5 Tips to Increase Donations with the Google Ad Grant

May 20, 2020 | Google Ad Grant

Olivia Warnes

by Olivia Warnes

Getting the Google Ad Grant is step one, now you need to make sure your using it wisely to increase your donations.

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Make the Most of Your Ad Grants

The Google Ad Grants provide up to $10,000 worth of Google search advertising every month to nonprofits across the world!

At Twenti, we help nonprofits understand and access the grant (see our ultimate ebook guide and free eligibility check), but what happens once you’ve got the grant? How do you make it work for your nonprofit and increase donations? As with all online ads, there are ways to make sure it is as effective as possible, and make sure you get your (or Google’s) money’s worth.

If your first question is whether the google ad grant scheme actually increases donations, the answers simple, yes. The Google Ad Grant has lots of success stories! Over a year, Samaritans google ad grant campaign drove over $48,000 of donations and 1,769 volunteer sign ups!

The Google Ad Grant has the potential to really benefit your nonprofit, all you have to do is make sure your ads (and where they lead to) work in your favour. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

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1. Think about your keywords

The keywords you input determines whether your ad reaches your target audience, so you’ve got to get it right.

Relevance is key, so make sure you only include the keywords directly relevant to your cause/what you’re offering. This will mean that your ad only shows to people that are interest and will help to ensure you don’t drop below the 5% click-through rate needed to maintain the grant every month.

Make sure all useful keywords are included but split your campaign into different ad groups which contain similar keywords. By grouping your keywords you can increase relevance by ensuring different ads appear for each ad group and, hence, different ads appear for different keywords.

It’s also key to exclude words that may lead to your ad being shown in unrelated searches that share a keyword by using negative keywords. For example, if your nonprofit raises money for tigers, you’d include the keyword ‘Tiger’, but would put ‘Woods’ as a negative keyword, to stop your ad from showing up in golf-related searches!

One easy way to spot what negative keywords there might be for your nonprofit is to look at the Google auto-fill results for your keyword(s) when creating your campaign.


2. Have a targeted landing page for each ad group

As the ad itself has no visual component for you to use to draw in donors, your landing pages need to be effective to make sure those who clicked through make it to the donation stage. It isn’t useful to just direct someone that clicks on your ad to your home page, that won’t give them the specific information they’re looking for.

You need to create, specific and targeted landing pages for each group of keywords, so that they get the information most relevant to their search query, and which follows on neatly from the ad they clicked. The more relevant the landing page, the better the ad position and conversions.

You’ll also want to make sure that you follow a few landing page best practices:

  • Have a clear call-to-action
  • Remove clutter and unnecessary content
  • Ensure it loads fast
  • Ensure it looks good on mobile

If you’re directing ads straight to your donation page you’ll want to check out our xxx10 tips to improve your donation page articlexxx.


3. Aim to build your email list

Rather than aiming for direct donations, some nonprofit’s have focused on increasing those on their email list, which can then lead to donations. This appeals better to supporters who want to find out more before donating. You could consider having a targeted landing page with a goal to just receive email sign-ups. If you provide a good offer of further information and resources (relevant to the ad and search query of course!), for those that enter their emails you can then send them more information over time to nudge them towards a donation.

Building your email list increases your chances of having loyal and consistent donors, rather than one time donors. This could be hugely beneficial to your non-profit and significantly increase your funds.

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4. Track what people do after clicking the ad

To be able to make the most of your Google ads, you need to have all the information on how they are performing, so that you can make any changes needed and get the most out of your grant. That’s why it is essential to track your conversion rates, and what people do on the landing page and your website, to understand what works and what doesn’t.

Landing page conversion rates have a huge influence on the number of donations you’ll receive, and tracking bounce rate, having heatmaps and visitor recordings will help you pinpoint what needs to be changed to improve your conversion rate.

Find out more about the range of analytics we offer to help you understand how your ads and landing pages are performing.


5. Set SMART goals

Setting SMART goals is essential for any digital marketing ad campaign, and google ads are no different.

Donorchoose.org, a successful recipient of the Google Ad Grant ensured they set specific goals for each ad group and choose a conversion metric to follow that would allow them to achieve that goal. Having measurable goals to aim for, and staying on top of what they needed to change in order to achieve it, is one factor which helped DonorChoose.org raise $497k from their google ads in just a year.

SMART goals will help you to ensure you’re using your grant to produce effective ads which drive donations at the level you need, and ensure you keep receiving it.

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How do I get the Google Ad Grant?


The Google Ad Grant is an amazing opportunity for nonprofits to access $10,000 in google ads, which can be used to increase your outreach and donations.


There is a long list of criteria your nonprofit has to meet to be eligible for the grant, much revolving around your website and online presence being up to scratch. Check out our ultimate checklist for more information!


Twenti offer dedicated help to make sure you reach the criteria and have a worthy website! Have a look at how we can help you with our Google Ad Grant Management Service.

Ready to reach thousands of new donors online?

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