Category Archives: Google for Nonprofits

News and updates from Google for Nonprofits

A Matter of Impact: March updates from Google.org

Despite decades of work to achieve gender equality, the disparities between men and women across education, income and economic opportunities persist. Not only that, but they are growing at an alarming rate due to COVID-19. Women have been almost 2x more likely to lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic, and girls are far less likely to return to schools once they reopen in person. 


There are solutions that can help, but they’re underfunded. Data shows that only 1.6% of philanthropic funding goes to causes that focus on women and girls. Which is exactly why we need to direct more money toward solutions that put women and girls at the center.


We launched theGoogle.org Impact Challenge for Women and Girls earlier this month, which will provide $25 million in funding and Googler expertise to organizations that are creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls.


When women and girls have the resources and opportunities to turn their economic potential into power, it not only changes their lives, but also strengthens the well-being of entire communities. As we continue down the road to recovery and rebuild our global economy, we need bold ideas that will encourage, support and propel women forward—that’s what this Impact Challenge is all about. 

Collage of women and girls from around the word

Check out g.co/womenandgirlschallenge learn more about the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women & Girls. Organizations have until Friday, April 9 to submit ideas. Grant recipients will be announced later this year.

In this update, we highlight initiatives we’re supporting to empower women and girls around the world. We can’t afford to stand on the sidelines when it comes to addressing these disparities; we have a collective responsibility to take action now.


In case you missed it 

We recently announced a $300,000 grant to the Michal Sela Forum, an Israeli nonprofit using technology to put a stop to domestic violence against women. This funding will help establish a program called “Nothing about us without us,” which pairs survivors of abuse with technology experts to build products that promote safety and security, like apps that identify signals of abusive behavior or help victims document their experiences. 

Mariana Costa Checa, CEO of Laboratoria, a Google.org grantee.

Mariana Costa Checa, CEO of Laboratoria, a Google.org grantee.

Hear from one of our grantees: Laboratoria 

Mariana Costa Checa is the CEO of Laboratoria, an organization that helps women who haven't been able to start a professional career access quality jobs in Latin America's growing digital economy. Since its launch in 2014, Laboratoria has trained over 1,800 women and placed 79% of them in technology jobs in Latin America and abroad. Last year, Laboratoria received a $1 million Google.org grant to help more women start and grow careers in technology.  


“2020 was a year of transformation. A year where instead of hopelessly waiting for things to go back to normal, we decided to make the most out of the changes brought to our operations and community. We set a north star for ourselves to become the best remote bootcamp out there, and have worked tirelessly to accomplish this vision. We have seen the power of building true connections amongst women from the south of Chile to the north of Mexico, despite the thousands of kilometers between them. We have managed to sustain +80% placement rates despite the unprecedented levels of unemployment around us, seeing our graduates become an economic backbone for their families and communities. At Laboratoria we dream of a Latin America where women are no longer the hardest hit by every crisis due to the underlying inequalities that persist. We want economies where the benefits of thriving sectors, such as tech, are equally shared by women.” 


Ali Stanfield, a Google.org Fellow with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Ali Stanfield, a Google.org Fellow with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. 


A few words with a Google.org Fellow: Ali Stanfield

Ali Stanfield is a software engineer who recently completed a Google.org Fellowship with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.


“I come from a family of healthcare workers. Watching my loved ones fight COVID-19 on the frontlines early in the pandemic fueled my desire to find a way to put my skills to use. Working alongside National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), I learned about the severity of the economic crisis affecting domestic workers — over 2.5 million nannies, house cleaners, and care workers in the U.S.—many of whom had been laid off without notice. I was surprised and saddened to discover that technology was often a barrier to workers accessing desperately needed emergency relief funds. Our team of Fellows worked closely with NDWA and domestic workers to help NDWA build a platform that made it easy for people to receive direct cash assistance during this critical time of need. We were proud to help distribute over $30 million in funding to domestic workers across the U.S.”


How AI helps volunteers support LGBTQ youth in crisis

Over 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide in the U.S. each year. At The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, the number of youth reaching out for support has ballooned since the start of the pandemic — at times nearly doubling our pre-COVID-19 volume. We knew we needed to train more volunteer crisis counselors to meet the growing demand for mental health support — and do so while working fully remote. The ability to connect the youth that we serve with highly trained counselors 24/7 is life-saving work, and will always hinge on human connection.


Over the last two years, Google.org has provided $2.7 million in funding and a team of nearly 30 Google.org Fellows to help scale The Trevor Project’s LGBTQ+ youth crisis support resources and technology using AI and machine learning. Most recently, Trevor and a team of Fellows built the Crisis Contact Simulator (CCS), a counselor training tool that uses AI to simulate conversations with LGBTQ youth in crisis. The simulator lets volunteer trainees practice realistic conversations with youth personas, equipping them with the skills needed to provide critical care. With this tool and other training innovations, we plan to grow our team of 700 digital volunteer crisis counselors by 10x! 


To become a volunteer crisis counselor, trainees learn about our counseling support model, active communication skills and LGBTQ identities, and take part in intensive one-on-one, human-led role play scenarios. We needed to build and test a tool that would provide a time-flexible, role-play opportunity for trainees outside of typical business hours — this was especially important since we know that nearly 70% of our digital crisis counselors volunteer on nights and weekends.  


To do so, we worked with the Google.org Fellows to bring together our knowledge and expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, product management, user experience, education, LGBTQ youth, and clinical psychology. "Through my work as a Google.org Fellow, I was able to adapt traditional user experience design practices and identify new ways for designers to collaborate with machine learning engineers. Being embedded with the Trevor project allowed us to be super collaborative with the training team as well, and gave us the opportunity to build lasting frameworks for their future AI work." said Abby Beck, a UX Design Lead at Google. 

Thanks to six months of rigorous research, feedback, evaluations and data collected from thousands of role-play transcripts between the training team and volunteers, the CCS can emulate a number of digital youth personas. This allows trainees to practice realistic conversations with a wide range of life situations, risk levels and intersectional identities that span race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. "Riley," the first digital youth persona, emulates a young person who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer. As more digital youth personas are introduced into the training program, Trevor counselors will become more adept at providing high-quality care and support to young people experiencing a variety of crises. 

Animated image of the Crisis Contact Simulator during a training session with a Trevor Project volunteer counselor.

A Trevor Project crisis counselor trainee interacts with “Riley,” one of the Crisis Contact Simulator personas who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer.

As we think about automating more training models, we wanted our training team to be able to evaluate the CCS tool. We created a human evaluation rubric that allows folks on our team to have a conversation with the CCS and rate if it’s being sensible, specific and authentic and if it’s achieving the intended learning objective. 

So far, an initial cohort of Trevor Project staff has been trained as crisis counselors using this tool, and we’ve started using it in our broader training curriculum. It’s easy to see why we’re excited to celebrate today’s launch of the Crisis Contact Simulator: the hard work was all in service of increasing the number of LGBTQ youth that we can help. It’s our goal that LGBTQ youth can always speak to a highly-trained crisis counselor — for free and 24/7 — and technology like AI can help us train even more volunteers to meet that goal. If you or someone you know needs help or support, contact The Trevor Project at TheTrevorProject.org/Help. 


How AI helps volunteers support LGBTQ youth in crisis

Over 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide in the U.S. each year. At The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, the number of youth reaching out for support has ballooned since the start of the pandemic — at times nearly doubling our pre-COVID-19 volume. We knew we needed to train more volunteer crisis counselors to meet the growing demand for mental health support — and do so while working fully remote. The ability to connect the youth that we serve with highly trained counselors 24/7 is life-saving work, and will always hinge on human connection.


Over the last two years, Google.org has provided $2.7 million in funding and a team of nearly 30 Google.org Fellows to help scale The Trevor Project’s LGBTQ+ youth crisis support resources and technology using AI and machine learning. Most recently, Trevor and a team of Fellows built the Crisis Contact Simulator (CCS), a counselor training tool that uses AI to simulate conversations with LGBTQ youth in crisis. The simulator lets volunteer trainees practice realistic conversations with youth personas, equipping them with the skills needed to provide critical care. With this tool and other training innovations, we plan to grow our team of 700 digital volunteer crisis counselors by 10x! 


To become a volunteer crisis counselor, trainees learn about our counseling support model, active communication skills and LGBTQ identities, and take part in intensive one-on-one, human-led role play scenarios. We needed to build and test a tool that would provide a time-flexible, role-play opportunity for trainees outside of typical business hours — this was especially important since we know that nearly 70% of our digital crisis counselors volunteer on nights and weekends.  


To do so, we worked with the Google.org Fellows to bring together our knowledge and expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, product management, user experience, education, LGBTQ youth, and clinical psychology. "Through my work as a Google.org Fellow, I was able to adapt traditional user experience design practices and identify new ways for designers to collaborate with machine learning engineers. Being embedded with the Trevor project allowed us to be super collaborative with the training team as well, and gave us the opportunity to build lasting frameworks for their future AI work." said Abby Beck, a UX Design Lead at Google. 

Thanks to six months of rigorous research, feedback, evaluations and data collected from thousands of role-play transcripts between the training team and volunteers, the CCS can emulate a number of digital youth personas. This allows trainees to practice realistic conversations with a wide range of life situations, risk levels and intersectional identities that span race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. "Riley," the first digital youth persona, emulates a young person who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer. As more digital youth personas are introduced into the training program, Trevor counselors will become more adept at providing high-quality care and support to young people experiencing a variety of crises. 

Animated image of the Crisis Contact Simulator during a training session with a Trevor Project volunteer counselor.

A Trevor Project crisis counselor trainee interacts with “Riley,” one of the Crisis Contact Simulator personas who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer.

As we think about automating more training models, we wanted our training team to be able to evaluate the CCS tool. We created a human evaluation rubric that allows folks on our team to have a conversation with the CCS and rate if it’s being sensible, specific and authentic and if it’s achieving the intended learning objective. 

So far, an initial cohort of Trevor Project staff has been trained as crisis counselors using this tool, and we’ve started using it in our broader training curriculum. It’s easy to see why we’re excited to celebrate today’s launch of the Crisis Contact Simulator: the hard work was all in service of increasing the number of LGBTQ youth that we can help. It’s our goal that LGBTQ youth can always speak to a highly-trained crisis counselor — for free and 24/7 — and technology like AI can help us train even more volunteers to meet that goal. If you or someone you know needs help or support, contact The Trevor Project at TheTrevorProject.org/Help. 


How AI helps volunteers support LGBTQ youth in crisis

Over 1.8 million LGBTQ youth seriously consider suicide in the U.S. each year. At The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth, the number of youth reaching out for support has ballooned since the start of the pandemic — at times nearly doubling our pre-COVID-19 volume. We knew we needed to train more volunteer crisis counselors to meet the growing demand for mental health support — and do so while working fully remote. The ability to connect the youth that we serve with highly trained counselors 24/7 is life-saving work, and will always hinge on human connection.


Over the last two years, Google.org has provided $2.7 million in funding and a team of nearly 30 Google.org Fellows to help scale The Trevor Project’s LGBTQ+ youth crisis support resources and technology using AI and machine learning. Most recently, Trevor and a team of Fellows built the Crisis Contact Simulator (CCS), a counselor training tool that uses AI to simulate conversations with LGBTQ youth in crisis. The simulator lets volunteer trainees practice realistic conversations with youth personas, equipping them with the skills needed to provide critical care. With this tool and other training innovations, we plan to grow our team of 700 digital volunteer crisis counselors by 10x! 


To become a volunteer crisis counselor, trainees learn about our counseling support model, active communication skills and LGBTQ identities, and take part in intensive one-on-one, human-led role play scenarios. We needed to build and test a tool that would provide a time-flexible, role-play opportunity for trainees outside of typical business hours — this was especially important since we know that nearly 70% of our digital crisis counselors volunteer on nights and weekends.  


To do so, we worked with the Google.org Fellows to bring together our knowledge and expertise in machine learning and natural language processing, product management, user experience, education, LGBTQ youth, and clinical psychology. "Through my work as a Google.org Fellow, I was able to adapt traditional user experience design practices and identify new ways for designers to collaborate with machine learning engineers. Being embedded with the Trevor project allowed us to be super collaborative with the training team as well, and gave us the opportunity to build lasting frameworks for their future AI work." said Abby Beck, a UX Design Lead at Google. 

Thanks to six months of rigorous research, feedback, evaluations and data collected from thousands of role-play transcripts between the training team and volunteers, the CCS can emulate a number of digital youth personas. This allows trainees to practice realistic conversations with a wide range of life situations, risk levels and intersectional identities that span race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. "Riley," the first digital youth persona, emulates a young person who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer. As more digital youth personas are introduced into the training program, Trevor counselors will become more adept at providing high-quality care and support to young people experiencing a variety of crises. 

Animated image of the Crisis Contact Simulator during a training session with a Trevor Project volunteer counselor.

A Trevor Project crisis counselor trainee interacts with “Riley,” one of the Crisis Contact Simulator personas who’s struggling to come out as genderqueer.

As we think about automating more training models, we wanted our training team to be able to evaluate the CCS tool. We created a human evaluation rubric that allows folks on our team to have a conversation with the CCS and rate if it’s being sensible, specific and authentic and if it’s achieving the intended learning objective. 

So far, an initial cohort of Trevor Project staff has been trained as crisis counselors using this tool, and we’ve started using it in our broader training curriculum. It’s easy to see why we’re excited to celebrate today’s launch of the Crisis Contact Simulator: the hard work was all in service of increasing the number of LGBTQ youth that we can help. It’s our goal that LGBTQ youth can always speak to a highly-trained crisis counselor — for free and 24/7 — and technology like AI can help us train even more volunteers to meet that goal. If you or someone you know needs help or support, contact The Trevor Project at TheTrevorProject.org/Help. 


Google tools support more nonprofits in new ways

When 2020 brought uncertainty to communities around the world, nonprofits stepped up to help those in need. From moving educational programs online with Canada Learning Code to providing frontline coronavirus relief in Milan with Croce Rossa Italiana, the work of nonprofits around the world has inspired us. And we were proud to support hundreds of thousands of organizations with the tools and resources they needed to bring programs online and expand their impact. 

Here’s a look at how Google and the nonprofit community rose up to the challenges of 2020.

Expanded reach and access

This year, access to digital tools was crucial to continue operations, sustain productivity, and raise awareness. In April, we expanded Google for Nonprofits to an additional 16 countries, bringing our reach to a total of 67 countries around the globe. Jorge Gomes, the National Coordinator of VOST in Portugal, told us that Google for Nonprofits helped them streamline communication and project development so they could provide emergency information to health professionals during COVID-19.

Nonprofits sought to get the word out about their services. To help, we made it easier to use  Ad Grants, which gives nonprofits access up to $10,000 of credits per month for search advertising. FoodFinder, for example, focused on running ads related to keyword phrases like “food pantries near me” to provide information to the more than 25,000 people seeking food resources for themselves and family. 

We reduced the time it takes to request an Ad Grants account by 50 percent. And in partnership with the Applied Digital Skills team we developed acollection of digital skills lessons specifically for nonprofits which includes a step-by-step tutorial on how to launch and build an Ad Grants campaign. Now more nonprofits can use Ad Grants to drive their mission forward. 

More product tools and resources

At the start of the pandemic, we asked nonprofits about the challenges they faced and used that information to curate a set of resources to help use technology to navigate through these barriers. And we started broadcasting our live show on YouTube twice a month, where our experts dive into requested topics. 

We learned that larger nonprofits needed access to more advanced productivity tools, like increased cloud storage and enhanced security features. To meet this need, we announced new G Suite Business and Enterprise for Nonprofits discounts. The Last Mile, a nonprofit organization that prepares incarcerated individuals for successful reentry through business and technology training, upgraded to G Suite Enterprise for Nonprofits to streamline operations and boost efficiency. This played a huge role maintaining and growing the opportunities they provide despite the pandemic—which is hitting prison populations especially hard. 


And last but not least, video storytelling became a powerful tool during the pandemic for nonprofits to spread the word about their mission and impact. We partnered with YouTube to support the launch of  YouTube Giving. Already, fundraisers on YouTube have raised millions of dollars for nonprofits like The Bail Project and Goats of Anarchy. This powerful tool allows viewers to donate directly on YouTube through the live chat donations or the Donate button, and it’s now available to all YouTube Partner Program channels with more than 10,000 subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. 


Sharing nonprofit stories 


The stories of what nonprofits have accomplished this year inspire us. We’ve continued to highlight the amazing accomplishments of nonprofit organizations through videos, case studies, and conversation on social media. To thank our nonprofit community for doing so much to help so many, here’s a video that shows the impact of organizations from Colombia to Cambodia. 

You can find more stories of resilience, like how FoodFinder is using Google Maps to reduce food insecurity, in the Nonprofits section of The Keyword.  

Google.org supports Latino SMBs this holiday season

When I think about small businesses, I think about my family. My uncle runs a small freight forwarding business in South Florida. My cousin works at a family-owned Peruvian restaurant. And my father-in-law is a serial entrepreneur who has run a hair salon, a construction company, and an outdoor food court over the years. These small businesses have been a lifeline for my family, and provided opportunities for us to succeed in this country. 


Small businesses are the backbone of families like mine and the U.S. economy as a whole. It’s critical that we come together to support these pillars of local communities, especially for historically underserved groups, like the Latino community, which have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Latinos are 1.5 times more likely to start a business, but in the past few months alone about 32% of Latino-owned businesses have been forced to close due to COVID-19. 


In September, Google.org announced a $3 million grant to Hispanics in Philanthropy PowerUp Fund to directly support Latino-owned small businesses across California, Texas and New York. Through this effort, 500 small businesses were selected and will receive $5,000 in cash grants as well as a year's worth of business training from Ureeka, a community-based platform that connects underserved small business owners to peers, mentors and coaches, to help these businesses grow. We’re optimistic that through cash and training like this, small businesses will be able to build the resilience they need to withstand economic downturns, especially during the holidays. 


The PowerUp Fund grant recipients represent more than 55 industries including food and beverage, health and wellness, childcare, technology and more. Nearly 60 percent of these businesses are Latina-owned and more than 15 percent of business owners identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, a U.S. veteran or persons with disabilities. We asked recipients to share how this support will help keep the lights on, here’s what some of them had to say: 


Google.org’s funding for the PowerUp Fund builds on Google’s $180M commitment to support minority and women-led small businesses across the country through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund and Google.org grants. Read on to learn more about the other PowerUp Fund recipients and consider supporting a small business this holiday season— whether it’s buying your favorite candle from the shop around the corner or giving a shout out to your go-to dinner spot on social media—every little bit counts. 


YouTube Giving makes it easier to support nonprofits

Whether it's a livestream video of goats or educational stories about the challenges of the criminal justice system, YouTube creators have long helped rally people behind causes they’re passionate about.

Last year, we set out to make it even easier for creators and viewers to support charitable causes they care about by testing YouTube Giving—a fundraising tool that helps creators raise money for eligible nonprofit organizations directly from their videos and live streams. 

YouTube Giving is now available to all YouTube Partner Program channels with more than 10,000 subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. We spoke with two nonprofits that have benefited from fundraising efforts on YouTube to learn more about their causes first hand. 

Top YouTube creator raises funds to help people who can’t afford bail 

The Bail Project is a national nonprofit that combats this injustice by providing free bail assistance to thousands of people every year while working to eliminate cash bail. Every year, millions of low-income Americans are forced to sit in jail for weeks or months as they wait for their day in court. They’re presumed innocent under the law, but their freedom is tied to whether they can afford cash bail. Many end up pleading guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to go home, leading to an undeserved criminal record that will follow them for the rest of their lives. 

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah told the story of The Bail Project on its channel and used YouTube Giving to raise $127,000 from viewers for their National Revolving Bail Fund. With teams in 24 cities around the U.S., they pay bail using their National Revolving Bail Fund and connect people to social services and community resources as needed upon release. Every donation made possible through Youtube Giving helped make a difference in The Bail Project's efforts to fuel momentum for bail reform.

An animal sanctuary hosts a fundraiser to support its cause

Nonprofits with more than 10,000 subscribers, like Goats of Anarchy, can now host their own fundraisers with YouTube Giving. Goats of Anarchy is a New Jersey-based sanctuary for animals with a focus on goats that have disabilities ranging from blindness to mobility impairment to neurological disorders. In addition to rescuing and rehabilitating animals, Goats of Anarchy also advocates for animal rights and teaches the world about inclusion and acceptance of disabilities.  

Caring for 240 animals, of which about 30 wear custom prostheses, they’re constantly working to provide the best possible care and find new ways to fund these efforts. Just over a year ago, Goats of Anarchy stumbled upon a passionate community of supporters on YouTube. The team had rescued Maybel, a pregnant goat. To keep an eye on her as she approached her due date, they set up a camera and created a livestream on YouTube. This live stream won the hearts of viewers who not only spread the word about these adorable animals, but also donated to Goats of Anarchy. 

Now with a growing audience of more than 16,000 subscribers and access to YouTube Giving, the team at Goats of Anarchy continues to share content and fundraise with YouTube Giving. Ellen, an Animal Caregiver at Goats of Anarchy, told us that YouTube allows them to share in-depth stories with their enthusiastic audience, many of which have some personal connection to disabilities. 

With these updates, viewers across more than 40 countries can use the Donate button or Live Chat donations to contribute to causes they care about—already fundraisers on YouTube have raised millions of dollars for organizations in the U.S. Thanks to the support of creators and the ability to fundraise with YouTube Giving, nonprofits can make an even bigger impact in their communities.  

Helping Australian teens hone media literacy skills

On April 28, 1996 at the historical Port Arthur site in Tasmania, 35 people were tragically killed. Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged six and three, along with their mother, died that day. Because of this terrible act of violence, Alannah and Madeline's father, Walter Mikac AM, and a small group of volunteers, created the Alannah & Madeline Foundation with the belief that all children should have a safe and happy childhood. For more than 20 years, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation has worked to safeguard every child’s basic right to live free from violence and serves as a beacon of hope for a better, safer world. 

As the dangers children face today become increasingly complex, the Foundation is adapting and responding to modern challenges. To help young people become less susceptible to online harms like disinformation and hate speech, the organization is focusing on helping teens better understand their relationships with media.

In Australia, as in the rest of the world, it’s more crucial than ever to help young people distinguish fact from fiction online. Research by Queensland University of Technology and Western Sydney University shows that many teenagers regularly consume news media, but their trust in the stories provided by news organizations has fallen significantly since 2017. More than half of young Australians pay little or no attention to the source of news stories found online, and only one third agree that they can tell “fake news” from real news. Teachers believe it's important to teach media literacy, but many feel constrained by barriers like a strict curriculum and a lack of confidence about the topic. 

With support from Google.org, the Foundation set its sights on tackling this issue and worked with an advisory group of academics, industry experts and educators to develop Media Literacy Lab, a first-of-its-kind education resource for teachers and students aged 12-16. This e-learning platform helps Australia’s youth become media-savvy digital citizens, questioning what they see, practicing smart and safe online behaviors and seeking help when needed. 

The Lab aims to both increase the media literacy of young Australians and support teachers to build their confidence in teaching the subject. Media Literacy Lab has two portals: one for teachers to administer the Lab and engage in professional learning, and one for students to experience narrative-based learning. In the Teacher Portal, educators can easily facilitate lessons, access resources and view real-time student reports. Media Literacy Lab’s gamified learning modules, including new and carefully curated content from our partners, sit in the Student Portal. Media Literacy Lab empowers students to strengthen their ethical understanding and critical thinking skills, crucial to navigate and thrive in today’s digital ecosystem.  

In its first month, we saw almost 200 Australian schools register, with nearly 270 educators facilitating the Lab and more than 100 users from other non-school settings like libraries and universities—a huge achievement amid a global pandemic. 

As we shifted to remote work in March as a result of COVID-19, we increasingly used Google for Nonprofits tools for organization and collaboration. Google Drive ensures our documents are protected, creating an easy way to invite the right people to contribute during product development. We simultaneously used Google Docs and Sheets for project management and content design documentation. The ability to collaboratively work with Google products was useful to keep project momentum. 

The Foundation recently extended the period to register and use Media Literacy Lab free-of-charge until the end of 2021. Next year, we will deliver a national series of professional learning events for teachers with expert guests and hold student workshops in critical media production. We will continue to support national media literacy research, partnerships, advocacy campaigns and policy development. With additional funding, we also plan to build new modules for upper primary students.

Media Literacy Lab forms part of the Foundation’s crucial work in transforming how society thinks about–and responds to–the barriers to every child’s basic right to safety. We believe explicitly teaching young people media literacy can lead to strengthened digital civic engagement and contribute to safer civil discourse, benefiting children across Australia. 

Investing in the next generation of NY tech talent

New York City is my home. I’m a proud graduate and parent of three children in the New York City public school system, and I chose to stay and build my career here. Twelve years ago, after a career on Wall Street, I joined Google and currently serve as Chief Information Officer (CIO) and co-site lead for Google’s growing New York campus. Like me, Google has been fortunate to call New York home and is committed to connecting students, teachers and job seekers to the local tech economy. 


Today, as part of Google’s commitment to the continued growth of our city’s current and future tech workforce, Google.org is announcing $3.5 million in grants to three local organizations: Pursuit, ExpandEd Schools and CS4All


Supporting organizations like these is especially important as the COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed unsettling truths about equity and access to resources, especially in underserved communities of color. As we navigate the short and long term effects of the pandemic, we must come together to create equitable solutions that meet the needs of the moment and provide a strong foundation for the future. This starts by making sure every New Yorker has access to a quality education and the training and resources needed for in-demand jobs—these grantees are working to make this possible. 


Pursuit: Connecting New Yorkers to careers in tech 

Pursuit creates economic opportunity for adults from low-income communities by training them to code and build careers in technology. Their fellows come from groups that are historically underrepresented in tech and are made up of majority Black or Latino people, women, immigrants and those without Bachelor’s degrees. Upon completing the fellowship, they go on to work at top tech companies, increasing their salaries from $18,000 to $85,000 on average. With $2 million in funding from Google.org, Pursuit will build on its work to remove systemic barriers preventing low-income communities from accessing careers in technology and connect 10,000 New Yorkers with jobs in the tech industry. 

 

ExpandEd Schools: Supporting after-school educators  

ExpandEdsupports a strong after-school system that enables students to thrive and educators to grow. Google.org's $1 million investment in ExpandED Pathways Fellowship Computer Science (CS) track will empower aspiring teachers of color from underserved communities to fulfill their professional goals through a 10-month after-school teaching practicum. Ultimately, this will help increase the number of diverse CS educators in New York City and nationwide.


CS4All: Sustaining Computer Science education in public schools

Computer Science for All (CS4All) began in 2015 as an innovative public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Education to train 5,000 teachers and bring equitable CS education to all 1.1 million public school students in NYC by 2025. As the program hits its halfway point, Google.org is providing $500,000 to fund their CS Leads program facilitated by the Fund for Public Schools. This will help provide more than 200 teachers with a comprehensive leadership training program focused on equity in CS education, peer coaching and in-school leadership.


The creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of New Yorkers is one of the reasons Google calls this city home. And I’m proud that the work we do helps nurture that spirit. Whether it’s standing alongside 26 CEOs from the largest employers in New York to launch the New York Jobs CEO Council with the goal of hiring 100,000 traditionally underserved New Yorkers by 2030, committing to additional hiring efforts focused on Black+ talent in NY or developing alternative pathways into the workforce, we believe tech should be for everyone and we’re committed to making that a reality. 


The Last Mile grows with G Suite Enterprise for Nonprofits

In the United States, as much as 83 percent of formerly incarcerated people return to prison. The Last Mile (TLM) is a nonprofit on a mission to reduce the re-incarceration cycle by creating new pathways to jobs for prison populations. Since 2010, it has provided classrooms to 600 incarcerated men, women and youth across the country, offering a highly competitive coding skills curriculum and becoming one of the most requested prison education programs in the country. Technology has played a huge role in TLM’s growth and is helping to keep the program going despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which is hitting prison populations especially hard. We interviewed Mike Bowie, director of Engineering, to learn more about TLM and how G Suite helped them boost efficiency and streamline operations.

What is the story of The Last Mile, and what’s the problem you are trying to solve?

We believe that high-quality education for incarcerated populations is key to providing new opportunities and breaking the re-incarceration cycle. When Chris Redlitz, our cofounder, entered the San Quentin State Prison for the first time in 2010 to speak to a group of men about business and entrepreneurship, he was impressed by the men’s eagerness to learn, and started to nurture the idea of creating a technology accelerator inside the prison. 

He started The Last Mile alongside his wife and business partner, Beverly Parenti. Graduates of TLM coding programs in San Quentin now take part in the first-ever web development shop in a US prison. After leaving prison, many TLM graduates enter paid apprenticeships with leading companies, turning their skills into careers and smoothing the way for reentry. 

The Last Mile upgraded from G Suite for Nonprofits to G Suite Enterprise. Why?

As the information services at TLM have evolved, technology needs have also changed. It became clear that we could vastly simplify our service catalog, improve our security posture and streamline our IT operations with this one low-friction transition, so we decided to upgrade to G Suite Enterprise. Given the valuable range of functionality G Suite Enterprise already affords us, having Google now offer such reasonable discounts for nonprofits makes it hard to pass up. 

Did one or more of the G Suite Enterprise features help you solve a challenge that you think most nonprofits might face?

For any organization, people are the most critical component, and in the nonprofit environment, that’s especially true. As part of G Suite Enterprise, we now use Secure LDAP Service as a single identity and access management platform. Staff use the same G Suite credentials to log into multiple apps and, in many cases, without re-logging in. 

Having standardized on Chromebooks as our platform of choice, we can ensure the key G Suite apps for our organization are readily available as soon as the user logs in, and everything is kept up-to-date without the need for significant technical support. A centralized access management system has reduced financial costs, simplified IT management, streamlined staff onboarding and simplified the experiences for everyone who interacted with the complicated and burdensome systems we'd used in the past. Less time spent by IT engineers creating or updating accounts means more time working on things that have a valuable impact on our cause. 

How is TLM using G Suite to increase collaboration and security?

G Suite is the foundation platform for all of our team. Having that familiar, feature-rich set of tools as a starting point for communication and collaboration is key to our productivity. To ensure documentation processes are well detailed, TLM is using enterprise features in Google Meet, including the ability to record meetings and securely store them in Drive. 

The IT staff also gets access to security dashboards, reporting and eDiscovery tools. For example, email log helps determine the coverage of phishing campaigns, and eDiscovery gives visibility to phishing engagement. The system alerts IT of any suspicious logins, and gives them the ability to prioritize, investigate and escalate them in the console. 


What’s next with The Last Mile?

COVID-19 has posed new challenges. In-person activities have been paused to protect our students and slow the spread of the virus in prison facilities, which are particularly affected by the outbreak. But TLM's momentum isn't stopping. We have 23 classrooms across six states (California, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Michigan and North Dakota), with plans for rapid expansion. Our goal is to be in 50 classrooms across the country within the next four years. The tech-centric nature of our program has enabled us to continue providing value during the pandemic with remote instructions and recorded content. The efficiency of having a single unified means of managing all of the systems we have further supports our growth.