Our $1 billion commitment to create more opportunity for everyone
Sundar Pichai, our CEO, recently announced a number of ways Google is working to create more opportunity for everyone, including a 5-year goal to award $1 billion in grants and contribute 1 million employee volunteer hours.
This commitment builds on our work we’ve been doing since 2005 to extend the reach of nonprofit innovators by connecting them with funding, tools, and volunteers from Google. These innovators are the believers-turned-doers that have made a huge impact on their communities and have a vision for creating change at scale. 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 59 million registered users, including 2 million registered teachers.
We’re now doubling down on this approach, directing $1 billion in grants and contributing 1 million volunteer hours to nonprofits that use technology and innovation to tackle complex global challenges. Our efforts are focused in three areas where we believe we can make an impact - Education, Economic Opportunity and Inclusion.
Closing the World’s Education Gap
What kids learn today shapes the world we live in tomorrow, but students in disadvantaged communities continue to lag behind their peers with access to better resources. This is particularly true for students in developing countries — at the current rate, it would take 100 years for students in these regions to catch up. To help bridge this gap, we’re supporting nonprofits that are building platforms to scale digital learning resources to everyone, everywhere.
Our initial $50 million commitment, announced earlier this year, is already showing progress. Our grantees are launching new learning platforms, building apps for self-directed learning, and creating new online lesson plans for teachers. With a grant from Google.org, Pratham Books has accelerated the development of Storyweaver, an open-source platform that connects readers, authors, illustrators, and translators to create free books for children around the world. With our support, the platform has expanded to offer books in over 100 languages and to celebrate International Literacy Day, Google launched an internal campaign to rally Google volunteers to translate 1,000 stories on StoryWeaver. We also recently deployed eight volunteer Googlers to work with our grantee Learning Equality in Guatemala to help develop their offline learning platform, Kolibri. This platform takes digital content like books, video tutorials, and quizzes, and makes them available offline for students without regular access to the internet. We’ve also committed $5 million of additional funding to UNHCR and Learning Equality to bring this platform to learners in refugee camps, community centers, and schools in Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
While technology alone will not improve education, students and teachers can thrive when they have access to the best tools and resources. That’s why we'll continue to support nonprofit innovators using technology to create new scalable education solutions as part of our $1 billion commitment.
Helping People Prepare for the Future of Work
We know that economic mobility lies at the foundation of every productive society, but the nature of work is changing. By 2020, one-third of jobs will require skills that aren’t commonly found in today’s workforce. To address this challenge, we’re funding organizations that are using technology and innovation to train people with new skills, connect job-seekers with high-quality jobs, and support workers in low-wage employment.
Earlier this year, we committed $50 million to help people prepare for the changing nature of work. One of our initial grantees is Goodwill®, the leading workforce development organization in the U.S. With a $10 million grant and 1,000 Google volunteers, Goodwill will launch its Goodwill Digital Career AcceleratorSM — an innovative new initiative that will enable 1.2 million people across the U.S. to learn and expand their digital skills and career opportunities. In Germany, Turkey and Jordan, we’re supporting Kiron to bring digital skills trainings to refugees through a combination of online study and partnerships with local universities. And in France, we’re funding Bayes Impact to improve and scale their open-source software that uses big data and machine learning to generate personalized job search recommendations, so that people can find quality jobs that match their skills.
All of these organizations are leveraging technology to positively shape the future of work and we’re eager to support more nonprofit innovators that are making work a fair, satisfying, and viable pathway to prosperity for everyone.
Using data science and innovative new approaches to advance inclusion and justice for all
Without a fundamental commitment to inclusion -- the idea that everyone should have an equal opportunity to participate and thrive in society — the dream of equal education and access to economic opportunity for all will never be realized. Bias can lead to the exclusion of marginalized groups, including ethnic and religious minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. As an information company, we’ve seen the power of data and technology to empower people and bridge gaps in understanding.
That’s why, since 2015, we’ve granted more than $40 million to nonprofits that are finding innovative ways to challenge bias and prejudice, and build a more equitable and just society for all. Our recent work to support the Equal Justice Initiative, for example, digitized their groundbreaking data on the history of racial violence in America, and helped draw attention to the continued impact of lynching in America today. We also recently gave $1 million to support the LGBT Center’s efforts to create an interactive augmented reality experience at the Stonewall National Monument in New York. In the UK, we provided a grant to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, our first grant from a global $5 million innovation fund, to support new ideas in countering hate and extremism, both online and offline.
Through knowledge and transparency projects like these, our grantees are working to build a more just and equitable world. We’re excited to continue to support them by amplifying their voices and accelerating their efforts to build equal access to opportunity for all.
By bringing our funding, tools, and employee know-how to support nonprofits focusing on these critical issues, we hope to propel the work of these organizations forward, and help create a world with opportunity for everyone.