Voting opens Wednesday for extra $50,000 in Google's Impact Challenge
Voting began Wednesday in the next phase of the Google.org Impact Challenge Pittsburgh.
The nonprofit with the most votes will snag another $50,000 from Google.
Google last week awarded four Pittsburgh nonprofits $50,000 each in the first phase of the challenge. The public can now vote for which of those four should double their prize money.
The four finalists are:
• Idea Foundry, which wants to help establish 10 businesses led by immigrants or minorities.
• Pittsburgh Conservation Corps, which wants to put more than 150 people previously on public assistance to work performing nearly 110,000 hours of restoration work.
• Pittsburgh Community Kitchen, which wants to provide culinary training and employment to up to 100 people who are coming out of jail or prison or struggling with mental illness, addiction or homelessness.
• Prototype PGH, which wants to put 1,000 women through 100 workshops and equip them with skills and confidence to seek raises, get higher-paying jobs or switch to more fulfilling careers.
Erin Gatz and E.Louise Larson, founders and co-chief executive officers of Prototype, wrote in a letter to supporters Wednesday urging them to vote that the feminist makerspace would use the additional $50,000 to hire leadership staff, purchase an 80-watt laser cutter and add more tools to the workshop.
Ilyssa Manspeizer, executive director of Pittsburgh Conservation Corps, said doubling the money will double her program's impact.
Mike Matesic, president and CEO of Idea Foundry, said the extra $50,000 could go toward helping people involved in programs by the other three finalists. Matesic said that as people graduate from programs with Prototype, Pittsburgh Conservation Corps or Pittsburgh Community Kitchen, Idea Foundry could help them start or grow a business. Idea Foundry and Pittsburgh Conservation Corps have a meeting set in a few weeks to discussion collaborations.
“There are great synergies with the other winners, and we immediately saw the opportunities to provide follow-on support and funding,” Matesic said.
Voting will close March 14. The People's Choice winner will be announced the following day.
Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.