Three months into 2014, it's feeling like this could be the year that big tech makes big commitments to helping San Francisco. On the heels of the news that SF has the biggest income gap of any city in the country, Google is making back-to-back announcements about the ways it's helping different communities in the cities that house its employees. Last week we got the news that the tech giant is offering $6.8 million (or two year's worth of aid) to Muni's program offering kids free bus rides. And today announced $5 million will go to Bay Area non-profits with innovative ideas about helping populations in need. This comes on top of the $60 million Google says it's already given local non-profits since 2011. 

Google's Impact Challenge will offer:

- 4 winners a $500,000 grant

- 6 semi-finalists a $250,000 grant

- 15 runners-up a $100,000 grant

Plus winners will be offered co-working space where they can flesh out their ideas. The applicants will be judged in part by a community advisory panel that includes baseball player Barry Zito, Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church, Oakland Fire Chief Teresa Deloach Reed, and others. Interested applicants have until the end of March to apply here (after getting the facts here). 

I'm liking this 2014 trend of grants empowering artists and non-profits around San Francisco. Let's hope this goodwill momentum continues. 

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