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5 min read

How To Manage Your Google Ad Grant Account

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Firstly, what is an Ad Grant account?

A Google Ad Grant account is a gift of $10,000 a month from Google themselves – only available to charities and not-for-profit organisations. 

If you’re keen on getting an ad grant account, you’ll need to apply for Google for Nonprofits and meet eligibility guidelines before becoming approved, and then applying for your Ad Grant account.


So now you have your ad grant account, how do you manage it?

You may be thinking, how hard can it be? (since you’re working with free money) but ad grants are pretty strict on requirements and in order to keep your account active, you must ensure you’re maintaining them. 

A key requirement which remains difficult, is to maintain a 5% click-through-rate each month at account-level, and if this goes unfixed for two months your account will be deactivated. But don’t fret, the below tips and tricks will help you keep up with all ad grant requirements, including this one.



When it comes to your keyword list, there are a handful of things to keep in mind at all times, especially since failure to follow these will result in your account being shut down.

Quality Score

Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

For grant accounts, all keywords must hold a quality score above a 2/10, anything below (2/10 or less) will need to be paused or removed from the account immediately to avoid account deactivation.

A quick tip on how to keep up with monitoring quality score is to set up an automated rule which will automatically pause any low quality score keywords for you. You’re welcome.

However, please note that I would also recommend checking on this manually from time-to-time as robots can’t always be trusted (apologies if you’re a robot) – a simple way to do this is to filter all keywords by quality score, and then input the quality score you’re looking for in order to quickly pause any if need be.

Single-Word and Overly Generic Keywords

When selecting the keyword list for your grant account, it’s important to note that Google states all keywords must support and reflect the mission of your non-profit organisation – anything outside of this cannot be bid on.

Single-word keywords are a no go, unless mentioned in this list or owned brand terms, medical conditions, basic keywords relating directly to supporting a charity etc – but in most cases, it’s best to avoid these to prevent your account from being flagged with Google or account deactivation.

As quality score and click-through-rate are huge factors within grant accounts, it’s important to use sensible keyword match types, for example broad-match-modified, phrase-match or exact-match. By using one of these (or all) you’re refining the searches that Google allows your ad to show for, and the more controlled/relevant your search queries are, the higher the quality score and click-through-rate (which remember, needs to be at least 5% at account-level).

So with that in mind it’s best to avoid using broad-match as this match type allows for Google to pair up broadly related search queries with your keywords, which often results in wasted spend, poor quality score and low click-through-rate (which no one wants).

Linking in with the above, it’s important to monitor your search queries as often as possible so that you can keep on top of adding any irrelevant searches as negative keywords, to ensure only relevant traffic is coming through your campaigns.



Campaign structure is important in any account, but why more so for a grant account?

Unlike any usual ad account, an ad grant account will be deactivated upon failure to comply with key requirements, so to ensure this doesn’t happen there are a number of things to implement from the get go and keep on top of.

Campaigns, Ad Groups and Keywords

As quality score and CTR are both key requirements for a grant account, each campaign needs to follow a clear structure of at least two active ad groups (each ad group containing at least 3 active ads), all grouped tightly with closely related keywords. In the same way as keywords, closely related ad groups should be grouped under different campaigns. Failure to do so will result in warnings from Google or account deactivation if unresolved (as you can probably tell this applies for all key requirements).

By doing the above, you’ll also be able to effectively tailor your ad copy for each ad group ensuring that you’re giving your quality scores the best chance. 

Remember to keep your ad copy mission-focused and link to a highly relevant page (mention of the keywords is recommended).

Location Targeting

Each campaign must also have granular geographic-targeting implemented, making certain that ads are only shown to users who will find the non-profit’s offering useful – if suitable to your mission, ads can be shown UK wide.

Ad Extensions

To further increase the CTR and quality score, it should be a priority to implement, not only sitelinks but also callouts (as a starting point) across each campaign. At least two (active) of each is a requirement, but the more extensions you implement across each campaign the better.

What are sitelinks? Sitelinks are additional links underneath your ads which allow users to click directly through to specific pages of your site.

What are callouts? Callout extensions allow you to include additional information in your ad about your business or its products and services. 


And finally, grant accounts must use conversion-based smart bidding (only applicable to accounts created on or after April 2019). The bidding strategies available to ad grants are maximise conversions, target ROAs and target CPA. By using one of these, you’re also able to bypass the $2 maximum bid limitations.

Do you have any tips and tricks of your own? How do you maintain key requirements in your grants account? Let us know in the comments. Or, get in touch with our PPC team here to find out how we can help maximise results for your ad grant account.