How to get access to your nonprofit’s Google Grants account

A common problem for a nonprofit looking to get started with Google Grants is that their organization already has an account, but the people at the organization can’t find it.

The nonprofit also can’t make a new one because Google has a policy of one account per 501c3. Google enforces this policy by connecting each legal entity to a TechSoup account (or comparable program for those who are outside of the U.S.), each TechSoup account to a Google for Nonprofits account (“G4NP”), and each G4NP to a Google Grants account. This linking prohibits multiple accounts for a single legal entity.

This presents nonprofits with a huge problem if they misplace the login credentials for their Google Grants account. I can huff and puff about the importance of being organized until I’m blue in the face, but that doesn’t do you much good if these credentials are already lost. So here is what you can do to try to find it if you’re in this boat.

Uncover your customer ID and possible connected emails in G4NP

The first step is going to your G4NP account. Once in, take a look at who the administrators on this account are by clicking the tab at the top.

G4NP Administrators Tab

Since the application for Google Grants happens from the G4NP dashboard, the person who enrolled is likely one of the people listed here. Keep in mind that the person who enrolled could be someone who hasn’t worked at your nonprofit in years. The Google Grants program has been around for 16 years, so you may have an account that’s been dormant for a very long time.

Write down the list of people and emails listed on this page, then click the products tab at the top to find your account’s 10-digit Customer ID.

Customer ID in G4NP

This is a new feature that I’m really excited about and is the impetus for this article. Previously, the G4NP dashboard did not show the Customer ID and merely showed that you were enrolled. I recommended on multiple occasions (and I’m sure others have as well) that they update their software to include the Customer ID in this dashboard so that nonprofits can better find their account, and they actually listened and incorporated that recommendation. So when you fill out your annually required survey, I encourage you to make respectful recommendations about how they can improve the program.

Old Version of G4NP Showing Google Grants Application as Approved

Try logging into Google Ads with multiple emails

Log in to the email account that you think is most likely to be the admin of your Google Grants account based on your research in G4NP. Visit ads.google.com. If you are prompted to create an account, don’t. This means that the email you tried is not currently connected to an existing Ads account.

Even if you do enter a pre-existing account this way, make sure that it is your Google Grants account. You have your Customer ID listed in G4NP from the previous step. You can check this against the Customer ID in your Ads account to make sure it is the same by clicking the question mark icon in the top right corner.

Finding your Customer ID in AdWords

This step is critical because nonprofits often accidentally create paid accounts when trying to enroll. This is why my most important advice when applying for this is never to enter credit card information. However, this account you access may have had credit card information entered before your involvement, so it’s essential to check that Customer ID to make sure it’s the right account.

If you cannot log into your account the first time, try the other email addresses listed in your G4NP.

Though it’s most likely that one of the emails listed in your G4NP also has access to your Google Grants, it is possible that after initial enrollment, an email has been added to your Google Grants but not to G4NP so that person wouldn’t show up in your G4NP research. So try other emails of people that have worked or currently work at your organization who you think may have had access based on their job responsibilities once you’ve exhausted your G4NP email list.

An email password is a private thing, so you likely want to have those people connected to the emails you uncover do these steps themselves along with your help. However, this is still a problem if the emails listed are former employees you either don’t have a good relationship with or don’t have contact information for. That leads us to access requests.

Submit a request

If you still can’t get into your account trying the above, you can submit an access request to Google.

This is the last resort. Getting access to an account this way is difficult because they require you to provide information about your account to prove that you are the owner. Often, you will have limited information about the account because it was created by someone other than you. But keep in mind that this high threshold exists to prevent people from hijacking your account.

Get free help

If you’d like help with this, shoot me a message through the contact form on my website. I’d be happy to help you find your account during a free consultation over a screen share chat.

Michael Rasko
Michael Rasko is a nonprofit marketing consultant who specializes in Google Grants, an online advertising program for nonprofits. He has been a volunteer, board member, and employee at nonprofits. He has been a guest speaker at NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference.