Launched by a group of entrepreneurs, political veterans and nonprofit innovators, we do things differently.

Join us. 

Our Mission


To raise more poverty-fighting dollars and engage entrepreneurs and others who are new to philanthropy as we invest in an evidence-based, data-driven way in high-performing nonprofits in the National Capital region.

Our Vision


A National Capital Region that effectively and efficiently moves people from poverty to opportunity. 

Our Theory of Action

  • Leverage our Board of Directors and their capabilities, resources and influence to lead the way toward innovative solutions.
  • Engage local investors for smart, collaborative, place-based giving. 
  • Produce expert investment analysis and reporting—while keeping investors informed every step of the way.
  • Invest in high-performance, high-impact nonprofits that fight poverty. 
  • Elevate the groundbreaking work and creative leadership of our nonprofit partners. 
  • Convene stakeholders to leverage data and knowledge, find synergies and share best practices.
  • Scout for promising interventions—researching the trends, technology shifts, nonprofits and startups. 
  • Humanize and celebrate the stories of people who have overcome poverty, with an honest look at the real nature of poverty and how the poor react to incentives. 

Guiding Principles

  • Personal dignity. We support programs and initiatives that treat beneficiaries as whole people, and empower their independence, aspirations, creativity and capacity. Our support gives people the chance to control their destiny and take responsibility for their own actions.

  • Evidence-based decision making. In every decision we make, we look at the research and the data. We understand that extensive data is sometimes hard to come by so there are times when we will use what we have and monitor those situations even very closely. 

  • Systems thinking. We understand that the problem of poverty is multifaceted, rooted in each person's history and fortified by structural forces that reinforce the status quo. There is no easy answer, and it will take an interlocking matrix of bold solutions to give everyone a shot at the life they deserve.

  • Mutual respect. We listen so that we can learn and grow in our approaches. We partner with nontraditional allies who help us see from new perspectives. We ensure that the solutions we support are formed in partnership with the communities affected.

  • Risk taking and innovation. We are willing to experiment and place bets on solutions that are new. If existing solutions were all that was required, the problem of poverty would have already been resolved. 

  • Connectivity. We provide linkages and synergies wherever possible. Increasing proximity to data and knowledge helps individuals make more informed choices; it also helps researchers and policymakers better understand which programs are most effective and why.

At Lever Fund, we are proud to be part of a national family of successful poverty-fighting organizations including the Robin Hood Foundation (New York City, NY), A Better Chicago (Chicago, IL), Tipping Point (San Francisco, CA), Constellation Fund (Minneapolis, MN) and Slingshot Memphis (Memphis, TN).