Meet our members!  AFN’s greatest asset is our members—a diverse network of national, regional, and community-based foundations, financial institutions, and grantmakers—investing in advancing equitable wealth building and economic mobility. Check back each month and meet your peers!   

1: What is the mission of your organization and how is advancing equitable wealth building and economic mobility incorporated into the work?

Prudential Financial is a financial services company with the purpose of making lives better by solving the financial challenges of our changing world. Equitable wealth building is core to our approach to strategic grantmaking, both in Newark, where we aim to advance inclusive economic growth, and nationally, through partnerships that focus on creating opportunities for more people to build and grow wealth.


2: How does your organization bridge the racial wealth gap?

We continue to approach all of our grantmaking through an equity lens. As we look to celebrate 150 years in Newark next year, we remain deeply committed to creating a prosperous and flourishing hometown. We do this through our place-based approach, which means we holistically engage and co-create with the Newark community to enable authentic, equitable change. Our place-based strategy is focused specifically on community and economic development, investing in community assets, housing, and small businesses to drive inclusive growth. A recent example of this is our Community Grants program, now in its second year, which provided funding for 53 community-based organizations in Newark in 2023, many of which are led by (and impact) people of color. We are continually exploring economic mobility pathways to strengthen education, employment, and financial wellness for all residents.


3: Where are we lacking investments as a sector that will result in greater economic equity, and how can we address the gap?

We are lacking investment in the nonprofit worker. Yes, the funding for programming is important, but so are the people who provide the programming. It is essential to provide nonprofit organizations with general operating support and capacity building to allow them to support their own workers’ economic mobility. Nonprofits are often hesitant to make these requests of funders because philanthropy put restrictions on administrative costs for so long. Yet, a lack of employee support creates high turnover for nonprofit organizations and diminishes the quality of their programs. It is important for funders to express their willingness to support funding for administrative costs and capacity building and to provide multi-year grants to ease the burden on nonprofit leaders. We cannot continue to ask organizations to develop solutions to close the wealth gap while not providing their workers with similar support as well. I recommend all funders watch the documentary Uncharitable, available here: Uncharitable Movie – Watch Online | Fundraise Up.


4: Share a question you would like to raise to your AFN community.

What does trust-based philanthropy mean to you?


5: What have been some of the biggest benefits of being part of the Asset Funders Network?

This is my second year in philanthropy, and the Asset Funders Network has provided an opportunity for me to learn about what other funders are doing in other parts of the country, but more specifically, what the funding community is doing in New Jersey. AFN has created an environment where we can all collaborate on asset-building pathways in New Jersey and has allowed me to drive attention to Newark. I enjoy having the opportunity to highlight the asset-building work taking place in Newark and giving the chance for other funders to invest in Newark as we have for the past 150 years.


6: What is the last book you read?

I must admit I listen to my books, and my most recent listen is Black Girls Must Be Magic by Jayne Allen. 

About Jasmyne Beckford, Program Manager, Prudential Financial

I manage our place-based grantmaking in Newark to strengthen education, employment, and financial wellness in order to increase pathways to financial security for Newark residents. In all that we do, we seek to drive community vitality and financial prosperity in Newark.