Tips for your Google Grants Application

Thursday, July 31, 2008 | 11:33 AM

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I get questions from time to time about what makes for a powerful Google Grants application. We look for applicants who meet our eligibility guidelines, have the resources to actively manage an AdWords account, and have a basic strategy about promoting their cause through AdWords.

In reviewing applications, we always examine your organization's website to learn more about your cause. So use the application to highlight the initiatives you'd want to promote on Google, or the efforts you'd like our team to be aware of.

Also keep in mind that it typically takes 3 months for your 501(c)(3) status to be reflected in the online database. So please wait at least 3 months after receiving the letter from the IRS before submitting your Grants application.

Here are some guidelines for specific sections of the application:

URL of website: Enter the website you'd like to advertise in your AdWords account. This website may differ from the domain of your organization, depending on the program or initiative you wish to promote. The website should also match the one in the sample ad text later in the application.

Organization Mission Statement / Primary Objective: What is the story you'd like to share with the world? What distinguishes you from other non-profits in your field? Since ad text is limited to 3 lines, what language would attract users to your website? This information will also help you brainstorm about creating your ad.

Explain how you expect Google AdWords advertising will contribute to your organization: Discuss your mission and goals in terms of online advertising. Which initiatives or programs would you advertise online? Other than an increase in donations and website traffic, what would you like to gain from this award? What action would you like users to take when they reach your website? For example, do you offer volunteer or newsletter sign-ups? Do you sponsor or run events to benefit your organization? Tell us what you wish to accomplish from a click on your ad!

Who is your target audience for online advertising?: If possible, include the location of your target audience. You can target users both around the world and in a specific geographic region. If your non-profit operates locally, tell us where, and perhaps the surrounding areas that may benefit from your mission and services.

Once you submit your application, you'll receive a confirmation e-mail from our team. It usually takes 3 to 4 months for us to review and process applications.

I hope these tips have been helpful. If you want more details, you can always visit our Google Grants Help Group.