A Google Philanthropy Twist
26 May 2005 at 1:05 pm
Giant Internet search engine Google and its philanthropic Foundation appear set to join other corporates using a capitalist approach to ‘giving’ – philanthropy with a twist!
The Google Foundation is looking to fund for-profit businesses that also pursue worthy causes instead of giving the money directly to Not for Profit organisations.
Google, whose founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are each worth about $US8 billion, says the foundation might back for-profit and Not for Profit social entrepreneurs.
Sheryl Sandberg, the vice president of Google’s global online sales and operations is reported in the US media as saying the company wants to do something that is innovative without giving up on traditional philanthropy.
One possibility is the creation of a Not for Profit version of Google that might be called Google.org.
Google’s philanthropy now includes the Google Grants program, which gives free advertising to hundreds of Not for Profits focused on poverty, human rights, environmental and other causes.
Google’s founders would be joining other entrepreneurs testing new approaches to philanthropy.
eBay founder Pierre Omidyar is reported as saying last year that his foundation would start investing in for-profit start-ups in addition to Not for Profits.
The Omidyar Network is reported to have directed $US5.6 million into for-profits, including United Villages of Cambridge which develops software and hardware bringing phone, e-mail and other electronic communication to poor villages in India, Cambodia and other foreign nations.