Who We Are

Your mission depends on your staff, and your staff depends on high-quality HR

Ascend People is a Black-led firm that takes a radically different approach to nonprofit HR by centering what’s key to your work: your people. At Ascend People, we give rise to your staff while balancing the realities of leading mission-driven organizations toward impact. Moving from the transactional to the transformational, we partner with you to create people-centered and values-based HR solutions that provide tangible outcomes to support your nonprofit’s effectiveness and sustainability.

Our Story

With decades of HR experience in both for- and nonprofit organizations, we’ve seen it all. Day-to-day work, the bottom line, or the mission often gets put ahead of people, leaving staff feeling burned out, leveraged, and used. At best, this can result in a toxic and tension-filled culture, and at worst, legal risk or the collapse of an organization.

So we started Ascend People to help nonprofits support their people so they can support their mission. In many organizations, HR is an ancillary function but your ability to do your mission is directly impacted by how you’re treating your staff, and an effective organization must have effective HR. But what is effective HR? We believe it’s policies, practices, and solutions that are human-centered and values-based so your staff feels valued, heard, and inspired.

For us, this is heart work. It’s about honoring and lifting up the people who are doing important work. And we also recognize that it’s a balance between the realities of running a nonprofit and caring for staff. But they’re not mutually exclusive. In fact, we believe that centering your staff is the theory of change for your organization’s effectiveness and sustainability. With our help, it is possible to create an HR culture that reflects your mission, principles, and values, and takes your work to the next level.



and Guiding


To develop values-based and people-centered HR solutions, we must also live and operate by a set of principles that guide our work with clients and in our own firm

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Dominant culture and systemic racism are deeply embedded into the history, fabric, and institutions of our country, and its effects have had a detrimental impact on our workplaces. We actively work to dismantle systems of oppression and institutional barriers and center diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our work, and recognize that it’s an ever-evolving journey.

Excellence and Integrity

We strive to always work to the highest standards, not compromising our integrity and operating with the intention and energy of being excellent in everything we do. We will always make it a priority to reflect, retool and reimagine how we can do and be better.


We understand that accountability is mutual and reciprocal and is the glue that holds good interactions and transactions together.


We strive to conduct our business with clarity and directness, so that others will always know where we stand. This includes thoughtful and proactive information sharing with our colleagues and clients.

Relationship Focused

We take pride in building and nurturing our relationships. We recognize they have and will continue to be a key ingredient to our success.

Forward Thinking

We manage the constant tension of satisfying the here and now by staying ahead of the curve. We always want to know if what we aredoing today is creating a better tomorrow.

Results Driven

We produce results. We are reliable and hold the trust of many stakeholders. We work hard to earn trust every day.