Tawleen, aka Max, is a certified Search Engine Marketing Manager and has a passion for online consumer behaviour. He is a basketball fanatic and a football and squash addict. Tawleen has a holistic, 360 degree worldview attained largely through watching Netflix and YouTube documentaries.

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Google Grants: A must try for nonprofit organizations

Often, the nonprofit world is all about making the most out of limited resources. Your employees are passionate and your cause is worthwhile, but promoting your organization can be difficult. Fortunately, Google has developed a couple of programs to aid in your endeavour.

Google Grants?

“Google Grants” is a program that allows nonprofits to advertise on Google AdWords. It provides a monthly budget of $10,000 to qualified organizations who follow Google’s terms and conditions. Since its launch in 2003, Google Grants have supported many charities with outreach, fundraising, and recruitment.

Who can apply for a Google Grant?

In order to be eligible for Google Grants program in Canada, an organization must meet certain criteria. The organization must:

  • Be registered under the Canadian Income Tax Act
  • Have the ability to issue tax receipts and are exempt from income tax
  • Have a functioning website with substantial content


  • Comprehensive membership benefits: The Google for Nonprofits program is a “one stop shop” application. Program membership is necessary to qualify for the Google Ad Grants, but can also provide free access to a variety of Google products.
  • $10,000/month: A daily advertising budget of $330 can go a long way for any nonprofit organization. This ad spend can be used to promote programs, attract donations, or even just to increase website traffic with targeted search ads. Ultimately, this money can increase the visibility of worthwhile causes!
  • AdWords Express: For nonprofits that don’t have the time to manage campaigns on Google AdWords, AdWords Express can be used to aid in the endeavour. This automatic tool can be used to reach local customers within a 25-65km radius around the nonprofit organization. Benefits include: 
  1. Quick and easy online ad creation
  2. Once the ads have been created, it requires minimal management as AdWords Express runs and optimizes the ads.
  3. Similar to AdWords, you can reach customers on desktop and mobile devices.


  • Low maximum bid: Maximum cost- per-click (CPC) limit of $2.00, which can be problematic as competitive keywords may require a higher minimum bid in order to appear. This means organizations will have to get creative and make use of long tail keywords to achieve campaign goals.

  • Limited reach: Grant recipients may only advertise on the Google Search network. This means advertising is not available on the Google Search Partners networks  or the Google Display Network.
  • Linking limitation: Ads may only link to one, pre-approved website URL.

Now that you have an idea of the strengths and limitations of Google Grants, its a good idea to read through the complete guide to see if your organization can leverage this program.

YouTube Charities Program

Another great resource for nonprofits is the YouTube charities program. This program allows nonprofits to tell their story with a unique set of features helping to reach supporters, volunteer, and donors.

Key features include:

  • Donate button: An integrated “donate button” allows viewers to contribute right from the YouTube video page; however, Google Wallet  is required for this feature and is currently only available in the US and UK.
  • Live streaming: This tool enables nonprofit organizations to stream video footage of events, conferences, and reporting live onto their YouTube channel.
  • Call-to-action overlays: The CTA overlay is displayed at the bottom of the video screen and encourages users to take a desired action. CTAs might include visiting the website or sharing the video link with your friends.

For more information on the YouTube Charity program, click here.

Keep in mind that in order to properly optimize your Google Grants program, you’ll need an experienced Adwords specialist to set-up and manage the campaign. If you don’t have one in house, you can expect to pay an agency to help with your campaign as the program does require regular managment of the account. Ifthe account is neglected, the grant may be suspended.

Have you had success with the Google Grants program?  Let us know in the comments!