Google Ad Grants activation guide

The Ad Grants team is currently experiencing large volumes of activation requests causing longer than average response times. If your activation request status is "product activation received," it has been successfully submitted and will be answered in the order that it was received.

Thank you for your patience.

Are you an experienced digital marketer?

Switch to Google Ads expert mode for bidding strategies, customisable keywords and more. You'll need to dedicate extra hours to customising, tracking and managing your campaigns. Follow the Google Ad Grants expert activation guide to set up your account.

Part 1: Ad Grants pre-qualification

Welcome to the Ad Grants pre-qualification process. If you have not been approved through Google for Nonprofits, please visit the Google for Nonprofits website.

If you have been approved through Google for Nonprofits, please complete the steps below.

Step 1 of 4: Create your Ad Grants account

When you create your Ad Grants account, you'll need to use the same user name for your Google for Nonprofits account. For example, if you signed up for Google for Nonprofits using, you must use the same username for your Ad Grants account.

  1. Click the Get started button below.

Get started

  1. Select the Google account that you used to sign up for Google for Nonprofits. If you do not see the account listed, click Use another account and enter the username and password associated with your Google for Nonprofits account.

  2. Under 'Billing country', select the country where your organisation is located.

  3. Under 'Time zone', select your time zone.

  4. Under 'Currency', select US Dollar, regardless of the currency in your country.

  5. Click Submit.

  6. At the top-right corner of your Google Ads account, take note of your customer ID. Your Google Ads customer ID is in the format of xxx-xxx-xxxx. 

Do not enter credit card details or any other billing information when creating your Google Ads account for Google Ad Grants. If you enter credit card information and your campaigns run, you will be responsible for paying any charges accrued.

Step 2 of 4: Submit the pre-qualification survey

Please fill in the survey by clicking the Pre-qualification button below. This 10-minute survey is intended to identify organisations eligible for the Ad Grants programme and to help us learn more about those organisations. With your responses, we'll aim to improve your experience and effectiveness to support your organisation.


Step 3 of 4: Ad Grants training

To participate in the Google Ad Grants programme, your account must meet the criteria defined below and all programme policies. This 5-minute video explains participation guidelines and tips for how to succeed in the programme. Please watch the video, then complete a short quiz by clicking on the Ad Grants training and quiz button below. Ad Grants accounts will not be activated unless the Ad Grants training and quiz is completed accurately.

Welcome to Google Ad Grants


Ad Grants training and quiz


Step 4 of 4: Submit your account for pre-qualification review

  1. In the top-right corner of your Google Ads account, locate your customer ID. Your Google Ads customer ID is in the format of xxx-xxx-xxxx.

  2. Sign in to Google for Nonprofits.

  3. Click Activate under Google Ad Grants.

  4. Under 'Part 1: Pre-qualification', enter your customer ID.

  5. Click Submit.

Your pre-qualification submission will be reviewed and you'll receive an email with further instructions within five working days. Do not proceed with Part 2 of the guide until you have received this email.

Part 2: Ad Grants account creation guide

If your organisation has not been approved through the Ad Grants pre-qualification process, follow the steps in Part 1 of this activation guide before creating your Ad Grants account as outlined below.

Only once you’ve received an email stating your pre-qualification has been approved, complete the following steps exactly as written to set up your account. Otherwise, you may need to start again and create a new account.


Step 1 of 2: Create your campaign

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account. Sign in with the same username that you used to create your Ad Grants account in Part 1.

  2. On the 'Campaigns' page, click +New campaign.

  3. Under 'Select the goal that would make this campaign successful to you', click Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.

  4. Under 'Select a campaign type', click Smart.

  5. Under 'What action do you most want customers to take?', select the goal most closely aligned to the action that you want users to take when they see your ad.

  6. Click Continue.

Describe your organisation

On the 'Describe your business' page, you'll enter information about your non-profit organisation.

  1. Under 'Business name', enter your organisation’s name.

  2. Under 'Business website', enter the URL of your organisation's website.

  3. Click Save

Select where to show your ad

  1. On the 'Where are your customers?' page, click either 'Set up a radius around your business' or 'Set up specific areas'.
  2. Select the appropriate locations where your organisation serves or markets to your audience.


Use specific geo-targeting to show ads in locations where users will find your nonprofit's information and services useful.

If you primarily serve your local community, your ads should be shown only in your town or local area, such as food banks and houses of worship.  

If you are an organisation that has different services locally and nationally, separate campaigns by geographic area to ensure that users can benefit from your services in their geographic location.

If you would like to brand your organisation in a wider geographic area, such as a museum that would like visitors from across the country to visit, one campaign may be geo-targeted widely that indicate your service and city name, such as 'art museums in Toronto', while most of your campaigns would show ads in the Toronto area.  

If you do humanitarian relief in Nepal but your primary online goal is to raise donations and your donors are in the United States, show your ads in the US.

Rarely is it relevant to show ads worldwide.

  1. Click Next.

Define your product or service

  1. On the 'Define your product or service' page, select the language that you want to advertise in.

  2. Under 'What is your business category?', select the category most specific and relevant to your organisation.



The product or service you choose helps determine the search phrases associated with your campaigns, so review your selection to make sure it is specific and accurately describes your organisation.

For example, an organisation that runs a suicide hotline could select 'Suicide Prevention Programmes' or  'Crisis centre'; an organisation that provides job training could select 'Job Training Programmes' or 'Non-Profit Job Training Support'; an organisation that advocates for environmental issues could select 'Environmental protection organisation', 'Environmental issues' or 'Effects of Deforestation'.  

If more than one category is relevant to your organisation, you can create another campaign for that category after initial account setup is complete.

  1. Under 'What specific products or services do you want to promote in this ad?' add specific products or services that further describe your organisation. You can also add from the auto-populated keywords in the 'Suggested for you' section.

  2. Click Next.

Create your ad

  1. On the 'Let’s write your ad' page, follow the step-by-step instructions to create your ad.


Highlight what makes your organisation unique. 100% tax deductible donations? Offer pick-up for large donations? Tell people! Highlight features or areas that make your organisation stand out.

Call to action. Tell your users what they can do. Don’t ask them a question – be the answer. Are you looking for volunteers? Tell users what kind of service they could provide. Do you offer a hotline? Tell users how they can contact you. Calls to action such as volunteer, donate today, sign up, call us or learn more: make clear what the next steps are.

Use the space available to you. Expanded headline fields increase the clickable space of your ads, and allow you to communicate more with someone who’s searching before they decide whether to click through to your website.

  1. Under 'Clicks on your ad go to', include the specific page on your website that you want your ad to direct to. Make sure that whatever you speak to in the ad, users can find easily on the page. Users might leave your website if they don’t find what they expect.


To direct traffic to additional pages of your website, you will need to create new campaigns. You can do so once you’ve completed Step 1.

  1. While only one ad is required for Smart campaigns, we recommend creating 2-3 ads to improve performance. To do so, click Write another ad and follow the instructions above.

  2. Click Next.

  3. Do not add any images on the 'Add images to your ad (optional)' page. Click Next.

Set your budget

  1. On the 'Set your budget' page, enter 329 USD or less. If you create more than one campaign, your total spend will not exceed 329 USD per day across all campaigns.

  2. Click Next.

Review your ad settings

  1. On the 'Review your ad settings' page, review your ad and make edits if needed.

  2. Click Next.


Create additional campaigns. If more than one category is relevant to your organisation, or you want to promote additional pages on your website, you can create another campaign. To do this, click All Campaigns on the left navigation bar. Then click Create new campaign and follow the instructions in this guide to set up your new campaign.

Step 2 of 2: Submit your account for review

Make sure that your account meets all of the criteria above before you submit your account for review.

  1. In the top-right corner of your account, locate your customer ID by clicking the person icon. Your Google Ads customer ID is in the format of xxx-xxx-xxxx.

  2. Sign in to Google for Nonprofits.

  3. Click Activate under Google Ad Grants.

  4. Under 'Part 2: Account Review', enter your customer ID.

  5. Click Activate.

Your account will be reviewed to make sure that it complies with policies and you'll usually receive an email within 10 working days.

Learn how to get the most out of your Ad Grants account


The Ad Grants team communicates with those enrolled in the programme through email and in-product notifications. To receive invitations to local workshops and for personalised account help, opt in to 'Customised help & performance suggestions emails' and 'Special offers'.

  1. Click on the Tools icon at the upper-right corner of your account.

  2. Click Preferences.

  3. The 'Notification topics' column shows the different email notification types. In the 'Email settings column', click the toggle for 'Customised help & performance suggestions emails' and 'Special offers'.

The Ad Grants team offers educational live streams and videos, volunteer support from partner universities through the Online Challenge Programme, and help from the Ad Grants contributors in the Ad Grants Community.

Interested in professional account management?

The Google Ad Grants Certified Professionals Community was designed to enhance the Ad Grants experience for professionals and Grantees alike. This community recognises the network of agencies, consultants and trainers who look after nonprofits globally, and connects Grantees to recommended professionals through our Certified Professionals Directory.


Related links

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue