Free advertising from Google for nonprofits

google-grants-adwords - CopyGoogle is donating free advertising to over 20,000 nonprofit organizations in 50+ countries around the world. Your organization may qualify for up to $10,000 in AdWords advertising per month. The grants essentially give NGOs free advertising on Google’s AdWords network. This is the keyword advertising service where you place bids on specific keywords, with a text-based ad appearing when a user searches on those keywords. You pay (or in this case not pay), when the user clicks through to your website.

To qualify, you must be a registered charitable organization (a “502(c)(3)” in the US) and you must be headquartered in one of 50 countries designated by Google. In addition, according to Google, these entities cannot qualify: “Governmental entities and organizations, hospitals and medical groups, schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities.”

There are other common-sense restrictions. For example, Google expects you to have a good, content-rich website and they don’t want you using your ads just to sell merchandize. But other than this, it appears relatively easy to qualify for the ads.

Read more about this program directly on the Google Grants website.

The hard part may to find sufficient people who search on the keywords that are relevant to your organization. You will need quite a few click-throughs to use up such a large advertising budget. If you work with, for example, “hunger and Africa,” this may not be an issue. But if your organization supports research into a little-known disease, as another example, it may be difficult to find such a large group of people with potential interest in your nonprofit.