Global Education Initiative

As part of a $50M commitment to close the global education gap, in 2017 will make grants to innovative nonprofit organizations that are using technology to improve the quality  of education in developing countries​.

While we’re interested in all efforts that aim to improve learning for primary and secondary-aged children through the scaled use of technology, we are specifically focused on three areas:
1)​ giving more students access to quality learning materials,
2)​ supporting teacher development, and
3)​ reaching students beyond the classroom.

Interested organizations are encouraged to submit their ideas ​here—​ proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

At a Glance

Favorites 2
Comments 0


July 10th, 2017

How to Apply

About This Funding Opportunity

Eligibility Details


Grants will be made to nonprofit organizations. In evaluating projects, we’ll combine’s core criteria with the key elements of our specific approach to education:

  • Design for local educational context and user needs: ​Technology—both software and hardware—cannot and does not exist in a vacuum. Proposed solutions should demonstrate an awareness of local constraints and of possible ways to address them, such as: providing training for users with limited digital literacy, incorporating offline solutions for users who lack connectivity, and testing on mobile for users who may not have other devices.  
  • Technology​: Projects should use technology in a way that is innovative, effective, and enabling of entirely new solutions and approaches. It should do more than make an organization’s existing work more efficient.
  • Scale​: Ideas should have the potential to scale and be transformative. There are many unknowns on the path to scale, but organizations should be able to articulate an initial strategy and display foresight in identifying the likely inflection points in their project’s development. Ideally, impact will extend beyond any one organization.
  • Data & experimentation:​ Desire to learn what’s working through rigorous data collection and willingness to be transparent.
  • Stage and size of organization​: Ideally, we’d prefer organizations to have some proof of concept and be operating at some scale before we fund. We anticipate an average grant size of ~$1-3M.

What do we mean by innovative, scalable uses of technology?

Below is a (not exhaustive!) list of characteristics common to the ork of many of our existing users:

  • Open-source technology--Open-source technology is a public good, enabling others to build on your work and experiment with new applications.
  • Empowered partners--Partnership models leverage the expertise and infrastructure of local organizations to extend the reach of technology products.
  • Openly licensed content-- Open licenses (eg. CC-BY) ensure maximum reach by letting users remix, translate, and build on content to make it locally relevant.
  • Built for low connectivity--Products built for low connectivity users are lightweight, work offline, and take advantage of available wifi to sync student and teacher data

Application Guidance

Responses in the application form cannot be saved for later completion, so please consider drafting your responses to the questions below in a separate document first.

Section 1: Short Answer Questions

1. Please summarize your big idea (stick to ~100 words -- we're looking for the elevator pitch!)

2. How far along is the development and/or implementation of this idea? (multiple choice: idea stage / pre-pilot; pilot in progress; pilot(s) complete, exploring and/or preparing for scale)

3. Please briefly describe the role of technology in your existing work, and how technology will enable the idea you describe above. (maximum 1,000 characters)

4. Please describe how this idea, alongside any of your relevant existing work, will improve the quality of education for primary and secondary-aged learners. (maximum 1,000 characters)

5. If this work is already operational, please describe its current reach. (eg. Number of users, number of students reached, number of partners adopting the model, etc.)

6. Does your organization have prior experience developing technology in-house? If yes, please briefly describe. (maximum 500 characters)

7. How will you ensure that your big idea scales to impact as many learners as possible? (Use 3-5 bullets to summarize the most important pieces of your strategy)

8. What three factors pose the greatest risk to your ability to execute on the above strategy? (maximum 1,000 characters) Section 2: Background 1. Organization Name 2. Website 3. Annual budget (multiple choice: $0-500K, $500K-1M, $1-5M, $5-10M or $10M+) 4. HQ Location 5. Primary Impact Location(s)

6. Does your organization currently hold nonprofit or charity status in your country of incorporation? (multiple choice: yes or no)

7. How did you hear about the global education initiative?

8. Your Name

9. Your Title

10. Yes, Google can contact me about my proposal. (opt-in button)

View past Grantees