SILVER2023

The Georgia Center for Opportunity

Vibrant Communities Where Everyone Can Achieve Their Potential

Peachtree Corners, GA   |  www.georgiaopportunity.org

Mission

The mission of the Georgia Center for Opportunity is to ensure that everyone - regardless of race, past mistakes, or circumstances of their birth - has access to a quality education, fulfilling work, and a healthy family life.

Ruling year info

1982

President & CEO

Mr. Randy W Hicks

Main address

333 Research Court, Suite 210

Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 USA

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Formerly known as

Georgia Family Education and Research Council

EIN

58-1928520

NTEE code info

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (W05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (J05)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

BETTER FAMILIES

GCO builds strong families through healthy relationships. Partnering with public schools, churches, and local nonprofit organizations, we deliver best-practice, evidence-baed marriage and relationship strengthening workshops to equip people at all ages and stages to have healthy, stable relationships that improve their education, employment and life opportunities.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families
Parents
Adults

GCO advocates for education reforms that ensure all families have access to a high-quality education that meets their needs, including traditional public schools, public charter schools, private schools, virtual education, homeschooling, and hybrid schools.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Parents

GCO brings the dignity of work to every able and willing individual. By collaborating with local businesses and nonprofits, BETTER WROK connects the underemployed to local training, support, and job opportunities to help people find meaningful work.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Parents
Adults
Families
Parents

GCO conducts research and policy analysis to equip policymakers to drive state-level reforms that remove barriers to opportunity.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of Hiring Well, Doing Good initiatives.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Unemployed people, Economically disadvantaged people, Ex-offenders

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The primary pathways to opportunity – strong families, safe communities, quality schools, and stable employment– which historically gave children a chance to succeed, regardless of social and economic background, have experienced a rapid decline in recent years. These are not just public policy talking points – these breakdowns represent a tragic and self-perpetuating loss of human potential. They represent shattered dreams and broken families, and initiate cycles of generational poverty and lost opportunity.

Following what is often referred to as the Success Sequence greatly increases the odds of an individual achieving their potential, virtually guaranteeing their access to the middle class. The result of an academic study, of all American adults studied who got these three things right — finish high school, get a job, and get married before having children— only around two percent lived in poverty. In stark contrast, among those who got all three parts of the sequence wrong, 75 percent lived in poverty, and they were more likely to trigger a poverty cycle that was generational in scope.

To that end, we focus our work at the Georgia Center for Opportunity on ensuring that more individuals are able to access the “success sequence.” Our work is about human potential, flourishing families, and strong communities. Our vision is for Georgia’s communities to be the most vibrant in the country.

Georgia Center for Opportunity is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Georgians. We research solutions to society's most pressing challenges, promote those solutions to policymakers and the public, and help innovative social enterprises deliver results on the ground.

Our research teams identify who in Georgia is falling behind at each stage­—and why—and develops the best policy and community-based solutions for overcoming the failures at each stage. We then advocate policies that enable greater mobility and opportunity, and we invest in leading non-profits and community organizations to deliver measurable change on the ground.

We believe GCO's integrated approach — combining research, advocacy and grassroots delivery — is crucial to
bringing about the change we need, and we've seen it work.

This past year, GCO saw the successful implementation of its recommendations on prisoner reentry reforms. Through a December 2013 report on Increasing Employment Opportunities for Ex-Offenders and a Prisoner Reentry Working Group, GCO promoted common sense proposals for ways the state could remove barriers to ex-offenders securing and maintaining a job. These included such things as lifting driver's license suspensions for ex-offenders convicted of non-driving related offenses, providing offenders with all proper identification needed for employment well in advance of being released from prison, and updating the state's occupational licensing rules and procedures so that ex-offenders have better access to trade licenses and steady employment. After GCO presented its findings to the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform, nearly all of the recommendations were incorporated into the Council's final report to the Governor, and following the 2014 session, several of the recommendations became law when the Governor signed Senate Bill 365.

This is the kind of success we expect to see more of in the coming months. Georgia Center for Opportunity is poised for very strong growth in the near-term.

GCO has worked in many areas of public policy in Georgia, building effective and diverse coalitions
around multiple issues, such as school choice and prisoner reentry:
- In 2007 and 2008, GCO was instrumental in passing the Special Needs Scholarship and the Tuition Tax
Credit Scholarship, programs that are now providing school choice to nearly 18,000 children across
Georgia.
- In 2012, GCO helped lead a coalition of groups that successfully passed the state's Charter Schools Commission constitutional amendment, providing a state-level agency to approve new charter schools.
- In 2013 and 2014, GCO led research and advocacy efforts around prisoner reentry reforms to give ex-offenders
greater access to employment opportunities; many of GCO's recommendations became law in 2014.
- In 2014, GCO released research on ways that charity healthcare clinics in the state could provide
healthcare for uninsured, individual adults in poverty without the need for federal funding.
- During 2013 and 2014, GCO helped a number of direct service nonprofits improve their operations and become self-sustaining, including the Gifted Education Foundation, Every Woman Works, Arete Scholars, and Out of Darkness.

Also, at the request of local community leaders in the Norcross-Peachtree Corners area, for the past two years
GCO has led a coalition of more than 70 nonprofits, schools, and businesses in a collective impact project called
Breakthrough Norcross. The project aims to quantifiably increase specific educational achievements among the
12,000 students served by the Norcross cluster of schools using agreed-upon outcomes, clear metrics, shared
data, and high accountability.

Financials

The Georgia Center for Opportunity
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Georgia Center for Opportunity

Board of directors
as of 01/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Gerald Thames

Thames Family Foundation

Term: 2018 - 2021

Keith Schneider

Retired/Consultant

Randy Hicks

Georgia Center for Opportunity

Karin Douglas

Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential

Shaunti Feldhahn

Author, Speaker

Tony Kitchens

Reintegration Services Professional

Tim Bentsen

Executive in Residence, University of Georgia

Christina Coors Williams

Trustee, Adolph Coors Foundation

Cayanna Good

Assistant Commissioner of Adult Education at Technical College System of Georgia

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/26/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.