Foundation awards $66.4 million to advance AI and data solutions that center people and purpose

Categories: Data as a Public Good , Emergent AI + Society , In the News
The Foundation is partnering with more than 148 organizations leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data science to address the world’s most urgent and complex challenges.

BOSTON, Dec. 20, 2023 — One year after the public was introduced to the transformative potential of generative AI, the AI landscape is garnering more attention than ever–and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation is working to ensure that the public’s interests are not left behind as technological innovation accelerates.

Today, the Foundation announced $66.4 million in support to 148 organizations working to develop products, platforms, and policies that demonstrate AI’s potential to be a force for good. Today’s announcement confirms a landmark investment in an ecosystem of partners working to build AI for the public good.

“Our latest round of funding strengthens our support for what we call the ‘missing middle,’ the vast space of opportunity to leverage AI and data solutions for positive social impact in the near future,” said Vilas Dhar, President of the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. “We’re proud to invest in and partner with organizations developing purpose-driven AI and data approaches driving measurable and meaningful change in the lives of people around the world.”

The grants will support AI development among organizations in more than a dozen countries, with many leveraging data analytics and machine learning (ML) to tackle existing complex social issues affecting frontline communities, including climate change, human rights abuses, and health inequity.

The grants also provide more than $12 million in support for global organizations and partnerships working to advocate for community-grounded, safe, secure, and responsible AI development through policy and research, including significant contributions to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the AI Safety Fund–a joint effort between Google, Microsoft, Philanthropic, and Open AI, among others.

“With our partners, we share the belief that the improved understanding and use of technology, AI, and data science can radically transform our world for the better,” said Nick Cain, the Foundation’s Director of Strategic Grants. “Our grantmaking strategy is guided by specific hypotheses about the interventions that are most likely to drive this transformation through the work of our diverse, values-aligned group of partners.”

In addition to supporting partner organizations with grant funding, the Foundation continues to make strides to democratize access to AI through programmatic pathways designed to enhance nonprofit technical expertise and develop open-source solutions for the public sector. To learn more about our work, visit mcgovern.org.

The full list of grants is included below:

Climate

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment to broaden access to data on natural assets through digital platforms and tools ($235,000)

Berkeley Earth Inc. to create high-accuracy, city-specific climate projections at scale ($300,000)

CarbonPlan to increase accountability in the voluntary carbon market and tie CDR policy and investments to the best available science ($500,000)

Cascade Climate, Inc. to unlock open-system CDR data for shared action ($500,000)

Climate Cabinet Education to create datasets and products that focus the actions of local organizers and public officials on the highest-leverage opportunities for emissions reduction ($250,000)

Climate Change AI to build community and increase collaboration between researchers, practitioners, and private sector stakeholders working on ML + climate ($350,000)

Climate Interactive to enhance climate policy impact through simulation tools and engagement programs ($300,000)

Climate Policy Radar to use AI to help discover, structure, search, and compare the world’s climate laws and policies ($500,000)

Conservation International Foundation to support data-driven conservation efforts ($1,500,000)

Digital Democracy to improve the resources available to frontline communities seeking to leverage technology to defend their land ($500,000)

Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) for the Environmental Policy Innovation Center (EPIC) to catalyze progress for environmental technology adoption at the local, state, and federal level ($400,000)

KQED to support work advancing the field of data journalism, particularly as it pertains to climate ($200,000)

Open Climate Fix Ltd to pilot the use of ML-enabled renewable energy forecasting in Rajasthan, India ($600,000)

Open Earth Foundation to advance AI-driven urban climate action and data accessibility through the CityCatalyst platform ($350,000)

Pacific Community to further establish Digital Earth Pacific and develop a near-coastal ocean floor mapping data service ($350,000)

Rainforest Connection to strengthen an open-source, openly extensible bioacoustics analysis platform ($300,000)

Rainforest Connection to support the merger and integration of the Wildlife Insights and Arbimon platforms ($200,000)

Refed Inc. to use AI/ML to provide companies and policymakers with data-driven, context-specific food waste reduction strategies ($610,500) 

Stand.earth to enhance Stand’s research capabilities in combating fossil fuel financing through advanced ML/AI integration ($350,000)

Tech Matters to support further development of the Terraso Platform and advance the Better Deal for Data framework ($500,000)

The Earth Genome to integrate advanced monitoring systems into Earth Index ($250,000)

WattTime Corporation to advance the integration and scaling of AI-driven environmental data for substantial emissions reduction ($500,000)

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to deepen the adoption and implementation of the PACT technical standard ($500,000)

World Data Lab to develop a per capita GHG emissions framework and promote high-level engagement on the topic ($100,000)

Data as a Public Good

Access Now to protect digital rights in the climate movement and promote social and beneficial AI ($500,000)

Amrita Institute of Advanced Research to advance the use of AI/ML in strategic research ($210,000)

Center for Science and Law to support the creation of a singular database of criminal records within the United States to advance justice ($150,000)

Common Sense Media to increase Common Sense Media’s capacity to evaluate and rate AI technologies for safer digital environments ($400,000)

Data-Pop Alliance to promote the development of algorithms and technology that better represent the Global Majority ($400,000)

HURIDOCS (Association Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems, International) to use machine learning to enhance human rights data management and advocacy ($400,000)

mySociety to enhance the Local Intelligence Hub and amplify public data collaboration for scalable solutions ($300,000)

Open Data Institute to support the launch of the ODI’s Data-centric AI Program and related Responsible Data Stewardship ($250,000)

Open Knowledge Foundation to enhance data literacy and accessibility through the Open Data Editor, a no-code tool for non-technical users ($300,000)

Open Supply Hub to sustainably scale up the Open Supply Hub ($300,000)

Polaris to advance Polaris’ capacity to produce timely, accurate, and relevant data for the anti-trafficking field ($350,000)

Spectrum Biobank Inc. to support the expansion of their diversity-first biobank and bridge the diversity gap in genomics ($250,000)

Tech Goes Home Incorporated to scale data-driven and sustainable urban digital equity interventions ($150,000)

Techequity Collaborative to address algorithmic bias in access to housing ($250,000)

United Nations Foundation to support further development of the Disha initiative ($500,000)

Wild Me to cover 12 months of IT infrastructure support to account for increasing data needs ($250,000)

World Resources Institute to support the scaling of WRI’s Data Lab and strengthen internal and external innovation partnerships ($1,500,000)

Digital Health

Audere to advance AI-enabled rapid diagnostic test software platform ($588,520)

BRAC USA to support FHIR-based platform for interoperability and adoption of SMART Guidelines in Bangladesh ($650,000)

Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics to ensure equitable access to AI-powered diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries ($450,000)

Global Digital Health Network to support the 2023 Global Digital Health Forum ($100,000)

Intelehealth to enable predictive analytics and clinical decision support for open source telemedicine platform ($250,500)

Jacaranda Health to support optimization of PROMPTS and ML/AI initiatives to improve maternal and newborn health ($250,000)

Jembi Health Systems to support OpenHIM and advance interoperability in low-resource health settings ($300,000)

Jhpiego Corporation to implement an ML risk model for HIV interruption-in-treatment with Palindrome Data in Nigeria ($695,000)

Jhpiego Corporation to support the HealthTech Hub Africa ($500,000)

Khushi Baby, Inc. to support interoperability and sustainability of the Community Health Integrated Platform and Khushi AI initiatives ($400,000)

Kwanele to support the development of a ChatGBV tool within the Kwanele Mobile App and help survivors of GBV gain access to the justice system ($100,000)

Medtronic Labs to support the AI/ML and interoperability roadmap for the SPICE platform ($400,000)

Native BioData Consortium to support Indigenous data governance and build capacity of Indigenous AI/ML practitioners ($400,000)

Nexleaf Analytics to support Ministries of Health in leveraging real-time data to improve vaccine cold chain management ($600,000)

Open Function Group to leverage generative AI to improve interoperability of global goods and digital health systems ($335,340)

Operation Fistula to support the utilization of data visualization in identifying and highlighting local organizations for government stakeholders ($230,000)

The Scripps Research Institute to support the PowerMom platform and advance maternal health research and outcomes across the country ($400,000)

Science For Africa Foundation (SFA Foundation) to support Grand Challenges Africa in running the Grand Challenge on AI ($1,422,000)

The Trinity Challenge to support the Trinity Challenge on Antimicrobial Resistance ($500,000)

Transform Health to strengthen health data governance across Africa ($485,000)

University of California, San Francisco Foundation to support SEARCH’s new Community Precision Health intervention to build the capacity of Community Health Workers and enhance the accuracy of data collected and the diseases addressed ($200,000)

University of California, San Francisco Foundation to support the first large-scale remote trials program with Nexus and evaluate the benefits of Neuroscape’s closed-loop video game treatments ($250,000)

University of California, San Francisco Foundation to support the provision of COVID, influenza, and RSV testing, vaccination, and molecular surveillance in high-risk communities as well as related data collection and dissemination ($200,000)

World Health Organization to support the FHIR-SMART ecosystem and country-led, standards-based digital planning and localization ($500,000)

Education + Workforce

AkiraChix to support tech upskilling opportunities for young women and bridge the gender gap in tech ($200,000)

AnnieCannons, Inc. to provide survivors of human trafficking with sustainable technology careers and financial independence ($250,000)

Benetech to use AI to create more accessible STEM content for people with disabilities ($500,000)

Black in AI to provide general operating and capacity-building support for AI programs ($300,000)

Coding It Forward to advance Coding it Forward’s Fellowship and support the implementation of a cost-share strategy across host offices ($500,000)

Community Initiatives (Gameheads) to support low-income youth and youth of color to thrive and succeed in the tech and video game industries ($100,000)

CSforALL to support the building of a network that ensures quality CS education reaches children across the nation ($250,000)

Curious Learning: to support A Global Literacy Project Inc. with the pilot implementation of AI into Curious Learning’s existing library of digital learning tools, with the initial launch scheduled for Ethiopia ($420,000)

Data Science 4 Everyone to support the advancement of data science education in K-12 classrooms and raise at-home awareness ($250,000)

Entrepreneurship for All, Inc. to leverage technology to build capacity for inclusive entrepreneurship programming nationwide ($150,000)

Follow Your Dream Foundation Inc. to support Blossom Academy to recruit and develop aspiring data scientists and connect them to job opportunities ($100,000)

JA Worldwide Inc. to strengthen digital infrastructure that enables global, contextually relevant micro-credential programs ($500,000)

Kids in Tech to provide general operating and capacity-building support for the After School Tech program ($100,000)

Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) to support the MLT Racial Equity at Work Initiative ($250,000)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) To provide support for MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works’ efforts around diversity and inclusion, including scaling up outreach efforts at the MIT Beaver Works Summer Institute, as well as building and scaling its model for public use ($250,000)

MIT Solve to provide support for the 2024 AI for Humanity Prize ($200,000)

NAF to introduce high school students to AI literacy through tech-enabled experiential learning ($250,000)

Opportunity at Work Inc. to analyze, engage, and design a data science pathway for Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) workers ($600,000)

Per Scholas, Inc. to provide general operating support for increasing enrollment and expanding course offerings, including Cybersecurity ($250,000)

Quill.org to teach AI literacy to 3M middle and high schoolers through AI-powered critical thinking and writing exercises ($750,000)

Reach University to enable system-level change in CS and AI literacy education through teacher training ($500,000)

Science for All Foundation to support Equitech Futures’ Applied Data Institute, Civil Tech Institute, and Tech For Impact research fellowships ($400,000)

Team4Tech to support Team4Tech in scaling and creating new networks and opportunities for nonprofit partners ($400,000)

Technovation to further Technovation’s mission to empower girls with tech skills through AI and entrepreneurship programs ($500,000)

The American AI Forum to support closing the opportunity gap in AI education, literacy, and skills development ($1,000,000)

The Hidden Genius Project to sustain core organizational infrastructure and drive dynamic operation and strategic growth ($500,000)

The Tech Interactive to support The Tech for Global Good program, elevating stories of global changemakers using tech for social progress ($200,000)

Emergent AI + Society

All Tech Is Human to support overall organizational capacity and effect change in the AI for good field ($300,000)

Brookings Institution to support the AI Equity Lab and further research on non-discriminatory AI frameworks and policies ($500,000)

Carnegie Endowment For International Peace to establish AI governance structures and foster AI-driven socioeconomic development in underserved regions ($1,000,000)

Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP) to support the development and implementation of AI policy that promotes a just, fair, and accountable society ($250,000)

Center for Democracy and Technology to support the AI Governance Lab ($300,000)

CyberPeace Institute to support civil society organizations in responsibly leveraging AI for cybersecurity ($500,000)

FFWD (Fast Forward) to build AI capacity and awareness throughout the tech for good ecosystem ($500,000)

Fund for Peace Inc. to improve the Crisis Response Simulator (CSS), strengthen local crisis response capabilities, and support resilience research ($400,000)

Georgetown University to support the Foresight on Emerging Tech project at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology ($500,000)

Global Impact to launch the Future of Online Trust & Safety Fund ($200,000)

Institute for Security and Technology to accelerate multi-stakeholder coordination to mitigate the risks of open-source AI ($400,000)

Meridian Institute to support the AI Safety Fund in advancing responsible development of frontier models ($1,000,000)

New Venture Fund to fortify ethical technology use and public interest technology infrastructure ($1,000,000)

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to support further development of the OECD’s AI Index to guide and inform policy across member countries ($1,000,000)

Tarjimly to support the utilization of AI to advance the accessibility, quality, and scale of language access for refugees, immigrants, and indigenous communities ($250,000)

The Aspen Institute, Inc. to enhance public understanding and policy discourse around AI ($1,250,000)

The Aspen Institute, Inc. to support the growth of the Aspen Tech Policy Hub Program ($200,000)

The Board of Trustees of The Leland Stanford Junior University to support the advancement of policy and education work through the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence ($1,500,000)

The Future Society (TFS) to support the 5th edition of The Athens Roundtable ($170,000)

Thorn to proactively reduce risks of CSAM proliferation through generative AI ($345,000)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote ethical governance of AI ($1,500,000)

Journalism + Media

American Journalism Project Inc. to establish an AI Product studio for nonprofit newsrooms ($500,000)

Committee To Protect Journalists to enhance digital support and advocacy for journalists under threat worldwide ($250,000)

Institute for Nonprofit News to support the development and launch of an “AI First Draft” fact-checking model ($200,000)

Meedan Inc. to use ML to help media organizations collaboratively respond to misinformation with verified fact checks ($500,000)

New York University to reduce the monetary pressures on building and adapting AI while integrating journalistic insights to ensure accountability, relevance, and ethical deployment of impactful technologies ($250,000)

New_ Public to build product prototypes that foster thriving digital public spaces ($450,000)

News Revenue Hub to explore the use of AI as a tool to transform advertising and sponsorship models to increase revenue for local journalism ($450,000)

Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to enhance investigative journalism with technology and collaborative initiatives ($400,000)

Outlier Media to enhance Outlier Media’s SMS reporting system and scale its Documenters network ($300,000)

The Associated Press to enhance journalists’ capacity to effectively report on AI ($400,000)

The Marshall Project to support the data and analytics team in providing analysis and training to small newsrooms and reporters nationwide ($600,000)

Thomson Reuters Foundation to advance AI and Data and Digital Rights (DDR) awareness and governance ($1,000,000)

Tiny News Collective Inc. to enable data-driven operations and foster sustainable local journalism ($250,000)

Solidarity

Allies Against Slavery to support the scale of Lighthouse, a state-based, anti-trafficking data dashboard, into a national database to combat human trafficking ($200,000)

American National Red Cross to support the American Red Cross Maui emergency response ($100,000)

American National Red Cross to advance technological innovation in humanitarian services ($1,000,000)

Benefits Data Trust to design AI tools that responsibly expand access to public benefits and services ($500,000)

Blue Star Families to provide support for the enhancement of an organizational tech platform as well as ongoing digital transformation efforts ($1,000,000)

Breaktime to support efforts to sustainably address youth homelessness and underemployment through workforce training and financial literacy programming ($1,000,000)

Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement to support the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Maui emergency response ($150,000)

Global Emancipation Network Ltd. to support the buildout of AI-based tools to identify instances of CSAM and human trafficking, and protect vulnerable communities ($200,000)

Global Fishing Watch to support the refinement and deployment of an AI model capable of detecting forced labor and human rights abuses on the open ocean ($300,000)

Grants Central Station to support Maui Mutual Aid’s Maui emergency response ($100,000)

Humanitarian Openstreetmap Team United States Inc. to support HOT’s fAIr initiative, enhancing AI-assisted, community-driven mapping for vulnerable global regions ($400,000)

Learning Equality to enable learning continuity for students in crisis and other low-connectivity settings ($500,000)

Room to Read to improve literacy and gender equality outcomes in low and middle-income countries ($750,000)

Stop the Traffik to support Traffik Analysis Hub, a platform aggregating data assets to generate new insights into global patterns and hotspots of human trafficking ($300,000)

The Greater Boston Food Bank to support the Eastern Massachusetts emergency food response and accelerate digital transformation ($500,000)

Victory Programs, Inc. to support programs addressing the challenges of homelessness, substance use, and chronic health conditions ($150,000)

World Central Kitchen Incorporated to support World Central Kitchen’s Maui emergency response ($100,000)

Accelerator

CyberPeace Institute towards the creation of a digital public good that informs cybersecurity capacity building and technical and policy recommendations to decrease the human rights impact of cyberattacks globally ($40,000)

Enfold Proactive Health Trust in support of the creation of a data pipeline to produce evidence-based data and perform data analysis through Natural Language Processing to determine the efficacy of child protection laws in India ($40,000)

FAIR SHARE of Women Leaders towards establishing data systems, guidelines, and processes to further our goal of monitoring and promoting feminist leadership in nonprofit organizations ($80,000)

FishWise in support of integrating industry tools with open source data to develop a Human Rights Risk Assessment (HRRA) tool that can inform companies about high-risk working conditions in the seafood industry ($40,000)

Girl Effect towards the improvement of data ingest processes and infrastructure to advance machine learning on user data sources in order to provide girls with crucial sexual and reproductive health content and connect them to essential services ($40,000)

Medtronic Labs towards uncovering insights that may predict program enrollment in order to design programmatic and product features to enhance health service delivery for underserved patients ($40,000)

Mobile Pathways towards democratizing immigration justice via data visualization and machine learning so marginalized immigrants can get fair access to justice ($40,000)

Root Capital, Inc. towards investing and advancing efforts for data governance policies and practices to maximize opportunities and protect Root Capital from risks during a period of significant growth ($80,000)

Samesame Inc. towards closing the loop: optimizing digital mental health services for LGBTQ+ youth through reinforcement learning ($40,000)

Terre des hommes towards reducing silos and organizational inefficiencies through improving data governance, system consolidation, ethics advancement, and process compliance to further our work in improving the lives of children worldwide ($80,000)

Vital Strategies towards the improvement of data integration and textual analysis to identify victims of gender-based violence, to provide health services to those who need them, and inform municipalities in Brazil of rates of gender-based violence ($40,000)

Voices Of Venezuela towards the analysis of chatbot and social media data, use of NLP/ML, and dashboard creation to improve migration services in Venezuela’s migration crisis and strengthen support for improving migrant information access and integration across the Americas ($40,000)

Note: Grants to Accelerator partners listed above reflect the funding contributed in 2023, and indicate a portion of a larger commitment.

The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation (PJMF) is a philanthropic organization dedicated to advancing artificial intelligence and data science solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. PJMF works in partnership with public, private, and social institutions to drive progress on our most pressing challenges, including digital health, climate change, broad digital access, and data maturity in the social sector.

Media contact:
Felicia L. Harris
felicia.harris@mcgovern.org