The Google Foundation (also known by its internet address, Google.org) is the corporate charitable arm of Alphabet, Inc., and its subsidiary, Google. It is a major funder of left-wing advocacy, having contributed at least $70 million in the decade between 2007-2016 to organizations such as the Tides Foundation, a provider of ideologically left-wing donor-advised funds; Netroots, an annual conference of leftist bloggers; and the Natural Resources Defense Council, a left-wing environmentalist organization.
History and Structure
Created in 2005, the Google Foundation makes grants in four areas: education, economic opportunity, inclusion, and crisis response. Since 2004, it has received one percent of Alphabet/Google’s net profits. Grants for 2016 totaled more than $79 million.
Examples of assistance provided through crisis response mission are hurricane relief in the United States and help fighting infectious disease outbreaks overseas. The education grant area focuses on increasing educational/technology access for children worldwide.
The president of the board of directors is Jacquelline Fuller, the director of giving at Google/Alphabet. Prior to working with the Google Foundation, she worked with the senior management team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Google/Alphabet co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are two of the six members on the foundation’s board of directors. As of 2018, they are respectively the 6th and 9th wealthiest Americans on the Forbes 400 ranking, with an estimated combined net worth of $100 billion.
The Google Foundation has given at least $70 million in grants to numerous left-leaning advocacy organizations.
The Tides Foundation received $59 million in 2016. Tides is a donor-advised fund for left-wing contributors. It has played a role (along with the Natural Resources Defense Council) in perpetuating the “alar hoax” that harmed the U.S. apple industry in the late 1980s, and more recently in blocking domestic energy production projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) received $2.5 million from 2007 to 2010. NRDC is a left-wing environmentalist organization that has opposed domestic energy development, such as construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The NRDC was the main promoter of a hoax in that led to the “Great Apples Scare” of 1989. The group claimed that apples sprayed with the chemical Alar—a plant-growth regulating powder used to prevent the pre-harvest rotting of apples—could give people cancer, a claim that was later soundly debunked as bad science.
The Energy Foundation received nearly $4.7 million in three grants (2007, 2012 and 2013). It bundles money from donors for left-wing political causes (such as the NRDC) and was involved in a 2015 scandal that led to the resignation of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber (D).
The Sunlight Foundation received $2.1 million in 2012. Sunlight is a left-wing government transparency advocacy organization funded by left-of-center donors and foundations such as the Omidyar Network, the Ford Foundation and George Soros-associated foundations.
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) received $250,000 in 2016. SPLC is a controversial left-wing watchdog of extremist groups that has been criticized for characterizing non-violent conventional conservative organizations as equivalent to violent extremists.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) received $1.5 million in 2017. NDWA is a left-wing labor union advocacy organization that organizes protests against President Donald Trump and advocates for a $15 per hour minimum wage. It is funded by major left-leaning labor organizations and foundations, including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Race Relations and Criminal Justice Grants
The Google Foundation announced in February 2017 that it would substantially increase its contributions to organizations addressing race relations and criminal justice reform, to $11.5 million for that year.
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights received two grants totaling $1 million, announced at the end of 2015 for the Oakland, California, organization. Half of the grant funds were to be for the “Restore Oakland” program, which seeks to move formerly incarcerated individuals into the workforce. The other half was dedicated to “a tech-savvy, grassroots solution” that would “create a rapid response network that will prepare communities to respond effectively to police violence.”