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In the fall of 2018, Springboard To Opportunities announced The Magnolia Mother’s Trust, a new initiative that provides low-income, Black mothers in Jackson, Mississippi $1,000 each month, no strings attached, for 12 months. Additionally, each child of a mother in the program receives a $1,000 deposit in a 529 savings account. While there have been several initiatives for a guaranteed income worldwide, this was the first to specifically target extremely low-income families headed by a Black female living in affordable housing in the United States.

The initial pilot program consisted of 20 women and ran from December 2018-November 2019. The second, third, and fourth cohorts of The Magnolia Mother’s Trust have all consisted of approximately 100 mothers in each cohort. Currently in its fifth cohort with over 100 cohort participants, The Magnolia Mother’s Trust is now the longest running guaranteed income initiative in the recent cash-without-restrictions movement.

In addition to the cash disbursements, mothers have the option to participate in programming and opportunities around goal setting, community building, mental health and self-care, and whole family programs.

In early 2023, we released our MMT Alumni Study, the first study in the recent cash-without-restrictions movement to look at several past cohorts and the first to take a 2-Generation approach, including both mothers and children in the study. Even after the cash benefits of the program had ended, we found that MMT had a lasting positive impact on parenting efficacy, parent-child relationships, and children’s mental health.

MMT Alumni Report Executive Summary

MMT Alumni Report Executive Summary

MMT Alumni Study - Full Report

MMT Alumni Study – Full Report


Past individual cohort reports can be found on the Reports page of our website. But the results have been consistently clear: cash provides a baseline of support for families in a world that continues to be unpredictable. Not only are mothers able to meet their basic needs and prioritize their children and families, but cash also leads to a greater sense of agency that allows mothers to make decisions for their families as they see fit. MMT participants consistently report an enhanced sense of self-efficacy and agency allowing them to make their own decisions around work, prioritizing their children and developing a stronger self of self and emotional well-being for both themselves and their children.

But the story doesn’t stop there. While recent evaluations have sought to understand what makes MMT unique and effective within the guaranteed income community, they have also looked more closely at the pervasive systemic and policy barriers that prevent guaranteed income participants from being able to take full advantage of it benefits. MMT may be life changing for the families who participate, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to the enormous number of families living in poverty in the United States every day. MMT demonstrates the power and necessity of cash, and especially cash paired with community-driven supports. We believe the data and stories it offers can push us all toward creating more inclusive policies and practices that honor families’ experiences and have the power to move the needle forward on breaking cycles of poverty and creating a more just and equitable society for all people.

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