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Rejected For Google For Nonprofits? Here’s Why.

by Robert Coats on September 19, 2015

As the Top Contributor for Google Ad Grants in the AdWords Community I am often asked the following question by many nonprofit organizations:

“Why was my application to Google for Nonprofits denied?”

The reasons behind each applicant’s denial are slightly different but suffice to say not all nonprofit organizations are eligible for the Google for Nonprofits program.

One thing I recommend to nonprofits is to read the eligibility guidelines before applying to see if your nonprofit is likely to be approved. You can find the eligibility guidelines by country here:

Google For Nonprofits Eligibility Guidelines For US-based Organizations Are:

  • Organizations must be recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary, scientific, or other tax-exempt purposes. For more information, see How to Apply for Charity Status.
  • Organizations that rely on the group 501(c)(3) exemption of a central (“umbrella”) organization can apply to Google for Nonprofits as a “related organization.”
  • Organizations, such as churches, that are automatically considered tax-exempt must still obtain recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS to qualify for the Google for Nonprofits program.

The organizations must not be one of the following:

  • Governmental entity or organization
  • Hospital or health care organization
  • School, childcare center, academic institution, or university (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible). To learn more about Google’s programs for educational institutions, visit Google for Education.

Top 3 Reasons Why Nonprofits Are Rejected For The Google For Nonprofits Program When You Think They Meet The Eligibility Guidelines:

Over the years of managing Ad Grant accounts, here are the top 3 reasons why I’ve seen nonprofits denied for the Google For Nonprofits program when they thought they were eligible.

  1. The organization is a new nonprofit and although it may be listed in the IRS database it has not yet been updated over into the GuideStar database.
  2. They do not have a website set up or it is listed as under construction.
  3. Their NTEE category codes incorrectly lists them under an ineligible category such as a hospital.

All three situations above can be rectified but the steps for each may be a little different depending on the unique situation for each nonprofit. If you and your organization are running into issues with your application, there are three main places you can go for assistance:

  1. The Google For Nonprofits Discussion Group
  2. The Google Ad Grants Help Forum within the official AdWords Community
  3. Reach out to us here at Kinsey Street and we will be glad to assist.

If you are a 501(C)(3) that has not registered for Google For Nonprofits yet and you believe your organization is eligible, I highly recommend that you take the steps to register today. It is a great program that Google provides for nonprofits and if you need help, simply give us a call at 425-405-0690 and we will help guide you through the process free of charge.

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