Introduction to Google Ad Grants

Using (Free) Ads to Bring People to Your Website

How Do People Arrive at Your Website?

One Month of Traffic

Example: Koios Website (100 Users)
Example: Tulsa Public Library
(servicepop=640K, yellow=7%)
Example: Oak Park (IL) Public Library
Example: Champaign (IL) Public Library
Example: EveryLibrary Institute

Google Ads (Paid)

Ads on Google look like [this].

Google Ads Auction (Paid)

Google Ads for Libraries

Libraries are a great fit for Google Ads

VoilĂ ! Google Ad Grants

Google offers free advertising for nonprofits


  • Paid goes first (secondary auction)
  • Takes some work to maintain
  • Staying in compliance with Google's requirements
  • Spending the full allocation each month is not a given; average spend across the program is 17%

Running Google Ads

When you get your Ad Grant, Google will create a new Google Ads account for you. The Google Ads interface is a full-featured application, meant for advertising professionals; it offers many options for creating ads and determining when and where they may be shown.

Lessons From Koios

  • Worth doing, 17% average spend still means $20K/year
  • Need large number of keywords to get maximum results
  • Population density helps grant spend
  • Better suited for awareness vs. driving specific marketing initiatives
  • Google Support is available to Ad Grant recipients, and forums are helpful.

How to Get Started

Apply for the Grant Yourself

  • Check your eligibility
    • If you are a 501(c)3, great
    • If not, check with your Friends or Foundation
    • In Canada, look up your library on the Canada Revenue Agency website, or work with another registered charity
  • Check your website quality (https)
  • Sign up with Google For Nonprofits
  • Apply for Ad Grant online

Consider working with Koios

  • Koios is about information
  • Experienced with applying for Ad Grants and managing accounts
  • Big Data approach, with over 7M ads, spent $5M on behalf of libraries in 2023
  • Create many thousands of ads to promote your online catalog
  • 60-day free trial, we get the grant for you, then fire up catalog and other campaigns
  • Spend most or all of allocation, visible increase in overall website traffic
  • email: