Google AdWords: GET $10,000 FOR FREE!

As a college orientation leader, I learned an important phrase that translates well into non-profit work: “Free is me.”

So when I learned about the Google AdWords Grant for Nonprofits, my head went straight to how awesome it would be for camps. Now that I’m back at a camp, I’m diving headfirst into setting it up.

What It Is

Have you ever Googled something only to see the word “Ad” beside the first few results? I’m sure you have. It looks like this: Google AdWords

These search results use Google AdWords to increase their likelihood of making it on the front page. As I’ve discussed before, SEO can get you there organically, but it can be difficult. AdWords takes out much have the guesswork in exchange for payment. (AdWords can also be used for other types of ads, but for the purpose of this blog we’ll focus on the only one Google allows you to do, Search Network Only).

Google offers grants for nonprofits, giving them $10,00 monthly to spend in AdWords. Even if it’s not something you know a lot about right now, it’s $10,000 free, and “free is me!”

Getting Started

To get the grant, you create an account and fill out an easy application. As long as you can get a TechSoup verification token, the process is pretty quick,

First, you’ll need a Google account (or an account that runs through Google). Then you go to the sign-up page, certify the terms, put in your verification token, and voila! You’re on your way to the grant.

Next, you’ll need to start your first campaign. Campaigns are broad umbrellas that your ad groups and ads will fall under. For example, I have campaigns called mission statement, Episcopal, and competition. You can always edit these campaigns, ad groups, and ads later, but you need one to get you started.

There are certain things that Google requires you to follow to get the grant. You need to make sure you select “Search Network Only,” set your max CPC bid to $2.00, and set your daily budget to $329. After you’ve started your campaign, it’ll prompt you to make ad groups and ads. I’ll have another blog on those soon, but for a quick example, under my Episcopal campaign, I might have ad groups called churches and episcopal. The churches ad group would have words related to churches, whereas the Episcopal ad group would have ads dealing more broadly with the Episcopal faith.

After you’ve finished, it’ll prompt you to put in payment. DO NOT PUT IN A PAYMENT METHOD. Simply leave the page, wait for your grant to be approved, then return to do more.

Moving Forward

That is the very basic gist of the Google AdWords Grant! From here, you’ll need to learn more about targeting, ads, callouts, and more. But don’t worry – I’ll have another blog about AdWords coming soon. In the meantime, Google has an AdWords certification that can teach you a lot, or you can research the basics online.

Have any questions? Let me know!


There are certain guidelines you have to follow with this grant, or you’ll lose it. You can find more about that here, but an important one to know off the bat is that any time you ask for donations, you MUST include 501(c)(3) in the ad.



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