GEEARS Receives One-Time $3 Million Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Renowned philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has gifted GEEARS with $3 million.  

For over a decade, GEEARS has led a statewide movement to ensure that every young child in Georgia has access to high-quality early learning and resources that facilitate healthy development. We will employ this one-time donation to further champion policies, promote innovative and evidence-based practices, and build public will for this essential mission. 

“We are thrilled and deeply honored to receive this extraordinary gift from MacKenzie Scott,” says Mindy Binderman, Executive Director of GEEARS. “This one-time infusion of significant resources will allow us to amplify our advocacy for policies and programs that make young children a statewide priority. We will continue to lift the voices of families and educators to secure greater investments in Georgia’s early care and learning system.” 

GEEARS is a long-time, trusted resource for the latest in early childhood research and data. In 2018, for instance, we conducted a study that found child care challenges— whether a result of systemic barriers to access or the cumulative impact of inconsistent or unreliable care—lead to at least $1.75 billion in losses in economic activity annually and an additional $105 million in lost tax revenue. This economic blow reverberates through families, employers, and Georgia’s economy as a whole. 

On the other hand, research suggests that high-quality early learning results in a 13% return on investment through improved outcomes in health, education, social behaviors, and employment.  

These are truths with which GEEARS rallies business, civic, and government leaders to invest in early childhood education and transformative family supports. As you can see in our 2022 – 2023 annual report, we are a convener of coalitions, a leader in facilitating systems alignment, and a champion of public-private partnerships to secure a more equitable future for generations to come. 

Among other programs, GEEARS initiatives include robust research, legislative advocacy, a fellowship program for emerging leaders in child development, the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, and PAACT: Promise All Atlanta Children Thrive, a citywide alliance of partners collaborating to improve learning, health, and well-being outcomes for Atlanta’s youngest children and their families. 

As we begin our 14th year, we are grateful for the extraordinary network of funders, partners, and stakeholders who have helped us reach this milestone. Their continued support and Ms. Scott’s $3 million gift will accelerate our progress and impact countless young lives.