We focus our work on the areas where we can have the largest impact.
Small and medium business support
Most businesses in the United States are small and medium businesses (SMBs)1, which are predominantly funded by personal assets. Due to systemic barriers that prevent equitable access to capital, women and minority groups are significantly underrepresented as small business owners.
Opportunity Finance Network
Opportunity Finance Network’s mission is to lead Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and their partners to ensure that low-income, low-wealth, and other underserved people and communities have access to affordable, responsible financial products and services. Google.org has supported Opportunity Finance Network with $5 million to help fill gaps in flexible capital for people and communities underserved by mainstream financial institutions.
Providing access to capital
Family Independence Initiative is helping low-income families achieve prosperity
The Family Independence Initiative (FII) is empowering low-income families. Since 2015, the Family Independence Initiative has used over $2.5 million in Google.org grants to empower families to escape poverty. Their technology platform UpTogether helps low-income families access small cash investments, connect with each other and share solutions.
In 2019, six Google.org Fellows spent six months working full-time with FII using natural language processing to help make UpTogether’s data more useful in determining what leads to family success.
Digital skills for tomorrow’s jobs
The nature of work is changing. Both workers and workforce development organizations need better access to digital skills and tools to help them adjust to the demands of our current economy and find new opportunities.
To support these efforts, Google.org has committed more than $50 million globally to fund research and development projects to better understand how work is changing and identify new solutions.
Grow with Google makes IT certification available online
The Google IT Support Professional Certificate is an online program designed to prepare people for roles in IT support. Beginning learners can become qualified for an entry-level IT support role in just eight to 12 months.
To support Grow with Google’s mission to remove barriers to digital skills, Google.org funds need-based scholarships through leading nonprofits focused on underrepresented communities, including Year Up, Merit America, Per Scholas, Goodwill, the United Service Organization, and Upwardly Global.
We support digital skills training for job seekers, equitable access to capital, and small and medium businesses— particularly in underrepresented communities.
At Google.org, we provide technology, funding, and volunteers to better prepare communities ahead of disasters, ensure effective relief and support long-term recovery. Since 2005, we have donated over $60 million to more than 50 humanitarian crises and an additional $100 million to the global COVID-19 response.
Floods are the most deadly of all natural disasters. Flood forecasting and early warning systems can help individuals and authorities better prepare for impending floods to keep people safe. Google’s Flood Forecasting Initiative uses AI and advanced mapping capabilities to better predict the path of a flood which generates detailed alerts in Google’s online SOS and Public Alerts products.
Alerts save lives and livelihoods. Unfortunately, many of the most vulnerable in India do not have access to devices or to internet connectivity to receive them. Google.org is supporting nonprofits, including SEEDS, to build local capacity for flood preparedness, early warning and response- to ensure the benefits of powerful and accurate alerts can reach well beyond smartphones.
AI for social good
At Google, we believe that artificial intelligence (AI) can meaningfully improve people’s lives, and that the biggest impact will come when everyone can access it. That’s why we support organizations that are using the power of AI to address social and environmental challenges, like sustainability.
WattTime is empowering people access to carbon emissions data
Understanding power plant emissions is a critical building block for a greener grid, but monitoring systems are often inaccessible or inaccurate - especially in emerging markets. With $1.7 million in funding and the support of eight Google.org Fellows, Google AI Impact Challenge grantee WattTime is building open-source AI models to quantify and predict carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants around the globe using satellite data.
Using data science and technology to make information more accessible for everyone
Data science is a powerful tool to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges, like criminal justice reform. Without good data even the most impactful ideas can’t take hold, which is why we support nonprofits and organizations who are using data and technology to make information more accessible.
The Vera Institute is bringing transparency to rural jail population data
The Vera Institute of Justice is an organization working to improve justice systems by bringing transparency to jail population data. Although local jails are increasingly recognized as the “front door” to mass incarceration, justice system stakeholders and others historically have not had access to the necessary data to understand how their jail is being used and how it compares with others. To address this, Google.org granted Vera $4 million and a team of 12 Google.org Fellows to develop a local level prison data set and an accessible, interactive visualization portal, documented in People in Jail in 2019. With this new information, policymakers can begin to make choices that are better for their communities.
Technology and innovation
We support organizations using technology to address societal and environmental challenges. We also empower third-party advocates to share the value, responsibility, and accessibility of AI and emerging technology.
Insights from the Google AI Impact ChallengePDF Opens in new window
Computer Science Education
It’s estimated that computer science (CS) related jobs are created at nearly four times the rate of other jobs, but students in small towns are less likely to have access to classes and clubs at school compared to suburban students, and their parents are less likely to know about CS opportunities outside of school.
Bringing more computer science education to America’s rural communities with 4-H
4-H is the country’s largest youth development organization, serving more than 6 million young people with STEM, agriculture, civic engagement, and healthy living learning. 4-H aims to empower young people to develop life skills to become leaders in their lives, careers, and communities.
With $6 million in support from Google.org, 4-H will provide meaningful computer science learning to more than one million youth over the next three years, with a focus on rural youth and populations that have traditionally had limited access to CS education. Googler volunteers have also dedicated over two thousand volunteer hours to 4-H chapters around the country mentoring young people as they learn CS.
Computer Science Education
Learning computer science skills (CS) helps students thrive in a rapidly changing world. Yet Google’s research with Gallup shows that many students don’t have access to CS education. This lack of early exposure is especially damaging to girls and other underrepresented student groups.
We want to ensure all students have the opportunity to learn skills that will unlock opportunities in the classroom and beyond–no matter what their future goals may be.
The Kapor Center is improving educational equity
While Black and LatinX students have equal interest in computer science (CS) education, they often face social and structural barriers to learning CS.
In 2019, we committed $25 million to increase Black and Latinx students’ access to computer science (CS) and artificial intelligence (AI) education across the US. As part of this commitment, Google.org has granted $5.68 million to The Kapor Center, to support their initiatives to improve educational equity through the creation of inclusive teaching practices, curriculum, and materials, as well as strategic student support in schools.
It’s no surprise that having a great teacher is one of the best predictors of a student’s academic success, which is why we support organizations that provide training, materials, and resources for teachers, particularly those that work in underserved communities.
Bringing classroom dreams to life
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help US public school classrooms in need, so every student in every community can get a great education, regardless of the economic status of their community. Teachers use the site to create projects requesting resources and experiences for their student’s needs, and donors give to the projects that inspire them.
Since 2012, Google.org has provided over $20 million in classroom project funding, helping more than 17,000 public school teachers, and ultimately benefiting one in 10 public schools in the US.
We support organizations that are supporting equitable access to quality learning materials, computer science education, and digital responsibility resources.
Supporting mobility from homelessness and poverty
The Bay Area is Google’s home, and we’re continuing to grow across the region in partnership with local policy makers and their communities. In 2019, we joined cross-functional teams to announce Google’s $1B investment in housing across the Bay Area. To support these efforts, Google.org has committed $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on the issues of homelessness and displacement.
Hamilton Families is supporting families and helping to prevent homelessness
Hamilton Families is San Francisco’s leading service provider to families experiencing homelessness. They provide long-term housing solutions and programs to prevent homelessness, in addition to core programs of transitional and permanent housing programs.
Google.org has been supporting Hamilton Families since 2014, with over $2.3 million in funding and since 2015, over 200 Googlers have volunteered their time to support their efforts.
Supporting African-American youth
We believe in the next generation of Black leaders and in 2018 committed $25 million to help Black and Latino students develop the technical skills and confidence they need to succeed in career and life. As part of this commitment, Google.org will provide a $3 million grant and enable volunteering support to help scale the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) over the next three years.
Supporting the NAACP in their mission to empower African-American high school students
ACT-SO is shaping a generation of leaders who will have their own chance to make history. The program gives Black high school students – over 300,000 to date – a platform to bring their ideas to life, compete, and begin their journey to becoming leaders in STEM, humanities, business, and the arts.
Google.org Fellowships with civic entities
The Google.org Fellowship is a pro bono program that matches teams of Googlers with nonprofits and civic entities for up to six months full time. Google.org Fellows work alongside the organization’s staff on technical projects to build scalable solutions to tough challenges.
Google.org Fellows are working with U.S. state and local governments to accelerate their social impact
Google.org Fellows work on solving a variety of challenges. For example, one team worked with the City of Boulder to help improve access to city services for low-income households and small businesses. Another team worked alongside the City of San Jose to help transition non-emergency calls from 911 to 311 to increase responsiveness for true emergencies, while a third worked with the City of San Francisco to help improve the permitting process for affordable housing projects.
Initiatives in the U.S.
We support communities around the world and strive to be a good neighbor in the places where Googlers live and work. We fund local nonprofits and national organizations that are working to make their neighborhoods, and the country, a place where everyone can thrive.