Whenever I do a Google search, underneath the toolbar there is a message that says something along the lines of “About 320,000 results (0.17 seconds)”. I equate the term Google with big results in little time, but unfortunately this is not the case as Google struggles to give.
Google celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2008 and as a way of giving back it announced the beginning of Project 10100 in the fall of that year. Project 10100 promised $10 million dollars to the 5 best ideas for using technology to improve the world. Google received 150,000 ideas and narrowed them down to 16 finalists which were then voted upon by the public. Public voting ended in October 2009 and after 9 months Google has yet to announce the winners.
Google’s Project 10100 website has not been updated for months, emails sent to the Project 10100 account bounce, and Google has remained quiet about the status of the project. CNN and Wired have both reported on the delay, but Google has yet to respond.
Now there are a lot of pessimists out there saying that Google doesn’t want to give and is just hoping everyone will forget the pledge it has made, but I have to disagree. Google has already made $6.77 billion in the first quarter of this year and in comparison $10 million is really spare change for them. I think the main reason why Google has delayed its gift is because it doesn’t know who should win.
Imagine being the recipient of 150,000 requests and having to pick the best one. If I were in Google’s position it would take me years to pick a winner. In my last post, I asked you all why you give. But I think a harder question to answer is why don’t you give. I know I like to give to nonprofits and causes that strive to end homelessness, cure cancer, and promote education and health care in third world countries. But so many causes fall under that umbrella, and almost every idea seems both compelling and urgent. I don’t have money and I want my gift to do a lot of good, but how do I choose from organizations and people that basically all do the same thing?
Google is a very prominent example of how hard giving can be. If you had $10 million dollars and 150,000 people asking you for money, how would you decide? Have you ever had a hard time deciding where to give? What causes/nonprofits would you refuse to give to (KFC pink buckets anyone)?