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Google grants $23M to nonprofits in new award program

The funds go to will go to philanthropic organizations tackling big global programs using novel applications of technology.

Scott Harrison, CEO of charity: water, onstage today at LeWeb 2012.
Scott Harrison, CEO of charity: water, onstage today at LeWeb 2012. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google today announced a new charitable grant program designed to help solve big problems using technology.

Today the company announced its first round of Global Impact Awards, granting $23 million to seven organizations it says are changing the world.

"Technology has dramatically improved our lives -- from the speed at which we get things done to how we connect with others," said Jacqueline Fuller, director of giving at Google, in a blog post. "Yet innovations in medicine, business and communications have far outpaced tech-enabled advances in the nonprofit sector."

The awards attempt to change that. The beneficiaries are:

  • charity: water. The organization that promotes access to clean water got $5 million to install remote sensors at 4,000 water points across Africa, monitoring and recording water flows to improve access for more than 1 million people. 

  •  Consortium for the Barcode of Life. The organization received $3 million to create an easier way to identify and protect endangered wildlife as traders attempt to smuggle it into other countries.

  • DonorsChoose.org. Received $5 million to create 500 new AP science and math courses. 

  • Equal Opportunity Schools: Received $1.8 million to identify 6,000 high-performing low-income students and move them into advanced courses. 

  • GiveDirectly: Received $2.4 million to build its organization, which enables direct cash transfers to the poor via their cellphones. 

Google this year made $100 million in total grants to nonprofits, donating $1 billion in technology and 50,000 hours of employee volunteering, the company said.