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'Step up, think big, and support capacity building': A commentary by Kevin Brege

September 01, 2021

Storyweaver_googleorgSupporting social innovation from the grassroots up: Insights for fostering breakthroughs

Social impact organizations and nonprofits around the globe fight tirelessly to make the world a better place. Their teams are connecting with their communities, building coalitions, and coming up with new solutions to some of the world's toughest problems. And while innovative solutions to social issues can come from anywhere, time and time again they are most likely to come from people who are closest to the problems they're trying to solve.

Since 2013, we've been engaged in an experiment at Google.org — which we call the Google.org Impact Challenge (GIC) — to unearth breakthrough ideas from unexpected places....We work with a panel of experts from the community to select ideas with the greatest potential for impact and offer grant funding, technical support, and volunteer time from Google employees who help develop their ideas.

To better understand what's working and where there are persistent barriers to social innovation, we recently surveyed eighty GIC grantees with the help of the LEAP Pecaut Centre for Social Impact and the Boston Consulting Group.

The most important takeaway is that social innovators are calling on funders to step up, think big, and support capacity building....

Read the full commentary by Kevin Brege, global lead for Google.org Impact Challenges at Google.

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