Madison, WI — 2020 was an extraordinary year that brought big challenges for the Madison-area community across both racial justice issues and the cornonavirus pandemic. While Ascendium Education Group’s philanthropic mission as a national funder focuses on the power of education and training beyond high school to transform the lives of learners from low-income backgrounds, we recognize the importance of flexibility and responsiveness in times of crisis and needs in the community in which the majority of our employees live and work. This is why we have stepped up to meet these extraordinary needs with more than $440,000 in support for our community.
In March, Ascendium donated $85,000 to the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund created by the United Way of Dane County (UWDC) and the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. In June, Ascendium saw an opportunity to advance the work of local nonprofits addressing racial and social justice in the community. We asked our employees to nominate organizations actively making a difference and made $50,000 grants to the following organizations: Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, Freedom Inc., Urban Triage and YWCA of Madison.
In addition to providing support in response to extraordinary community needs, we continued to support our community through our corporate giving program, Ascendium Cares. Through this program, Ascendium employees use paid Volunteer Time Off to support local nonprofits. We’ve also created a deep partnership with Vera Court Neighborhood Center, a nonprofit located near our office that our employees chose to “adopt.” In addition to donating school supplies and computers and running a pro bono legal clinic at Vera Court, we recently announced a $55,000 grant to support their great work. This amount represents a 3-to-1 corporate match of the dollar amount pledged by employees to the UWDC and Community Shares of Wisconsin during our 2020 Unite for our Communities campaign.
While much of our corporate giving has focused on meeting existing needs, we’re excited to look to the future. To that end, we’re pleased to announce our second annual $100,000 gift to the UWDC’s community campaign in support of the education initiatives in their Agenda for Change.
Renee Moe, President and CEO of UWDC, noted that “Ascendium has shown tremendous leadership throughout 2020 – first with their quick response to COVID-19 needs, then with their commitment to social and racial justice in our community. With the uptick in employee giving participation rates, sponsorship of a loaned executive and now this amazing corporate support, we’re incredibly grateful for their partnership. They’ve done so much to help raise community awareness and giving, and they’re truly inspiring effective change for Dane County families.”
Ascendium is a national organization with employees and customers located throughout the country and our headquarters in Madison, WI. The organization is committed to serving our community and we are proud of the impact we can have. We are deeply grateful to area organizations who are doing the work to meet the needs of the community.
We’re looking forward to announcing further community corporate giving over the next year.