In its biggest single-day contribution ever, Google (GOOG) on Wednesday announced it has handed out $40 million to battle slavery, promote education and make technology more accessible worldwide, with nearly a fourth of the money going to Bay Area organizations.
"The causes we are supporting are issues we've been committed to for a long time, particularly education," said company spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz, noting that about $9 million is being awarded to a dozen Bay Area groups. "It's really something the company cares a lot about from the top level."
Altogether, she said, the search giant has contributed $115 million this year.
Part of the $40 million is to promote the teaching of science, technology, engineering and math, and especially to improve the educational levels of girls in developing nations. The rest is designed to empower people through technology and curb slavery or other forms of human trafficking.
Jean Fahy, a program director with Girl Scouts of Northern California, said the $100,000 her organization received will introduce the engineering profession to 640 girls in kindergarten through eighth grade, who live in poor parts of Santa Clara, San Mateo and San Francisco counties.
"Women are underrepresented in these fields," Fahy said, adding that "for a lot of girls -- particularly in low-income areas -- they don't even see engineering as a career option."
The $500,000 that Google gave the Katahdin Foundation of Berkeley will be used to make a film to "advocate for educating and empowering girls who live in places of extreme poverty," said Tom Yellin, the film's executive producer. "If you invest in girls in developing countries, it's one of the most effective ways of creating change."
The Computer History Museum in Mountain View received $500,000 to create an online repository for its vast collection of digital material, much of which is currently not available to the public.
"It's a huge deal for the museum," said Associate Director Laura Nachison, noting that the money will enable the information to be placed on its website. "Public access to this material is very important."
Here are the other Bay Area recipients:
Contact Steve Johnson at 408-920-5043.
The Internet search giant is giving nonprofit groups around the world $40 million, its biggest single-day contribution ever.
How much is going to the Bay Area? About $9 million, for 12 organizations.
What is the money for? To bolster global education in science, technology, engineering and math, with a special emphasis on teaching girls in developing nations. It's also to empower others through technology and to curb slavery.