Press Release

GiGi’s Playhouse receives groundbreaking $2 million MacKenzie Scott grant 


April 10, 2024 – GiGi’s Playhouse, the only network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, has been awarded a $2 million grant by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s Yield Giving. With over 6,300 nonprofits applying, GiGi’s was one of only 361 organizations selected to win the prestigious grant. 

Originally, GiGi’s Playhouse applied for a $1 million grant, but after a lengthy and intensive vetting process that included peer and external evaluators, GiGi’s Playhouse stood out as one of the highest-scoring organizations. As a result of this evaluation, Yield Giving awarded GiGi’s a $2 million grant — double the initial ask. 

“This generous grant will give GiGi Gianni and all her friends a voice and help strengthen our foundation as we continue to grow to meet the needs of our Down syndrome community,” said Nancy Gianni, founder and Chief Belief Officer at GiGi’s Playhouse. “This will allow us to expand our free programs to thousands of new families.” 

In March 2023, Yield Giving launched an Open Call for community-led, community-focused organizations like GiGi’s Playhouse, whose explicit purpose is to enable individuals and families to achieve substantive improvement in their well-being through foundational resources.  

The Open Call received 6,353 applicants and initially planned for 250 awards of $1 million each. In light of the incredible work of these organizations, the donor team decided to expand the awardee pool and the award amount. The Open Call was managed in partnership with Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. 

This grant will make an immediate impact, empowering GiGi’s Playhouse as it continues to expand its free programming while staying committed to its core mission: to change the way the world views Down syndrome and send a global message of acceptance for all. 

About GiGi’s Playhouse: GiGi’s Playhouse is the only international network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers dedicated to providing free therapeutic, educational, and career programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. With over 60 locations across the United States and Mexico, GiGi’s Playhouse programs provide individuals with Down syndrome the opportunity to maximize their potential to further grow acceptance, inclusion, and empowerment. For more information, visit here.