The Google.org Impact Challenge: Tech for Social Good is an open call for European nonprofits, academic or research institutions, civic entities, and social enterprises in search of technical help and funding for projects focused around sustainability, economic opportunity, or cyber security.
For the first time through this year’s challenge, selected organisations will receive a Google.org Fellowship in addition to funding.
The Google.org Fellowship is a program that provides organisations with a team of Google employees (software engineers, product managers, user experience researchers, and more) who work alongside the organisation’s staff to build scalable solutions with lasting impact. A few examples of previous organisations receiving assistance from Google.org Fellows include Diagoriente, Full Fact, and Normative.
Before applying ask yourself, will your project...
How does your project address a societal challenge, and how will communities benefit? Is the proposal grounded in research and data? How can a team of Google.org Fellows and their unique expertise help accelerate outcomes and widen the proposed project’s impact?
Do you have the resources, a realistic plan, and the expertise (such as technical staff and infrastructure) to make your project happen? Do execution plans account for how to effectively absorb and leverage the expertise of Google.org Fellows over six months?
What’s the magic that accelerates your solution, or enables new ways to address the problem? Solutions that responsibly apply AI, machine learning or data science are encouraged.
Be sustainable and scalable?
If successful, how will your project continue and grow beyond the support from Google.org? Proposals should include a plan for how your project will be sustained once the Google.org Fellowship is complete.
How to apply
Eligible organisations can submit a project proposal for how they would use the Google.org Fellowship’s support and extra funding to accelerate a charitable project.
Google.org, along with partners and experts, review and select the top applicants.
3Funding and support
Selected organisations will receive full-time pro bono support for up to six months from a team of Google.org Fellows, and extra funding.
Previous Google.org Fellowships have helped many organisations build scalable solutions to societal challenges. Learn more about the impact they had, from the leaders who welcomed them into their teams.
We know you have great ideas on how to use ‘Tech for Social Good’ so we want to help you make your proposal shine. In the Application Workshop resource below, we breakdown each of the application criteria and provide in-depth examples on how Google.org Fellows could support your project.
What is the Google.org Impact Challenge: Tech for Social Good?
The Google.org Impact Challenge: Tech for Social Good is an open call for European nonprofits, academic or research institutions, civic entities, and social enterprises in search of technical help and funding for projects focused around economic opportunity, sustainability, or cyber security. Successful applicants will receive up to six months of full-time pro bono support from a team of Google.org Fellows and up to €3M in funding.
What type of projects are you looking for?
We want to support organisations with projects that will use technology to drive catalytic impact to build a resilient society, specifically on sustainability, economic opportunity, and cyber security. These technical projects should also leverage the unique skill sets of Google.org Fellows (software engineers, UX researchers and designers, product marketers, data scientists, product managers, and program managers) to create tangible change.
When is the Google.org Impact Challenge: Tech for Social Good?
Google will accept Applications on the Site for the Google.org Impact Challenge from November 1, 2022 to 12th May, 2023. Please request application extensions at firstname.lastname@example.org. The organisations selected to receive pro bono technical support and funding will be announced no earlier than November 2023.
What will recipients receive?
Successful applicants will receive up to six months of full-time pro bono support from a team of Google.org Fellows and up to €3M in funding to support their project.
What is the Google.org Fellowship?
The Google.org Fellowship embeds teams of Google employees to complete up to six months of full-time pro bono work to accelerate the impact of technical projects for selected organisations. Fellows assist the organisation’s staff to build scalable solutions, working as a team at the organisation’s direction to ensure that the work has a sustained and lasting impact.
Who are Google.org Fellows?
Google.org Fellows are Google employees who leave their day jobs at Google to work pro bono for your organisation on a specific technical project alongside your organisation’s staff.
What type of support would my organisation receive from Google.org Fellows?
Depending on the scope of the project submitted by the organisation, a team of 5-15 Google.org Fellows working full-time for up to six months may include software engineers, UX researchers and designers, product marketers, data scientists, product managers, and program managers.
What type of organisations are best suited to host Google.org Fellows?
In addition the the selection criteria, previous organisations who have received Google.org Fellowships have shown the following characteristics:
Access to engineering talent and infrastructure that can absorb a team of Google.org Fellows and sustain the project beyond the Fellowship
English fluency within the core project team to enable communication across a potentially global team of Google.org Fellows
Entry & eligibility
Who is eligible?
The Challenge is open to any not-for-profit charity, other not-for-profit organisation, public or private academic or research institution, civic entity, or for-profit social enterprise company with a project that has an explicit charitable purpose. Your organisation must have a registered office in your country of residence in Europe (listed in the Terms). Unfortunately, individuals without organisational affiliation are ineligible.
What are the Terms?
Applicants are required to agree to the Google.org Impact Challenge Terms when applying to the Challenge. Successful recipients must sign a no-fee Consulting Agreement which includes the legal terms and conditions for pro bono engagements, and a unique Project Scope which sets forth the details of the pro bono project scope, services and deliverables. Recipients must sign the Consulting Agreement and the Project Scope documents in order to receive support from Google.org Fellows. In addition, successful recipients must agree to the terms of an agreement to receive funding provided by Google or Tides Foundation, Google’s grant administration partner. The Fellowship scope of work, amount and number of Funding, the number of Fellowships, and the Organisations selected for Fellowships and/or Funding are at Google’s sole discretion. Google may focus Fellowships and/or Funding in specific geographies at Google’s discretion.
Can we apply if we’re a for-profit business with a social impact?
For-profit businesses that are registered or formed under the laws of one of the eligible countries may apply if their suggested project has an explicit charitable purpose and they are willing to open source any IP created with assistance from Google.org Fellows or created (or distributed) with the funding.
Can my organisation submit a joint application with another organisation?
Only one organisation may be the applicant of record, but we welcome and encourage collaboration - especially between technical and social sector experts. The application allows you to specify partners who will be critical to your work. If your application is selected to receive a Google.org Fellowship and funding, the applicant organisation will be the sole recipient of the pro bono support and funding, but it may sub-fund or subcontract with other organisations to complete the proposed project as long as all organisations comply with the terms of the Consulting Agreement, Project Scope and funding agreement.
In what language should I submit my application?
Application questions are displayed in English but application responses can be submitted in English, Czech, French, Italian, or Swedish. Please note, we require at least one fluent English speaker in your project team and strongly recommend English fluency across your core project team to successfully host Google.org Fellows in your organisation.
Can my organisation submit more than one idea?
We encourage you to strongly consider which project best resonates with our submission criteria and your organisation’s strengths. However, if you have two unrelated projects that you feel would each make good candidates, please submit a separate application for each. We will review each project independently. No organisation may submit more than two applications, except as described below.
What if I work for a large organisation, like a university, that has many departments - can we submit multiple applications?
Large organisations like colleges and universities are permitted to submit multiple applications. In the case of colleges and universities, we ask that each Principal Investigator submit only one proposal. Please note, the Google.org Impact Challenge is not an opportunity to support research proposals. We are looking for projects with clear visions and action plans to create inspiring end impact.
Confidential information / IP
Will details of the project idea we submit be kept confidential?
No. Google.org will not treat your application as confidential or proprietary, and the details of your project may be shared with internal or external experts across Europe to evaluate your proposal: please do not submit any proprietary or confidential information in your application. If your organisation is selected to receive pro bono support and funding, your project summary will be made available to the public on the Google.org Impact Challenge website and/or other Google channels.
Who owns the intellectual property created by selected organisations?
We believe that projects supported by our Google.org Fellows and funding should be able to benefit everyone. If your organisation is selected to receive Google.org support, the standard Consulting Agreement and funding agreement will require any intellectual property created (or distributed) with support from Google.org Fellows or funding from Google.org be made available to the public for free under a permissive open source licence.
What do you mean when you say “project”?
A project is your organisation’s proposed concept and implementation plan for how you will use technology to help build a more resilient society. If selected as a recipient, Google.org will be supporting the implementation of this project - so we need to know exactly how the pro bono support and funding will help you realise your plan.
Can the project be in the idea stage? Does this have to be a new idea for my organisation?
Yes - we’re happy to consider early-stage ideas with a clear and feasible plan for implementation that will benefit society. Ideas need not be brand new - in fact, they may already be a work in progress. In all cases, we would like to hear exactly how pro bono support and funding will change the trajectory of your progress toward implementation, scale, and impact.
If another organisation is currently implementing a similar concept, can we still submit the idea?
Yes, but please note that projects will be evaluated in part on their innovative approach and potential to scale. Please tell us how and why your implementation is innovative for the community, why your organisation is uniquely suited to implement the concept in a way that will be more successful, or how you plan to partner with other organisations to achieve success.
Over what time period should the funds be spent?
We expect the funding to be spent over the course of 12 to 36 months.
Can the funding be used to fund overhead and staffing costs? Is funding required for Google.org Fellows?
Funding can be used for overhead and staffing costs, but the large majority of the award should be devoted to the implementation of the project. For-profit organisations may only use funds for staffing and overhead directly related to the charitable project. All organisations should have overhead expenses limited to 10% of the total budget or less. This maximum rate applies to the primary funding recipient, sub-grantees, and sub-contracts. In addition, Google.org Fellows work on a pro bono basis, and they do not need to be accounted for in your estimated budget.
Can we include appendices or additional information to the application?
The application includes an opportunity to provide links to additional resources. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept any attachments beyond those linked as additional materials in the application form.
Can I save a draft of my application on the site if I want to edit it later?
No. Applications can’t be saved for later completion, so we recommend drafting your responses in a separate document first and only completing the application form when the entire application is ready for submission.
How do I make sure my application is successfully submitted?
Make sure all required fields are populated and within the given word limits, then click the “Submit” button. If the application has been successfully submitted, you will see a screen with a message confirming that we received your application, and you will also receive a confirmation email sent to the email address you provided.
I’ve submitted my application. What do I do now?
That’s great news - thank you for applying. No further action is required. We’ll reach out if we require any additional information, and will announce the selected organisations when decisions have been made.
Do I need a Google account to apply?
No, you don’t need a Google account.
Will every single application be reviewed?
Yes, we will review all eligible applications received.
What if I still have questions after reading the FAQs?