AdWords Ad Grants Cheat Sheet

Setting up an account for ad grants is different to a standard AdWords account, and some of the set up requirements may be counter-intuitive. Below we’ve compiled some of the top sticking points that people experience in setting up their accounts.

  1. Always set your currency to USD ($) even if you’re a UK business!
  2. Ignore all prompts to add any billing information – adding card details CAN lead to you being charged when you shouldn’t be, so this is critical!
  3. In campaign type, ensure you choose Search Network Only, and untick the box regarding search partners. Ad Grants don’t allow you to feature on the display network or anywhere else.
  4. On setting up your campaign, you need at least one campaign, with two ad groups, and two text ads. Officially Google haven’t updated their minimum requirement of 1 keyword, but I’d recommend at least 8 to get it approved. The ad copies must not be paused, keep them active).
  5. When setting your landing pages in each ad, these must be your own website (i.e. not Facebook pages) and it must be the same domain within the account. For example, you may have two websites, one for donors/corporate and one for service users. You can only choose one domain for the ad grant.
  6. Once you have written your ad, click Save, then Save and Finish, then Save and Finish – continuing to ignore any prompts to add billing details!
  7. Following this process, your account could take up to 5 days to be approved. Keep ignoring any emails or reminders to add billing information.


What if I already have an existing AdWords account?

If you already have an AdWords account with billing history, you cannot use this account to receive Ad Grants. However, you can set up a new account for the ad grant. You could run both of these at the same time (not recommended, as you’d potentially be bidding on the same keywords and pushing up your own click costs!). You can also use AdWords Editor to import the campaigns from one account into another, so you don’t have to rebuild from scratch.

My ads aren’t going live?

Typically, this is because the currency isn’t set to USD. Check this first!

However – another reason is that the ads cannot promote the sale of products or be commercial in nature. For example, if you are a bird protection charity, you can’t use ads to promote the sale of bird-related merchandise, even if you are a non-profit and proceeds from your gift shop directly support your work. This is a real shame, because merchandise, Christmas cards and so on can be such a great complementary revenue stream for many non-profits. However, it would give you a commercial advantage over Google’s paying customers, and this is why it is not allowed. You are allowed to have a shop on your website, just ensure that the ads themselves relate to your cause, and not your products. This is a grey area and it’s best to tread carefully.

I keep being told to accept terms and conditions?

This was a bug identified by AdWords earlier this year. They essentially “misplaced” the accept button on the terms and conditions page, which meant that although you could view and read the T&Cs, you couldn’t accept them. Some users reported seeing a greyed out, unclickable button, others saw no button at all. AdWords don’t appear to have completely resolved this bug, suggesting that users clear their cache and cookies, log out, log in again. However, this doesn’t appear to have solved the problem for all users, and up to now, Google doesn’t have any further advice.

If you’re experienced any other issues to those above – let us know! Also check out our Ad Grants for Non Profits: Everything you Need to Know guide. 


One Comment on “AdWords Ad Grants Cheat Sheet

  1. Pingback: Google Ad Grants for Non Profits: Everything you need to know | Seedling Digital

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