Ascend Fund Launches with Millions for Women in U.S. Politics

Panorama Global Launches The Ascend Fund to Achieve Equal Representation for Women in U.S. Politics 

SEATTLE – Today, Panorama Global announced the formal launch of The Ascend Fund, a collaborative fund dedicated to accelerating the pace of change towards gender parity in U.S. politics. The Ascend Fund, pools philanthropic capital to support nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are working to ensure women have access to the resources and support they need to run for office, and that are breaking down the barriers that prevent women from running and winning. 

The Ascend Fund received seed funding from Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company founded by Melinda Gates, which seeks to advance social progress in the U.S. for women and families. As part of the strategy to accelerate women’s power and influence, Pivotal Ventures provides catalytic support for partners to create resilient and inclusive pathways for women pursuing public office.

“We need to balance the ballot. Women make up over half of the U.S. population, yet less than thirty percent of its elected leaders, even though they have the same chance as winning as men do,” said Gabrielle Fitzgerald, founder and CEO of Panorama Global. “The Ascend Fund provides financial capital to an area that has been historically underfunded to help establish a clearer pathway for women to run for office — and win.” 

The U.S.’s global ranking for women in politics has been in decline since 1997 and the pace of change needs to be accelerated through robust investment. The Ascend Fund believes that gender equality in politics will only be achieved when women of all backgrounds are represented in public office. When women have a seat at the table, they are able to influence meaningful changes that contribute to the overall growth of our society and to the health of our democracy. 

In 2019, The Ascend Fund awarded an initial $1 million in grants to seven nonpartisan organizations to learn more about the barriers to women’s civic engagement and develop a comprehensive landscape analysis. 

The Ascend Fund recently awarded grants to nonpartisan, nonprofits organizations which share Ascend’s goal of creating a more representative democracy. New American Leaders offers a series of trainings and programs for first- and second-generation Americans and will receive a $1.5 million grant over three years. Vote Run Lead trains women to “run as you are” and will also receive a $1.5 million grant over three years. 

Additional grantees whose work will complement these efforts, will be announced in February. More information on The Ascend Fund, including a new report outlining the current landscape for women in politics in the U.S. and how investors can accelerate the pace of change, can be found here.                 

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About The Ascend Fund

The Ascend Fund accelerates the pace of change toward gender equality In U.S. politics. The Fund pools philanthropic capital and supports nonpartisan nonprofit organizations that prepare women to run for office and work to break down the barriers preventing women from running and getting elected. The Ascend Fund is powered by Panorama Global. More information about The Ascend Fund can be found here

About Panorama Global

Panorama Global is a 501(c)(3) action tank working to solve problems by influencing people and policy. The organization provides platforms for social impact, collaborating with partners and also initiating its own projects to fill needed gaps, all in an effort to advance priority social issues on a local and global scale. For more information visit panoramaglobal.org.

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