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Using Google Grants for Pregnancy Centers

Using Google Grants for Pregnancy Centers

Feb 07 2018

Ever heard of Google Grants?  It's a program that allows nonprofits to receive up to $329/day in free Google ads.  Thanks to some changes in early 2018, it just got even better.

Google Grants used to have a couple drawbacks that made it not fit well for pregnancy centers and pregnancy decision ads.  However, there have been a couple key changes:

  1. Updated Terms and Conditions.  The former terms had language that some nonprofits couldn't affirm.  Care Net still recommends that you ask a local attorney to ensure your nonprofit's bylaws support affirming these new terms and conditions.
  2. $2 cap on bids is removed: "We are excited to share that effective immediately, we are lifting the program's $2.00 USD bid cap when using Maximize conversions bidding as it automatically sets bids based on performance."  The $2/click bidding cap was a big drawback in the past since a lot of pregnancy decision keywords need to be bid higher than $2 to compete with other AdWords accounts.  Set your bidding strategy to "maximize conversions" to allow Google to set the bids, and your bids will not be capped at $2/click.
There are new stipulations:

  1. Ads must be geo-targeted around the nonprofit's location.  This is no big deal since it's a good idea to set the location of your campaigns to show up only within 20-30 miles around your center.
  2. Ads must have a click-through rate (CTR) of 5% or more.  It may not sound hard to have 5% of the people who see your ad click on your ad, but it actually is a challenge to pull off, especially for beginners.  But it is possible and will challenge you to create ads that resonate with your audience.  
  3. A website must perform "well" and have no broken links.  Test the links on your website and make sure they still lead to active pages.  

So, how do you apply for Google Grants?

Google Grants is one of several products that Google gives to nonprofits.  (Here's how to apply for Google for Nonprofits.) Keep these things in mind:

  1. The Eligibility Guidelines state that Google won't give it's program to a "healthcare organization."  However, pregnancy centers can still participate.  While some pregnancy centers do provide medical services, the core of the help provided at all centers is information and support during unplanned pregnancy.  This central aspect of information and education is what needs to be communicated in the Google for Nonprofits application.
  2. After you are accepted into Google for Nonprofits, you can set up the Google Grants account for advertising.  Be sure to use the standard Adwords, not AdWords Express, to have full control over the keywords that your ad campaigns use.

Questions? Let us know.


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