Insanely Useful Guide To Setting Up Your First Google Ad Grant Campaigns (Canadian Version)

Google Ad Grants Account Setup

Did you know that eligible non-profits can receive a 10,000 USD per month grant from Google to advertise on Google Ads? That’s 120,000 USD per year of free advertising money.

Free Money

With Google Ad Grants, you can promote your website and your mission in the paid search results of Google.

Now, there’s a strict validation process that you need to follow to benefit from the service.

This article will teach you how to focus on getting approval quickly, rather than developing the account.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Section 1: How to apply for a Google Ad Grant
  2. Section 2: Some restrictions apply
  3. Section 3: Requirements for your Google Ads
  4. Section 4: Setting up your Google Ads account for Ad Grant approval
    1. Step 1: Set up your account
    2. Step 2: Set up your first campaign for fast approval
    3. Step 3: Set up your conversion actions
    4. Step 4: Submit your account for validation
    5. Step 5: What to do after account validation
  5. Section 5: Ad Grant Non-Compliance Report
  6. Conclusion

SECTION 1:

HOW TO APPLY FOR A GOOGLE AD GRANT

To qualify for a Google Ad Grant in Canada, your organisation must check off these requirements:

  1. Have a Canadian Charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), Canadian Federal Non-profits registered with Industry Canada, or Canadian Provincial Non-profits registered with their corresponding provinces or territories.
  2. Have a website with a single domain name and significant, non-discriminatory content.
  3. Open an account at TechSoup.org.
  4. Apply for Google for Non-Profits.

SECTION 2:

SOME RESTRICTIONS APPLY

Certain types of organization aren’t eligible, such as:

  • Governmental entities and organizations;
  • Hospitals and health care organizations;
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions, and universities (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible)

Website restrictions:

  • Your website cannot host AdSense ads.
  • If you host other banners, they must be non-obtrusive.

SECTION 3:

REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR GOOGLE ADS

Keep in mind that when setting up a Google Ad Grant to fund your Google Ads, certain restrictions are applicable:

  • Your account must be set up to use US dollars.
  • Your maximum CPC (MaxCPC) for a keyword cannot exceed 2$ US. To circumvent this, you can use “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy.
  • You cannot use dynamic ads.
  • You may only use the search network – no search partners, display network (GDN) or YouTube.
  • Strictly commercial advertising is prohibited.
  • You must geo-target your campaigns.
  • You must maintain a minimum of two ad groups per campaign, each with at least 2 ads per ad group.
  • You must maintain an account-wide CTR (clickthrough rate) of 5%. A lower than 5% CTR for two consecutive months may result in temporary account deactivation.
  • You must have at least 2 site extensions set up account-wide or for your campaigns.
  • You must answer a Google Ads Survey Form that Google will eventually email you to check eligibility.
  • You must not have keywords with Quality Scores of 1 or 2.
  • You must not use single keywords.

SECTION 4:

SETTING UP YOUR GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNT FOR AD GRANT APPROVAL

Step 1: Set up your account

  1. Log into your Google Ads account, or create a new one if default currency isn’t set as USD (to check, go to Tools > Billing & Payments > Summary).
  2. Select your country of origin (Canada).
  3. Important: Select USD as the currency.
  4. Save and move on to campaign creation.

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Step 2: Set up your first campaign for fast approval

Fast Approval

It goes without saying that Google must approve your campaigns before they are eligible for the Ad Grant.

All campaigns in your account must follow these rules:

  1. Search network only. No search partners, display network (GDN) or YouTube.
  2. Choose your geographic targeting carefully.
  3. Choose either Enhanced CPC (ECPC) or Maximize Conversions as a bidding strategy.
    • If ECPC, select a maximum CPC of $2 USD for your ad groups.
  4. Set your budget at $329/day. You have access to $329/day for ALL your campaigns.
  5. Add at least 2 site extensions at the account level or campaign level.
  6. If you want your account to be approved QUICKLY by Google, limit your account build to:
    • 1 campaign
    • 2 ad groups
    • A few keywords in each ad group
    • 2 ads in each ad group

Step 3: Set up your conversion actions

If you’re looking to use the “Maximize Conversions” bidding strategy (recommended) instead of Enhanced CPC, you’ll need to add conversions actions.

Note that in some cases, you’ll need to add code to your website.

You have the option of setting up 4 different conversions types:

  1. Website conversions
    • Useful when: you want to track link clicks, lead forms, contact forms, sales, or any other website related conversion.
  2. App conversions
    • Useful when: you want to track mobile application downloads.
  3. Phone Calls
    • Useful when: you want to track phone calls coming from your ads, or on your website with Google Call Forwarding.
  4. Import
    • Useful when: you want to import goals from Google Analytics, or third party CRM providers.

Step 4: Submitting your account for validation

Congrats! You got this far. Now, it’s time to submit your Google Ads account to Google for approval.

Before you complete this last step, make sure your campaign is active and not on pause!

  1. Make sure you have admin access and connect to your Google for Non-Profits account.
  2. Click “create new application”.

Create NonProfit Account Google Ads Ad Grant

3. Follow the instructions online.
4. When you get to the “TechSoup Validation” screen, enter the TechSoup Token.
TechSoup Token Validation 5. Next, you’ll need to associate your Google for Non-Profit account with your Google Ads account. Enter the Google Ads account number (xxx-xxx-xxxx).
6. Submit.

Once submitted, Google should take roughly 24-48 hours to approve your account.

Step 5: What to do after account validation

After your account has been verified, you’ll notice that the billing & payments section in the account has a notification indicating that “this payments account is not billed”.

Google Ads Ad Grant Approved

You are now free to expand on your campaigns, add new ones and test new options.

Just make sure to keep following the rules in Section 3!


SECTION 5:

AD GRANT NON-COMPLIANCE REPORT

Luckily, Google will send you a non-compliance report by email if your account does not meet requirements (as seen in section 3).

Google Ad Grant Non Compliance Report

Make sure you address any issues found in this report before the end of the same calendar month so that your account isn’t deactivated.

Here’s how to fix the issues brought up in the report:

  • Mustn’t have single or generic keywords:
    • Solution: pause any single keywords, or modify them to include more than one word.
  • Mustn’t have keywords with Quality Score of 1 or 2:
  • Must have >= 2 Ads per Ad Group and >= 2 Ad Groups per campaign:
    • Solution: make sure you have at least 2 ads per ad group, and 2 ad groups per campaign.
  • Must maintain a 5% click-through rate (CTR) each month: 
    • Solution: pause low CTR keywords & ad-groups, add more relevant keywords (or change their match types), test out new ad-copy.
  • Must have at least 2 site link extensions:
    • Solution: make sure you have at least 2 site link extensions added at the account or campaign level.
  • Must respond to the program survey:
    • Solution: fill out the survey here.
  • Must have relevant geo-targeting:
    • Solution: make sure you only target locations relevant to your non-profit.

CONCLUSION

Now that your Google Ads with Ad Grant is set up and approved, you can go ahead and enjoy $10,000 USD in free advertising each month.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t be surprised if you don’t spend your full 10k each month.
  • Experiment between Maximize Conversions and ECPC bidding. One may work better than the other.
  • Need help managing your Google Ads with Ad Grant? Jason has years of experience helping non-profits get the best out of their campaigns. Contact me if you need any help!

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