Millions in grant funding secured

Grant Funding Secured for Ascend NBS’ Clients by Year

“Working with Arlene was an amazing and valuable experience! She did a great job at answering all of our questions. She was extremely knowledgeable and motivating. She has been a true Blessing to our organization.”

Alicia R., Founder and Executive Director

“Arlene went above and beyond – reviewing our information and then doing a bit of research to better understand what intentional communities are and offer. She gave us very clear and specific tasks to focus on to improve our fundraising efforts. I highly recommend working with her and am grateful for her time!”

Avi K, Co-Founder

The Challenge + The Approach + The Results


A brand new organization, receiving 501c3 status in 2019, Ascend NBS started working with SSF in 2020. SSF, seen as the heart of an immigrant community, is not just a place to find assistance but is a home for people who have been displaced and find themselves living on the margins. With a small budget and little revenue, they couldn’t pay their Executive Director and had an all-volunteer staff. They had a high demand for services in their New American community but not enough funding to get it done. They attempted grants on their own but were unsuccessful.


Ascend NBS assessed the organization’s readiness. Through this assessment, we identified the critical information, documents, budget, and strategy needed for quality grant submissions with greater funding potential. Ascend NBS worked with the organization to design a strategy and specific tasks to improve its infrastructure. During the next six months, while Ascend NBS identified potential funders for the organization and developed and fine-tuned the narrative sections for grant applications, SSF worked on their financials, organization strategy, goals and objectives, and budgets.


After one year, SSF’s revenue from grants increased by 87%, and after year two, revenue from grants increased by 200%. SSF is now regularly approached for partnerships with state and local governments, nonprofits, churches and ministries, schools, and employers to help serve New Americans in Fargo-Moorhead.


Capital IDEA Houston, established in 2009, is the only comprehensive workforce development program in the Houston area. They sponsor select, high-demand careers that pay a living wage with benefits and the opportunity for advancement for people of color. They hadn’t been able to increase their budget and expand services in the last couple of years due to a lack of funding for capacity building. They had a skeleton staff committed to the mission but overworked and underpaid. Their funding lacked diversity, and their board was concerned about the heavy reliance on government funding. Their funding was mainly allocated for programming, leaving little opportunity for organizational growth.


Ascend NBS conducted new research prospecting for general operations dollars, built general operations into every grant to cover administrative expenses and salaries, and designed a strategy for growth based on input from everyone within the organization.


With our assistance, Capital IDEA was able to increase its general operations funding, hire seven new employees, and secure software that increased data collection and reporting. Additionally, this has led to streamlined processes and operations with standard operating procedures, utilizing interns, volunteers, and contractors for smaller projects, increased investments in infrastructure, board training on fundraising, relationship building, and creating awareness of the organization within the city. All of these factors have led to increased partnerships. And most importantly, the staff are taking real, much-needed vacations to recharge.


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