Google.org is donating $30 million to non-profits this holiday so that they can buy any tech and related services that they need including hardware, software, training and IT maintenance or repair services.
Earlier this month, reports leaked that Google had donated money earmarked for employees’ Christmas gifts to charity instead this year.
It’s true that the company made charitable donations on behalf of employees as their holiday gift for 2016, rather than send them gadgets.
But one thing that was not true in the earlier reports, and which painted Google in a particularly bad light— the company isn’t just donating to charities that would purchase Google products only. That would essentially send donated money right back to the company and wouldn’t exactly be seen as selfless.
Instead, the charitable grants are going to support whatever tech needs the nonprofit recipients determine on their own. No strings attached in that sense.
Of the $30 million donated by Google.org this holiday, $5 million went to fund projects on DonorsChoose.org, a site where educators at schools in need seek support to purchase specific items for their classrooms.
In addition to the $30 million in Google.org grants, the company held its annual “Giving Week” where it matched donations to causes and amounts chosen by employees. A third of the company pledged, according to a Google.org statement, and the company gave $24 million in employee-matching funds to 650 non-profits addressing a wide range of causes.
The participation levels and donation matching comprised a record for the company, Google.org said in a statement.
According to the statement employees chose charities that will 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,” to name a few.
This year, Google has donated more than $1 billion in tech products, and 200,000 volunteer hours to communities in need. It has also donated $100 million to charities.