Google Grants Changes 2018

Google has made important changes in its AdWords grant program, but up to $10,000 per month is still available in credit for search advertising on the Google network.  

The new policy went into effect on January 1, 2018. Overall, your nonprofit now has an opportunity to generate far better results with the grant. At the same time, Google also requires that solid performance – or risk losing the grant.

There are two really big changes:

No Bid Cap

Under the old grant policy, the cap was $2 which made it difficult to compete for the search terms most important to your organization.

Minimum Click-Through-Rate of 5%

This means your nonprofit will need to create a very compelling ad message that people will want to click and because of the way the Google system works, your Google Ad will need to take people to a page that online searchers actually read ….or better yet, take an action.

What Results Can You Expect from a Google Grant?

Google’s ad grants program, which helps nonprofit use AdWords, currently works with more than 35,000 organizations. Working with our clients, iMission has used the grants program to achieve impressive results including:

increase in web traffic for an environmental organization (over 50,000 new page visitor over the course of a year). 
increase in these number of visitors who entered their name and emails, thus becoming advocate or donor prospects.
increase in the number of people seeking the after school services of a Boys and Girls Club in a metro area.  

Getting Success with the New Google Grant Rules

In practice, the changes mean that every nonprofit will need to be much focused around how they use their grant.

Take for example an urban community health center. Rather than just advertising the clinic in general terms, you might need to  focus on advertising specific services like diabetes management. To achieve the 5% threshold, you might also need to focus on a narrower geography and perhaps also to people with low to moderate incomes.

In turn, you advertisement would align with the audience.  It might read something like “Diabetes Management:  We are a leader. No one denied service because of an inability to pay.”

And what’s really important is that your ad link goes to a web page created just for this audience (which is probably not your home page).

This health center would then repeat this process for other conditions, like heart disease, asthma, pregnancy, and so forth.

Is a Google Grant Right for Your Nonprofit?

As a practical matter, a version of the process laid out here is something that anybody — for-profit or nonprofit – should be using for search engine marketing.  What’s now different is that Google is requiring you to be successful. That’s what the 5% CTR threshold is all about.  At the same time, they’ve given nonprofit greater freedom to compete by eliminating the keyword bid maximum.  

What Google is doing is a lot like what’s happening throughout the grantmaking community. They are insisting on partnership that incorporate outcomes measurement.

Is a Google Grant right for your nonprofit? It likely is, so long as you are ready to devote the time and resources to search engine marketing.


We can help.


Contact iMission for Help with your Google Grant

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