Every(Re-)Action | Google.org Will Award $25 Million for Innovative Ideas that Empower Women

March 8, 2021  |  Grace Duginski

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on Monday – International Women’s Day – that Google.org, the wing of Google dedicated to philanthropy, has issued “a global $25 million challenge for nonprofits and social entrepreneurs working to empower women and girls economically.”

This challenge was meant to be held in 2020, but the Chronicle notes that the COVID-19 pandemic first put it on hold, and then quickly reinforced the importance of funding gender equity work in light of the outsized impact the pandemic has had on women and girls worldwide.

President of Google.org Jacquelline Fuller noted, “Women have been disproportionately impacted[…] They’re taking on inordinate burdens outside of their work, which is causing them to drop out of the work force. We’re afraid those women might not come back.”

The Chronicle indicated, however, that funding was low for projects supporting gender equity for women even before the pandemic: “According to a study conducted in 2019 by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy, only 1.6 percent of philanthropic giving went to nonprofits that promote women’s and girl’s causes in 2017, the most recent year for which complete data is available.”

Fuller won’t be the only person choosing which applicants receive grants. The Chronicle reported that some of her fellow decision-makers will include:

•    1992 Nobel Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú Tum;
•    Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights;
•    Amanda Gorman, the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate; and
•    Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Making funding commitments to women’s and gender equity is critically important – especially given the low percentage of funding that has historically been directed to organizations promoting women’s and girls’ causes; and given the COVID-19 pandemic’s disproportional impact on women. We’re delighted to see more opportunities for nonprofits to receive the funding their gender equity work deserves.