Success Story: Ascent 121

An image of a white teenager with her arms around an Asian teen and a Black teen. The girls are smiling and the Ascent 121 logo is in a white banner above their heads. The logo is a green branch with a teal curved line.

Throughout the year, we’ll be sharing success stories from our clients about the wonderful things they’ve been able to accomplish with the support of Charitable Allies because we believe that when nonprofits thrive, our communities thrive.

When Megan McGuire became the Chief Executive Officer of Ascent 121, a nonprofit organization in Indiana, she realized she was in need of some legal help. Ascent 121 works to provide healing and hope to teen survivors of human trafficking in Indiana. Megan noticed early on that the organization needed some help creating internal policies, employment contracts and vendor contracts that would help support their mission and protect the organization so they could continue to do their wonderful work.

“I was looking for someone who understands nonprofits,” Megan said.

After speaking with an attorney who worked primarily with for-profit companies and getting no answers, Megan found Charitable Allies. As soon as she began working with Zac Kester, our managing attorney, she noticed a difference.

“I said, ‘Here’s my problem. I don’t know how to solve it,” she said. “He helped me untangle that mess.

Zac put his decade of experience working with nonprofit organizations to good use to help Megan craft policies for Ascent 121 that helped them stay compliant and protect the organization. Throughout the process of working with Charitable Allies, Megan was impressed with the level of care and competence of the team.

“Having an ally as a small nonprofit is empowering. They’re in this with us. It’s not just a job for them,” she said. “They take the time to understand our unique situation.”

With the ongoing support of Charitable Allies, Ascent 121 has grown in the last several years, allowing them to serve over 100 teen survivors of human trafficking each year. Megan is free from concerns about employment contracts or internal policies and is now free to focus on the vital services they provide that allow survivors to heal from their past and reach their full potential. And in the coming years, Megan knows she can turn to Charitable Allies for help with any legal concerns that may arise as the organization grows to meet the needs of the community.

“I’ve had a super experience as a client. I’ve been impressed by the scope of their experience,” Megan said. “There hasn’t been an issue for us as a growing nonprofit that Zac has said, ‘I don’t know anything about that.’”