As someone who used to use Google to advertise services I noticed this ages ago, and bookmarked the details to blog about, and erm, forgot about it.
Anyhow – in a proverbial nutshell, if you are a qualifying charity or non-profit organisation, then Google will give you $10,000 (£6,500) worth of advertising on its website, each and every month – COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE.
Thanks to the way advertising on the Google website works, although you qualify for up to $10,000 of adverts, the achievable figure is typically much lower, as you only get “charged” when someone clicks an advert – and that is going to be dependent on how likely people will be searching for topics relevant to your charity.
Anyhow – it’s free of charge, so why quibble!
In fact, if you manage to regularly spend $9,000 a month, rather than getting worried, Google will consider upgrading your Grant to a staggering $40,000 (£26,000) of free advertising each month.
To qualify “Organisations must be based in the United Kingdom and registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator or by the Inland Revenue to be considered for a Google Grant.”
In addition, they limit the types of organisation that can qualify, mainly denying it to membership organisations or non-profits that already generate a lot of money by selling services. As I understand it, selling tea towels or having a membership fee doesn’t matter, but if, for example you are a non-profit that sells consultancy services, then that would count.
Obviously, having passed that test, then you have to fill in an application form and pass Google’s own internal decision making process.
Oh, and you also need a website and certainly one that is maintained and isn’t based on a free template from 5 years ago. Google is quite fussy about the quality of the websites that advertise on its own services.
Basically, once you get through the system – then you are in the programme forever. Or at least until Google decides otherwise, or you manage to break some rules.
Google says that your application is more likely to be successful if you have a basic understanding of Google Grants and Google AdWords. In your application, you’ll be asked to provide examples of search keywords you would want to trigger the display of your adverts – and an example of a text advert.
Without promising anything, I have some experience in that area, and may be willing to offer a quick training session if you think you have a serious chance of qualifying. Contact me privately and I might be able to find a spare hour sometime or try to direct you to someone else who can help.
You will also need to provide a brief statement about how your organisation will benefit from participating in the Google Grants programme.
The full details and how to apply can be found on the Google Grants website.
*I say London charities, but the Google Grants applies to the whole UK. I am just being Londoncentric as usual 😉