Arbor Rising

Arbor Rising is on a mission to empower our low-income neighbors to secure a path out of poverty. We do this by providing crucial supports at critical moments to high-potential nonprofits, helping them to grow into more powerful and sustainable forces for social change.

We take an unusually engaged approach to philanthropy, providing financial support and in-depth consulting to leaders whose organizations have moved off the drawing board and onto the growth curve. To maximize the impact of our giving, we deploy our diverse and talented team to:

  • Screen, rigorously vet and select high-potential nonprofits from robust application pools
  • Fund grantees with unrestricted capital, targeting $375,000 of support over three years
  • Engage in deep partnership, rolling up our sleeves and working alongside grantee leaders to help solve their most pressing problems and build internal capacity. We invest hundreds of hours of staff time—more than any funder in the country—in each grantee to co-create the systems, team and culture necessary for impact and growth. This includes building strategic plans, financial forecasts, performance management systems, and more.

Propelled by our investment, our grantees go on to create extraordinary social impact. Since 2010, they have garnered support from the nation’s most prestigious funders while raising hundreds of millions of dollars to deeply serve over a hundred thousand marginalized young people and families. Our portfolio graduates include leading nonprofits like All Our Kin, COOP Careers, and Springboard Collaborative.


How We Work


We believe these traits are essential to achieving success in our efforts:

  • "Mission-first, ego-last" mindset regarding social change. We approach grantee engagements with the humility, flexibility and outcomes focus we believe is necessary to build trust and provide deep, lasting value. We also have an intentionally lean team with no purely administrative support, so we all pitch in on everything to get things done.
  • Extraordinary dependability in meeting high work-quality standards. AR's team is detail-oriented and obsessed with follow-through.
  • An analytical, forward-looking approach to problem-solving. We often create and employ structured, adaptable, and (where appropriate) quantitative tools and solutions. Helping grantees arrive at good answers is helpful; building a framework to help them consistently arrive at good answers in the future is even better.
  • A high-energy, learning-oriented approach to all aspects of our work. The quest for continuous improvement sometimes provokes challenging conversations, but these are welcome at AR.
  • Positive vibes! We tackle meaningful, thorny challenges every day—but if we’re doing it right, our work is both thoroughly satisfying and sustainable. We see our efforts as a marathon, and we view humor and work-life balance as core priorities.