Google, the operator of the popular search engine, has announced plans to create a Google Foundation.
The foundation is expected to expand on the charitable programs currently run by the company, including efforts to encourage employee volunteerism and to match employee donations.
Google has also started a Google Grants program, which is still in a test or "beta" version, that provides nonprofit groups with free advertising space on Google search-engine Web pages. Charities can go to the company's Web site and download an application form. Although the Web site says the program is no longer accepting applications, Cindy McCaffrey, Google's vice president of corporate marketing, says groups can still submit applications for future evaluation.
"The foundation is really kind of an umbrella for all of the philanthropic efforts that we'll be pursuing," Ms. McCaffrey says. She says the foundation, which will be established sometime in the "first half of this year," will also begin making cash grants to charities, although she declined to specify how much money might be available.
She adds, "We are hopeful that very soon we'll be able to officially launch the Google Foundation, but right now we are in a planning and evaluation stage." One way the foundation will differ from previous corporate-giving efforts by Google is that groups located outside of the United States may be eligible for assistance, Ms. McCaffrey says.
For more information: Go to http://www.google.com/grants