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From Making Money Without Doing Evil to Doing Good Without Handouts: The Google.Org Experiment in Philanthropy

Journal of Business & Technology Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 87-96, 2008

U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-6

11 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2008  

Shruti Rana

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Global and International Studies; Affiliated Faculty, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession

Abstract

From its inception, Google has promoted itself as a company that dares to be different in its pursuit of innovation and information. The company's new philanthropic arm, Google.org, promises to be just as pioneering in its search for social returns through the mechanism of profit. This Essay takes a closer look at the Google.org experiment in philanthropy. It argues that Google.org's uniqueness lies not in its "hybrid" model that merges for-profit and charitable aims, but in the ways it seeks to use market mechanisms to harness the social benefits of information technology for the public good. Google.org also has enormous transformative potential, as it is freed from the legal restrictions on commercial activity that apply to non-profit entities, and the market pressures that generally confine for-profit businesses. However, as this experiment in philanthropy plays out, this Article cautions that Google.org must also develop innovative accountability structures to match its ambitious goals.

Keywords: philanthropy, Google

Suggested Citation

Rana, Shruti, From Making Money Without Doing Evil to Doing Good Without Handouts: The Google.Org Experiment in Philanthropy. Journal of Business & Technology Law, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 87-96, 2008; U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2008-6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1098930

Shruti Rana (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Global and International Studies ( email )

355 N. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-7328 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sgis.indiana.edu/faculty/directory/rana-shruti.html

Affiliated Faculty, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-856-7328 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sgis.indiana.edu/faculty/directory/rana-shruti.html

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