Georgia Appleseed Inc

Justice at our Core

aka Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice   |   Atlanta, GA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Georgia Appleseed Inc

EIN: 20-4036923


Our mission is to increase justice in Georgia through law and policy reform and community engagement. Georgia Appleseed advances justice for all Georgia’s children, with a particular focus on children experiencing poverty, children with disabilities, and children who experience the effects of institutional bias and racism. Justice requires that every child has access to strong, nurturing schools and a healthy home.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Michael Waller JD

Main address

1600 Parkwood Circle Ste 200

Atlanta, GA 30339 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Public affairs

Human rights

Population served info

Children and youth

Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

At-risk youth

NTEE code info

Public, Society Benefit - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (W99)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (R05)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Georgia Appleseed advances justice for all Georgia’s children, with a particular focus on children experiencing poverty, children with disabilities, and children who experience the effects of institutional bias and racism. Justice requires that every child has access to strong, nurturing schools and a healthy home.

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?

Dismantling the School to Prison Pipeline

Projects include:
- Effective Student Discipline
- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
- Keeping Kids in Class Toolkit
- Student Tribunal Foster Child Representation

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Ethnic and racial groups

Projects Include:
-Race, Law Enforcement, and The Law
-School climate & safety
-School Resource Officer best practices & training

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
At-risk youth

Georgia Healthy Housing Coalition

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

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.

At the heart of our work is a drive to bring people together to listen and learn from each other, so that we can move toward just, systemic solutions that make a better future for the children of our state.

Our tactics include research projects that leverage thousands of pro bono attorney hours to tackle complex issues, the development of self-advocacy tools for parents and caregivers, supporting local and state leaders' efforts to adopt meaningful policy changes, legislative advocacy, bipartisan coalition building, and sometimes just a conversation, where we have the opportunity to listen to a child’s experience firsthand.

Our Strategies--

Get children the support they need:

--Expand school-based behavioral health to get children help where they need it
--Integrate restorative practices and trauma-informed instruction into school discipline and the juvenile justice system
--Bring schools, police, and courts together to implement shared strategies that keep children out of juvenile court
--Acknowledge and eliminate barriers created and reinforced by racism and systemic bias
--Ensure safe and equitably funded schools

Improve school climate and reduce the use of disciplinary actions, such as out of-school suspension and expulsion, that remove children from school:
--Increase supports and protections for children in foster care, including access to legal representation for those facing removal from school
--Expand funding for evidence-based diversion programs and other supports for justice-involved children and youth
--Increase school resources to close achievement gaps between children in high-resourced communities and those in low-resourced communities

Promote healthy homes:
--Improve low-income families’ access to healthy, safe homes through various levels of advocacy
--Organize efforts to support positive policy changes to local court procedures and housing code enforcement

Our renewed focus on child welfare, education, and juvenile justice helped us recruit relevant expertise and talent. In January 2020, Michael Waller was promoted to Interim Executive Director by the Board of Directors and then Executive Director in May. Prior to being Interim ED, Michael was our Director of Projects and led our strategic planning. He brings important subject matter expertise (education law and housing) directly relevant to our programming priorities. Michael hired two new lawyers on staff with experience as public school teachers and a Legal and Policy Director (Caroline Durham) to lead the program team. Caroline brings 30 years of criminal and juvenile justice experience to Georgia Appleseed.

Over the last three years we have seen significant developments in our strategic approach and personnel. We completed our new strategic plan, for FY20-22, which focused our programming on three priority outcomes: dismantling the school to prison pipeline; ensuring that children with behavior and learning challenges receive the necessary interventions and supports to succeed at school; and increasing access for low-income families to stable, healthy housing.

Some of Georgia Appleseed's Milestones since 2005:

2020--Georgia Appleseed promotes Director of Projects Michael Waller to Executive Director.

2019--Georgia Healthy Housing coalition led the charge on HB 346, a bill that proposed to ban retaliatory evictions.

2018 & 2019 -- Focus on children and juvenile justice renewed, with new strategic plan created for FY20-22.

2017 --Georgia Appleseed moves to new offices, donated “in kind," at the law firm of Taylor English Duma.

2016 -- Seeking the Beloved Community: Fostering Crucial Conversations about Race, Law Enforcement published, and presented at The Law at the Atlanta Bar Association’s Equal Justice in Law Enforcement Symposium.

2015 & 2017 -- The long-running Heirs Property Project takes the next big step by incorporating The Georgia Heirs Property Law Center in 2015 and subsequently becomes an independent nonprofit in 2017.

2015 --Creation of Georgia Educational Climate Coalition (GECC)

2013 --Launch of the Keeping Kids in Class Toolkit – includes 10 years of Out-of-School Suspension data for 2,200+ public schools in Georgia.

March 2013 -- New Georgia Juvenile Code (first comprehensive rewrite in 40 years) is passed unanimously (HB 242, effective date: January 1, 2014).

March 2012-- Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (HB 744) is passed unanimously. Rep. Edward Lindsey is the lead sponsor.

2008 --Kick-off meeting of the new Georgia Appleseed Young Professionals Council (YPC) led by its first president, Jason Carter. For more background, see

2006-- Georgia Appleseed becomes a lead partner in JUSTGeorgia, a collaborative effort for adoption of a new Georgia juvenile code.

2005--Established; First Executive Director Judge Sharon N. Hill and Board Chair Stephens A., Clay. Founding Firms/Companies include: Southern Company, Eversheds Sutherland, Kilpatrick Townsend and King & Spalding.

What's Next? See our new strategic plan: [link]

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time


Georgia Appleseed Inc
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 39.60 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.6 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 17% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Georgia Appleseed Inc

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Georgia Appleseed Inc

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Georgia Appleseed Inc

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Georgia Appleseed Inc’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $62,542 $190,213 $221,679 $295,852 $244,000
As % of expenses 9.8% 31.9% 31.0% 30.4% 19.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $59,731 $187,403 $218,869 $293,041 $241,190
As % of expenses 9.3% 31.2% 30.5% 30.0% 19.3%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $615,700 $674,973 $1,704,077 $966,844 $1,442,012
Total revenue, % change over prior year -1.5% 9.6% 152.5% -43.3% 49.1%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.1%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 3.7% 12.8% 12.0%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 100.0% 96.1% 87.0% 87.7%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $638,180 $597,029 $714,877 $973,798 $1,244,457
Total expenses, % change over prior year -4.3% -6.4% 19.7% 36.2% 27.8%
Personnel 81.2% 84.7% 89.7% 69.2% 70.5%
Professional fees 13.5% 11.2% 5.5% 23.7% 23.5%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 5.3% 4.0% 4.8% 7.1% 6.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $640,991 $599,839 $717,687 $976,609 $1,247,267
One month of savings $53,182 $49,752 $59,573 $81,150 $103,705
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $694,173 $649,591 $777,260 $1,057,759 $1,350,972

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 4.2 9.5 16.9 17.1 12.4
Months of cash and investments 4.2 9.5 16.9 17.1 12.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 3.6 7.6 10.0 11.0 10.9
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $224,701 $472,421 $1,006,923 $1,385,541 $1,286,875
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $158,535 $62,380 $466,081 $82,286 $405,395
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 1.6% 13.3% 1.4% 1.7% 3.1%
Unrestricted net assets $190,812 $378,215 $597,084 $890,124 $1,131,314
Temporarily restricted net assets $210,732 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $210,732 $98,463 $865,984 $563,178 $516,733
Total net assets $401,544 $476,678 $1,463,068 $1,453,302 $1,648,047

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Mr. Michael Waller JD

As Executive Director, Michael Waller leads the Georgia Appleseed team in the development of innovative policy solutions and tools to keep Georgia’s children safe at home and in school, and out of the criminal justice system. Michael is a frequent speaker on the devastating consequences of exclusionary school discipline, poor school climate, and unhealthy housing on marginalized children, particularly children in poverty, children of color, and children and youth in foster care. Prior to starting with Appleseed as Director of Projects in 2018, Michael was a prosecuting attorney at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for eight years, leading investigations and lawsuits across the country to stop companies and individuals from defrauding economically vulnerable consumers. Before the FTC, Michael was a staff attorney at the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, representing indigent clients in housing, domestic violence, and consumer rights cases. He came to Legal Aid from law firm WilmerHale.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Georgia Appleseed Inc

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Georgia Appleseed Inc

Board of directors
as of 04/04/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Tori Silas


Term: 2022 -

Mary Benton

Alston & Bird LLP

Matthew Bozzelli

Southern Company

Taylor Daly

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Bob Edwards

Troutman Pepper

John Fleming

Eversheds Sutherland

Harold Franklin

King & Spalding

Paula Frederick

State Bar of Georgia

Brian Gordon

DLA Piper

Jessica McKinney

GE Energy

Diane Prucino

Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton LLP

Randi Schnell

Rooms To Go

Neil Shorthouse


Marc Howard

Pope & Howard PC

Justice David Nahmias

Supreme Court of Georgia

Judge Todd Markle

Georgia Court of Appeals

Eric Fisher

Barnes & Thornburg

Marc Taylor

Taylor English Duma

Adam Ozgo


Amy Steigerwalt

Georgia State University

Carrie Zhou


Adowa Awotwi

Locum Tenens

David Brackett

Bondurant Mixson & Elmore

Ken Dyer

Dougherty County School System

Chris Middleton

Cox, Rodman & Middleton

Micah Moon

Delta Air Lines

Judge Shondeana Morris

DeKalb County Superior Court

Raj Nichani

The RMN Agency

Chris Stewart

Stewart Miller Simmons

Dr. Michael Young

Pediatrics Emergency Medicine Associates

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? Yes
  • 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? Yes
  • 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 3/6/2023

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


The organization's leader identifies as:

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/06/2023

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

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.