September 14, 2006

A For-Profit Philanthropy at

The New York Times reports Google is launching a non-tax-exempt philanthropy.

From the website:

“ includes the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google's own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. While we continue to define the goals, priorities and approach for, we will focus on several areas including global poverty, energy and the environment

According to the NYT article Executive Director Larry Brilliant “likens the traditional structure of corporate foundations to a musician confined to playing only the high register on a piano. ‘ can play on the entire keyboard,’ Dr. Brilliant said in an interview. ‘It can start companies, build industries, pay consultants, lobby, give money to individuals and make a profit.’

I applaud this effort having long advocated for the sustainability of “nonprofits” and the need to be accountable to standard business practices. Perhaps this model will further professionalize the field and create an environment in which viable career paths and competitive compensation can flourish.