Contact: Margaret Hall, National Executive Director
Fund intends to commit $5 million in Atlanta over the next five years to attract innovative, proven high-impact approaches to address local needs and help improve outcomes
Atlanta, GA, January 10, 2019 – The GreenLight Fund, with support from more than 50 local philanthropic investors, today announced the launch of GreenLight Atlanta to identify and address pressing needs of the region’s low-income children and families.
Bernie Marcus of The Marcus Foundation, Inc., a co-founding philanthropic investor in GreenLight Atlanta, stated, “Our city has many virtues – and pressing needs. The Marcus Foundation is pleased to join a broad group of Atlanta philanthropists to support the launch of GreenLight Atlanta. We are impressed by GreenLight’s visionary leadership team, their focus on implementing best-in-class anti-poverty solutions from across the nation and by the self-sustaining nature of their model. GreenLight’s impact in other cities has been profound, and we believe that they will be transformative here in Atlanta.”
Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber, added, “Metro Atlanta is known as a region of leaders that impacts the business ecosystem and affects social change on a global scale. The Metro Atlanta Chamber is pleased that the GreenLight Fund chose Atlanta for its newest market because it will help our region continue to innovate across the nonprofit sector and transform lives in the process. I’m personally excited to see how our business community has embraced GreenLight’s mission and poured out their support.”
GreenLight Atlanta’s record number of co-founding funders include Aaron’s, Balloun Family, Bank of America, Mark Becker, Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust, Martha and Toby Brooks, Chick-Fil-A Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Lane and Richard W. Courts IV, Catherine and John Crawford, Susan and Ed Croft, Robin and Stockton Croft, Deloitte, Mike and Debbie Dickerson, Mike and Michelle Dickinson, Jamie and Juliana Eastham, Emory University, Stacey and David Fisher, Lois and Larry Frank, The Freishtat Family, Fulcrum Equity Partners, The J.B. Fuqua Foundation, Georgia Power Foundation, Inc, Goldman Sachs, The Gould Family Foundation, Harry Heiman and Abby Friedman, The Imlay Foundation, Invesco Ltd. CEO, Marty Flanagan, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Kaiser Permanente, KELIN, Mary Jane and Dave Kirkpatrick, Sartain Lanier Family Foundation, Jeff Levy and Liz Lapidus, The Marcus Foundation, Inc., Sig Mosley, Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Nalley, III, Jeff and Michelle Neville, North Highland Worldwide Consulting, Bill and Melinda Nussey, Palumbo Family Charitable Fund, Wendell and Mary Reilly, Resurgens Technology Partners, Adrian and John Robinson, Jonathan and Heather Rodbell, Edith and Michael Rogers, Clay and Karen Rolader, Gary and Kathleen Rollins, John and Sue Simon, Chas Smithgall and Charles Smithgall, SunTrust, The Carol and Ramon Tomé Family Foundation, United Way of Greater Atlanta, Michael and Jill von Grey.
“An incredible group of Atlanta investors has rallied around GreenLight Atlanta and believes in its potential to help the region address critical barriers to economic mobility facing low-income children and families,” said John Simon, co-founder and board chair of the GreenLight Fund and a managing director at Boston-based venture capital firm Sigma Prime Ventures. “Our locally-driven, action-oriented, proven approach to addressing issues will be amplified by the amazing civic spirit and generosity we’ve seen in our visits to Atlanta.”
GreenLight Atlanta will work to transform the lives of low-income children, youth and families in the Atlanta area by: conducting an annual process to identify critical needs; importing innovative, entrepreneurial organizations with proven, measurable results; and galvanizing local community support to help programs reach and sustain impact.
Atlanta is the eighth community to join the GreenLight network. In other cities – Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area – the GreenLight Method has been used to address a wide variety of issues including early childhood literacy, college access and persistence, teacher effectiveness, poor health outcomes, family income and asset-building, and youth aging out of foster care.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms stated, “Our vision for One Atlanta commits us to building an equitable, affordable and resilient city where all our residents can access the opportunities they need to thrive. The GreenLight Fund’s track record for anti-poverty solutions will enhance Atlanta’s efforts to create a level playing field in areas such as education, affordable housing, financial literacy and the health of our working families. As Mayor, I am delighted to welcome Greenlight as a partner in our mission to address and solve our biggest challenges.”
“We are thrilled to be a part of the founding of GreenLight Atlanta and welcome GreenLight as a partner in putting the power of philanthropy to work for the people of the Atlanta region,” said Alicia Philipp, president, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. “GreenLight will be community driven by local leadership and with the full support and collaboration of longstanding organizations like the Community Foundation. Their approach to first listen and learn, and discover the issues affecting our communities, means putting resources and proven solutions where they will have the greatest impact.”
Milton Little, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Atlanta stated: “Atlanta has a track record of bringing people and resources together to tackle complex issues and drive sustainable positive change to help our community thrive. GreenLight Atlanta helps us do that by tapping into innovative programs from around the nation to help us address our most pressing needs. We welcome GreenLight as part of our community-wide efforts.”
In 2018 alone, GreenLight’s 23 portfolio organizations reached more than 75,000 children and families across GreenLight’s cities with their innovative, replicable and effective programs. With seven GreenLight communities importing programs with demonstrated and scalable impact, GreenLight is on track to reach 100,000 low-income children, youth and families annually in GreenLight cities across the nation in 2019 – with consistently proven results.
“We are proud to be part of a record number of co-founding coalition supporters to launch GreenLight Atlanta,” commented Gary and Kathleen Rollins, “GreenLight aligns with our interest in developing next generation leaders and bringing innovative ideas and solutions to our city.”
Mike and Debbie Dickerson, also co-founding investors in GreenLight Atlanta, are enthusiastic about GreenLight’s track record as entrepreneurial, pragmatic, and community-focused in matching community needs to promising practices from around the country: “GreenLight’s success in other cities gives us great confidence that the GreenLight Method is just what we need to take our efforts and innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to problem-solving here in Atlanta to the next level.”
GreenLight Atlanta will be led by a local executive director with advice and insight from a Selection Advisory Council made up of Atlanta leaders from businesses, nonprofits, philanthropy, the community and government. The search for GreenLight Atlanta’s executive director is underway; once hired, the local executive director will engage the Selection Advisory Council in the annual GreenLight process to identify issue areas, perform diligence and select an organization for support. The first selection will be made in 2020.
Margaret Hall, GreenLight’s co-founder and chief executive, said of the launch timeline, “Our all-important first step is to hire an executive director to lead GreenLight Atlanta. With this person in place, we plan to launch our first selection process this coming spring and look forward to keeping the community apprised and engaged with our progress.”
About the GreenLight Fund
The GreenLight Fund is a Boston-based 501(c)(3) organization that aims to transform the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to: identify critical needs; import innovative programs with proven, measurable results; and galvanize local support to help programs reach and sustain impact. Current GreenLight cities include Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Atlanta is our newest and eighth city.