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Human Services

Expanding opportunities in American cities by centering racial equity to advance multi-generational social and economic success for families and communities.

Human Services Funding Opportunities

About the Human Services Program

We center racial equity and racial justice to advance multi-generational family social and economic success, which includes social and economic mobility. We define social and economic mobility as the movement of families between social strata and their ability to improve their wealth and economic status. This includes a person’s autonomy, power and ability to influence his or her environment and personal outcomes.

The Human Services Program’s work is grounded in power sharing, partnership, co-learning and co-creating with organizations from multiple sectors, families and communities.

We adhere to a person-centered approach is strengths-based, grounded in the belief that people are resilient and inherently capable and operate with self-agency. Core to our strategy is a two-generation approach, developed by Ascend at the Aspen Institute. The approach is grounded in multigenerational family social and economic success,  which includes building family well-being by working with children and the adults in their lives together.

To realize multigenerational family social and economic success, we focus our grant making on fostering the next generation of public and nonprofit human services organizations, place-based opportunity ecosystems and developing supportive policy alongside robust field building efforts.

We Invest in These Initiatives

Through our initiatives we seek to partner and learn with organizations that go beyond traditional human services delivery methods and move toward new ways to create permanent pathways out of poverty. Initiatives are time-bound, cohort-based learning opportunities. Partners are selected through a competitive grant application process.

Funding from the Human Services Program

We use a full array of funding and investment tools to foster change, including project grants, operating support, planning grants and program-related investments. Program-related investments may take the form of direct loans, guarantees that provide credit support to borrowers, or linked deposits.

Grant opportunities are listed on the foundation’s Current Funding Opportunities page. As we evaluate proposals, we look for efforts that focus on accelerating social and economic mobility, have clear strategic vision and offer innovative and effective approaches that can provide lessons for the field.

Applicants should be person-centered, outcomes focused and data driven, with an explicit focus on recognizing and addressing racial equity as a significant barrier to social and economic opportunity.

How to Apply

Human Services Grants Made

Human Services Social Investments Made