COVID-19 Response

The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a devastating toll on lives and communities around the world. To help those affected, we are supporting and scaling effective solutions throughout the course of this pandemic - from immediate relief to long term recovery and future preparedness.

Woman in science lab wearing lab coat and medical gloves inspecting vial.

Our commitment

We’ve committed $100 million and 50,000 hours of pro bono support to the global COVID-19 response, focusing our efforts in areas where our resources and people can have the most impact - health and science, economic relief and recovery, and distance learning.

Health and science

We are supporting the people and organizations on the frontlines battling this disease.

Man in science lab wearing lab coat and working with samples.

Immediate humanitarian relief

Donations from Google employees and the public were matched by to provide $10.5 million to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (through the UN Foundation) and Center for Disaster Philanthropy to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery efforts.

Data tracking for disease spread

Data is critical to understanding and managing a pandemic’s spread. We’re supporting efforts by La Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) and Boston Children’s Hospital’s HealthMap with grants and Fellows to develop new epidemiological models to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and provide real-time information to governments and healthcare systems.

Supporting communities of color who are being disproportionately affected

A team of Fellows worked full-time with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine to help create a Health Equity Tracker to map and contextualize COVID-19 health disparities in communities of color throughout the U.S. We’ve also committed $5 million in grants to organizations addressing racial and geographic disparities in COVID-19 vaccinations, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the CDC Foundation.

Economic relief and recovery

Millions of people around the world have been laid off and businesses have had to close their doors. These closures hit small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) hardest1 along with households that live paycheck to paycheck or rely on food assistance programs.

Two women sitting together at a table and talking.

Small business lending

Building on a $200 million investment that Google has committed to provide small businesses access to low-interest loans, provided $15 million in cash grants to Opportunity Finance Network, Youth Business International, and Common Future to support underserved SMBs.

Direct cash assistance

Direct cash transfers are one of the most effective ways to give relief during a crisis.2 Through our $100 million commitment, we tripled our funding to organizations like GiveDirectly, Family Independence Initiative, and GiveIndia which get cash directly in the hands of families who need it most. In 2020, grantees provided emergency cash assistance to 149,000 people, 64% of which were women.

Distance learning

At the peak of COVID-19, more than a billion students were out of school.3 Teachers, parents, and schools responded through a massive shift to online education. We announced a $10 million Distance Learning Fund, to support organizations around the globe that help educators and parents access resources needed to provide high quality learning opportunities to children, particularly those from underserved communities.

Boy and his father working together on a tablet.

Scaled global learning platforms

We made a $1 million grant to Khan Academy, who will reach over 18 million learners a month with new COVID-19 specific resources for parents and teachers in over 20 languages.

Local education efforts

We granted $2.8 million to INCO to accelerate grassroots nonprofits across Europe and Asia that support families of children who are at risk for severe learning disruption. INCO will distribute sub-grants and provide tailored coaching on high quality distance learning to parents. Fellowship

The Fellowship enables Google employees to complete up to six months of full-time pro bono work to accelerate the social impact of nonprofits and civic entities. Fellows use their technical expertise to build scalable solutions to tough challenges.

Image of the Global.Health map which showcases COVID-19 case numbers. Women standing together in support and holding signs. A group of people in a medical lab listening to one talk about testing. A profile shot of a woman looking at a computer screen.
  • Data tracking for disease spread granted $1.25 million in funding and provided a team of 10 full-time Fellows and 7 part-time Google volunteers to help COVID-19 researchers from the University of Oxford, Tsinghua University, Northeastern University and Boston Children’s Hospital, among others create, a scalable and open-access platform that pulls together millions of anonymized COVID-19 cases from over 100 countries. This platform helps epidemiologists around the world model the trajectory of COVID-19, and track its variants and future infectious diseases.

  • Helping National Domestic Workers Alliance support domestic workers through direct cash transfers

    Seven Fellows are helping the National Domestic Workers Alliance expand their benefits tool to distribute an emergency cash fund for essential workers.

  • Assisting Médecins Sans Frontières to adapt and deploy a syndrome tracking system Fellows are helping La Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières to adapt and deploy a multi-scale symptom tracking system developed by Medic Mobile for COVID-19.

  • Helping the State of New York evaluate and solve COVID-19 related technical challenges

    10 Fellows are supporting Governor Cuomo’s COVID-19 Technology SWAT Team for six months full-time to help New York residents find and access critical COVID-19 related information during and after the pandemic.

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Past grantees are using their resources and tools to help respond to COVID-19.

Three people working on laptops at the Trevor Project office. Man and woman posed outside and looking at the camera. Two young women in a classroom smiling for the camera.
  • Triaging inbound outreach from the LGBTQ community with AI

    When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Trevor Space registrations increased by 40% per week. Funding and full-time pro bono support from Fellows enabled The Trevor Project to develop AI-based queue triage methods. As a result, high risk text conversations have been answered significantly faster than before, with a 79% decrease in response times.

  • Using AI for fact checking

    Full Fact is using an AI-based tool created with funding and improved features created with assistance from Fellows to provide fact checkers with the information they need to validate or disprove claims on the internet. Full Fact is using this tool to prevent the spread of misinformation around COVID-19.

  • AI for parent-teacher communication

    TalkingPoints has seen an engagement growth of 10-20 times previous rates since the start of COVID-19 on a tool created with full time Fellows, which enables AI-based translations to be used between parents and teachers.

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