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Ad Grants: 20 years of nonprofits helping more and spending less

A collage of images, including several recipients of ad grants.

In 2022, the Google Ad Grants program donated more than $1.8 billion worth of Search ads to nonprofits around the world. Launched 20 years ago, Ad Grants has driven more than 14 billion clicks to nonprofits’ websites, boosting their ability to recruit volunteers, attract donors, reach the communities they help and advocate for the causes they support.

Google’s Ad Grants allow us to combat the spread of misinformation and promote accurate lifesaving advice. Together we are able to target specific populations with tailored content at the time they need it most. We are literally saving lives here. Andy Pattison
Digital Manager, WHO

Set up to help nonprofits share their causes with the world, over 65,000 nonprofits receive up to $10,000 of donated Search ads through the program each month. For select organizations, Ad Grants advisors at Google provide extra support to help launch and optimize ads.

In 2003, Google donated its first Search ads to the March of Dimes nonprofit organization. This was very early in Google’s history and even then we already recognized how useful digital ads could be in helping organizations connect with new people and reach their objectives.

Every day, we work to build tools that help organizations of all sizes grow and be successful. Nonprofits do critical work for our society, tackling pressing issues like disaster response and recovery, fighting racial injustice, refugee support, and many, many more. I’m grateful that this amazing work can be amplified through the Ad Grants program.

Ad Grants was essential to create a solid online presence. It has helped us reach more donors, more partners, more volunteers and, more importantly, those in need. Since implementing Ad Grants, we have had more help and can help more! Constança Dias
Director, Just a Change

To help organizations operating with limited resources and time make the most of Ad Grants, we’ve created self-serve resources like this online product training. If you work at a nonprofit or know an organization that would benefit, check out

Keep reading to learn more about how Ad Grants has helped organizations around the world.

  • Image of three volunteers standing in front of a wall, wearing helmets and a Just A Change t-shirt and holding putty knives.

    In 2019, Ad Grants expanded to even more countries, including Portugal. Just A Change, a Portuguese nonprofit dedicated to rebuilding homes for those living in poverty, used to find volunteers by word of mouth. Once they launched their Ad Grants campaigns, they were able to more easily reach volunteers across the country. With help from Ad Grants, they brought their average monthly website visitors from 2,300 to 4,300, doubled their social media followers and saw a spike in online donations after activating a donation-driven campaign.

  • Image of an elderly woman reading a book while holding a toddler on her lap and with two teenagers seated next to her.

    Founded in Walnut Creek, California in 2001, Elder Wisdom Circle builds a bridge between generations by pairing advice seekers with a network of older adults who provide guidance based on their life experiences. As one of the first users of Ad Grants in 2005, Elder Wisdom Circle uses keywords like “career counseling” and “elder advice” to connect with folks in need, while creating an opportunity for older adults to contribute to their communities. Over the last decade, Ad Grants led to nearly 500,000 requests for advice, and in 2022 alone, 76% of Elder Wisdom Circle’s website visitors originated from ads.

  • Close-up photo of a bison.

    The Heinz Sielmann Foundation is a German foundation that focuses on the conservation of biological diversity, operates nature experience centers and manages species protection projects. When they had trouble finding new donors, they turned to Ad Grants. By combining Ad Grants and paid Google Search ads, they targeted people specifically interested in conservation and increased donations by 150% in 2022 compared to 2021. Using 97% of their Ad Grants allocation, they drove 300,000 impressions on their ad campaigns.

  • Photo from above of people seated at different tables, studying in a library renovated by Book Bunk.

    Book Bunk is changing Nairobi by restoring some of the city’s most iconic public libraries and transforming them into sites of heritage and culture. For Book Bunk, reaching out to library communities, literary enthusiasts and donors is key to support operations. With Ad Grants, they have received more than 19,000 clicks to their website and seen an increase in their global audience, leading to a surge in media enquiries, mailing list subscribers and engagement on social media.

  • Image of yellow stickers and pin-back buttons with “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” written in English or Spanish.

    Vaccine recommendations are complex and fluid, making it difficult for providers and the public to keep up with the latest information. By developing educational resources and sharing credible information, Minnesota-based supports the work of health professionals and advocates for government policies that remove barriers to vaccination. With help from Nazifa Nasim — a Google employee who supported the nonprofit as an Ad Grants Advisor — surged from 25,000 visitors per day to over 40,000 at the peak of their vaccination program.

  • Picture of a man sitting beside a young child, assisting them with their studies. Both the man and the child look at an open textbook.

    Based in Los Angeles, Penny Lane provides residential care, foster care, mental health services and additional types of assistance to 6,000 children, youth and families. In 2022, their Ad Grants campaigns helped them recruit 64 volunteers and raise more than $20,000 in donations.

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