I really can’t believe that it is December already, can you? This year went so fast, and now, somehow, the holiday season is already upon us. I will say, though, that I love this time of year. It’s when we are supposed to be thankful for what we have, reflect on the year that was and give things to our loved ones to make them feel special. Despite any evidence to the contrary, I really do like to believe that the holiday spirit is alive and well, and that most people out there will be giving instead of receiving.
And Google seems intent on proving me right, announcing Tuesday that it is launching the Global Impact Awards, in which it is awarding money to nonprofit tech innovators.
“Technology has dramatically improved our lives—from the speed at which we get things done to how we connect with others. Yet innovations in medicine, business and communications have far outpaced tech-enabled advances in the nonprofit sector,” Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Giving at Google, wrote.
”Today we’re launching the Global Impact Awards to support organizations using technology and innovative approaches to tackle some of the toughest human challenges. From real-time sensors that monitor clean water to DNA barcoding that stops wildlife trafficking, our first round of awards provides $23 million to seven organizations changing the world.”
These are the seven nonprofits that Google has decided to give to:
- charity: water, which uses real-time technology to monitor water and ensures it gets to more people. Google is giving it $5 million, which it will use to “install remote sensors at 4,000 water points across Africa by 2015, monitoring and recording actual water flow rate to ensure better maintenance of and access to clean water for more than 1 million people.”
- Consortium for the Barcode of Life, which uses DNA barcoding to identify and protect endangered wildlife, is getting $3 million, which it will use to work with researchers in six countries to establish “DNA barcoding.” This will create a library of DNA barcode tests for enforcement officials to use.
- DonorsChoose.org, whose mission it is to enroll underrepresented students in advanced classes. It is being awarded $5 million so that it can work with the College Board in order to provide public schools with materials to create 500 AP math and science courses. It will also help teachers put money into their classrooms and students.
- Equal Opportunity Schools, collects data in order to identify high-performing yet underrepresented students. Granted a total of $1.8 million by Google, it will be able to identify 6,000 students to get them into the advanced classes they need.
- Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which uses tools to analyze and promote gender equality in media, was award $1.2 milliom. The organization will use the money “to support the development of automated technology that analyzes female portrayals in children’s media.”
- GiveDirectly, which uses mobile technology to put money directly into the hands of the poor. Google gave it $2.4 million, which will be used “to scale its model of direct cash transfers.”
- World Wildlife Fund, which advances anti-poaching efforts. Its $5 million award will go toward adapting and implementing specialized sensors and wildlife tagging technology.
The Google Impact Awards are a part of the Google.org, the charitable wing of the company, which has donated money to relief organizations during natural disaster, including Hurrican Katrina in 2005.
Its major projects include Google Crisis Response, which issues Crisis Maps, Person Finder and Public Alerts; Google Flu & Dengue Trends, which indicates flu activity around the world in real time; and Google For Nonprofits, which offers discounted or free products for nonprofits in order to help them with their organization.
“As we reflect back over this year, I’m proud to report that we’ve been able to support organizations changing the world with more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in technology and 50,000 hours of Googler volunteering,” Fuller wrote.
(Image source: http://googleblog.blogspot.com)