Google.org has been briefly mentioned here before, but now the New York Times provides more information on the organization. The NYTimes requires registration at their site, but you can use BugMeNot to get around that.
Google.org is for-profit and this provides some pros and cons. They will have more freedom with how to spend their money and can invest where it would like to. The example the NYTimes gives is that Google.org can invest in an electric car company to help the environment, as opposed to just planting more trees. They promise that any profits made from their investments will not go to their parent search company – all profits will be for Google.org.
“The company has said it plans to spend the money over the next 20 years, and the Google board recently approved a more rapid disbursement rate, $175 million over the next two years.
“Poor people can’t wait,” Dr. Brilliant said. “Dying people can’t wait for some 20-year plan. It’s not what we’re doing here.”
Ventures that grow out of Google.org could be seen to have a competitive edge because they do not need to show a financial profit. But financial returns from a project like the high-mileage car are not necessarily the aim.
“I think how you count profit is the issue here,” said Peter Hero, president of the Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, a charitable foundation with about $1 billion in assets. “Google.org is measuring return on cleaner air and quality of life. Their bottom line isn’t just financial. It’s environmental and social.””