Google launched the Impact Challenge Minnesota, at the ‘Grow with Google’ digital skills training event, hosted by Rondo Community Library. The Impact Challenge Minnesota invites nonprofits throughout the state to submit proposals for bold ideas to grow economic opportunity in their local communities. Grow with Google is the tech company’s initiative to create economic opportunities for Americans.

 The Impact Challenge was announced this morning during ‘Grow with Google’ digital skills workshops for small businesses and job seekers in St. Paul. Throughout the rest of the day, Google staff and volunteers provided onsite instruction to local small businesses, jobseekers and nonprofit leaders on integral digital skills necessary in today’s business environment. Grow with Google is the tech company’s initiative to help create economic opportunities for people across America by providing people with the tools and resources to find the jobs they want, advance their careers and grow their businesses. Workshops will be held in St. Cloud on Friday as well.

 “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,”said Dan Harbeke, Google’s Head of Public Policy and External Affairs. “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.”

 “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, Director of State Library Services and Charter Center at the Minnesota Department of Education.

 Here’s how it works: Minnesota nonprofits are invited to submit their proposals for their most innovative ideas to grow economic opportunity in their community. Together 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 local nonprofit organizations.

“Building community wealth is key to ensuring all of us can prosper,” said St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “The Impact Challenge is helping drive that vision by investing in innovative ideas and leaders who drive economic growth.”


The Minnesota Impact Challenge local judges 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,” said Susan Marvin Chair of the Board at The Marvin Companies. has offered economic opportunity focused Challenges statewide in Illinois and Iowa as well as in Cleveland, Columbia, Oklahoma City and Pittsburgh. 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 Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Civic Eagle. “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 benefitted from Google tools. In their 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. The full report details Google’s economic impact state-by-state, and features the stories of businesses fueling that growth, creating job opportunities, and transforming their communities.

 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 November 15 at 11:59 PM Central Time.


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