Aspen Institute Ascend Fund: Investing in Two-Generation Solutions
The Aspen Institute Ascend Fund: Investing in Two-Generation Solutions
As a new model of social innovation and cross-sector collaboration, Ascend at the Aspen Institute is requesting Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) for the $1 million Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. The objective of the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund is to invest in solutions that tap the creativity, knowledge, and assets of all sectors of our society to create a cycle of opportunity for children and their parents.
Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Guidelines - Deadline: August 19, 2013, 5:00 pm EDT
Download the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund LOI guidelines here.
Download the two-page overview here.
Ascend at the Aspen Institute hosted two webinars on the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. View a video of the July 22 webinar:
We Are Not a Foundation, so Why Are We Investing a Million Dollars?
At Ascend at the Aspen Institute, we do not believe that any one organization or any one issue will create a legacy of economic security and educational success for all American families. We believe in co-creating solutions and dynamic collaborations with leaders from all sectors of society. We seek partners who are passionate, strategic, and relentless in the quest to build a cycle of intergenerational opportunity – and who are specifically interested in the power and potential of a two-generation approach. We seek collaborators who are energized by action, results, and learning. We welcome LOIs from efforts that connect organizations across issues, disciplines, strategies, and sectors.
What Results Does the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund Hope to Achieve?
We are focused on results in the categories of innovation, influence, and impact, as defined below.
Innovation: The development of a new policy or practice or the improvement of an existing policy or practice with the goal of producing better outcomes for both children and parents.
Influence: Increased engagement and education of policy leaders and influencers who have the capacity to make changes in practices, policies, or funding that allow for the implementation or expansion of two-generation approaches.
Impact: The effect that programs and policies have on educational, economic, and/or social capital outcomes for both children and parents.
To be eligible for Aspen Institute Ascend Fund grants, applicant organizations must be:
- Working to implement or expand two-generation approaches;
- Focused on one or more key components of two-generation approaches, including education, economic supports, social capital, or health;
- Focused on or highlight cross-sector or cross-issue collaborations (e.g., a direct service organization partnering with a research institution or a policy advocacy organization; an early childhood program partnering with a community college or workforce development program; a nonprofit organization collaborating with a private sector business) that lead to improved and aligned policies, practices, and/or resources to produce better outcomes for children and parents;
- Committed to participating in and contributing to the Ascend Network;
- Committed to documenting and sharing results, learning, and tools with the field;
- Focused on both children and parents with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level;
- A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (Note: Public and for-profit entities are encouraged to identify 501(c) nonprofit partners with whom to submit LOIs.);
- Governed by a board of directors; and
- Located within the United States.
To learn more about sample grants prototyped by the Ascend Fellows, click here.
Frequently Asked Questions
We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund. Click here to download the FAQs and responses.
More questions about the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.