Google is known for giving employees 20% time to pursue other projects that might be beneficial in the long-term. The company is now launching the Google.org Fellowship to let employees do “full-time pro bono work for up to six months.”
Last year, Google launched a pilot project that let five employees work with a Google.org grantee focussed on stopping human trafficking.
The goal of the pilot was to test what happens when we combine Google.org funding with full-time support from Googlers with experience in AI, machine learning and other technical skills.
Due to the successful pilot, the company’s philanthropy arm created the Google.org Fellowship where employees can apply to do full-time pro bono work for up to six months. Projects range from education to criminal justice to economic opportunity, with Fellows this year spending 50,000 hours on pro-bono work.
They’ll use their skills in engineering, product management, and user experience design to help Google.org grantees solve some of their toughest technical challenges. In 2019, we expect the Fellows will spend 50,000 hours with some of our top nonprofit grantees.
The next Fellowship starts today and is focussed on job training programs, similar to its Google for Jobs initiative.
A team of seven Google.org Fellows, including software engineers and data scientists, will work in community-based Goodwill organizations across the United States—in cities like Austin, Kalamazoo and Louisville—to help Goodwill increase the impact of its vocational programs. When finished, these Goodwill organizations will have better insight into what works best in their job training programs to improve services for job seekers.
Nonprofits particularly benefit from the technical expertise in a highlight sought-after field, with Google.org now expanding its services from just funding to providing actual human resources for a problem. Meanwhile, Googlers get to apply their skills to real-world projects that might otherwise require them to quit their day jobs to pursue.
This program brings our people alongside our philanthropy to help nonprofits around the world achieve their missions. And the pilot showed us how much Googlers benefitted, too: they came back to Google with sharpened skills and a renewed outlook on their work.