Google Doubles Down on Holiday-Season Nonprofit Giving
With a shift in its corporate culture taking shape, Google has increased its focus on charity this year, giving nonprofits $30 million in technology funding that previously would have gone to the company’s employees.
Traditionally, Google has lavished its employees with impressive gifts during the holidays. But this year, the company’s corporate parent, Alphabet, is trying a new approach—one that’s driven more by charity.
And a number of nonprofits around the world stand to benefit from that decision.
This week, Google.org, the company’s nonprofit arm, announced it was giving $30 million in nonprofit gifts, allowing firms such as Libraries Without Borders, Defy Ventures, and Abode Services to upgrade their technology on Google’s dime—no matter if the technology is sold by Google or not—according to TechCrunch. In other words, no strings.
Roughly $5 million of Alphabet’s donation will be dedicated to schools targeted by the educational giving platform DonorsChoose.org, many of which will be receiving products like Chromebooks and other types of learning-focused technology.
But the remainder of the $30 million will be given to a variety of global nonprofits that help combine technology with relief, targeting homeless adults, children in developing countries, and at-risk youth.
While Google’s donation is significant, something that shouldn’t be lost is the fact that Google’s own employees donated a significant amount of money on their own this year: USA Today reports that during the company’s Global Giving Week, employees donated $24 million in matching funds to 750 nonprofits worldwide, covering events such as the Oakland warehouse fire; organizations such as civil liberties groups and food banks; and charitable causes such as the International Rescue Committee.
“This holiday giving brings our total grant funding for nonprofits this year to more than $100 million,” the company wrote in a blog post.
The move to donate the money traditionally earmarked for employee gifts admittedly came with some controversy, as it highlights a recent tightening of the company’s financial belt. As Fortune reported earlier this month, this decision occurred at a time when Alphabet is attempting to rein in the company’s famed “moonshot” endeavors, requiring each business to stand on its own, rather than relying on Google’s largesse.
LeadersUp, a group for at-risk youth, is a beneficiary of Google's donation strategy. (Handout photo)