So you’ve been approved for a Google Grant, now what? Setting up your AdWords account can be an intimidating task if you aren’t familiar with the language and terminology that Google uses. In this post I’ll explain the basics of your account layout and some of the terminology surrounding AdWords. In upcoming posts, I will give more tips and advice on how to use AdWords in order to maximize your Google Grant and reach your goals.

For an overview on why non-profits and charities should apply to be part of the Google Grants program, please read my post on Google Ad Grants for Charitable Organizations.

Account Layout

There are five main levels that you will need to access in order to start running ads. These can all be found under the Campaigns tab at the top of your AdWords account. From top level down, these are:

    • Campaigns
    • Ad Groups
    • Settings
    • Ads
    • Keywords

Each of these levels will have some common elements. Under every tab in your account you will see performance metrics, click-through-rates, and ad placement ranking. The difference is that each level will show those numbers through its own lens. So at the campaign level you will see how your campaigns compare, and at the keyword level you can see which keywords are the top or bottom performers.

Campaign Level

The campaign level is the main control panel for all of your campaigns. At a glance you will be able to see all campaigns that have been set up, the campaign budget, how your campaigns are performing, and how much of your grant you have spent in a specified time period. At this level, you will also be able to set your daily budget and decide which geographic locations you want your ads to be shown in.

This is also where you separate specific goals into different campaigns. For example, campaigns may be geared towards general outreach to the community, recruiting volunteers, or reaching potential donors. The key is to divide these into manageable groupings that are distinct from each other.

Ad Groups Level

Ad groups are tightly themed groups of ads that fall under designated campaigns. Your goal here will be to split ad groups into subject groups that are very relevant to the overall campaign, but that are different from other target audiences that may fall in the same category. An example of this could be separating seniors and students into two different ad groups under a campaign aimed at recruiting volunteers. Each group is similar to your goal, but may be unique in your choice of ads and keywords to target each separate demographic.


The settings tab is where you can control the location of where your ads are shown, the language they are shown in, the daily budget and the start and end dates for the campaign. Basically this is the nuts and bolts tab.


For the ads level, you are able to see all of your current text ads, which campaign and ad group they belong to, and their performance level. With Google Grants, you are only allowed to use text ads on the search network, so you will need to become proficient in ad writing and understanding what your target audience is looking for. As a non-profit or charity, you should ensure that all of your ads are mission aligned.


Keywords are truly the backbone of Google AdWords. The keywords that you choose for your campaigns are the deciding factor on who is going to be shown your ad. As a non-profit using Google Grants, since you are limited to a $1 maximum bid, keyword selection is extremely important in being able to compete with regular accounts with no maximum bids. Google rewards relevancy, if you can choose keywords that are likely to be searched by people looking for a service you provide, you will be able to get your ads into a high ranking position.

If you have any questions about the Google Ad Grants program or account set-up, please contact us.

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