A Look At The Organizations That Grabbed $115 Million In Grants From Google In 2011

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Have yourself a merry little christmas card. Song included.

As you may have heard, Google is getting into the holiday giving spirit these days, as it late last night announced that it has dished out an additional $40 million in philanthropic grants, targeted at science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), girls’ education, and even fighting slavery. (You can read more in Google.org SVP Shona Brown’s blog post here.)

These grants brought the total that Google has funneled into nonprofit and academic institutions over the course of the year to $115 million — and that’s on top of the $1 billion the company invests in programs like Google Grants, Google Apps for Education, which offer free support and services to non-profits and educational institutions.

As part of the $115 million in philanthropic grants awarded over this year, Google has funded 16 programs in STEM and “girls’ education” (nine of which are in the U.S.) for a total of $14.7 million. These programs include the Tech Museum of Innovation, the D.C. Public Education Fund, Girl Scouts of Northern California, the Computer History Museum, Boston-based Citizen Schools, and U.K.-based Generating Genius. The rest include:

In support of girls’ education, Google also dished out funding to the African Leadership Academy, which “provides merit scholarships to promising young women”, as well as across the continent, and the Afghan Institute of Learning, which brings literacy to the young women of rural Afghanistan. Others include:

Google also awarded 14 grants to recognize “the entrepreneurial spirit” behind companies using the Web, open source programming, and other tech platforms to improve access to information — something Google has obviously long been passionate about. These include companies like Vittana, which offers loans to students with great credit history in the developing world, Code For America, which received a grant of $1.5 million in an attempt to help governments become more transparent, connected, and efficient by connecting web developers to leaders in civic services.

DoSomething.org also received $2 million in funding to help connect mobile and wired teens with causes they care about, as well as Switchboard, a company that helps African health care works connect with local mobile providers to create free networks and communications channels. The other 10 organizations include:

The last portion, $11.5 million, was apportioned to organizations that will help free people from modern-day slavery, which you can read about here.

There are some amazing companies in this list of grant recipients, and Google has clearly spent more than a little time researching some of the more inspiring and big-picture-minded non-profits and technology companies operating out there today. Sure, this is just the season when Google spends some time promoting its charitable grants, but if you have a few minutes, it’s worth checking these organizations out. There’s a lot of value here.

For more, check out the video below:

Excerpt Image credit to Gayle Laakmann McDowell