Google.org is Google’s philanthropic arm. They’ve focused mainly on environmental issues but today they announced how they are expanding their vision. Google announced that the organization will give out more than $26 million in new grants to organizations and businesses. The grants go towards solving the problems of poverty, health, and the environment.
Here are the ways Google is investing in education and development to improve social and economic conditions in the world:
- RE<C – Funding research and development of cleaner, cheaper energy sources like solar and wind energy.
- RechargeIT – Investing $500,000 to $2 million in funding to promote the development of affordable plug-in and hybrid vehicles for the mass market.
- Funding research that improves health and stops the spread of diseases and addresses malaria, polio, blindness, etc.
- Improving education, health, water, and sanitation in poor countries (like working with Pratham, to measure basic reading and math skills of children in rural India).
- Investing in small and medium-sized businesses, through micro lending and other initiatives, like supporting entrepreneurs in Ghana and Tanzania.
Background on Google.org
As of January 2008, Google.org and the Google Foundation have committed more than $75 million for grants and investments. Google.org was formed when Google went public and about 1 percent of Google shares were set aside to fund philanthropic goals. In 2006, Google converted 300,000 shares into about $90 million and set up Google.org, which is a nonprofit organization.
Even though critics say Google should spend more, or question their motives, they are on par with what many companies give.