase your ad spending.


How to Setup Your Google Ads with Tracking in Mind.

Always Keep the Finish Line in Sight

In the entire time they have had this grant, they have spent just over $200, which is much lower than the budget for even one day! The first goal is to make sure their ad spend in is actually all spending. Then I will find as many converted clicks within that ad spend as possible. I want to get it all spending because just sheer numbers of clicks are likely to be helpful. I can shotgun approach all over, but not exactly the same way as a lot of people do it. Most of the campaigns they have built have an incredibly broad shotgun approach. Just anything you can imagine as a keyword is being used in the campaign. This is fairly common, but not always effective. I am going to pause their current campaigns, and start a new one. I have thought a little bit ahead, but it is a bit easier at times to just get into AdWords and start playing with settings. Doing too much planning can sometimes trip you up, especially if you run into restrictions from Google.


Making New Ads from Start to Finish.

First, click the red button to add a new campaign.  You have to choose “search network only” when you are spending Google Adwords grants.

Start a New Ad Campaign in Google Adwords.

Then, you will be dropped off at the following page:

Google Adwords Grants Campaign name Georgia


Campaign type: Nonprofits have to stick with the standard option, Search Network only.

Campaign name: I am calling mine Georgia Global. I can decide to set up a separate campaign for the United States of Canada.


Networks and Devices for Google adwords grants

Networks: You can choose to include search partners if you plan on supplementing with your own budget.

Devices: Depending on the content of your ad, you may prefer it to be displayed on specific devices.


Choose Target Location

Locations: The charity is based in Georgia, so I choose that as my location. Choose the home location that matches your needs.

 Google Ad Spend Bidding Options

Bid strategy: l like to choose my own bids. Maybe l have trust issues. In any case, l like to have control.

Default bid: This is how much you will pay for your clicks. Google sets a maximum of $2 for each click.

Budget: This is the most you are willing to pay for your ads daily. I am going to bid $100 a day. This should work within the budget once we get all of our ad groups setup.


Putting in the Research!

How l use Google Adwords keyword tool.

Planning keywords for your campaign.1. Enter your targeting information.

To begin, I want to know how many people search for Georgia. I will throw the programs in there just to get some additional ideas. How many people from all countries search for Georgia? There are millions of searches for Georgia around the world! Use this awesome tool to find keywords for your campaign.



2. Notice which keywords cost under $2.

Next, you want to know how which keywords are under the $2 mark. This can be a very low number on AdWords. I want to bid on cheap clicks, that have somewhat related tickets. For example, average monthly searched for (8min). So I will want to hit this Georgia keyword here. The suggested bid is only 92 cents. I can even try some variations with this.

 hopping for the best price-per-click

I am leaving the keyword finder up, and jumping over to the AdWords campaign creation.

Create Your Google Ad Groups:

Where do you want to send your customers

 Enter landing Page:

I am sending them to the programs page, because this is the easiest place to find all of the donation options laid out.

Ad Group Keywords

Ad Group Name: I do not usually change the ad group names. This is a step some people do, while others don’t bother.

Group keywords: l am only going to add the single keyword, “Georgia.”

Time for the Most Difficult Step– Click Save!


 Building Your Google Adwords Grant Advertisement. 

Bridging the Gap 2

I am going to set up a few different ads. I will try Georgia charity, with a basic description of what they offer. I pull this directly from their “About Us” page from their website. When I make ad campaigns, I think it is best to grab straight from their page. This ensures that their ad matches their branding, and company personality. This also makes our jobs as marketers a bit easier.

Google does not like ads with too many exclamation points, or high word counts.  Try to keep a creative and fun writing style while still catering to Google’s robotic requirements.  Many advertisers get too caught up with one or the other. This causes the advertisement to appear lazy, if at all.

Here’s What l wrote:

Creating an ad with Google Adwords Grants

Now review your campaign. Based on this page, I may not use the entire daily budget. In this case, you can add more keywords. No matter what, Google will always ask you to add more keywords. I do not want to add more keywords at this point, because I am trying to see how this one keyword will perform compared to others.

Cost estimate for my google adwords campaign
Google estimates that I will spend about $100 per day on this campaign.


Make More Ad Campaigns to Learn What Works Best.

So now I have one campaign up, with one ad group. You can try different keywords in your ad group. If you want to try different keywords, you can also do it in a different ad group. Then I can make different ads to compare performance. You will want to make several different versions of your ads. To do this, you can copy your existing ad and make changes to that.

Google adwords for nonprofits ad set 2
I worded this ad slightly differently, because different words will impact different people.


The cool thing about this is when people search for it, it will pop up on the dashboard. The key thing is to make sure that your ads are displaying in every location. Google gave me an error message telling me that my chosen URL is not working. However, Google sometimes takes a bit of time to update immediately after you get it set up. So you do not need to worry right away about some of their errors.

Check for Errors

I now have a very simple ad campaign running. What I can do now is simply copy the whole ad campaign, and try to target people who live in the United States. I do this by choosing the campaign and clicking copy. I go to paste, and paste it onto the campaign manager. Then I edit the title, by changing Global to US. Then I change the targeted country to the United States. It may not make a huge difference, especially if you are running a location as your keyword. Google will only show your ads in one place. I have all countries and territories selected for my global campaign, but Google may choose the best locations to display your ads.

Location Targeting

I found the best way to create ads is to pretend I know very little, then find out exactly what I need to know later. This is because every campaign is different, and you will almost never have the same results twice. Both campaigns I have set up may or may not work. It is good to run multiple campaigns so you can compare them, and hope to have success with at least one.

Now, I will go back to the keyword tool. I want to see what other Georgia related keywords have cheap bid rates, and high monthly search rates. There are tons of searches for Georgia, but I might be able to sneak in a more specific Georgia keyword. I am going to try that too. Another good keyword that is related to Georgia is GA. Some people may be more likely to search for Georgia on Google with the abbreviation.

I can either create a new campaign with the new keyword, or add a new ad group into my existing campaigns, or add the keyword to your existing ad groups. I like to have very narrowly targeted ads, so I will add a new ad group to my existing campaigns. To add the add group, go into your campaign, and copy and paste an ad group. Change the ad group name. I am calling mine ad group #GA. Then, go in and change the keyword, and hit save.

Third Keyword VariationThen you need to go in and match the keyword to the wording in your advertisement. This may help your keyword score go up. This determines where your ad is placed in the Google search list. You want to be placed on the top of the first page. 

These campaigns I set up are fairly simple. What I want to know, is where I am actually going to get some clicks. Then I will create more elaborate ads. One of the main things I do is make sure I do the right work. I do not want to do the wrong work, or too much work. Just doing a little bit at a time consistently will help you create better ads, and in turn, get more clicks and conversions.

 Lastly, I add the GA keyword advertisement to my United States campaign.


Finding More Keywords for Wider Targeting.

Next, I want to find keywords that relate to searches about veterans. I do not know what is going to do well yet, so I want to cover all of the bases to create a well-rounded test campaign. I can see a lot of charities have been bidding on veteran keywords, driving the prices up.

Veteran KeywordsI changed my approach, and searched for keywords related to army veterans. These have lower prices, so I can expect that the competition for premium ad placement is lower than if I had chosen the veteran keywords. I could even try veteran pictures, poems for veterans, anything could work well. You never know!

Keyword Campaign for VeteransNow I create a new Search Network campaign. I would like to hit the main keyword, but I do not know if I will be able to bid high enough to choose the keyword I want. I might be able to get some bids on the lower cost keywords. In that case, I can add multiple cheaper keywords. I also only targeted the United States for this campaign.


Creating My Veteran’s Ad Group.

Create Veterans Ad Group


Writing the New Ad.

Veteran keyword ad

Save your ad, and finish campaign. Finally, check the projected price of the campaign, and hope that it runs!


Using a “Shotgun” Approach.

Finding Low Cost Keywords

Now I copy the veteran’s ad group, and add all of the cheap veteran keywords that I can. Google has an “add to plan” button, which is not ideal. However, we are going to give it a shot right now and add all of the keywords. I want to make as many keywords in this new campaign as possible with a lot of the lower cost search terms. I skip over the keywords that do not quite fit such as, veteran keyword, and any keywords that are related to existing websites.

Then I copy the ad group, and move over to my Veterans 2 campaign. Then I paste all of the keywords into that ad group. When you have a lot of keywords, google often tells you they do not expect your ads to get much traffic. This happened to me with this. I changed the name of this campaign to Veterans Broad Keywords.

Pasting Keywords into an ad group

To summarize what I did:

I created three ad campaigns.

Attempted to spend all of the Google AdWords grant.

Implemented focused keyword ads

Created basic ads. 

What to do with Advertisements that Perform Well?

 conversion toolbar

Keep an Eye on your ad performance

When you see that a specific ad campaign is doing well, then you will create more elaborate ads and add more related keywords to those ad groups. If a specific ad campaign gets more clicks, you should focus on those campaigns to help it get more clicks.

Check back in a day or two. Important things to check are your spending, conversions, if you have received donations. Then you can begin to refine your ad groups to get better results. This approach works well because you can read all of the data, and make educated decisions about your ads.

I have seen many people set up ads on little more than their gut. I know from my own experience that my guesses are often completely off. By consistently checking on your ads, and editing your settings, keywords, and location targeting, you will spend less money, and have a better chance at reaching a higher number of conversions. If you set up several shotgun ads, you will not be able to see what is going wrong as easily.

Several focused ad campaigns are easier to troubleshoot, and refine to help you use your  Google Ad Grants.