Google Grants Volunteers

Getting Started with Google Grants

Media Cause hosted a webinar last week to share 10 tips for taking advantage of Google Grants. With hundreds of nonprofits in attendance, we were overwhelmed with positive feedback on the tactics that we shared. However, there were a number of attendees looking for help in getting started with the program. The most popular questions from the Webinar were: “what is Google Grants?” and “how do I get started?”. With such a high demand for this basic support, we thought it would be helpful to turn the Q&A into a blog post to share with the community at large. Here goes…

Why should your nonprofit use Google Grants?

Google Grants is an in-kind grant of $10,000 every month for advertising on available for nonprofits who qualify.  That’s free money to promote your nonprofit online! Google Grants ads will show up at the top of search results and in the side bar. With over 400 million Google searches performed each day you can make a huge impact in the visibility of your nonprofit online by utilizing Google Grants.

Google Grants Example

Don’t over think it, just sign up today!

Step 1: Apply to Google for Nonprofits

Google for Nonprofit Signup

Signing up for Google for Nonprofits is easy. It is not a typically grant application, it will literally take less than 10 minutes. Go to the sign up page (pictured above), review the eligibility requirements to make sure your nonprofit qualifies, and click the “Apply to Google for Nonprofits” button. The next page which will prompt you to login with your Google email account or create a new one to use for Google for Nonprofits. Once you have entered your EIN and email the next step is the application (pictured below), which asks for only 8 fields of information.

Google for Nonprofit Signup 1

Google for Nonprofit Signup 2

After submitting the application set yourself a reminders to check back in 1-2 months incase you miss the follow up email from Google for Nonprofits. According to Google the process of accepting a nonprofit can take up to several months.

Step 2: Once Approved, Register for Google Grants

Google Grants is the nonprofit edition of AdWords. As soon as you receive an approval email from Google for Nonprofits you have to log into the interface and register by selecting the Google Grants option (pictured below). Follow the step by step instructions from Google and make sure you do not enter payment info, as this will disqualify your account from Google Grants. Ignore the notifications prompting you to enter payment info. Once the Google Grants team processes your grant the notifications will disappear.

Google Grants Registration

In addition to Google Grants, Google for Nonprofits gives you access to a host of useful tools including Google Apps for Nonprofits, YouTube for Nonprofits, and Google Earth Outreach. Register for other programs if you think they will be helpful to your organization.

Step 3: Get Help Setting Up and Managing Google Grants

Congratulations! Now that you are enrolled for Google Grants it is finally time to use that $10,000 a month to benefit your nonprofit. Media Cause offers Google Grants solutions for all nonprofits regardless of budget. Our agency services focus on maximizing real value from Google Grants. We align Google Grants with our clients’ organizational goals to make sure that we’re not just sending traffic to a webpage but also achieving a positive return on investment (ROI). Check out this Google Grants Case Study to learn more and contact us if you would like to learn more.

For smaller nonprofits our volunteer marketing community is the perfect fit. Sign up with us here and let our search marketing volunteers help you launch your first Google Grants campaigns.

Google Grants Volunteers

If you have any questions along the way don’t hesitate to ask us. We are always here to help: email us at or connect with us on Twitter & Facebook.


Eric Facas

Eric is the founder of Media Cause and Rally Starter. As a social entrepreneur and digital strategist, he is passionate about creative problem solving for the biggest issues facing local communities and leveraging technology for global impact. Prior to entering the social impact sector, Eric worked at Google from 2004 - 2008 managing partnerships with some of the largest digital agencies in the world and working closely with sales leadership and product teams. He received an EMG/Founder’s award for his work on the rollout of the AdWords API program in 2007. When not in the office Eric can be found hiking, mountain biking, playing old man hoops, screaming about Bay Area sports, and trying to soak up every minute of life with Cheryl, Carter, and Quinn.

  • You know what I think?

    I think it’s great that Google supports non-profits, but those bids probably escalate everyone else’s bid prices and potentially even knock them down a position or two.

    Probably they then respond by upping the ante.

    So, to someone with a devious mind like me, it appears to be a quite an interesting side effect of Google’s grant program that may almost pay for the program due to increased bids all the way up the chain in the SERP.

    Not bad eh? Look like the heros, costs you nothing, do everyone in the non-profit field a favor, and still end up with loads of money.