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Ascendium in the News April 01, 2020

COVID-19: Ascendium's Role as a National Leader in Postsecondary Philanthropy

Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
Author: Goldie Bluemenstyk

I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle of Higher Education, covering innovation in and around academe. As the Covid-19 crisis continues to reverberate, here’s what I’m thinking about this week.

How higher-ed grantmakers are changing course.

Grantmakers to higher education suddenly face a new reality. In less than a month, just about all of face-to-face higher education moved to remote operations. The American economy shifted from near full employment to a spiral that could end up exceeding the joblessness levels of the Great Depression. And of course our country — and most of the world — is still struggling to meet the growing medical needs of far too many.

Even as the ground continues to move, several of the biggest philanthropic influencers are already shifting gears. This past week I spoke to leaders of six of the biggest higher-education grantmaking organizations, who collectively account for some $370 million annually in grants to hundreds of colleges, associations, and other organizations.

Each had a slightly different take, which I share below, but these are three of the biggest priorities for giving across the board:

  • Efforts to get more emergency aid directly into the hands of students in financial need right now.
  • Organizations that can help facilitate quality online learning as well as access to it.
  • Academic services for populations of students who were already at a disadvantage in getting to and through college, and will now be even more affected by the economic turmoil.

Read the full article here.

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