Keyword ideas for nonprofits (Google Ad Grants)

I have put together this guide with some tips and many examples of keywords that can be useful for non-profit organizations of all kinds (associations, foundations, schools, churches, etc.).

It’s focused on Google Ads campaigns for nonprofits (Google Ad Grants, which is my specialty), but they can also be used for SEO (“search engine optimization”).

The goal of this document is to give you ideas so that you can create a very complete list of keywords and you can discover many interesting opportunities to promote your nonprofit on Google.

Most nonprofits focus on fairly obvious keywords that have low volume of searches or high competition. This mistake limits the results of their campaigns.

If you don’t have a well-researched list of keywords, you will not be able to take full advantage of Google Ad Grants, no matter how much you optimize everything else (settings, ads, landing pages…).

The keyword list can be used not only for Google Ads, but also for your SEO and content marketing strategy. If you create good content on these topics/keywords, you can:

  • provide useful information to society (you can solve questions and problems that many people are searching for)
  • increase the organic visibility in Google of your website (better SEO rankings, more visitors for free…)
  • reach more people on social networks (content virality).

This guide starts with some general tips for building a good keyword list, and then moves on to the keyword examples, divided by category:

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

1) Check this entire guide . Write down the ideas and specific keywords that may be interesting for your organization.

It is better to write down the keywords in a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for example). 1 keyword per line. This way it’s easier to add them to Google Ads, create keyword dvariants, etc.

2) Enter the Keyword Planner, select the “Discover new keywords” option and then “START WITH A WEBSITE”

This will give you keyword ideas based on the content that already exists on your website, so they are very convenient (you don’t have to develop new content to target those keywords).

3) Think of other variants and related keywords based on the lists you have obtained in the previous 2 steps.

You can ask that the staff, partners and volunteers of your organization to participate in this brainstorm.

4) Enter the Keyword Planner, select the “Discover new keywords” option and this time select the “START WITH KEYWORDS” option. Put in all the keywords that you collected in the previous steps.

After this you should already have a fairly wide list of keywords.

5) The last step is to check the volume of visitors that could be generated with those keywords and decide which ones should be prioritized.

To do this, enter the Keyword Planner and this time select the option “Check search volume and forecasts”. Copy there all the keywords that you collected in the previous steps.

To prioritize, you have to look at 3 things:

  • Search volume
  • Relevance (if they fit well with the goals of your organization)
  • Existing content (if you already have pages or articles on your website that match with these searches)

Obviously the best keywords have a high search volume and are very relevant to the goals of your organization. Those should be your #1 priority (launch those campaigns first, spend more time optimizing them, make sure they never run out of budget…).

If you already have pages on your website that match perfectly those keywords (they “solve” what those users are looking for), then it’s perfect because you save yourself the trouble of creating new pages for these ads.

Among the other words, you must prioritize according to your resources and goals. For example:

  • If you have little time and resources to create new content, prioritize searches that you can “answer” with existing pages on your website.
  • If you want to boost the visibility of the organization, prioritize searches with more search volume (but bear in mind that it’s usually more difficult to generate conversions from generic searches).
  • If you want to boost conversions, prioritize the searches most related to those specific goals, even if they do not have a lot of search volume.

The traffic data that this tool tells you are just estimates. It is useful to get a rough idea a priori, but normally they will not coincide with what you will see in reality. It also depends a lot on the quality of the campaigns you launch, the quality score you get, how the competitors behave, etc.

If all this seems too much work or you are not sure how to approach it in your case, you can hire an expert. For Google Ad Grants you can use my services.

DONATIONS

Brand searches

  • Organization name
  • Variants of the organization name, including misspellings
  • Specific initiatives of the organization (e.g., X store, X solidarity race…)
  • Searches related to the organization (e.g., X opinions, X legit…)
  • Names of staff and partners of the organization (perhaps also famous collaborators)

Nonprofit searches

nonprofit searches of a certain topic or area

nonprofit + location

  • nonprofit UK
  • nonprofit texas

nonprofit + scope

  • local nonprofit
  • nearby nonprofit
  • national nonprofit
  • international nonprofit
  • global nonprofit

nonprofit + cause

  • environmental nonprofit
  • nonprofit poverty
  • nonprofits dogs
  • christian nonprofit

nonprofit + cause + area

  • environmental nonprofit texas

different kinds of nonprofit organizations (without the word nonprofit)

  • charity texas
  • charitable organization texas
  • non-governmental organization texas
  • NGO texas
  • alzheimer association
  • civil rights organization
  • ecologist web
  • food bank
  • animal shelter 
  • adoption center
  • evangelic church

searches to decide which nonprofit to help

  • what nonprofit to help
  • what is the best nonprofit to donate
  • nonprofits reviews
  • best nonprofits
  • recommended nonprofits
  • most efficient nonprofits
  • nonprofit listings
  • top nonprofits
  • nonprofits directory
  • search nonprofit
  • choose nonprofit

names of websites for nonprofits or even names of other “competing” nonprofits

  • charity watch
  • guidestar

Be careful if you use these kinds of words. Aside from ethical dilemmas, the CTR can be very low because your ad doesn’t show the users what they were looking for (the other website, not yours). And that low CTR can affect your whole account.

Donation-related searches

donate + location

  • donation venezuela
  • donate africa

donate + object to donate

  • donate money
  • donate car
  • donate hair
  • donate clothes
  • donate glasses
  • donate furniture

donate + cause

  • donate fires australia
  • donate syrian crisis

donation type

  • donate online
  • donate check
  • donate with paypal
  • donate bitcoins
  • monthly donation
  • recurring donation
  • planned donations
  • donation in honor of
  • micro donations

Variants of all of the above can also be included (in addition to donating X , adding the same with donation X, donor X, etc.). Although it is not essential if broad agreement is used.

gifts / giving

  • planned giving
  • sympathy gifts
  • retirement gifts
  • corporate gifts
  • memorial gifts
  • charitable gift
  • bereavement gifts
  • tribute gift
  • end of year gifts
  • EOY gifts

Searches that may be related to donations

tax treatment of donations

  • tax relief donations
  • tax deduction nonprofits
  • deductible donations

religious terms related to donations

  • tithe
  • zakat
  • zakat calculator

fundraising initiatives

  • fundraising for haiti
  • funds for haiti
  • raise for haiti
  • charity auction

wills

  • charity will
  • charity legacy
  • types of wills
  • will or legacy
  • inheritance tax

Users who want to help

help + cause

  • help syrian emergency
  • humanitarian aid venezuela

support + cause

  • support nonprofit
  • support syria

save + subject

  • save the planet
  • how to save bees

fight or stop or prevent + subject

  • fight climate change
  • stop whaling
  • prevent extinction rhinos

adopt + subject

  • adoption children africa
  • adopt dog
  • puppies for adoption
  • adopt pet for free
  • dog adoption center

sponsor + subject

  • sponsor child
  • sponsor elephant

rescue + subject

  • bird rescue
  • rescued dogs

what to do + subject

  • what can i do about climate change

Event searches that can generate donations  

charity days

  • giving tuesday 2020

day + theme

  • children’s cancer day
  • earth day
  • mother’s day
  • world water day

week + topic

  • science week

charity events + theme or location

  • solidarity events texas
  • concert help haiti

social samples

  • cancer ribbon

Searches for paid products or services that can be redirected to nonprofit causes

  • buy dog or dog breeders (to promote adoption)
  • best investment money (to promote donations or gifts)
  • purchase X product (to promote products sold by the nonprofit to raise funds)
  • learn french (to promote volunteering in French-speaking countries)

VOLUNTEERING

Specific searches for volunteering

generic searches

  • volunteering
  • how to volunteer
  • I want to be a volunteer
  • volunteer program
  • volunteer work
  • sign up as a volunteer

all of the above + cause

  • environmental volunteering
  • food bank volunteer

all of the above + type

  • online volunteering
  • technological volunteering
  • logistics volunteer
  • volunteer build houses

all of the above + location

  • texas volunteer
  • volunteer near me
  • volunteering abroad
  • volunteering in africa
  • countries for volunteering

Volunteer related searches

  • community service
  • volunteer ideas
  • volunteer forum
  • websites for volunteers

Job or training searches that may attract volunteers        

training + topic

  • gender violence training
  • master social inclusion and disability

work + topic

  • social work
  • nonprofit jobs

work + cause

  • farm work africa
  • wild animals job

SALES

Charity product searches

charity products

  • gifts that give back
  • charity gifts
  • solidarity gifts
  • charity shop
  • charity products

nonprofit products

  • nonprofit gifts
  • nonprofit products
  • nonprofit store

ethical commerce

  • fair trade
  • ethical products

gifts + cause

  • eco gifts

products + cause

  • feminist shirts

store + cause

  • africa craft store

Products for events

  • charity weddings
  • charity wedding gifts
  • charity birthday
  • solidarity christmas
  • all of the above with alternatives to the word “solidarity” (e.g., nonprofits, causes …)

Gift searches

generic searches

  • buy gifts
  • buy presents
  • online gift shop

gifts for + recipient

  • boyfriend gift
  • brother gift
  • baby gift
  • gift for a woman

gifts for events

  • wedding gift
  • wedding guest gifts
  • marriage gifts
  • wedding gift cards
  • what to give at a wedding
  • christening gifts

Product searches

clothing + cause

  • polar bear shirts
  • free tibet cap

Products related to the cause

  • puppy collars
  • emergency kit
  • ecological products ( reusable bottles, bottles without bpa, metal straws …)

SERVICES

Searches for charity events

charity race

  • charity race Madrid
  • 10k charity
  • cancer half marathon

charity concert

  • charity concert Barcelona
  • concert climate change

Searches for “normal” events

They are interesting keywords if you are going to organize a specific fundraising event or if your organization offers frequently any kind of events (exhibitions, classes, sports…).

what to do + place

  • what to do in texas
  • what to do near texas

what to do + moment

  • what to do today
  • what to do this weekend
  • what to do may

time + place

  • christmas texas
  • may texas

activities + place

  • free activities texas

events + place

  • events texas
  • top 10 texas

activities or places for + recipient

  • places for children
  • fun activities for kids
  • activities for rainy days

name of specific activities

  • retreats texas
  • workshop for entrepreneurs
  • marathon texas

name of the place where your event will be held or where similar events are held  

  • madison square garden
  • central park ny

name of leisure websites

  • ticketmaster texas
  • texas time out

Searches for charity-related services

food banks

  • food banks nearby
  • free food texas

pets

  • low-cost vet
  • dog vaccines

kids

  • extracurricular activities
  • soccer team
  • language classes
  • summer camps

scholarships and financial aid

  • scholarships for university
  • scholarships texas
  • grants for single women
  • aid for single women

Searches for remote services

therapy

  • online therapy
  • free therapy
  • free online psychologist
  • depression questions
  • speak with someone

advice

  • crisis hotline
  • entrepreneurship advice
  • immigrant advisor
  • abuse care line

registry

  • register to vote
  • X aid registration

INFORMATION

Searches for online resources and tools

greeting cards

  • greeting cards
  • birthday cards
  • birthday postcards
  • christmas cards
  • christmas free christmas
  • christmas greetings
  • free e-cards

books

  • free children’s books
  • ebooks for children
  • children stories
  • online books ecology

quizs

  • test what animal you are
  • quiz kids
  • ecology questionnaire

resources for teachers and students

  • scientific experiments for children
  • science fair projects
  • school games ideas
  • children programming
  • games spell
  • algebra problems
  • math games
  • 5th math exercises
  • math notebooks
  • examples math classes
  • mathematical questions
  • math webs
  • teach math
  • learn math
  • teach tolerance
  • explain adolescent gender violence

religious resources

  • family prayers
  • prayers for children
  • pray for my son
  • bible about families
  • jewish calendar
  • catholic holidays
  • study quran

leisure and hobby resources

  • race pace calculator
  • marathon training
  • games for kids
  • recipes for kids
  • draw whale
  • paint jellyfish
  • photography contest
  • quiz dogs
  • justice poems
  • feminist songs lyrics
  • driving test test
  • driving test questions
  • driving manual
  • learn language signs
  • language classes signs
  • app language signs
  • what to do bored
  • things to do

resources for problems

  • dementia test
  • personality test
  • children depression quiz
  • hurricane tracking map
  • measure footprint impact
  • alcohol units calculator

professional or financial resources

  • retirement calculator
  • unemployment calculator
  • SWOT analysis
  • mortgage calculation
  • consumer loan interest

Searches related to personal problems

diseases and their treatments

  • cancer symptoms
  • cancer signs
  • cancer phases
  • types of cancer
  • cancer data
  • cancer statistics
  • causes cancer
  • cancer effects
  • cancer prevention
  • cancer treatments
  • cancer psychologist
  • cancer solutions
  • cancer food
  • cancer diet
  • cancer surgery
  • cancer Cure
  • overcome cancer
  • cure cancer
  • cancer in children
  • liver cancer

possible addictions

  • alcohol less calories
  • alcohol vodka
  • i think i’m an alcoholic
  • alcohol anxiety
  • alcohol abuse

healthy exercises and techniques

  • relaxation techniques
  • mindfulness exercises
  • relax music
  • yoga kids

food

  • vegan diet
  • vegetarian recipes
  • gluten free food

Searches related to personal interests

hobbies

  • classical music
  • violin lessons
  • recycled furniture
  • plastic bottles crafts
  • nearby forests
  • star map

places related to hobbies

  • national parks
  • natural reserves

animals

  • baby chimp
  • polar bear
  • labrador puppy
  • sea ​​lion vs seal
  • kinds of birds
  • bald eagle pictures
  • elephant data
  • elephant statistics
  • iberian lynx trivia

Search for social problems or solutions

name of the problem

  • greenhouse effect
  • war crimes
  • endangered animals
  • psychological abuse
  • racism and xenophobia

problem + country or area

  • alcoholism spain
  • california fires
  • african elephant hunter
  • child malnutrition
  • climate change poor countries
  • most polluted countries

problem + type

  • environmental problems
  • drought risks

causes + problem

  • causes of climate change
  • sources of contamination

signs of trouble

  • poor air quality

consequences + problem

  • poverty consequences
  • global warming effects

problem lists

  • poor countries ranking
  • top sources pollution

examples + problem

  • examples domestic violence
  • photos pollution rivers
  • deforestation evidence
  • evidence climate change
  • extinction animal list

books, movies or documentaries that deal with the problem

  • the uninhabitable earth
  • an inconvenient truth

tips + problem

  • planet pollution tips
  • ideas against poverty
  • pandemic prevention
  • security tornadoes

petition + problem

  • petition against library closure
  • nuclear power signatures

solution + problem

  • solutions climate change
  • climate change measures

names of solutions

  • sustainable agriculture
  • renewable energy
  • reduce reuse recycle
  • UN sustainable development goals
  • carbon tax
  • water wells africa
  • social conscience
  • human values
  • educational innovation
  • environmental label
  • alcohol-free beer
  • GMO-free foods
  • plant-based diet
  • education against machismo
  • pet vaccines

advantages + solution

  • advantages and disadvantages of hydraulic energy
  • differences electric car and combustion
  • gasoline engine vs. electric motor

Doubt searches

what + topic

  • what is anxiety
  • what happens in venezuela
  • what causes cancer
  • what is movement me too
  • what does lgbtq stand for
  • what does lgbtq mean
  • what does the q mean in lgbtq

what to do + topic

  • what to do in an earthquake
  • what to do when you are depressed

why + topic

  • why is palm oil bad
  • why abortion should be legal

who + topic

  • who are the kurds
  • who was gandhi

which + topic

  • what is the poorest country
  • what are human rights

where + topic

  • where is the hurricane now
  • where is more poverty

when + topic

  • when to neuter a dog
  • when did climate change start

how much + topic

  • how much plastic is in the ocean
  • how many beers can you drive with

how + topic

  • how to recycle drums
  • how to live without plastic
  • how to care for the environment
  • how to avoid climate change
  • how to fix a relationship
  • how to educate a puppy
  • how to get housing aid
  • how to quit smoking
  • how climate change affects us
  • how the coronavirus started

for what + topic

  • what is yoga for

is/are + topic

  • is climate change a myth
  • is climate change real
  • is parkinson is hereditary
  • is there life after death
  • is liver cancer is curable
  • are polar bears in danger

In many cases it may be interesting to shorten the question.

For example, instead of putting the keyword “is climate change a myth” simply put “climate change myth” with broad match. This way we cover more similar questions without having to think about all the possible variants (“may climate change be a myth”, “why they say that climate change is a myth”, etc.).

In other cases it may be better to put the whole question and even use exact match, if we do not want to appear in searches that use similar words but have different intentions. For example, if we put the keyword “polar bears endangered” (broad match) instead of “polar bears are in endangered” (exact match), our ads could appear in searches with very different meanings such as “polar bear attack danger in Alaska” or even “dangerous polar bears”.

It’s also interesting to think of alternatives that you can use to search for the same topic, but without using the question format. For example, instead of “what is depression” you can search for “definition depression”, “meaning depression”, “define depression”…

News and data searches

news + topic

  • venezuela news
  • fracking news
  • positive news
  • syrian crisis news

articles + topic

  • climate change articles
  • climate change information
  • climate change studies
  • climate change report

latest info + topic          

  • live hurricane dorian
  • active volcanos
  • current epidemics

what is happening + topic

  • what happens in syria
  • what is happening in venezuela

data + topic

  • climate change data
  • climate change statistics
  • climate change facts
  • climate change information

stories + topic

  • inspiring stories
  • motivational stories
  • happy stories

opinions

  • abortion opinions
  • abortion debate
  • abortion controversy
  • capital punishment pros cons

names of people or organizations in the news

  • donald trump fracking
  • bayer and monsanto
  • health minister spain
  • andrew wheeler epa

event name + year maybe

  • 2020 puerto rico earthquake
  • pacific plastics island
  • ipcc report
  • deepwater horizon spill
  • climate change conference

Searches related to voting / elections

Voting is a powerful tool to change the reality of a country or area. For example, you could create a campaign to inform which candidate has more favorable proposals to the cause of your organization.

It’s advisable to check the applicable laws carefully, in some countries there are limitations to campaigns related to elections or even political issues in general.

elections

  • 2020 presidential elections
  • elections polls
  • election predictions
  • election results
  • when are elections
  • gay marriage referendum

candidates

  • 2020 candidates
  • democrats 2020
  • who primaries 2020

vote

  • where to vote
  • voting places elections
  • who to vote 2020
  • absentee ballot

current representatives (in places with representatives by zones)

  • who is my senator
  • who represents me senate
  • ohio representative

registration to vote (in countries where it is necessary, like US)

  • vote registration
  • register to vote
  • am i registered to vote
  • change address vote

Searches of laws related to the organization’s mission

names of laws and agreements

  • spanish constitution
  • geneva convention
  • bill of rights
  • kyoto agreement

rights

  • human rights
  • fundamental rights
  • constitutional rights
  • childrens rights
  • right free speech

contents of the laws

  • aid requirements disabilities act
  • what is the 2nd amendment

trials and court decisions

  • roe vs wade
  • gender violence sentences
  • oil spill trial

Searches related to history or famous people

Obviously it only makes sense to advertise for these searches if they are related to the cause in some way.

history + topic

  • history of feminism
  • books history africa

movement + topic

  • feminist movement
  • environmental movement
  • african american culture

quotes+ topic or person

  • famous feminist quotes
  • gandhi quotes
  • phrases family values
  • famous quotes environment
  • love quotes

names of famous people (or groups of people)

  • martin luther king
  • jane goodall
  • mother teresa
  • american suffragettes
  • powerful women world
  • amazon tribes

names of people + cause or topic

  • luther king equality
  • ozzy osbourne parkinson

If you want help to find the best keywords for your organization and get better results with Google Ads, check out my Google Ad Grants services.


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