Our Blog

An Unconventional Approach to Increasing Impact!

Posted June 28, 2013 12:41 PM by Melanie Burton

In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years, as 64.3 million Americas volunteered through an organization, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010. (http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/) It’s no secret that people love to volunteer – it is afterall a unique opportunity to work with friends, co-workers, and new people to give back to your community or another in need. Like 64.3 million other Americans, Ascendant couldn’t resist the opportunity to volunteer at our ClearPoint off-site in New Orleans last month.

Ascendant’s mission statement is to help organizations increase their impact, and at our off-site last month, we did just that. It was a little unconventional, we weren’t crunching numbers, providing training in our software or offering strategic guidance; Instead, we joined together to provide hands on support to a New Orleans non-profit. It was our chance to see first-hand the types of organizations we help and to provide support in a whole new way.

In New Orleans, we joined with HandsOn to help the Backyard Gardners Network Guerilla Garden where we cleared a community garden plot in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. We transplanted flowers, weather-proofed signage and mulched tree beds to prepare the garden for its upcoming summer events to engage the elderly and youth in educational programming. In total, from just one afternoon, we impacted the community an estimated $1,222.41 in volunteer time, but more importantly we helped create a beautiful space that will be enjoyed for years to come. This community garden will bring the community together, give kids a place to hang out, and support learning opportunities. It will also provide fresh produce to a community that does not have a grocery store. True to our mission, we helped an organization increase its impact – we made a difference. 

Center for Priority Based Budgeting - Annual Conference

Posted June 5, 2013 11:00 AM by Ted Jackson

Ascendant is excited about sponsoring the Annual Conference of the Center for Priority Based Budgeting because this event represents exactly what we are trying to promote--linking your budget to your priorities.  We believe strongly that strategy should be at the center of your management process.  This means that your budget should be linked to your strategy, and thus, you should use the lens of strategy to focus your community resources on results.  Please read more about this conference and if you are a municipality, please register and attend.  We look forward to meeting you at the event.


The 2013 "Summit of Leading Practices" Annual Conference is an excellent source of information about local government leading practices. The Summit will feature discussions, case studies and presentations on priority based budgeting, fiscal health,

civic engagement and high-performance organizations, all topics that are critical to the success of local governments.
Don't miss this opportunity to find out about these leading practice areas, and meet senior local-government managers and elected officials who have employed these strategies in their organizations.

"Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower." - Steve Jobs
July 9 & 10, 2013     Arlington, VA     Hilton Crystal City Hotel

Lincoln "Today's challenges have required local governments to work differently, looking to new and innovative approaches to service delivery, while at the same time reducing costs and increasing efficiency of operation. While "best" practices are always important for managers to follow and implement, it is those "leading" practices-creative and innovative ways to approach service delivery-that hold the greatest promise for us to truly "reinvent" government and the ways we do business..."