For Ascend Investors

Our Approach

When we invest in women, we invest in our democracy.

At The Ascend Fund, we provide more than just money — we're convening our partners, establishing working groups, and making connections to make the field stronger and accelerate the pace of change towards gender parity.

As a collaborative fund, The Ascend Fund allows donors to work collectively and creatively. Ascend invests in transformative strategies, provides multi-year general operating grants to support the long-term stability of organizations, and funds fewer organizations at a higher level to allow leadership to focus on the big picture solutions.

We assist donors by looking at the landscape and identifying opportunities where investment will have the most impact. Then, we take action in these critical ways:

  • Five- and six-figure operational grants
  • Training and workshops with the top political minds
  • Connections between complementary groups
  • Technological resources for data sharing

To date, we've built a robust portfolio of 12 national partners 13 state partners and awarded over $9 million in grants. As we seek to accelerate the pace of change, our goal is to reach a level of self-sustaining parity that will ultimately render our organization obsolete.

Above all, we believe in the POWER OF COLLABORATION

We seek to bring change-makers the funds they so desperately need to accelerate the pace of parity, focusing on a synchronized approach to bring organizations together — rather than pitting them against each other. Throughout our efforts, we commit to four core philosophies that unify our potential:


The more cohesive our outlook, the more powerful our momentum. Because even as parity-focused organizations proliferate, these disparate groups still see a continuous flux in formulas and strategies. The more we align, the more we all rise.


When we establish shared systems, we all operate in sync. So we're exceptionally dedicated to data sharing and coordination — between organizers, academics, investors, and of course, women.


Many organizations focus on national races — but we specifically commit to starting with the states. And with 15 seats in state legislatures for every one seat in Congress, the potential to elect women is great.


Diversity of leadership leads to diversity of ideas. So we're exceptionally dedicated to championing diversity, equity, and inclusion as a relentless pillar of our work — within our own organizations and through the partners and investors we seek.

Our Collaborators

The Ascend Fund is made up of action-minded philanthropists, seeded by Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda French Gates.   

“Getting more women in office starts with getting more women to run. The Ascend Fund provides essential support for organizations on the front lines of this important mission.” 
- Melinda French Gates

Pledge for Parity – Opportunities for Corporate Sponsorship

Ascend Partner in Parity Seal

The Pledge for Parity certificate is awarded to companies that have exemplified a commitment to gender parity in government, the workplace, and in their communities. The Pledge for Parity may be used by organizations in their internal and external communications, website, talent recruitment, and more. To learn more about The Ascend Fund - Pledge for Parity and our corporate social responsibility program, and please email [email protected] to get involved.

Opportunities for Impact

Parity is a noble goal that we cannot achieve alone. If you are interested in supporting The Ascend Fund's goal, please email Ankita Patel, Director of Social Impact,  at [email protected].​

To learn more about The Ascend Fund, download our prospectus: Ascend Prospectus 2021