How Google Ad Grants for Non-Profits Can Benefit Your EDO

February 23, 2024
The South Lake Union Google Headquarters at sunset.

A marketing strategy is the lifeblood of any forward-thinking economic developer. After all, how can you attract prospects and generate leads if they don’t know the benefits your location has to offer?  Word-of-mouth referrals and other grassroots tactics are effective marketing efforts, but the problem with these strategies is they have limited reach. To maximize an economic development organization’s (EDO) potential, marketing leaders can expand their audience through high-quality advertising with Google Ad grants.

The hefty price tag associated with advertising often scares off many EDOs. Others don’t have the time to strategize how to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. These hurdles are particularly true for EDOs working with strict budgets and small teams.

There is a way to alleviate these issues for EDOs that are nonprofit and not a governmental entity. Enter Google Ad Grants for nonprofits. Google Ad Grants for nonprofits allow eligible nonprofit organizations with (501)(c)(3) designations to run up to $10,000 worth of ads per month on the Google Search platform at no cost to the advertiser.  

The potential ad campaigns are endless, from economic development to talent attraction to fundraising to recruiting volunteers. That means a Google Ad Grant program is an excellent tool for any EDO.  

How Do Google Search Ads Work? 

Google Search Ads appear on the results page of a Google search engine query, often before organic results appear. The user’s entered keywords determine the shown ad. For example, if a user enters “tax incentives in XYZ,” a text-based search ad for your EDO would appear at the top of the page and lead them to your high-quality website.  

The user experience for your potential lead is the same as all other Google Ads. This is an incredibly powerful tool to reach prospects when they have time to learn about the assets found in your location.  

Many forms of advertising interrupt the user as they read an article or scroll on social media, but Google Search Ads reach the customer when they are ready and want to hear your message. This makes Google Search Ads the highest-converting platform of any digital channel. The Google Ad Grant account links to your Google Analytics account, which shows all key digital marketing metrics, including click-through rate (CTR) and conversion tracking.  

Is My Organization Eligible for a Google Ads Grant?  

Your EDO should qualify for a Google Ad Grant if it is a nonprofit program with a (501)(c)(3) status. However, with Google Grants picking up the tab for the ads, EDOs should consider finding a trusted partner to help with the application process.  

Determining Google Ad Grant Eligibility typically takes a few business days before submitting the grant application to Google. Once approved, the EDO will need to have their partner set up a Google Ads account (if needed), conduct keyword research, generate ad copy, create sitelinks, establish a call to action, determine geotargeting, build ad groups, continue optimization of the ads and report on the results. 

Working with a partner who understands and has experience with Google Ad Grants is recommended because Google Ad Grants differ from ordinary Google Responsive Search Ads Accounts. DCI not only has experience with Google Ad Grants Management and its eligibility requirements, but we’re a certified Google Partner and unrivaled in the place marketing space. Contact us to see if you qualify for Google Ad Grants and if it would be a good fit for your EDO. 

Written by

Carly Steele Johnson

Senior Director, SEM & Media