How new changes to Google Grant will affect your nonprofit

by Shelby Huckeba, 19 Jan 2018

Google Grant allows non-profit advertisers $10k/month in ‘free’ advertising dollars. While it’s always included limitations, in 2018, these are changing. In the past, the main stipulations for Grant included no search partners, $2 max bids in addition to the $10k cap on search spend per month, and that Grant is to be entered into the auction after paid advertisers. But as of January 1, 2018, many more restrictions have been put into place:


  • A minimum 5% CTR must be maintained
  • Ad groups must have two ads per group with at least two groups per campaign
  • No conquesting or bidding on other brand keywords
  • Keywords with a QS of 2 or below are not allowed
  • Generic keywords will not be allowed (generally one-worded keywords like “donate”)
  • The bid cap of $2 will be lifted when using the Optimize for Conversions bid strategy


The challenge now is that non-profits must re-evaluate account structure to ensure the account meets the new requirements. The penalty? Account suspension. Google has stated that notifications will be sent if advertisers are not in compliance, with the ability to reinstate when the standards are met.


Many of the updates could majorly impact performance. One-worded keywords like “donate” might drive donations for your nonprofit, but due to new restrictions, those keywords will need to be paused. A 2/10 QS and 5% CTR might also be a challenge if a majority of the account uses long-tail non-brand keywords. As a positive change, using Optimize for Conversions could result in more volume. It’s worth a test, and one we’ve implemented (no results yet).


Want us to audit your Grant account to make sure you’re in compliance?

Contact DRUM here.