Google Gives Google Foundation Update, Though Official Site Remains Mum

Google has given an
on what its Google Foundation is doing. The charitable group, promised as part
of its IPO, has been funded initially with $90 million and has already made
donations to a fund to fight global poverty, another to help small businesses in
developing countries and research to prevent child deaths by poor water quality,
among others.

Unfortunately, the Google Foundation site at
site still says it will be the "future site" as it has
since April
and lacks any helpful information, not even a link at least to the
Google Grants program that Google
itself (as opposed to the Google Foundation) manages. So Google gets some nice
buzz and headlines on how it is giving, but anyone heading over to the
foundation site itself finds nothing about applying for help. Heck, the
foundation site doesn’t even link over to the Google Blog post that has current
news about the foundation.

Google Starts Up Philanthropy Campaign
from the Washington Post covers how
another $900 million in stock is being set aside for the foundation and how
using the foundation to give will allow Google greater flexibility on what it
wants to fund.

A representative of a Google shareholders group asks if Google should be
doing this at all. Since Google said they would create and give to the
foundation as part of the IPO, you’d think the shareholders would have known
this before buying. The representative acknowledges this fact but still worries
about confusion between personal and corporate assets.

The rep also questions whether company founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page
should be making donations similar to how Microsoft’s Bill Gates does through
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Yeah, I think anyone would expect multi-billionaires to be doing some
charitable giving of their own. Then again, a little perspective is in order.
Since the two have been multi-billionaires for only about a year, I’m sure we’ll
see them doing such giving over time. The Gates Foundation was started in 2000,
though it had predecessors — but I don’t know that either of those predecessors
came immediately after Gates made it big. Overall, we’ll see.

Further coverage also from the San Jose Mercury News

and the New York times
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Google Foundation News

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