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Google.org awards $25,000,000 grants to organizations creating economic opportunities for women, girls

The $25M global philanthropy challenge was launched in March 2021 and called for gender equity focused organizations to submit their boldest and most innovative ideas to create a more equitable economic reality for women and girls. 

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Google,org $25m grants
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 22: The Google logo is on display during the press tour before the festive opening of the Berlin representation of Google Germany on January 22, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. The official opening will take place tonight with Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller. (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

In March 2020, Google.org announced a $25 million Google.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls to support organizations focused on gender equity in recognition that COVID-19 had put the economic future of women and girls at even greater risk.

Today, Google.org announced the 34 funding recipients of the award.

The $25M global philanthropy challenge was launched in March 2021 and called for gender equity focused organizations to submit their boldest and most innovative ideas to create a more equitable economic reality for women and girls.

Google.org partnered with a women-led panel of experts – including leaders like Rigoberta Menchu, Naomi Osaka, Shakira, Susan Wojcicki, and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – and gender equity-focused organizations Vital Voices and Project Everyone to evaluate proposals based on four key criteria: innovation, impact, feasibility, and scalability.

The selected organizations have outlined projects that will help women and girls, especially those in geographically, economically or socially marginalized populations, reach their full economic potential.

In addition to funding of up to $1 million each, recipients will participate in a four-month accelerator program led by Google’s Accelerator and Women Techmakers communities, in partnership with Vital Voices to move their projects forward. Select organizations will also receive a Google.org Fellowship and dedicated Ad Grants to promote their mission.

Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org

Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google.org

“Globally, women have been nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs during COVID-19 as men.  It’s vital that we elevate and support work that empowers women and girls to reach their full economic potential, especially in marginalized communities,” says Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org. “The pandemic recovery must be an inclusive one, and we know that when we invest in women and girls, we all benefit.”

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Google.org received 7,800 applications; the most ever received for a Google.org Impact Challenge. An analysis of the application data, commissioned by Google.org and conducted by King’s College London’s Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, identified four main focus areas for organizations around the world proposing pathways to economic empowerment for women and girls. These focus areas, with recipient examples, include:

  • Education
    • SwaTaleem Foundation (India) will use funding to  build an app, which doesn’t require an internet connection, that provides skills in math, science and financial awareness for young women and girls.
  • Entrepreneurship & Businesses
    • Asociación Colnodo (Colombia) will connect rural women entrepreneurs to the internet and each other through cohort programing and mentorship.
  • Financial Independence and Support
  • Skills Development & Career Advancement
    • Project Akilah (Rwanda) will build a pipeline of formal economic career opportunities for rural women.
Alyse Nelson, Vital Voices Global Partnership

Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership

“The world is watching how quickly crises can roll back progress made toward gender equality. Women’s voices, participation, and leadership across every sector of society is more critical than ever,” says Alyse Nelson, president and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership. “At Vital Voices, we are thrilled to partner with Google.org as they invest in projects with strong roots in community, bold ideas that bridge divides,  and a strong commitment to paying it forward.”

“At Project Everyone we know that achieving gender equality is at the heart of achieving all 17 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, so we were excited to partner with Google.org and Vital Voices on this powerful initiative,” says  Kate Garvey, co-founder at Project Everyone. “The Impact Challenge is an example of how cross-sector collaborations can accelerate progress towards the Goals and demonstrates how we can all play our part in solving the world’s greatest problems.”

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In addition to the Impact Challenge, Google.org will continue support through $15M in donated Google Search Ads for organizations focused on gender equity; including $10M to UN Women.

The donated ads will connect the public via Google Search with in-depth, authoritative information on gender equity and connect underserved women with the resources they need.

Each funded organization will also receive full-time digital marketing support from a Google Ads expert for three months.

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