Case Study: Nonprofit Google Ads Grant Account Excels Despite New Stricter Performance Requirements

Click-through rate chart


This nonprofit organization teamed up with the best and brightest minds in science, education, and technology to develop a better way to identify individual abilities, skills, and interests for children with Autism or other special needs.

We originally started working with this client back in 2015, when we helped them get started with the Google Ads Grant program.  We continuously improved and expanded upon the account, helping them reach full grant utilization ($10,000 per month in ad spend credits.) 

Recently, the grant program has implemented new performance requirements that make it more challenging than ever to maintain compliance with the program. This case study details our approach to maintaining compliance and achieving successful results for this client in 2018.


After working to consistently maximize grant fund utilization throughout 2017, this nonprofit client was looking to comply with new Google Ads Grant policies in 2018 AND maintain approximately $10k monthly ad credit spend, while continuing to drive quality traffic to their website.


Strict new Google Ads Grant requirements: (at least) 5% click-through-rate, more specific keyword targeting, minimum quality score 


Our strategy for achieving this client’s goals while overcoming their challenges was developed using a thorough understanding of the new grant requirements, both in terms of its restrictions and the possibility of using some policies to our advantage. It relied on our experience working with many nonprofit accounts, as well as applying tactics successfully used in paid campaigns.

  • Optimize quality score by implementing SKAG’s structure: With fewer options for eligible terms, those remaining needed to be given the best chance to succeed. This was accomplished with very granular campaigns and a 1:1 ratio between ad copy and targeted keyword.
  • Maintain reach by expanding keyword list: Many long-tail keyword variations were derived from analysis of the search terms report. By replacing broad or newly ineligible phrases, these high-intent keywords helped to increase click-through-rate and drive motivated traffic. 
  • Keep account compliant and competitive through automation: Since quality score can change over time, an automated rule was created to detect and pause low quality keywords daily, avoiding potential grant suspension and lost traffic. Per new policies, the “maximize conversions” automated bid strategy was no longer subject to the previous $2 bid cap. All campaigns were updated to benefit from this feature.   


Year-over-year, the account saw an +61.17% increase in clicks, +44.24% increase in click-through-rate, and +5.88% increase in fund utilization. These increases in volume did not come at the expense of engagement: users from ads viewed +65.04% more pages per session in 2018, and on average spent +208.08% longer on the site than in 2017.

This organization is still an active client of Pam Ann Marketing and, with our help, their Google Ads Grant account continues to evolve and help them achieve their marketing goals.

Contact Us

Contact us to discuss having us achieve similar results for your organization.

Pam Aungst Cronin
Try SEMRush