In Google's press release stating their Q4 financial results, I found one sentence quite interesting: "Google does not expect to make further donations to the Google Foundation for the foreseeable future." It sounds like the $90 million that Google donated to the Google Foundation in the fourth quarter will be the last.
The Google Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Google which used to make contributions which helps in areas such as global poverty, energy and the environment. They have made some initial commitments such as the Acument Fund, TechnoServe, Water Research, and PlanetRead.
- Acumen Fund: a non-profit venture fund that invests in market-based solutions to global poverty. The Fund supports entrepreneurial approaches to developing affordable goods and services for the 4 billion people in the world who live on less than $4 a day.
- TechnoServe: helps budding entrepreneurs turn good business ideas into thriving enterprises. With funding from the Google Foundation, they are launching a Business Plan Competition and an Entrepreneurship Development Program in Ghana.
- Water Research: The Google Foundation plans to support research in western Kenya to identify ways to prevent child deaths caused by poor water quality and to better understand what works in rural water supply. The research is being conducted by Alix Zwane and Edward Miguel of UC Berkeley and Michael Kremer of Harvard University.
- PlanetRead: an organization seeking to improve literacy in India using same-language subtitling. By adding subtitles to Bollywood films and videos of popular folk songs, PlanetRead gives people who have low literacy skills regular reading practice. As it expands, this approach has the potential to reach hundreds of millions of people.