Google Ad Grant Not Approved? Here’s What To Do Next!

Table of Contents

For nonprofit organizations, the importance of reaching a wider audience and driving website traffic cannot be overstated. Google Ads is a popular and effective platform for digital marketing, and many nonprofits rely heavily on the Google Ad Grant program to fund their advertising.

What to Do When Your Nonprofit Gets Rejected for the Ads Grant

Unfortunately, not all nonprofits are successful in securing the grant. However, being rejected for the Google Ad Grant shouldn’t keep you from using Google Ads. In this blog, we’ll explore alternative approaches and strategies for nonprofits so they can use Google Ads effectively, even without the grant or Google Ads for Nonprofits program.

Understand the Reasons for Rejection

Google typically rejects applications that fail to meet specific requirements, such as weak website content, inadequate compliance with Google’s policies, or an inability to demonstrate substantial social impact. These are important for your digital marketing, even if you don’t use the grant. By identifying the specific areas that need improvement, nonprofits can work with digital marketing agencies to strengthen their online presence and messaging, setting the stage for success and future Google Ad Grants approval.

Set a Budget and Prioritize Objectives

Without the Google Ad Grant, nonprofits need to budget for their Google Ads campaigns. While it might not be as generous as the grant, establishing a budget ensures you can control spending while still targeting your primary objectives. Prioritize these objectives based on your organization’s mission and short-term goals. Whether it’s increasing website traffic, raising awareness, or generating donations, clear objectives will guide your Google Ads strategy.

Image of a calculator representing Soulheart's blog titled "Google Ad Grants Not Approved? Here's What To Do Next!" which is an article about nonprofit google ads.

Refine Target Audience and Keywords

A key aspect of successful Google Ads campaigns is understanding your target audience and selecting relevant keywords. Use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner to identify high-performing keywords and phrases that align with your mission and appeal to your audience. Refining your target audience and keywords will help your ads reach the right people who are most likely to love your cause and engage with your organization.

Optimize Landing Pages

Nonprofits must focus on creating compelling, optimized landing pages that match their ad content. A well-crafted landing page can significantly improve the conversion rate of your Google Ads, which leads to increased engagement and potential donations. Optimize the content and design on your pages to convey your nonprofit’s message clearly and inspire action from visitors.

Embrace A/B Testing

Testing different ad variations can be a game-changer for nonprofits looking to maximize their Google Ads’ effectiveness. A/B testing allows you to compare different ad elements, such as headlines, images, calls-to-action, and landing pages. By analyzing the results, you can identify the most successful combinations and refine your ads for better performance over time.

Image of a designer sketching representing Soulheart's blog titled "Google Ad Grants Not Approved? Here's What To Do Next!" which is an article about nonprofit google ads.

Focus on Local Campaigns

If your nonprofit operates on a local or regional level, consider concentrating your Google Ads efforts on geographically targeted campaigns. Local targeting is particularly effective for community-based organizations, as it lets you reach potential donors and volunteers who live close to your operations.

Why Do Nonprofits Get Rejected from Google Ad Grants?

Nonprofits can face rejection for the Google Ad Grants program for many reasons. Here are some of the reasons why you may not receive the Google Ad Grant:

Lack of Clear Mission and Impact: One of the primary requirements for the Google Ad Grants program is that the nonprofit must have a clear and substantial social impact. If the organization fails to effectively demonstrate how it is contributing to positive societal change, Google is likely to reject the application. Nonprofits must articulate their mission, goals, and the tangible outcomes they aim to achieve.

Inadequate Website Content: Google places significant emphasis on the quality and relevance of a nonprofit’s website content. The website must provide valuable information, be user-friendly, and clearly convey the organization’s purpose. If the website lacks essential content or fails to comply with Google’s policies, it can lead to rejection.

Poorly Designed Landing Pages: Landing pages are crucial for converting website visitors into donors or supporters. If a nonprofit’s landing pages are confusing, irrelevant, or don’t offer a seamless user experience, it can harm the organization’s chances of receiving the grant.

Screenshot of a computer error image representing Soulheart's blog titled "Google Ad Grants Not Approved? Here's What To Do Next!" which is an article about nonprofit google ads.

Misalignment with Google’s Policies: Google Ad Grants have strict policies regarding the types of organizations and content that are eligible for the program. If a nonprofit’s activities, website, or content violate any of these policies, their application will be rejected. Common policy violations include promoting illegal activities, displaying misleading information, or featuring adult content.

Insufficient Ad Account Structure: Google expects nonprofits to set up their ad accounts properly to maximize the impact of the grant. If the organization lacks a clear structure for their campaigns, ad groups, and keywords, it shows they don’t understand how to effectively use Google Ads.

Low-Quality Keywords and Ad Copy: Nonprofits must target relevant keywords that align with their mission and resonate with their audience. Using irrelevant or low-quality keywords and ad copy can lead to low click-through rates and a negative impact on the overall ad performance.

Lack of Compliance with Google’s Performance Requirements: Google requires organizations to maintain a minimum click-through rate (CTR) of 5% for their ads. If a nonprofit fails to meet this requirement or other performance benchmarks, its grant status may be revoked or its application rejected.

Limited Geographic Targeting: Google expects nonprofits to target audiences globally or across specific countries. If an organization’s focus is too narrow or limited to a single location, it may not align with Google’s mission to provide global impact, leading to rejection.

No Google Ad Grant? No Problem!

While the Google Ad Grant program undoubtedly benefits nonprofits, not receiving it doesn’t have to be a roadblock to success. Like a for-profit business, nonprofits can continue to leverage Google Ads effectively and advance their mission. With the right approach, budget, and optimized campaigns, nonprofits can still reach their target audience, drive engagement, and make a significant impact, even without the Google Ad Grant. The key lies in adaptability, creativity, and a genuine dedication to creating positive change in the world.

Why Nonprofits Choose Soulheart for Their Google Ads

Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from partnering with a digital marketing agency for their Google Ads. A digital marketing agency provides expertise and resources that are often beyond the reach of smaller nonprofit organizations.

At Soulheart, our ads and SEO experts help nonprofits develop effective ad campaigns, conduct keyword research, create compelling ad copy, and monitor campaign performance. We free up valuable time and resources for nonprofits, allowing them to focus on their mission and core activities.

You can trust our decades-long experience in working with nonprofits to get your campaigns optimized for conversions. Each campaign will be tailored to align with your values and goals, and we’ll make sure you get the most out of your advertising budget. Whether we help you apply for the Google Ads Grant or create ads without it, you’ll maximize your impact and achieve the results you’ve always wanted when you work with us!

Google Ads for Nonprofits Without Google Ad Grants FAQs

Hire Us Today

Bring your brand out of the shadows into the spotlight with Soulheart. Our comprehensive digital marketing services will give you the thrust you need to grow.

View Our Services

Your organization can grow with Soulheart.

Post by

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia is a content and project manager at Soulheart. She’s written for and managed content departments of digital marketing and creative agencies, specifically in the nonprofit sector. She loves Jesus, people, and stories.
Claudia Macdonald
Post by

Claudia Macdonald

Claudia is a content and project manager at Soulheart. She’s written for and managed content departments of digital marketing and creative agencies, specifically in the nonprofit sector. She loves Jesus, people, and stories.

You May Also Enjoy...

An image of a person watching YouTube on his phone representing Soulheart's blog titled Mastering YouTube Strategy.
Content Strategy
Claudia Macdonald

Mastering YouTube Strategy

YouTube strategy has quickly become a key role in digital marketing. Learn how you can create and optimize YouTube content to drive results!

Read More »

Soulheart’s Monthly Marketing Review

Join more than 6,500 Business Leaders and Marketers to gain monthly insights designed to help you grow your marketing and learn what’s trending. Value-driven content delivered straight to your inbox once a month.