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Bright Promises Receives $1 Million Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Bright Promises Foundation Receives $1 Million Gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Game-changing investment will support programs addressing  underrecognized needs of Chicagoland children and youth 

May 4, 2023 - Bright Promises Foundation, whose mission for more than 150 years is to create opportunities for all Chicagoland children and youth to reach their full potential, announced today it received a $1 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.  The unrestricted funds will  support the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking, which focuses on children’s health, wellbeing, and development.  


Bright Promises Foundation focuses on the early identification and response to urgent, underrecognized issues impacting Chicago-area children and youth.  Bright Promises' current initiatives include increasing access to high-quality early childhood education for low-income children, expanding Social Emotional Learning support for families, and addressing the impact of racial trauma  on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) youth. 

“We’re honored to be recognized by MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving with this extraordinary gift,” said Jim Hirsch, Executive Director of Bright Promises Foundation. “This transformational investment will help us build upon our partnerships with leading community-based organizations and fulfill our mission in new and exciting ways."

Each year, Bright Promises partners with 25 nonprofit organizations  to serve more than 8,500 young people in 52 zip codes across Metropolitan Chicago. The Foundation provides targeted resources and capacity-building support to help organizations deliver enhanced services and impact more children and youth. 

“This investment will allow us to expand our capacity and achieve an even greater impact in our communities,” said Gaylord Gieseke, Board President of Bright Promises Foundation, “It is a vote of confidence that together we can create brighter futures for our children and youth.”

Download the full release here.

Cover photo provided by grantee partner Breakthrough Urban Ministries.