Who We Are
The Ascend Fund is a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change toward gender parity in U.S. politics. We pool philanthropic capital and make mission-driven investments in nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that break down barriers preventing women from running for office and winning.
The Ascend Fund is powered by Panorama Global, a platform for social change dedicated to solving pressing problems through audacious thinking and bold action.
Our national partners
We celebrate strategists. Seek disruptors. Cultivate connections.
By partnering with organizations bolstering change where it matters, we're making strides with lasting power.
Our two anchor organizations received three-year, $500,000 annual grants and work closely together to elect a truly representative democracy.
New American Leaders empowers first and second generation Americans to run, win, and lead.
New American Leaders is the only national, nonpartisan organization focused on bringing New Americans into the political process. They accomplish these goals by:
Training and inspiring immigrant leaders to run for office.
Building coalitions among New American elected leaders.
Researching solutions to create a more diverse corps of leaders.
New American Leaders believes that when our elected officials mirror the makeup of our nation, we achieve stronger communities, a more responsive government, and a robust democracy.
by the numbers:
Over 1,110 trained
127 NAL alums elected
65 served as campaign leaders
61% average win rate of alums between 2016-2019
Vote Run Lead trains barrier-breaking women to unleash their political power, run for office, and transform American democracy.
Vote Run Lead believes there's an urgent need for an intersectional wave of women to lead within our democracy. So they're championing women ready to fight for democracy by tackling system reforms with bold ideas.
Vote Run Lead's award-winning Run As You Are curriculum guides women through a process of radical self-inquiry, wherein their backgrounds, experiences, and values become their authentic platform. Trainees emerge as grounded, effective, collaborative leaders for their communities and, with hundreds of thousands of elected offices in the US, there is a place for every woman to take the lead.
by the numbers:
400% growth since 2015
60% of participants are women of color
20% of participants hail from rural America
Largest single day of training reached 3,000 women in 20 cities and online
ADVANCE NATIVE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
ANPL aims to increase the representation of Indigenous people, especially Indigenous women, in elected office at all levels and create pathways to leadership for emerging Native candidates across the country.
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CONGRESSIONAL STUDIES
APAICS is dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation and representation at all levels of the political process, from community service to elected office.
HIGHER HEIGHTS LEADERSHIP FUND
Higher Heights Leadership Fund is investing in a long-term strategy to expand and support Black women's leadership pipeline at all levels and strengthen their civic participation beyond just Election Day.
LatinasRepresent is an initiative to increase Latina participation throughout the civic engagement continuum, inspire more Latinas to seek public service opportunities, and create a more reflective democracy.
WOMEN'S PUBLIC LEADERSHIP NETWORK
Women's Public Leadership Network provides center- and right-leaning women with the knowledge and resources to make seeking public office and engaging in the political process more accessible.
Our state partners
Our state partners work collaboratively to increase the number of women serving in state legislatures. Activities include coalition building, barrier reduction, candidate recruitment and training, and message development on the importance of women leaders.
MISSISSIPPI BLACK WOMEN'S ROUNDTABLE
The Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable is an intergenerational, civic engagement statewide network of black women and girls that focus on increasing voter participation, civic engagement and champions equitable public policy on behalf of Black women and girls in Mississippi. MS BWR is an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable.
MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN
Mississippi University for Women’s NEW Leadership Mississippi educates college women about the important role that politics plays in their lives and encourages them to become effective leaders in the political arena.
WOMEN'S FOUNDATION OF MISSISSIPPI
The Women’s Foundation of Mississippi is a public foundation that works to eliminate the social and economic barriers faced by women and girls throughout the state.
ACLU OF MISSISSIPPI
The Mississippi affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union dedicates their time and resources to promoting and defending the civil liberties of citizens across the state through legislation, litigation, and advocacy.
OneAmerica is the largest immigrant and refugee advocacy organization in Washington State, organizing with and advocating for diverse communities including Latinx, African, and Asian.
NATIVE ACTION NETWORK
Native Action Network is a Native-led nonprofit organized to promote Native women’s full representation, participation, and leadership in local, state, tribal, and national affairs.
FIX DEMOCRACY FIRST EDUCATION FUND
Fix Democracy First Education Fund focuses on voter education, voter registration, outreach, and expanding civic participation across Washington state and beyond.
COMUNIDAD LATINA DE VASHON
Comunidad Latina de Vashon was founded by Latina women to cultivate youth and adult community leaders to use their strengths to change systemic injustices on Vashon Island
Our work is guided by an Advisory Committee comprised of formerly elected women from both sides of the political aisle. These leaders share their personal experience and knowledge in order to increase opportunities for other women in politics.
The Leadership Circle is a network of women leaders in business, government, and philanthropy who are committed to The Ascend Fund’s goal of electing more women at every level of government.
Director, Federal Government Affairs
Director of Government Affairs
Manager, Federal Affairs
NBA Social Justice Coalition
Head of Programs & Partnerships
Director, The Audacious Project
VP, Government Relations
JP Morgan Chase
Senior Philanthropy Advisor
Tennessee Valley Authority
Vice President, Federal Affairs
Public Policy Manager
Senior Manager, U.S. State Public Policy
Founder and CEO
Director, Government Relations
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Senior Vice President
Public Policy and Government Relations, Eastern US LEAD
Director Of Public Affairs
Fragrance Creators Association
Vice President, Government Affairs & Legal
State Government Affairs Director
Alpine Group Partners
Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy Director
Senior Public Policy Manager
Vice President, Public Policy
Senior Director, Government Relations
American Enterprise Institute
Director of Foreign and Defense Policy
Laura Wood Peterson
Laura Wood Peterson Consulting