Google Ad Grants Compliance and Management

For non-profits, Google Ad Grants are designed to help promote their missions, attract volunteers, and get donations, and build awareness. Qualified nonprofits can make a major impact with the Google Grant – after all – who can’t use an extra $120,000 per year in online advertising?

In 2017, Google updated their Ad Grant Policies to improve quality standards. For nonprofits, understanding these policy updates is important – maintaining Google Ad Grant compliance can help you maximize the impact of your campaigns.


Here is an overview of the most important 2018 Google Ad Grants policy updates and requirements:

Google Ad Grants Management Requirements 
Basic account policies have been updated to make certain performance standards mandatory for Google Ad Grant recipients. Macon Raine rightly believes that by enforcing Google Ad Grant Compliance standards, nonprofits will achieve GBase account policies have been updated to make certain fields now mandatory for Ad Grant recipients. The aim is that by enforcing these requirements, yougreater success with their Adwords campaigns. Therefore…

  • You must have geo-targeting enabled and must set target locations relevant to your organization
  • Every campaign must have at least two active ad groups.
  • Every ad group must contain at least two active text ads.
  • Every ad group must contain highly-relevant keywords.
  • You must use at least two site link extensions
  • Your account must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) every month: If you account is at risk of falling below 5%, you will receive a warning. If your account does not achieve a 5% for two consequtive months, your account will be suspended.

Mission-Based Campaign Requirements

In addition, your Ad Grants account must clearly reflect the organization’s mission, programs, and services. This means your messages should be relevant! Check your quality scores to see how Google is comparing your ads to your landing pages!

Exclusions and Differences with Paid Accounts

Some practices which are allowed with PAID accounts are not allowed with Ad Grant accounts.

  • You cannot use brand names that you don’t own, e.g., the name of other organizations, newspapers, or corporations.
  • Single-word keywords (excluding branded words you own, recognized medical conditions, and a few other exception keywords). Terms with dashes, periods, or special characters are not treated as single-word keywords.
  • Low keyword quality score: keywords with a quality score of 2 or less are not allowed.

Website Requirements
What hasn’t changed is the domains your organization wishes to use must be approved during the Ad Grants enrollment process or through the additional website domain(s) request form. What has also not changed is the use of approved domains. Approved domains must abide by following criteria:

  • Your organization must own the domains being used in your ads.
  • Your organization’s website must not contain broken links
  • Your organization’s website must function well and have a clear description of your organization and its mission.

THE EXCITING NEWS – Bidding Strategy Updates
The new bidding strategy update removes the $2.00 bid cap. This is a huge deal. If your organization chooses to apply Google’s Maximize Conversions Bidding Strategy, there is no cap on keyword price. Applying this strategy automatically adjusts and sets bids based on performance. The $2.00 maximum bid still applies to all other bid methods.


These updates will help improve the overall performance of your Ad Grant accounts so that you can better expose your missions. As you explore your Google Ad Grants Compliance in 2018, these updates will help you achieve more donor dollars.

Are you eligible for this in-kind advertising grant?

To be eligible for the Google for Nonprofits Ad Grant program, your organization must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization in good standing. You must first register your organization with TechSoup and be validated as a nonprofit organization before completing the application. Need help? Let us show you how to breeze thru the validation process and become eligible.

Does Your 501(c)(3) Already Have The Ad Grant? Need Ad Grants Help?

If you have already enrolled and have an active AdWords Ad Grant account, we can evaluate your current campaign strategy and make recommendations to further enhance your account. We can then provide monthly management on the AdWords account to expand the reach, awareness, education, and fundraising of your 501(c)(3).

Ad Grant Restrictions

There are certain restrictions that come with the Google Grants program but Macon Raine is experienced in launching, growing, and maxing out the monthly grant of $10K/Month. Some of the program restrictions include daily budgets are set to $329.00 USD, keyword only (search network) campaigns, and only text ads. Learn more about all Google Ad Grant restrictions here:


Contact us today for a free Google Grant evaluation and let’s talk about what we can do for your 501(c)(3).

Ready to talk? Let’s do it! Contact us below.