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Getting Attention is your online hub for resources on how to get started with the Microsoft Ad Grant!

Everything You Need to Know about Microsoft Ad Grants

Benefits of the Microsoft Ad Grant

Benefits of the Microsoft Ad Grant include:

  • Boosting engagement and awareness for your mission. Microsoft’s intelligent ad placement also means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. Your marketing budget will thank you later!
  • Attracting new donors and volunteers. The Microsoft Ad Grant helps you extend your reach to potential support bases while retaining current ones. 
  • Accelerating your mission outcomes. You can now attract more qualified traffic to your website so that you can focus more energy on what matters most: your mission. 

Think about Microsoft Ad Grants as your very own digital marketing secret weapon. Nonprofits awarded with the Microsoft Ad Grant get the advantage of bidding on more keywords. This means that your nonprofit will show up at the top of Microsoft-owned and operated websites for keywords that are relevant to your mission. In other words, your potential visibility drastically increases.

Now that you know some of the benefits of Microsoft Ad Grants, you might be asking if your nonprofit is eligible. Let’s explore this in the next section.

Who is eligible for Microsoft Ad Grants?

Eligibility is determined by a couple of major factors. So, before you apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant, let’s make sure you are up to speed on a couple of eligibility requirements.

To register for the Microsoft Ad Grant, you must:

  1. Have a current 501(c)(3) status which means you are fully registered as a nonprofit organization and the IRS recognizes you as an official charitable organization and exempts you from tax obligations. 
  2. Adhere to Microsoft’s anti-discrimination policy. More information about this policy can be found here
  3. Have an outlined mission to benefit the broader community. This includes but is not limited to: providing relief to the poor, improving social welfare, and advocating for human rights. 
  4. Only assign grants to eligible staff. This includes paid nonprofit employees and unpaid executive leaders. 
  5. Only use grants for your nonprofit. You are not permitted to assign grants to affiliate or sister organizations.

Ineligible organizations include healthcare, governmental, educational, political, and professional organizations.

To recap, review this list of organizations that are eligible and ineligible to apply: 


  • Legally Registered Nonprofits
  • Public Libraries
  • Public Museums
  • Religious Organizations


  • Universities 
  • Healthcare
  • Government Organizations
  • Professional Organizations

What is the difference between Microsoft Ad Grants and Google Ad Grants?

So, maybe you’ve heard of Google Ad Grants, but Microsoft Ad Grants is a whole new concept. This would not be surprising since Microsoft Ad Grants rolled out in 2021, and Google Ad Grants have been around since 2003. To discover which program is right for you, let’s dive into some key differences.

Ad Grant Amounts

Microsoft awards eligible nonprofits with $3,000 compared to Google’s $10,000. It is also worth noting that Microsoft’s reach is smaller and more niche than Google’s. 

How They Work

With the Microsoft Ad Grant, your $3,000 is applied to your existing paid account. It covers your first $3,000 per month. Basically, it increases your monthly paid search budget for Microsoft by $3,000 by acting as a coupon applied to your already existing paid Microsoft account. 

The Google Ad Grant program is a bit more involved than Microsoft’s. Google Ads require you to make a separate ad account dedicated to your Google Ads Grant. You would not need to apply your payment information to this account as the full monthly amount is covered by Google. Check out Getting Attention’s guide to the Google Ad Grant for more information about applying for this program. 


There is only one restriction associated with Microsoft’s program. The $3,000 must only be applied to Microsoft-owned and operated products within the platform. So, you would have to turn off Audience Network and turn off “target partner sites”. If you would like to reach those audiences, you would have to pay for that service on your own. 

Other than the restriction outlined above, Microsoft Ads does not require any minimum ad clickthrough rates (CTRs), quality scores, or maximum cost per click (CPCs). So, the Microsoft Ad Grant is treated the same as normal paid search spending cash. 

Google Ad Grant restrictions are much tighter than Microsoft’s. Minimum CTRs, quality scores, and maximum CPCs are crucial parts of how Google monitors your grant spending. These measurements related to your Google Ads Account mean that your strategy for this account should be different from your strategy for your paid account on Google. 

Who Can Apply for the Microsoft Ad Grant

Examining the type of nonprofit or charitable organization you own is helpful to decide which grant program is right for you. 

As mentioned before, organizations eligible for Microsoft Grants include legally registered nonprofits, public libraries, public museums, and religious organizations. The Microsoft grant program does not accept governmental, educational, professional, or healthcare-related organizations.

Google Grants are similar in their exclusion of educational, government, and healthcare-related nonprofits. But there are further aspects to consider if you are leaning toward applying for a Google Ad Grant. 

The Google Grant is useful for nonprofits that have well-established websites and extremely relevant missions and topics–meaning people are searching for it online. This suggestion does not exclude newer nonprofits as Google Ads may be a worthwhile way to grow your supporter base. However, it does require consistent maintenance. So, it’s not uncommon for nonprofits to outsource the work to a dedicated agency to apply and run campaigns on their behalf. 

Other Considerations

What type of audience are you targeting? Different demographics use different search engines. If you would like to reach a more mature and established audience, Microsoft Ad Grants might be the right choice for you. 

Microsoft search platforms have an 18% share of the desktop search market. Also, Microsoft users possess a high average household income; 34% have a household income in the top 25%. 

Now that you have all the information about the Microsoft Ad Grant, let’s explore how to begin the application process. 

How to Get Started with Microsoft Ad Grants with Getting Attention

You can get started with our Microsoft experts at Getting Attention by following the steps below

  1. Consultation. Meet with the Getting Attention experts to outline your digital advertising goals. They’ll help you curate the perfect digital strategy while finding what makes your donors unique. 
  2. Research. The Getting Attention team will review your digital footprint, including your existing website and online campaigns. After some digging, they will discuss opportunities that can help you raise even more money.
  3. Launch. The experts at Getting Attention will help you gather all the right information for you to register with Microsoft Ad Grants, so your carefully coordinated campaigns can go live ASAP!
  4. Monitor. By working with the Getting Attention team during your active campaign, you can be sure that their eyes are always on the prize. By paying special attention to metrics, they’ll help create a strategy that delivers results

Additional Resources on Microsoft Ad Grants

Check out these resources to learn more about Microsoft Ad Grants