Google Adwords Grant for Nonprofits
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Google Adwords Grant for Nonprofits

Spending free money to drive online impact
4.7 (75 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
596 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $120 Discount: 92% off
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  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Qualify and apply for the Google AdWords Grant for nonprofits
  • Manage and maximize a Google AdWords Grant ($10k per month)
  • Practically find and analyze keywords that drive impactful traffic
  • Analyze AdWords traffic in Google Analytics
  • Configure Google Analytics to track real goals on the website
View Curriculum
  • Very basic familiarity with the existence Google AdWords and Google Analytics platforms will help.
  • Students that care and believe in the potential impact of how web traffic can further the goals and mission of the nonprofits they care about.

We want to help you spend $120,000 in Google's advertising money next year. You can unlock this potential through the Google Adwords Grant for Nonprofits, which will help you bring in traffic to your nonprofit's website and amplify your digital impact.

There are a lot of trainings out there on Google Adwords, but ours is the first that will show you how to apply strategies specific for nonprofits to use Adwords to drive impact. Only our course will walk you through the grant application process and show you the special nuances of working within a grant account.

Learn how to Get the Grant, Maximize the Grant, and Optimize the Grant for Impact in this course designed for all levels.

  • Learn how to qualify and apply for the grant
  • Set up an awesome account from scratch
  • Tips and tricks for maxing out the grant
  • Strategies for optimizing the account over time
  • BONUS: How to qualify for 4X the money with GrantsPro

Whether you are a beginner just learning about the grant, or you're already maxing it out and just looking to use it better, our course will give you simple, actionable steps toward increasing the impact of your nonprofit this free advertising grant. You'll learn how to

  • drive more leads
  • gain more volunteers
  • garner more supporters
  • capitalize on your existing content
  • spread awareness about your cause

Each new day means $329 free Google dollars that you could be spending to help your nonprofit's cause. Sign up to start learning how.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for nonprofit communications or marketing people at the beginner or intermediate levels of AdWords
  • This course is also well suited for agencies that work to manage nonprofit Google AdWords accounts.
  • Experts that already know how to maximize the AdWords spend, but not necessarily connect it to real impact for the nonprofit beyond general web traffic.
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Curriculum For This Course
17 Lectures
Part 1: Why Care about the Google Grant?
4 Lectures 20:08

  1. Why Digital Advertising? - GW
    1. How does increasing web traffic increase impact?
      1. First, you need buy-in
      2. Drive acquisition conversions (i.e. user signups)
      3. Brand visibility
      4. Field building
      5. Volunteer recruitment
      6. Advertise events
      7. Increasing these numbers not only increases your impact but also impresses your donors
    2. Example of how Adwords grew Power Poetry to over 225,000 users
    3. Our 6 month plan - unlock $120k in ads to drive your impact.
      1. Month 1: Apply and win grant
      2. Month 2: Set up account and start spending
      3. Month 3: Maximize
      4. Month 4: Optimize
      5. Months 5+6: Driving traffic for impact
Preview 06:02

Understanding the AdWords Grant

    1. Don’t be afraid, this is easier than you think
    2. Grants are Google's philanthropic arm - you make them look good!
    3. The marketplace system is designed to get you to spend as much money as possible since it is designed primarily for for-profits
    4. Google wants to send users to good quality sites and they reward you for setting up advertising campaigns that help get users what they are looking for
    5. Don’t be afraid to spend their money, this is an equalizer!
Understanding the AdWords Grant

Applying for the Grant

    1. A little different from most grants for nonprofits - an online form, not a lengthy application
    2. 10k/month, in-kind advertising from Google (use it or lose it)
    3. Eligibility
      1. Must be a 501(c)3 in the US or the equivalent in Australia, Canada, England, France, Japan, New Zealand, or Wales
      2. Agree to statements about discrimination and donations
      3. Can’t be a gov agency, school, or hospital
      4. Check out all the requirements here:
    4. Applying for the Grant - IT IS EASY!
      1. First, get Google Nonprofit status at
      2. Have at least one goal set up in Google Analytics
      3. Supply your EIN number write a brief AdWords essay on emphasizing how the traffic will help your impact
      4. Usually they get back to you in a few days, could take up to 30 days
      5. Set up your first campaign (see later in the course for a full walkthrough)
      6. Google double checks your campaign and approves your Adwords account
      7. Quick tip: don't ever input CC info! The platform is really set up for paying customers

How to keep the Grant…

  1. Can only send ads to YOUR domain and subdomains
  2. No traffic laundering - i.e. alleyooping people to pages that are primarily links to other sites, or redirects.
  3. Must update the account once every 90 days (although hopefully you are touching it more often than that!)
    1. This is why it's so important to appoint a leader and thoughtfully building this into your current workflow
  4. You can't just use the grant ads for e-commerce - they must be supporting the mission of your organization. If you need more convincing check out video 1A again :)
  5. Your site can’t host display ads or affiliate advertising
  6. Search only, no display ads allowed with the grant.
  7. $2 bid max
  8. Must fill out an end of year survey on impact (this is why its so important to be tracking goals from the beginning)
Applying for the AdWords Grant

How Adwords Works

    1. You understand the importance of adwords, you’ve gotten the grant, now let’s talk about how adwords actually works. You’ll need to understand this in order to set up a great account.
    2. Adwords is a marketplace where users search terms and choose to click on search results or Ads on the side/top/bottom. Google counts these clicks and that’s how they make money. Search ads are great because you can capture someone at the exact moment they’re making a search - they are looking for something and you can help them find it on your website.
    3. Google makes more money if more people click. So Google wants your ads to be as attractive as possible because it means they’ll make more money. Our goal is also to get the most clicks
    4. Google takes two things into consideration when deciding which ads to show: bid and Q score.
      1. Bid: how much you are willing to "pay" each time someone clicks your ad (which is capped at $2 for the grant)
      2. Q score (quality score): how good Google thinks your ads are. Things that affect Q score include: how well your keywords match your ad copy and landing page copy, the overall quality of your landing page, expected clickthrough rate... and lots of other things
How AdWords Works
Managing + Maximizing the AdWords account
7 Lectures 01:16:06
  1. Digital Goals: What are your programmatic goals and how can your website help achieve them?
    1. Impact model: inputs, outputs, outcomes
  2. Google Analytics: Are you tracking goals in analytics?
    1. Going beyond the donate page
    2. Track anything that’s not tied down…
    3. Examples of goals: Time goals, event goals, video clicks, form completions.
  3. Landing pages: Identifying landing pages + importance of landing page quality

Plus a walkthrough of Power Poetry's Google Analytics account

Understanding digital goals in Google Analytics

  1. What is a Campaign? Ad Group? Keyword?
  2. Know the terms - these are the top terms you'll need to understand
    1. Impressions - the number of times your ad was shown. Think billboard on the highway.
    2. Clicks - the number of times anyone clicked on your ads
    3. CTR (Click through rate) - clicks over impressions, the rate at which people click on your ad. This is an indication of how well your ad is doing.
    4. CPC (Cost per click) - how much you are actually paying for each click.
    5. Bid/max CPC - how much you are willing to pay for the ad click. For grant accounts, there is a max bid of $2.
    6. Avg. Position - a number between 1 and 10 that indicates where your ad is showing on the Google search results page. You want this to be a low number because it means you're showing up toward the top.
    7. What is a Quality Score (Q score) and what impacts it?
      1. Each keyword has a Q score, 1-10
      2. Relevance of keyword to ad body and landing page
      3. Landing page quality (fewer popups, providing value before asking for personal information, it should be easily navigable with clear URL structure and headings. This is good for general SEO anyway and also helps with Q score)
      4. Expected click-through rate
      5. Other factors Google doesn't divulge!
    8. Why does Q score matter?
      1. Helps you rank higher and: ranking higher = more clicks
      2. Helps your CPC and: spending less per keyword = more money available to get more clicks
Understanding how to manage your account

  1. Difference between a campaign, ad group, ad
  2. How do you want to organize campaigns?
  3. Any geographical considerations?
  4. Any language-specific targeting?
  5. Start with one campaign per landing page and then create buckets for your keywords in ad groups
  6. Within that, each ad group should be tightly matched to ad copy, landing page copy, keywords
Setting up and organizing your account

  1. We’re talking thousands not hundreds. The first mistake is to start too small.
  2. Find everest keywords that fit your adgroups
    1. Who are you talking to: teens vs teachers
    2. Who are you: poetry website, slam poetry
      1. Your own content: who you are vs what you have
    3. What do people need: how to write a poem, type of poem
    4. Related to the cause: love poems for him, for her, famous poets
  3. Long-tail vs. short-tail
  4. Brainstorming tools
    1. Keyword Planner tool
      1. What do people need - how to write a poem, type of poem
    2. Adwords keyword interface
    3. Thinking backwards with related concepts (celebrities, news)
    4. Google Trends + seasonality
    5. Google analytics organic keywords
    6. Google’s autocomplete feature (+ autocomplete tricks: * means any word, …)
    7. Use the website crawler suggestion tool for your site AND competitors
    8. Match types:
      1. broad, phrase, exact
      2. negative keywords
How to find great keywords

A walkthrough of tools to use to find new ideas for keywords.

Walkthrough: Finding keywords with Google Tools

  1. Your user is searching for something, that is why they logged into Google in the first place. Their keyword is their best guess at expressing what they want. They are following the 'scent' of their answer and if they see that scent in your ad and in the landing page they click to, they will be happy. So if you can keep ads tightly connected to the keywords and send people to the landing pages that have those keywords, you can keep the user on track.
  2. The parts of an ad
    1. A compelling headline: put keywords there, not your organization's name
    2. Body with relevant keywords and a call to action. For example: special offers/deals
    3. Display URL
    4. Destination URL
  3. Staying within Google's guidelines (aka Google Adwords Policy)
    1. Content. Can't mention things that are
      1. Dangerous-- Words like smoking and drugs will be flagged
      2. Offensive-- Shocking or disgusting content, something discriminating
      3. Adult Content
      4. Healthcare content-- No pharmaceutical information or medical studies
    2. Style
      1. Nothing gimmicky
      2. Punctuation-- only one ! or ? per ad
      3. No words that are all caps (unless they are branded, in which case you can make an exception
    3. What do you do if you get flagged (for example, about an ad that discusses how alcohol creates health risks)-- you can resubmit to Google for review
Preview 04:59

  1. Think 'need fulfillment'
    1. Title - identify need/topic - Do you like global warming?
    2. Body - Neither do we
      1. Emphasize need/fear
      2. Offer potential resolution to need/fear
    3. Communicate a clear call to action (CTA) - join over 100k people fighting it
    4. Display URL:
  2. Use Cosmo's magazine cover headlines - remember odd numbers work!
  3. Careful capitalization
  4. Careful keyword insertion
    1. What is keyword insertion?
    2. Different types depending on how you capitalize
    3. Test - doesn’t always outperform
    4. When NOT to use dynamic keyword insertion: competitor campaign, sensitive topics
    5. Learn more about dynamic keyword insertion here:
  5. Check the competition + improve on it
  6. Call people to action
    1. Traditional ‘buy now’ or click here is weak
    2. Be different, Power Poetry “Writers block” example
    3. Be sentimental “think about your dog” pet adoption
    4. Social proof, over 20k people have taken action
    5. Testimonial, “usher’s favorite cause”
    6. Imagination - “image a world without hungry kids”
  7. Use the ‘best’ qualifiers
    1. Average qualifiers works sometimes - Awesome qualifiers work even better :)
    2. First, Best, Only, Most, original, real, authentic, qualify and differentiate your product
Writing creative and influential ad copy
Optimizing the Account for impact
5 Lectures 32:03

How do you know if you're "maxing" your account (i.e. spending all $10,000 every month?)

  1. The account is capped by day - so even if you spend less than $329 in a given day, you won’t be able to spend extra the next day. No rollover
  2. Use Google Analytics or Adwords Hour of Day report to see “how maxed” your account is
  3. Once you're maxing, you can still make your account better through optimization.

Why optimize? To get more clicks, and more conversions, for the same money!

Intro to optimizing and how AdWords capping works

Traffic vs. Impact

  1. The process: Gather, Ask questions, Analyze data, Act on findings
  2. Gather
    1. Connect the account, make sure goals are set up for impact
  3. Keywords
    1. Which keywords are actually driving traffic volume?
    2. Which keywords are actually driving quality? Which aren’t?
    3. Action: are your search terms matching?
      1. Helps to see if you’re capturing the keyword phrases you think you’re capturing or if you might need to add negative keywords
  4. Landing pages
    1. Which pages are you sending people to? How are they performing?
    2. Helps give you a sense of how the Adwords traffic is divided between landing pages.
    3. Relevancy + conversion (scent match)
    4. If one is a big priority but only capturing 10% of your Adwords sessions, try expanding it by adding keywords, improving the ad, or ratcheting down the budget for the other campaigns that are cannibalizing that traffic (if you are already maxing the account)
  5. Campaigns
    1. Fire hose volume + quality (for tracking conversions by campaign).
    2. Spend more money on campaigns
Using Google Analytics to dominate the world

A walkthrough of how to use Google Analytics to make your account better

Walkthrough: Google Analytics tracking for AdWords

  1. Remember from science class - controlled experiments
  2. Writing two ads per ad group - they’ll be linked to the same keywords, so they will take turns being shown to users.
  3. By default, Google shows the ad in each ad group that it thinks will get more clicks (remember, that's how Google gets more money). Change the settings to rotate ads evenly so you’ll get results faster
  4. How to tell when results are significant? Roughly, once you have 20 clicks on each ad or 500+ impressions. What’s the key number to look at to know which ad was better? CTR!
  5. Things to test
    1. Keyword insertion
    2. Headlines
    3. Capitalization
    4. Key phrases (i.e. “get informed” vs. “stay informed”)
    5. Display URL
A/B Testing ads

  1. Ad Preview and Diagnostics
    1. Use these to see what your ads look like, whether they’re currently showing for different keywords - it is important to use this and not just Google your own keywords because that increases your impressions without increasing your clicks, which minimizes your CTR, which minimizes your q scores. Whew!
  2. Change History - helps you see if/when other people make changes to the account
  3. Opportunities - helps you find new ideas for keywords and campaigns.
  4. Batch Modifications - makes it much easier to make big changes across campaigns, ad groups, or ads
    1. Display URLs / ad content
    2. Match types
  5. Copying and Pasting keywords, ads, ad groups
  6. Adwords Express
Advanced AdWords tools
Bonus Section
1 Lecture 00:27
Final Thoughts

Test your knowledge!
15 questions
About the Instructor
Whole Whale University
4.7 Average rating
118 Reviews
840 Students
3 Courses
A Digital Agency for Nonprofits

Whole Whale is a digital agency that leverages data and technology to increase the impact of nonprofits. In the same way the Inuits used every part of whale, WW leverages data and tech to increase organizational impact and reduce waste. By using data analysis, digital strategy, web development, and training, WW builds a Data Culture within every nonprofit they work with.