Google.org has announced that it will award $1 billion in grants over five years and contribute a million volunteer hours to help nonprofit innovators advance solutions to pressing global challenges.
A continuation of work the tech giant has been doing since 2005, the new commitment will be focused on three areas: Education, Economic Opportunity, and Inclusion. In the area of Education, Google.org will look for ways to support nonprofits that are building platforms to scale digital learning resources to everyone, everywhere. During the summer, the philanthropic arm of the tech giant announced a $50 million commitment in support of the development of new learning platforms, self-directed learning apps, and online lesson plans for teachers. One of the grantees, Pratham Books, is working to accelerate the development of its open-source Storyweaver platform, which connects readers, authors, illustrators, and translators interested in creating free books for children around the world. With Google's support, the platform currently offers books in more than a hundred languages and is looking to expand. In celebration of International Literacy Day, the company also has launched an internal campaign to rally Google volunteers to translate a thousand stories on StoryWeaver.
In the area of Economic Opportunity, Google.org already has committed $50 million to help prepare people for the changing nature of work and recently awarded $10 million to Goodwill to support the launch of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, an initiative designed to help more than a million people across the United States acquire and expand their digital skills. In addition, a grant to Kiron will support a program that provides digital skills training to refugees in Germany, Turkey, and Jordan through a combination of online study and partnerships with local universities.
And in the area of Inclusion, Google has awarded more than $40 million to nonprofits that are finding innovative ways to challenge bias and prejudice and build a more equitable and just society. One grantee, the Equal Justice Initiative, is using its grant to digitize its data on the history of racial violence in America and draw attention to the continued impact of the long history of lynching in America. In addition, the company awarded $1 million to the LGBT Center in support of its efforts to create an interactive augmented reality experience at the Stonewall National Monument in New York.
"These [nonprofit] innovators are the believers-turned-doers that have made a huge impact on their communities and have a vision for creating change at scale," said Google CEO Sundar Pichai. "For example, when Google.org first funded Khan Academy, it was a single person with a big idea: provide a free, world class education to anyone, anywhere. With the help of our seed funding and ongoing support, Khan Academy now has over fifty-nine million registered users, including two million registered teachers."