google global impact awards

Google is no stranger to giving through its philanthropic arm — but that’s not stopping the company from doing more.

Google today announced the “Global Impact Awards” to provide funding to nonprofits who are using technology and innovation to solve big problems. While there’s certainly a publicity angle to the awards, it’s still nice to see Google making a concerted effort to support worthy causes. And through the Global Impact Awards, Google will raise awareness for nonprofits and their issues.

In its first round of awards, Google is donating $23 million to seven nonprofits:

  • Charity: Water: Monitors water quality with remote sensors to ensure better access to clean water. Its $5 million reward will be put towards installing sensors at 4,000 water points across Africa by 2015.
  • Consortium for the Barcode of Life: With $3 million from the award, the Consortium will work with researchers in six developing countries to implement DNA barcoding techniques to protect endangered species.
  • One of the most prominent education nonprofits. It will use $5 million from the award to create 500 new AP science and math courses in public schools for girls and disadvantaged students, together with the College Board.
  • Equal Opportunity Schools: Will use $1.8 million to find 6,000 high-performing, but underrepresented, students and move them to advanced courses.
  • Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media: Will use $1.2 million from the award on technology that will automatically analyze the portrayal of women in children’s media.
  • GiveDirectly: Uses mobile tech to power direct cash transfers to the poor. It will use $2.4 million from the award to increase the scale of its current cash transfer plan.
  • World Wildlife Fund: Will use $5 million from the award ot adapt and implement sensors to tag wildlife.

“We look for nimble, entrepreneurial organizations that have a specific project that tests a big idea and a brilliant team with a healthy disregard for the impossible,” Google writes on the awards’ website.

Jacquelline Fuller, Google’s director of giving, notes that the company has offered quite a bit of philanthropic aid in the past, including more than $100 million in grants, $1 billion in tech, and 50,000 hours of volunteering from Google employees.