Google launches $1 million Impact Challenge for Minnesota nonprofits

In total, will grant $1 million to five nonprofit organizations in Minnesota.

Google launches $1 million Impact Challenge for Minnesota nonprofits
Google trainer Alyssa Sibal works with local nonprofit partners on the Grow with Google partner program in St. Paul, Minn. (Source: Eli Tawil)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) — Google launched the Impact Challenge Minnesota at the ‘Grow with Google’ digital skills training event on Wednesday at the Rondo Community Library in St. Paul.

The Google Impact Challenge invites nonprofits throughout Minnesota to submit proposals for bold ideas to grow economic opportunities in their local communities.

“On the heels of ‘Grow with Google’ Minnesota, we are excited to continue partnering with local communities to help grow economic opportunities with the Minnesota Impact Challenge,” Google’s Head of Public Policy and External Affairs, Dan Harbeke, said. “The state is home to a vibrant nonprofit community with exciting visions for the future. Our hope is to help bring some of these visions to life.”

Minnesota nonprofits are invited to submit their proposals for their most innovative ideas to grow economic opportunities in their communities. With a panel of local judges, Google will review the applications and choose five winners who will receive $175,000 in grant funding and training from Google.

After the five winners are announced, Minnesotans will be invited to vote on which project they believe will have the greatest economic impact.

The winner of that public vote will receive an additional $125,000 in funding.

In total, will grant $1 million to Minnesota nonprofit organizations.

“With robust connections to the internet and local partnerships, Minnesota’s 355 public libraries are going above and beyond to help residents learn the skills they need to be successful in today’s job market world. From providing access to computers, to classes in digital literacy and job-seeking skills, public libraries are serving residents in more ways than ever before, and helping to improve lives, every day,” said Jennifer R. Nelson, the director of State Library Services and Charter Center at the Minnesota Department of Education.

The Minnesota Impact Challenge local judges will include:

  • Eric Dayton Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Askov Finlayson 
  • Shawntera M. Hardy Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Civic Eagle 
  • Susan Marvin Chair of the Board, The Marvin Companies 
  • Gersson Rosas President of Basketball Operations, Minnesota Timberwolves 
  • Tony Sertich President, Northland Foundation 
  • Sandra Vargas Senior Executive Leadership Fellow, Humphrey School of Public Affairs; Former President and Chief Executive Officer, The Minneapolis Foundation 

“We get to the best solutions and create more economic opportunities when all sectors come to the table. This partnership created by Google that’s engaging our nonprofits is a great example of just that – and it’s encouraging innovative ideas that will impact our state for years to come,” Susan Marvin said. has offered economic opportunity focused challenges statewide in Illinois and Iowa, as well as in Cleveland, Ohio, Columbia, South Carolina, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Currently, is also hosting challenges in Colorado and Nevada.

“The Impact Challenge has the potential to advance creative ideas and bring to life the innovation of our state’s diverse nonprofit community,” said Shawntera Hardy. “I am thrilled to be a part of the judging panel and look forward to learning about the ways in which our state’s nonprofit community is contributing to economic opportunity for all.”

In 2018, 20,000 Minnesota businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits benefited from Google tools. In its 2018 Economic Impact Report, Google announced that businesses in Minnesota generated $6.41 billion in economic activity by using Google’s search and advertising tools.

Minnesota nonprofit organizations can find more information on the Impact Challenge and submit their applications by visiting For more on ‘Grow with Google’ Minnesota visit

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

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