Learn the basics of Microsoft Ad Grants with this quick guide.

Nonprofit Basics: Microsoft Ad Grants for Social Impact

Through the Microsoft Ad Grant program, nonprofits can transform their advertising techniques and venture into the world of search engine marketing (SEM) for free. All you have to do is meet the eligibility requirements, apply, and start creating compelling ads. But before diving straight in and applying, take some time to learn the basics of the program.

What Is The Microsoft Ad Grant?

Also known as Ads for Social Impact, the Microsoft Ad Grants program awards eligible nonprofits $3,000 each month to spend on promoting web content across Microsoft’s digital search and native advertising network. Ads are shown across Bing, Yahoo, AOL, outlook.com, MSN, and Microsoft Edge.

Here's an example of a nonprofit using the Microsoft Ad Grant.

Currently available only to U.S.-based nonprofits, Microsoft Ad Grants expand your marketing budget and empower organizations like yours to accomplish goals such as:

  • Growing mission awareness by promoting educational content
  • Attracting and retaining donors, volunteers, and other supporters by unlocking a new platform
  • Driving more qualified web traffic to your most important landing pages

Plus, access to additional tools through Microsoft for Nonprofits will help you garner a deeper understanding of how users interact with your cause online. That way, you can make sure you’re targeting the right keywords and driving greater mission outcomes through the program.

Microsoft Ad Grant Eligibility Requirements

If you’re familiar with Google Ad Grants, you know the program’s coordinators have eligibility criteria to limit access to the program. Microsoft takes a similar approach with its nonprofit eligibility guidelines.

Before applying to the program, make sure you meet the core requirements that Microsoft breaks down into three categories:

  1. Type of organization: Your organization must be a nonprofit or non-governmental organization with recognized legal status (e.g., 501(c)(3) status for U.S. organizations). Public libraries and museums are also eligible.
  2. Mission: Organizations must operate on a not-for-profit basis and have a mission to benefit their local communities.
  3. Non-discrimination: Organizations must not have a policy or mission of discrimination. This includes (but is not limited to) discrimination in hiring, compensation, training, promotion, termination, services, or any other area.

Note that certain types of organizations are automatically ineligible for the program. Some of these include governmental organizations, academic institutions, healthcare organizations, and political organizations.

Use this checklist to determine if your organization is eligible for Microsoft Ad Grants.

As long as your organization meets the program’s requirements, you’ll be accepted into the program! If you’re unsure if you meet the requirements, a dedicated Microsoft Ad Grants manager may be able to step in to confirm your eligibility.

How to Get Started with Microsoft Ad Grants

So you’ve determined that you’re eligible for the program — fantastic! Now you’re ready to apply. Let’s walk through the steps you need to take to get started with this marketing opportunity.

Step 1) Bring your website up to code.

While not listed in their official application steps, you should take time to optimize your website before applying. After all, this is where you’ll drive users across your Microsoft Ad Grant campaigns.

Walk through your site, paying special attention to the landing pages you’ll promote through your ads. Here are some elements to consider:

  • Pages with a clear purpose: Each page on your site should have a clear purpose, whether that’s sharing volunteer information, funneling donations, outlining a major initiative like a capital campaign, explaining your mission, or something else. Then, use your CTAs to tell readers exactly what step you want them to take.
  • Mobile usage: Fundraising research estimates half of all nonprofit web traffic comes from mobile users and mobile-friendly donation forms yield 34% more donations. Make sure you use a mobile-responsive web builder that will automatically resize your content to fit any screen size.
  • Effective graphic design: You can have compelling written content, but your graphic design will tie it all together and reel users in. Kwala’s nonprofit graphic design guide explains that you should infuse your brand by featuring your logo, colors, fonts, and other recognizable elements. You should also use timeless images and fonts as well as effective colors and contrasts that make your design pop.

In no time, you’ll develop a trustworthy website that users will want to explore once they click on your Microsoft Ads!

Step 2) Apply for Microsoft for Nonprofits

Microsoft for Nonprofits is the broader program you’ll need to join before you can apply for Microsoft Ad Grants. This program provides additional grants and discounts for various Microsoft products, like Office 365 and Dynamics 365.

To register, you’ll need to do the following:

  • Share role-specific information for your nonprofit’s point of contact.
  • Agree to Microsoft’s program policies.
  • Provide organizational information and documents that prove your organization’s eligibility.

Registration review can take up to 7 days. Bear in mind that Microsoft partners with TechSoup to validate applicants’ information. As you wait, TechSoup may contact you for additional details.

Once approved, you’ll receive an email from Microsoft and can access Microsoft’s Nonprofit Hub to take advantage of the different tools.

Step 3) Complete the Microsoft Ad Grants application.

Access the Nonprofit Hub within Microsoft for Nonprofits, which houses the Microsoft Ad Grants application. As you fill out the application, you’ll provide additional information, such as:

Expect to hear back via email within 10 business days. The timeline for approval may alter if Microsoft requests additional information or documentation from you.

Once accepted, you can start building your campaigns, writing compelling ads, and taking full advantage of this nonprofit marketing opportunity.

In no time, you’ll be a Microsoft Ad Grant wiz! And if at any time you need help, you can always reach out to an SEM grant management specialist to answer your questions.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Learn more nonprofit management essentials by exploring other expert resources.
Microsoft Ad Grants: A Q&A Guide for Nonprofit Marketers – Dive further into the Ads for Social Impact program with our ultimate guide!
The Microsoft Ad Grant Program: All Your Questions Answered – Keep learning about the benefits of Microsoft Ad Grants along with some grant management best practices in this guide.

Learn the basics of Google Ad Grants with this quick guide.

Nonprofit Basics: Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits

As one of the most influential companies in the world, Google empowers charitable organizations to increase their visibility within Google Search for free through its dedicated corporate giving program called Google Ad Grants.

Especially since Google has over 92% of the global search engine market share, you’d be remiss to turn down the free advertising money. The program can help you connect with prospects around the world without negatively impacting your marketing budget.

What Is the Google Ad Grant?

The Google Ad Grants program awards organizations $10,000 worth of Google Ads credits each month. Eligible organizations use these credits to bid on keywords and promote their web content. With free access to Google’s keyword research tools, nonprofits can place compelling ads in prominent locations on Google Search results pages, connecting them with likely supporters for their cause.

Here's an example of a nonprofit promoting their web content with the Google Ad Grant.

The program enables nonprofits to go beyond driving more meaningful website traffic. Depending on the pages you promote with the Google Grant, here’s how the Google Ad Grant can support your initiatives in more creative capacities:

  • Increase revenue by sharing donation and sponsorship opportunities
  • Recruit volunteers to support your projects
  • Boost attendance for your webinars, charity races, and other events
  • Effect change through grassroots activism, petitions, and other advocacy activities
  • Inform and educate users about your cause and work

Participants can fully leverage the program by crafting powerful ad copy combined with effective keyword research, strategic bidding strategies, and carefully-chosen landing pages.

How To Get Started With Google Ad Grants

The good news is that Google makes it straightforward to join. Applying for the Google Grant is a simple, multi-step process. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

These are the steps you'll take to apply for the Google Ad Grant program.

  1. Meet the eligibility criteria. You’ll need to agree to the program’s policies, hold valid charity status, and have a high-quality website. Governmental entities, healthcare organizations, and educational institutions are automatically ineligible.
  2. Register your organization with TechSoup. TechSoup partners with companies like Google to provide mission-driven organizations with free and discounted resources. Visit the TechSoup registration page and fill out the required information. They’ll get back to you with a validation token within 30 days.
  3. Sign up for Google for Nonprofits. Visit Google for Nonprofits’ registration website, input your TechSoup validation token, and fill out the subsequent forms. Once you’re approved, this will unlock the Google Grants application. Plus, you’ll have access to a variety of other organizational tools and perks through Google for Nonprofits.
  4. Apply for the Google Ad Grant. Log into your Google for Nonprofits account and fill out the Google Grants application. You’ll provide additional identifying information, such as your website URL and details regarding your goals with the program.

Keep an eye on your email for your invitation within the next few business days. Once you’re approved, you’ll automatically receive $329 per day to spend on your Google Ad campaigns.

Best of all, the grant will automatically renew each month. You just need to keep your account in good standing by adhering to the ongoing compliance requirements.

Tips for Squeezing More Out of Your Google Ad Grant Budget

As with any marketing effort, you need a carefully-crafted plan to drive real results for your nonprofit. Let’s walk through some tried-and-true tips.

1. Optimize your website.

Your Google Ads will drive traffic to your website. Considering this, you should prioritize the user experience to drive more donations, boost volunteer registrations, or achieve any other goal. Otherwise, users may click through to your site and be turned off by a cluttered and unprofessional design.

Here are a few elements of your website to consider:

  • Promotable pages: Fill your site with high-quality content to promote through Google Ads. Each page should be centered around a core topic, whether it’s your donation form, volunteer registration page, or information about a major initiative.
  • Mobile responsiveness: Half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices. Knowing this, several mobile users will likely encounter your Google Ads, so make sure your design automatically reformats itself based on screen size.
  • Security: Your website should encrypt information users share with you. Your URL should show “https” instead of “http” to offer users greater protection on your site.
  • Organizational information: List your EIN somewhere on your site, preferably in your website’s footer. You might also have a page devoted to explaining your mission.

Tie all of these elements together with powerful graphic design. This will create a cohesive site that inspires users to explore your site and convert into supporters.

2. Create robust ads with compelling copy, landing pages, and ad extensions.

Optimize your ads by paying special attention to these core building blocks for your ads:

  • Landing pages: These are the pages you’ll drive users to visit. Choose ones that match the user intent for your keywords and are designed to drive users to complete the desired action. For example, if you’re targeting terms like “animal rescue volunteering,” you should link to your volunteer registration page.
  • Copy: Users will read this to understand the content of your landing page and determine whether it meets their needs. Ensure your ad copy is specific, concise, and strategically features keywords. You’ll also want to include a call-to-action with action verbs such as “donate,” “sign up,” or “support” to tell users what next step you want them to take.
  • Ad extensions: These allow you to expand your ads with additional information. For instance, sitelink extensions allow you to link to additional landing pages on your website, while call extensions include a button that mobile users can tap to call your organization.

These will result in more compelling ads and ultimately drive more clicks and meaningful traffic to your nonprofit’s website.

3. Consider professional Google Ad Grants management.

A lot goes into managing a Google Ad Grant account between developing compelling ads and meeting ongoing requirements. The last thing you want is your account to be deactivated after not meeting the compliance requirements.

That’s where a professional Google Grants manager can step in to save the day. Turn to a professional to ease your marketing team’s workload through services like:

  • Google Ad Grants applications
  • Campaign development, including keyword research and ad copy development
  • Landing page optimization
  • Ongoing compliance and account reactivation

Professionals know what it takes to stand out on Google Search. They know the ins and outs of the program, so you can sit back and relax that you’re inspiring as many prospects as possible.

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Learn more nonprofit management essentials by exploring other expert resources.

Hiring a Google Grants Agency: A Guide and 5 Expert Agencies – Explore the role a professional Google Grants manager can play further. Plus, get our top agency recommendations.

What Is A Google Ad Grant? The Ultimate Guide for Nonprofits – Continue researching the basics of the Google Ad Grant with this complete guide from the experts at Getting Attention.

Nonprofit Basics_Feature

Nonprofit Basics: The Google for Nonprofits Program

Google is one of the most profitable companies in the world, so it may come as a surprise that they have a program dedicated entirely to nonprofits. With Google for Nonprofits, Google does its part to give back to the community and support mission-driven organizations that are creating change in the world.

Since nonprofits often operate on limited budgets, they frequently don’t have enough to spend on productivity or marketing tools. Google aspires to change that with its charitable giving program, streamlining nonprofit communications and putting a world of prospects at nonprofits’ fingertips.

What Is Google For Nonprofits?

Google for Nonprofits is a program that gives eligible organizations free access to premium Google products, like Ad Grants and Workspace. Through the program, Google empowers nonprofits to increase internal productivity and connect with new supporters.

Currently available in 65+ countries, Google for Nonprofits is a powerful resource that enables nonprofits everywhere to use valuable tools without having to bear the brunt of the cost. All your nonprofit needs to do is meet the basic eligibility requirements and apply. Within a few weeks, you’ll gain instant access to the free tools, and you can activate whichever ones will empower your team to achieve greater outcomes.

What’s Included In Google for Nonprofits?

No matter if you want to streamline team collaboration or increase your website’s visibility on Google Search, Google for Nonprofits provides products that can easily amplify your work! Let’s dig into some of the tools you can look forward to leveraging.

Google for Nonprofits provides free access to all of these tools.

Google Ad Grants

This is one of the most popular features in Google for Nonprofits! Through this program, eligible nonprofits receive up to $10,000 each month to spend on marketing their web content on Google Search.

Registering for Google for Nonprofits gives you access to the Ad Grants application, which you’ll need to fill out separately. From here, you can bid on keywords that your prospects are searching for online and write text-based ads that inspire people to visit your website and get involved in your work.

Here’s what you can expect from participating:

  • $10,000 per month of free credits to spend on Google Ads
  • The ability to track online conversions like donations, newsletter signups, and volunteer registrations
  • Keyword research tools to determine the right mission-centric search terms

Bear in mind that Google Ads comes with a strict learning curve, especially considering that Ad Grants accounts have to follow strict guidelines in order to stay eligible. Luckily, there are Google Ad Grants experts that can help you set up and maintain your account.

In turn, you’ll strengthen your digital presence, drive valuable traffic to your site, and raise more awareness for your mission.

Google Workspace

Also known as G Suite, Google Workspace is a collection of Google’s online productivity and collaboration tools. Gain free access to everyday apps like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar, Meet, and more. Empower your team to increase collaboration, securely store documents, and ultimately streamline your internal operations.

Here’s what you have to look forward to with Google Workspace for Nonprofits:

  • Unlimited email addresses that end in your nonprofit’s domain
  • 100-participant video meetings
  • 30 GB of cloud storage per user for documents and email hosting
  • 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email
  • Administrative access over all accounts at your organization

Best of all, each app within Google Workspace works seamlessly together. For instance, Getting Attention’s guide to G Suite explains that you can create Calendar invites that go directly to invitees’ Gmail inboxes. Then, you can add a Meet link for virtual meetings and create a new Google Doc to take meeting notes.

YouTube Nonprofit Program

Elevate your organization’s YouTube channel through the YouTube Nonprofit program. With more than 2 billion active users each month, YouTube is the largest video hosting platform in the world, making it a great opportunity to connect with supporters across the globe.

Using your Google for Nonprofits account, here’s what to expect from this program:

  • “Link Anywhere cards” to include on your videos. These are annotations that allow you to direct supporters to external links.
  • Access to the Creator Academy, filled with lessons specifically designed for nonprofits
  • YouTube Giving features, such as a donation button on your videos

Even if your nonprofit doesn’t already have a YouTube channel, now’s a great time to get started since you’ll have access to all these features that’ll take your videos to the next level.

Google Earth and Maps

Google Earth and Maps is another tool that Google for Nonprofits offers to help organizations creatively share resources and connect with nearby community members. The program provides you with free credits for the Google Maps platform, so you can gain a stronger understanding of your service area, plan your work more efficiently, and share programs and resources with your community.

With unrestricted access to Google Earth and Maps, your nonprofit can:

  • Display community or donor location data on Google Maps
  • Receive a $250 per month credit to apply toward the Google Maps Platform
  • Get additional Google Mapping tools, like My Maps and Creation Tools

While this platform might seem like an unusual resource, it’s actually incredibly useful for connecting with local audiences! Plus, there’s no harm in using it since it’s free through Google for Nonprofits.

How to Apply for Google for Nonprofits

If you’re looking to increase team productivity or amplify your mission online, applying for Google for Nonprofits should be a no-brainer! Luckily, Google makes it incredibly easy to get started.

They break the process down into 4 easy steps, including:

This graphic outlines how to apply for Google for Nonprofits.

  1. Meet the eligibility requirements. The criteria vary by country. Essentially, you’ll need to be registered as a charitable organization in your country, be registered with TechSoup, and agree to the terms of service. Note that governmental organizations, healthcare organizations, and schools are ineligible.
  2. Request a Google for Nonprofits account. Once you meet the requirements, you’ll need to request an account for the program. Visit the Google for Nonprofits homepage, click ‘Get started,’ and provide some information about your organization and your role.
  3. Wait for verification from TechSoup. Google works with TechSoup to verify the legitimacy of nonprofits. TechSoup reviews most requests within 2-4 business days and may reach out for more documentation to verify your organization.
  4. Activate the Google for Nonprofits products individually. Once you’re verified, you’ll receive a confirmation email and can activate each Google for Nonprofits product within your account.

That’s all it takes! From here, you’re free to dive straight into using your free tools from Google and take your mission to new heights!

Other Resources to Explore

Nonprofit Basics – Learn more nonprofit management essentials by exploring other expert resources.

Google Grants Eligibility: Is Your Nonprofit Eligible? – The Google Ad Grant is a huge asset to your marketing efforts. Figure out if meet the criteria outlined in this guide.

How to Apply for Google Grants: A Comprehensive Guide – Follow these steps to get your Google for Nonprofits account and Google Ad Grants account up and running.