$10,000 in Free Google Ads for Catholic Nonprofits

Do you want “free” money to spend on advertising? Then you may want to consider a very underutilized tool by Catholic organizations: Google for Nonprofits.

Google for Nonprofits is a special account exclusive to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations. And that’s particularly good news for Catholic nonprofits in the U.S. that are tax-exempt through the USCCB group ruling. We’ve already helped some of our Catholic clients, listed under the USCCB, get approval from Google. So if you’re listed under the group ruling, it essentially locks you into approval since there is a precedent.

What strikes me the most is that even though most Catholic nonprofits are eligible, I’ve yet to come across a single client that is already taking advantage of the program. Catholic organizations are missing out, but hopefully this blog can inform you of the benefits and help get you started.

Benefits of Google for Nonprofits

As I mentioned the “free” money, the primary benefit of this program is being granted $10,000 in Google Ad spend every month in perpetuity. Now there are some caveats to being able to utilize the entire ad spend budget, but nonetheless it provides a great opportunity to reach a wider audience and bring more traffic to your website.

The other powerful benefit is the completely subsidized cost for their most popular product: Google Workspace. You’ll get full access to Gmail, being able to create up to 2,000 emails accounts each with 30GB of storage through Google Drive. In addition, you get Google Meet, Calendar, Chat, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and more. All this at zero cost to your organization. If you’re already on a paid Google Workspace plan or using something like Office 365, this could mean huge savings.

The monthly ad grant and Workspace access are the top benefits of Google for Nonprofits, but here is a full list of account benefits:

  • Google Workspace for Nonprofits: $0 cost plan for Gmail, Drive, Meet, Calendar, and more.
  • Google Ad Grants: $10,000 in monthly ad spend.
  • YouTube Nonprofit Program: embed giving features into your videos.
  • Google Earth and Maps: premium access to Google Maps Platform.

How to Maximize Your $10,000 Ad Grant

Some of the most important conditions to this grant is the requirement to maintain engaging ads, defined by the CTR (click-through-rate) performance of your ads, and to use quality keywords. This prevents abuse of the grant and maintains relevant search results for users. The downside to you is the limitation of how aggressive you can be with your ad campaigns. You must be very selective with your keyword targeting and ensure ads are optimized for clicks. Think quality over quantity.
However, this means you’ll naturally be limited in search volume and therefore have less opportunity to fully spend your $10,000 through effective ads. In our experience, clients have averaged a few hundred to low thousands in spend each month, depending on the keywords. That translates to roughly 250 – 5,000 new site traffic every month. Below is an example of a single month performance for one of our nonprofit Catholic clients.
This image shows the performance of an online advertising campaign over a period of one month, with metrics such as clicks, impressions, average cost per click, and total cost.
There’s no secret formula or shortcuts here. Having a solid understanding of marketing, advertising, and the Google ads system will be your biggest advantage in making the most out of your monthly ad grant. If you don’t have the experience or knowledge, I highly recommend relying on an expert to configure your ads and campaigns. It takes time, patience, and consistent improvements to optimize your ads for growth. But the investment can yield solid returns.
Google makes up for 92.4% of the search market, so getting top placement on the most used website in the world is a worthy investment.
Schedule a free consultation with us to learn how we can optimize your ads.

How to get Google for Nonprofits

So how do you apply? The process isn’t too complicated, but it takes a few careful steps. If you want to try on your own, reference these instructions on Google’s help center. Keep in mind that you’ll need to submit your IRS determination letter along with proof of your organization’s listing under the USCCB group ruling via the Official Catholic Directory. The verification process will be facilitated by a non-profit organization called TechSoup and may take up to 30 business days.

If you prefer to have support, we can represent and apply on your behalf. Schedule a free consult with us to confirm your eligibility and to discuss your goals in the program.

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