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How Advocacy Organizations Can Leverage Google Ad Grants

Jessica King By 
May 18, 2023
7 min read

As the world’s most popular search engine, Google puts a world of information at users’ fingertips. For philanthropic-minded individuals, they can use the search engine to discover organizations pushing societal change. Because of the search engine’s popularity, Google Ads have emerged as one of the most effective marketing tools, particularly for advocacy organizations and other nonprofits.

Unfortunately, competing for advertising space on Google can be costly. Advocacy organizations must stretch every donation to get their efforts in front of the right audiences. Especially when operating on a limited budget, you need to be wary of your spending. That’s where the Google Ad Grant comes in handy.

If eligible, you can receive $10,000 a month to launch your next advocacy campaign forward and get things off to an incredible start — whether you’re lobbying against a bill or raising awareness for an issue in your community. To help you maximize your advertising budget, here’s what we’ll cover:

  • An Introduction to Google Ad Grants for Advocacy Organizations
  • Tips to Use the Google Ad Grant for Nonprofit Advocacy

Between educating prospects and encouraging them to attend your events, you can inspire your audience to become changemakers in your community. Let’s get started, so you can learn how the Google Ad Grant can bolster your advocacy work.

An Introduction to Google Ad Grants for Advocacy Organizations

Your website is your most powerful resource for inspiring supporters to advocate for your cause. By targeting appropriate keywords for your advocacy efforts, you can place your campaign’s landing pages strategically within Google search results. 

At its core, the Google Ads interface makes it easy to increase your site’s visibility for users searching for causes like yours. The interface allows you to:

  • Promote a range of content to drive donations and build cause awareness
  • Target potential supporters based on interests, demographics, and location
  • Track ad campaign data, giving you insight into what drives users to take action

Whether you want to fundraise or educate people about why you’re advocating for change, Google Ads can help drive traffic to relevant pages on your advocacy campaign website. All you truly need is the ability to write a compelling ad and plenty of promotable content on a well-organized website.

As we mentioned, competing for advertising space can be pricey. Google recognizes this and offers the Google Ad Grants program to offset advertising costs for organizations. Backed by the grant, any organization can tap into paid ads for nonprofits.

To get started, you must register with TechSoup and complete the Google Ad Grant application, which is available through Google for Nonprofits. Nonprofits Source’s Google Ad Grant application guide walks through the steps you’ll need to take. Once approved, you can spend up to $329 daily to purchase ad space on Google. The program is available to almost any nonprofit except for hospitals and schools. 

With proper Google Ad Grant management, you can bolster your long-term marketing efforts as well as advertise short-term events and campaigns. Know that a lot of work goes into running ad campaigns and maintaining your Google Ad Grants eligibility, though.

Tips To Use the Google Ad Grant for Nonprofit Advocacy

By crafting inspiring ads, you can broaden your reach substantially. However, it takes some work to drive users to take meaningful action via Google Ads. Let’s walk through several best practices that will make Google Ad Grants a pivotal part of your advocacy marketing efforts.

Define Campaign Objectives.

While increasing website traffic is one of the main benefits of Google Ad Grants, selecting that as your objective doesn’t provide a specific step toward achieving your mission. Increasing site visibility might help you build brand awareness, but you’ll need to get more specific with your goals.

For each ad campaign you’ll run, you need to determine a specific goal. That way, you can direct motivated users to your site to learn more about your efforts and complete a specific action. 

Any goals you set should directly correlate with your efforts. For example, you might drive users to complete one of the following actions:

  • Attend an advocacy event
  • Sign a petition to help enact change
  • Learn about your cause by reading educational content
  • Donate to your annual fund or a specific fundraising campaign
  • Sign up for volunteer opportunities like contacting officials and running events

Calling your readers to action ensures their engagement isn’t wasted once you pique their interest with your ads. Knowing what step you want users to take will allow you to write persuasive ads that direct them to the appropriate page, which leads us to our next tip.

Create High-Quality Website Content.

After deciding what actions visitors should take, create content that inspires them to do so. Do this by crafting well-designed landing pages. Your landing pages are the foundation of your ads. They’re where you’ll drive users and can make or break a prospect’s decision to support your advocacy efforts.

Not only will valuable content inspire users, but Google also requires it. Getting Attention’s article about Google Ad Grant requirements explains that participants must meet a series of website-specific requirements to be eligible. Part of those requirements includes having a well-organized site with unique, substantial, and promotable content.

By implementing this policy, Google strives to deliver a positive user experience. Plus, an updated and professional website will make visitors more inclined to donate, register for an event, or take another action.

Here’s what we recommend to create valuable content for Google Ads:

  • Identify each page’s purpose. Let’s say your organization advocates for improved environmental sustainability practices. Depending on your ads’ goals, you could create an educational blog post about deforestation’s harmful effects, a volunteer page with involvement opportunities, and a donation form for your environmental protection efforts.
  • Provide plenty of information. Your website is your primary resource for telling your story and communicating your passion. Each page should have enough content to cover its assigned topic. As a starting point, educational or news content should be at least 1,000 words. Core pages about your organization can be shorter but should still provide sufficient information for visitors to understand your work.
  • Incorporate multimedia content. People tend to retain content with powerful visuals. Include photographs, graphics, videos, and other visuals that communicate your message. In turn, your site will capture readers’ attention the second they click your ad. Don’t overload each page, though. Remember that “the visuals you choose have as much power to distract attendees from your main message as they do to support it,” as this nonprofit presentations article explains.

By crafting compelling content, you’ll give users everything they need to know about your work. From event pages to volunteer opportunities, you’ll have plenty of valuable content to promote with the Google Ad Grant.

Craft Ads Based on Trending News.

Especially in today’s fast-paced digital world, news dominates our lives. Your advocacy organization can use this to its advantage by creating Google Ads related to trending topics. Trending news garners a lot of searches and clicks, including for advocacy organizations.

As an advocacy organization, your current and prospective supporters are likely very in touch with changing social and political events. Staying on top of newsworthy events allows you to create compelling ad content that sticks out to likely prospects and keeps current ones engaged. In turn, you’ll become a trusted resource on that topic.

As you start promoting content through the Google Ad Grants program, here are some recommendations to capitalize on trending topics:

  • Use tools to monitor the news cycle. Keep an eye on current events and trending news stories connected to your work. Leverage tools like Google Trends, news alerts, and social media to stay updated on relevant topics.
  • Quickly create your ads. With trending news, there’s no time to waste. Once you’ve identified an important news item, quickly create an ad related to the topic. Ensure your ad copy and keywords align with the topic to get your ads in front of the right users.
  • Focus on local news. If the trending news item is localized, use Google’s geotargeting feature to target a specific region with your ads. This will help you reach people most affected by the news and more likely to take action.

By creating Google ads connected to hot topics, you can bring new visitors to your site and inspire motivated prospects to get involved. Ultimately, capitalizing on trending news will empower your team to connect with a broader audience during critical moments in the news cycle.

Final Thoughts on Using The Google Ad Grant for Advocacy

Google is a valuable resource for driving your advocacy work forward. People use the search engine so frequently that the brand’s name has become a verb. People google their burning questions, products they want to buy, and causes they care about. 

Thanks to its popularity, promoting your content via Google Ads can help you make powerful strides toward enacting change. Leveraging the Google Ad Grant program allows you to connect with more constituents than ever before, but it requires a careful approach. Implementing the tips we just covered, you can craft high-converting ads that directly support your advocacy work.

Jessica King

Jessica King

Jessica King is the business lead at Getting Attention, where she helps nonprofits acquire and manage the Google Ad Grant to expand their impact. Prior to her work at Getting Attention, Jessica worked at nonprofits and higher education organizations where

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