$1 million donation from MacKenzie Scott surprises Colorado non-profit

$1 million donation from MacKenzie Scott surprises Colorado non-profit


Billionaire MacKenzie Scott has awarded $1 million to a small, low-profile Colorado non-profit, whose leaders stay a bit surprised.

“The entire thing was very surreal,” mentioned Heather Tritten, government director of Guardian Potential, which offers assist for early childhood providers. “After I have a look at who else has been funded in Colorado — organizations which can be far larger than Guardian Potential, it feels very unreal that we had been funded by MacKenzie Scott and that she needed to put money into us.”

Guardian Potential, which was based in Colorado in 1991, works to equip mother and father with instruments and training to arrange their kids to be taught. The nonprofit believes that investing in early childhood programs helps enhance literacy and encourages college students to graduate highschool — which helps break the cycle of poverty. 

It serves a few of Colorado’s most low-income residents. In response to its 2022 annual report, 87% of its consumer households earn lower than twice the federal poverty restrict. That might be lower than about $49,720 for a household of three this 12 months.

Tritten mentioned Guardian Potential was contacted in December to debate a doable donation with an nameless group. In March, Scott’s basis, Yield Giving, known as to say it might donate $1 million to Guardian Potential.

Within the 15-minute dialog, they informed her, “good luck along with your group and the necessary work you’re doing,” she mentioned. 

Tritten mentioned the inspiration will let Guardian Potential use the funds for no matter is most necessary.

Scott, who as of final 12 months was the fifth richest girl in america, has given away greater than $14 billion since 2019. She has a 4% stake in Amazon as a part of her divorce settlement with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. She has made waves on this planet of philanthropy by making giant items, together with to varsities and training nonprofits, with no strings connected. Final 12 months, Scott gave $2.5 million to a Colorado Springs constitution college.

The Guardian Potential donation was introduced this week.

Guardian Potential offers 4,000 households with in-home visiting providers and a further 20,000 households in Colorado with digital applications, like early studying training software program and an app with studying instruments and parenting assist.

The app, known as Vroom, was created with funding from the Bezos Household Basis. It messages mother and father with solutions for actions to do with their kids daily.

Guardian Potential offers a few of its applications by way of partnerships with faculties, household useful resource facilities, departments of human providers, and nonprofits. Its providers are freed from cost to Colorado households. 

The house-visiting applications educate baby growth, how one can promote the social and emotional growth of younger kids and how one can put together 2- to 5-year-old kids for preschool and kindergarten.

Guardian Potential continues to be mapping out how one can greatest use Scott’s donation to assist the households it serves.

Tritten hopes to advance the group’s work and achieve greater than they’d beforehand thought doable.

Sara Martin is an intern with Chalkbeat Colorado. Contact Sara at smartin@chalkbeat.org,


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