Are you or your organization aware that Google provides $10,000 monthly in ad spend money for Google Adwords spending for non-profit organizations (and some philanthropic arms of educational institutions)? Do you want to take advantage of this opportunity for your organization?

This money can be used to: develop new donors; support the cause(s) of the organization, and even sell products and services (as long as 100% of the proceeds are used to support the avowed purpose of the organization). Strictly commercial use of AdWords in this program is prohibited as are pass-through linking to other websites, or ads for financial products and services. Google monitors this program and eligibility is subject to suspension or termination. Thus, it’s important that your program is set-up and managed in a manner that will promote your organization and its causes in an efficient and effective manner. Icon can help and manage these steps.

How Hard Is It To Qualify? Both easy and hard.  The hard part is correctly filling out the application, setting up the AdWords program, and making sure the keywords, ads, and website are properly focused on meeting Google’s requirements.  Employing Google to help complete the application, set-up the AdWords campaign, and review the website for compliance is a smart move to ensure acceptance in the program and on-going compliance with the program requirements.Is being a 501(c)(3) organization sufficient to qualify an organization for the program? Yes, as long as the organization does not fall into the non-qualifying category set by Google and noted above, and: 1) has approval of their 501(c)(3) status from the IRS; 2) the organization has a live website (the program works with only one website, although an organization is free to have other websites); 3) the ads and website promote worthwhile causes; and, 4) an acceptable AdWords campaign is set-up and submitted for approval.

Note that this program is available in the US and in many other countries as well.What is Google AdWords? AdWords is the pay-per-click program where a company or organization bids on keywords to have their ad placed in one of the first four positions of the Google search results. (The actual ad of the organization in this program will be placed below these first four paid ads.) Each of the ads focuses on a single keyword and a price is “bid” for placement for that keyword. Two important considerations for the “bid” for any one specific keyword: i) the bid amount can change from day-to-day as the bidding is a dynamic bidding process where a company or organization can change, increase, their bid at any time to achieve higher placement; and, ii) the bids for the organization under the rules Google has set limit the maximum bid amount to $2.00, which may not be sufficient for the best placement, i.e., other companies and organizations may bid higher.

The good news is that $10,000 will buy at least 5,000 “clicks” each month, i.e., visits, to your website, and Icon can help with the bidding process to find effective and efficient keywords that will work for your organization. If the average bid cost can be kept at $.50, then 20,000 clicks can be acquired, so bidding strategy and keyword development is very important.

Is it really $10,000 and will it be available each and every month? Yes and no. First, the “yes” part is that this amount is available each month as long as the organization remains eligible for the program and as long as Google remains in business, and keeps the program available. “ No”, because it is not cash, it is a credit that can be used only for the stated purpose of acquiring AdWords clicks. Thus, any credit not used will not be available as a cash refund nor will it “roll over” to the following month, so either use it or lose it. Again, creation and management of your AdWords program are important to fully take advantage of the benefits of this program.

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