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Posted: 10/12/2005 1:45:36 PM EDT

Throw more money at it!


Google Earmarks $265 Million for Charity and Social Causes

Google gave the first details yesterday of how it would carry out its commitment to devote a share of its lucrative public stock offering to charity and social causes. It said it had donated $90 million to a new charitable foundation it started and would give another $175 million to nonprofit groups and what it considers socially useful businesses over the next two to three years.

Sheryl Sandberg, a Google vice president for sales who is also coordinating the foundation and related programs, said the company would focus its charitable efforts in two areas: global poverty, and energy and the environment. She said the two priorities were selected by Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Peter Hero, president of the Community Foundation Silicon Valley, which manages charitable funds and endowments, said the amount of money Google has given its foundation and its planned future spending made it one of the largest donors among technology companies.

Intel, for example, said it donated $72 million in cash and $17 million in equipment last year worldwide. Microsoft said it donated $47 million in cash and $363 million in software to nonprofit organizations. Google's most direct rival, Yahoo, said it makes modest cash contributions and focuses its charitable efforts on providing publicity to groups ranging from the Red Cross to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

"The size of Google's commitment and the two areas they have identified set them apart from other Silicon Valley companies," said Mr. Hero, whose organization has assisted companies like eBay and Juniper Networks in managing their corporate philanthropy.

"Most companies here focus on education, science, youth programs, social safety net and the arts," Mr. Hero said. "The environment is much further down, for some reason, and I can't think of a single organization that has adopted a big, hairy, audacious goal like global poverty."

Google is just beginning to make grants with these funds. It has given $5 million to the Acumen Fund, a New York group that encourages entrepreneurs in developing countries to create businesses that can assist in providing health care, housing and other needs of the poor.

And it gave $2 million to the One Laptop Per Child program started by Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which seeks to develop a $100 computer to give to children in the developing world.
{Yeah - 'cuz that's what starving kids in Africa need... a cheap laptop to gnaw on}

Google also gives free advertisements - worth $20 million so far this year - to organizations it feels worthy, in areas like human rights, environmental causes and poverty. These moves represent the first actions by the rapidly growing and highly profitable search company to make good on the promise its founders, Mr. Page and Mr. Brin, made in the unusual letter to prospective shareholders that was part of its initial stock offering in August 2004.

"We aspire to make Google an institution that makes the world a better place," the founders wrote in the prospectus. They promised to create a Google Foundation and give it about 1 percent of the company's equity and 1 percent of its profits "in some form."

After the offering, Google had 277 million shares. The company says it rounds up the 1 percent figure to an even three million shares, which were worth $918 million yesterday. But the company has decided not to donate all of those shares to the Google Foundation.

In Google's annual report, filed in April, Mr. Brin and Mr. Page said they had decided to put the money into a broader range of initiatives including investments in "socially progressive corporations" and "influencing public policy."

As a result, the company has said it will not explicitly donate shares to the foundation. Rather, over the next 20 years, it will give or invest money equivalent to the market value of three million shares - a sum that doubtless will fluctuate with the stock price. The overall effort, supplemented by the share of profits, will be known as Google.org. The outlays announced yesterday were the first installment.

Mr. Hero of the Silicon Valley foundation said he had some skepticism about Google's plan to divert some of its planned donations from traditional charities to profit-making businesses with socially useful goals.

He said that many business leaders feel that traditional charitable organizations are inefficient and ineffective, a view he disputed.

"I know nonprofits that run much better than businesses with equally outstanding leaders," he said. "There are businesses that go bankrupt all the time."


Maybe Google should start by sending aide to Nigeria - they're missing $385 Billion.

Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:49:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 1:50:14 PM EDT by Specop_007]
Its Googles money, they can do as they see fit with it. Thats the point of private contributions. It doesnt bother me in the slightest.
Its when my money is forcibly taken from me and given to them in the form of taxes and foriegn aid I have a problem.

Aside from that, I'm glad to see there donating to the environment. While I think feeding the starving masses is a bit of a money pit, if thats what they want to do then so be it.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:51:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 1:51:54 PM EDT by steve-oh]
I cansee where you're coming from. With all the brains they've got, you'd think they'd be able to find a better way to donate that money.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:53:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 1:54:20 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 1:55:57 PM EDT
If there is one thing I would not do at this point, is count Google out. They have some of the best "big thinkers" out there.

I'm not saying they will end poverty and hunger... but they've impressed me before and I'm quite sure they will again.

BTW anyone need a gmail account? I have 100 invites  
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:00:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Its Googles money, they can do as they see fit with it. Thats the point of private contributions. It doesnt bother me in the slightest.
Its when my money is forcibly taken from me and given to them in the form of taxes and foriegn aid I have a problem.

Aside from that, I'm glad to see there donating to the environment. While I think feeding the starving masses is a bit of a money pit, if thats what they want to do then so be it.




They're publicly owned.... I doubt their investors see it the same way.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:02:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mmx1:

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Its Googles money, they can do as they see fit with it. Thats the point of private contributions. It doesnt bother me in the slightest.
Its when my money is forcibly taken from me and given to them in the form of taxes and foriegn aid I have a problem.

Aside from that, I'm glad to see there donating to the environment. While I think feeding the starving masses is a bit of a money pit, if thats what they want to do then so be it.




They're publicly owned.... I doubt their investors see it the same way.



If the shareholder majority doesnt stop it, doesnt mean shit if there publicly owned or not.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 2:17:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macman37:
If there is one thing I would not do at this point, is count Google out. They have some of the best "big thinkers" out there.

I'm not saying they will end poverty and hunger... but they've impressed me before and I'm quite sure they will again.




I doubt it.

Matthew 26:11  For ye have the poor always with you;
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 3:16:48 PM EDT
Their money.  I'd build dozens of Saddam-style palaces, myself.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 5:40:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Old_Painless:

Originally Posted By macman37:
If there is one thing I would not do at this point, is count Google out. They have some of the best "big thinkers" out there.

I'm not saying they will end poverty and hunger... but they've impressed me before and I'm quite sure they will again.




I doubt it.

Matthew 26:11  For ye have the poor always with you;



Link Posted: 10/12/2005 5:48:11 PM EDT
Aren't they just doing the old tax write off thing, and spinning it as marketing like every other business big and small in the USA?
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 5:50:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Specop_007:
Its Googles money, they can do as they see fit with it.



Well, not really. The money belongs to the investers. If Google wants to kick in some money out of the profits, OK, but to take money from the proceeds of the public offering and give it away sounds like a dereliction of duty.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 5:52:01 PM EDT
if they were really serious, they would create companies designed to finf worthwhile solotions to the same problems. either that or they truely have no idea hoe far away their ideals are from reality.
Link Posted: 10/12/2005 6:04:39 PM EDT
As others have said, at least they're not throwing our money at it like some politicians we could mention.
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