Major updates to Google Adwords Grants for NFPs


Posted on

February 2, 2018

If you didn’t know about Google’s $10,000 per month Adwords Grant, click here to read about it.

There have been some major changes to the Google Adwords Grant that have taken place – mainly about the Bid Cap and some policy changes.

Change #1 – $2.00 USD Bid Cap has been removed

The notorious $2.00 Bid Cap has been removed – this cap had previously made it very difficult for NFPs to actually use up the $10,000 per month grant.

However, this removal of the Bid Cap comes with a catch – your campaigns will have to use the bid optimisation strategy called “Maximise Conversions.”

The Maximise Conversions option lets Google’s algorithm automatically make the best bids that are likely to make the conversion. It will also automatically adjust bidding (so lower or higher) to ensure your campaign remains competitive.

Previously the $2.00 Bid Cap meant that NFPs were forced to bid below the market CPC, which would make it difficult to actually win the bid auction to show their ads.

Change #2 – You must have a 5%+ Click Through Rate – or lose your Grant

This change is the one that is most likely to have the biggest impact – Google now has a policy where you must maintain a 5% Click Through Rate (CTR) or risk losing your account.

While this isn’t an impossible benchmark, it does require some Adwords know-how and bidding for the right keywords to maintain 5% CTR. We believe that it is more critical than ever that you have someone on your team who understands Adwords (whether on your payroll or as a volunteer) in order to meet this requirement.

Basically this stance comes from the viewpoint that NFPs must use their $10,000 wisely.

If you aren’t able to maintain at least a 5% CTR for 2 consecutive months, your account will get cancelled.

In the unfortunate circumstance this happens, you can request your account to be reinstated after you have adjusted your Adwords strategy to bring it up to meet this 5% CTR requirement.

Change #3 – Account Structure Changes

In line with Change #2, Google is now forcing the use of geo-targeting – to help NFPs meet the 5% CTR.

This means that if your NFP is based purely in Sydney alone, it doesn’t make sense to advertise across all of Australia – so the Geo-targeting change has been made to help NFPs get higher CTRs.

On top of this, account structuring has been updated to require (direct quote from Google’s Policies):

  • Ad Grants accounts must have specific geo-targeting to show ads in locations relevant to your nonprofit.
  • Ad Grants AdWords accounts must have:

All of these changes are to ensure that NFPs have a better chance of getting higher CTRs.

Change #4 – Mission Based Campaigns

The forth change affects the keywords your NFP can bid on – in essence the keywords you now bid on “must reflect your organisation’s primary mission, be relevant to your nonprofit’s programs and services, and be specific enough to provide a good experience for the user seeing your ads.”

(taken directly from Google’s policy changes)

As such, the following keywords and queries for serving Ad Grants ads are not permitted:

  • Branded words that you don’t own like “YouTube” or “Google” or names of newspapers or other organizations
  • Single-word keywords (excluding your own branded words, recognized medical conditions, and a small number of exception keywords published here)
    • Note terms with dashes, periods, or special characters are not treated as single-word keywords
  • Overly generic keywords like “free videos”, “e-books”, “today’s news”, “easy yoga”, “download games”, “job alert”, names of places, names of historical events/people
  • Keywords with a Quality Score of 2 or less

So as you can see, these changes will definitely affect those who have received the Ad Grant from Google – namely that the $2.00 Bid Cap has been removed, and that you must maintain a 5% CTR across your accounts.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *