By Jennifer Phan
Google.org, the philanthropic arm of the multinational technology company, is a global grant-maker favoring organizations that address the world’s most pressing development challenges.
Throughout 2016, Google has donated more than $1 billion in tech products and 200,000 volunteer hours to communities in need. More importantly, it has donated $100 million to charities.
For this year’s holiday, they donated $30 million to non-profits for the supply of any tech and related services including hardware, software, training, IT maintenance and repair services. $5 million was allocated to fund projects on a site called DonorsChoose.org, where educators seek out to receive support and funds to purchase classroom materials. The remainder of the funding went to charities across the world including: Adobe Services, Defy Ventures, Libraries Without Borders, NetHope, Pratham Education Foundation, and UNETE.
Rumors indicated that Google’s intent was to benefit itself by donating to charities that would specifically purchase Google products. According to techcrunch.com, this allegation was deemed false; prior to the charitable donations, they did not consider the technology needs of any of their non-profit recipients.
Another rumor found to be true was that the donations were made on behalf of their employees as the donated money was originally reserved for employees’ Christmas gifts. In return, Google gave their employees the privilege of selecting causes and grant amounts during its annual “Giving Week.” According to a Google statement, one-third of the company pledged and among those employees, $24 million in employee matching funds were given to 650 various charities that support a diverse range of causes.
Based on the same statement, Google claimed that their employees chose non-profits that aim to support: “the victims and survivors of the Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, to helping vulnerable women in Mexico through VIFAC, to fighting hunger and malnutrition with Akshaya Patra in India. Other giving trends this year included causes like refugee assistance and transgender rights, and support for civil liberties and women’s health organizations.”
Information cited by TechCrunch.