Google.org, founded in October 2005, is the charitable arm of Google, an Internet search engine company. As of May 2010, the organization has committed over US$100 million in investments and grants. To fund the organization, Google granted three million shares during their initial public offering (IPO). As of March 2012, Google.org's three million shares are valued at approximately US$1.84 billion. In 2014, the corporation stated on its website that it donates $100,000,000 in grants, 80,000 hours, and $1 billion in products each year.
In November 2007, Google.org announced RE<C (Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal), a project that will invest several hundred million dollars in order to produce renewable energy at a profit from wind and solar sources, particularly solar thermal energy. RE<C has the ultimate goal of creating more than a gigawatt of power (enough to power a city the size of San Francisco) from renewable sources that would be cheaper than energy produced from coal.
The director from 2006 until 2009 was Dr. Larry Brilliant. Upon stepping down, Brilliant was replaced by Megan Smith, Google's Vice-President of new business development, and the organization began focusing on creating engineering solutions to global problems with projects such as Google Flu Trends and Crisis Response, an effort to respond to natural disasters.
The company maintained high levels of giving while waiting to see what engineering solutions it could develop. In 2010, Google gave over $145 million to non-profits and academic institutions. In the same year, Google was named the Bay Area's top corporate philanthropist by the San Francisco Business Times for giving $27.6 million to Bay Area charities. Charitable funds come from Google.org, the Google Foundation and the company itself.
A new project started in June 2014 is Made with Code, uses coding programs to allow girls to become interested in the idea of coding and develop more female programmers over time.
Google.org's current major projects, as of July 2012, are:
- Google Crisis Response which includes: Google Person Finder, Google Public Alerts, and Google Crisis Maps, all supporting disaster relief efforts with critical tools and information.
- Google Flu & Dengue Trends  showing near real-time estimates of disease activity, based on aggregated search results
- Google for Nonprofits providing free or discounted access to some additional Google products for nonprofit organizations.
Past Google.org projects included:
- Develop renewable energy cheaper than coal (RE<C): create utility-scale electricity from clean renewable energy sources that is cheaper than electricity produced from coal. This project began in 2007 and was dropped in 2011. Though technical advancements resulted, it did not meet its ambitious goal.
- Accelerate the commercialization of plug-in electric vehicles (RechargeIT): seed innovation, demonstrate technology, inform the debate, and stimulate market demand to foster mass commercialization of plug-in vehicles.
- Predict and Prevent: identify "hot spots" and enable rapid response to emerging threats, such as infectious disease and climate risk.
- Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services: use information to empower citizens and communities, providers, and policymakers to improve the delivery of essential public services (such as education, health, water and sanitation) in the developing world.
- Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: increase the flow of risk capital to small and medium-sized businesses in the developing world.
In 2008, Google.org joined a number of renewable energy initiatives, including:
- investing $130 million in eSolar for solar thermal plants
- presenting at the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street, held June 18–19, 2008 at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Google.org Climate Change and Energy Initiatives Director, Dan Reicher, will chair the opening remarks.
- investing $10 million in Makani Power for kite systems that tap into jetstreams
- filing a patent application for floating data centers powered by wave power.
- invested in AltaRock Energy, first U.S. demonstration project of Enhanced Geothermal Systems to create renewable energy through geothermal power.
Google.org also manages the Google Foundation.[dead link] The foundation was founded earlier, with Google's help and with similar stated goals, and is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
Google contributes services of some of its own employees to the foundation's work, and also funded the foundation with $90 million late in 2005.
- Google PowerMeter
- Low cost solar cell
- The Final Inch
- World Day Against Cyber Censorship, Netizen Prize
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- San Francisco Business Times (2011-07-22). "Google named Bay Area's top corporate philanthropist". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Projects". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Google Person Finder". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Google Public Alerts". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Google Crisis Map". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Google Flu Trends". Google.org. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- "Google Dengue Trends". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- "Google for nonprofits". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
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- "RE<C –". Google.org. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
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- "Thoughts on Global Warming: Google Files Patent for Wave-Powered Floating Data Centers". Thoughtsonglobalwarming.blogspot.com. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- Huang, Gregory. "Why Vulcan, Google, and ATV Are Backing AltaRock Energy, Betting on Next-Gen Geothermal". Xconomy. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- Shona Brown. "About –". Google.org. Retrieved 2012-12-12.
- Official website
- Google Foundation
- Project 10100 (10100 = googol)
- Google Finds It Hard to Reinvent Philanthropy