Google Foundation: Grants for Disasters and Refugees

OVERVIEW: The philanthropic arm of tech giant Google awards grants to a number of humanitarian relief efforts around the world. Main points of interest include refugee and migrant populations, natural disaster response, and health-related crisis response.

IP TAKE: is not one of the most accessible funders. With its funding proclivities leaning toward large international organizations, smaller groups have some pretty big barriers to a grant.

PROFILE: Better known as, the philanthropic arm of tech giant Google dedicates some $100 million in grants annually and donates products worth around $1 billion.’s funding comes in the form of traditional grants, seed funding, and impact investments.

The foundation’s global giving programs award grants to groups “using technology to combat humanity’s biggest challenges.” While grantseekers may find luck getting their disaster response or refugee projects funded out of Google’s global giving programs, most related grants are awarded through the foundation’s Special Programs.

Google’s Crisis Response program also offers contributions for disaster relief and humanitarian responses around the world. In both situations, the company and the foundation offer donations including grants as well as the company’s technology tools, such as CrisisMap, Google Person Finder, and apps.’s natural disaster grantmaking often prioritizes response efforts. The foundation also awards grants and offers product donations in response to global health crises.

The foundation’s refugee and migrant crisis grantmaking is relatively new. In 2015, launched a public matching campaign to help UNHCR, IRC, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders with their humanitarian relief efforts. Since then, the foundation has awarded refugee and migrant population-related grants to groups such as Mercy Corps, NetHope, and Kiron. grants can be substantial. While the foundation regularly announces open calls for proposals for its Global Impact and Global Challenge programs, it provides little information regarding how prospective grantees may apply. Grant seekers are advised to contact someone at the foundation.


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