In order to end homelessness, community stakeholders must work in tandem. It is critical to ensure all voices are heard and consider the expertise they provide. Philanthropy has an essential role to play in preventing and ending homelessness in communities across the country and ensuring the funder voice is heard and understood is an important part Funders Together’s work.
Because of our strategic relationships and presence in the field, our members have reported more opportunities to connect and collaborate with both national partners and peers. Through Funders Together’s partnerships with intersecting issue partners, members have gained a better understanding of the connection between the work to end homelessness and systems that interact with the homelessness field and have actively been engaging with peers and partners in those systems. Likewise, partners in intersecting fields have been engaging Funders Together to learn about the connection between homelessness and areas such as education, employment, criminal justice, racial equity, and others.
How We're Doing This
In-person Convenings and Meetings
The more we understand about each stakeholder at the table, the better we can align priorities and work in partnership in order to end homelessness. A core piece of Funders Together’s work is to ensure that philanthropy’s voice is represented at partner events and meetings. By identifying strategic places to be present and lift up philanthropy’s messages, Funders Together provides members with the groundwork to build strong relationships through both the broader field and intersecting systems. Amplifying and restating philanthropy’s priorities helps to facilitate strategic relationships and strengthen our collective mission.
In 2018, we expanded the reach of philanthropy’s voice through 25 panels, sessions, and speaking engagements that FTEH co-hosted and/or participated in, a 56% increase in presence from 2017. Some of the highlights include:
- Association of Charitable Foundations and Centre for Homelessness Impact - Workshop for Foundations. Amanda Andere spoke at the Workshop for Foundations in London, England hosted by the Association of Charitable Foundations together with the Centre for Homelessness Impact. The workshop was designed to provide a safe space for foundations to reflect on the role they can play (now and in the future) in ending homelessness, including how best to make their investments go further.
- 2018 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness. Amanda Andere served as a workshop moderator for the NAEH funder workshop, Leading the Charge: Philanthropy Paving the Way to Best Practices. Two FTEH members, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Pohlad Family Foundation, also sat on this panel and discussed how philanthropy can be a powerful catalyst for change and leverage public/private funding to jumpstart more effective responses to homelessness.
- 2018 National Coalition of Homeless Veterans conference. Amanda Andere led two breakout sessions, one on racial equity and one specifically for funders working to end veteran homelessness.
- 2018 Grantmakers In Health conference. Two members, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Polk Bros. Foundation presented at Grantmakers in Health annual conference on flexible housing subsidy pools.
- 2018 Community Solutions Conference Funder Briefing. Funders Together partnered with Community Solutions to hold a funder briefing around the latest evaluation report from the Built for Zero campaign.
- 2018 Foundations on the Hill and Policy Works Institute. At this two-day convening sponsored by the United Philanthropy Forum and Council on Foundations that has attendance from over 200 foundations from across the country. Amanda led breakout a session on housing policy priorities and participated in a panel with Veteran funders that focused on public-private partnerships.
- 2018 National Conference on Ending Homelessness. Amanda Andere facilitated a breakout on leadership diversity and a panel on family homelessness.
- A Way Home America State of the Movement. Amanda Andere spoke about how boards can hold space for leaders of color to be bold in how they bring up and address racial equity within this work to end homelessness.
- 2018 Southern California Grantmakers conference. Amanda Andere, alongside FTEH Board member Bill Pitkin, spoke about housing & homelessness, and how they intersect with health, criminal justice & education to provide cross-sector opportunities for greater systems change that advance racial equity.
Lifting Up Philanthropy’s Message
Funders Together gives philanthropy working in this sector one collective voice. Through thoughtful conversations, analyzing feedback, and gaining true understanding of our members, we are able to accurately and strategically represent philanthropy in both the homelessness field and broader philanthropic sector.
This includes providing public statements on notable news, guest blogging for partners, and sharing knowledge with the field through partner resources, including:
- Funders Together to End Homelessness Statement on Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos Announcement of $2B Funding Towards Homelessness Initiatives
- Bezos Day One Family Funds 2018 Award Recipients and Advisory Board
- The Giving Compass Blog: Ending Homelessness Through Impactful Giving
- Consumer Health Foundation Blog: Do we know what we are trying to fix? Racial Equity in the Movement to End Homelessness
- Center for Social Innovation Changing the Conversation Podcast: Preventing and Ending Homelessness: Bright Spots & Challenges Ahead
Working with Partners and Peers in Intersecting Issues
“Communities are looking at their grantmaking and realizing that we’re not making progress on ending homelessness because we’re not looking at the whole system.” - @AmandaAndere speaking to a full room for our program with @funderstogether on ending homelessness pic.twitter.com/rjkvpaf5mY— NorCal Grantmakers (@NorCalGrant) December 3, 2018
In 2018, we set a goal to work more effectively with partners in intersecting fields to help bridge the understanding between homelessness and other systems. We partnered with other philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) to provide programming opportunities to not only our members, but funders with grantmaking in areas that may not be specifically homelessness focused, yet have a connection to the work. We collaborated with organizations like The True Colors Fund, Funders Committee for Civic Participation, Northern California Grantmakers, Grantmakers in Health, Children, Youth, & Families Funder Roundtable, Workforce Matters, and Grantmakers in Education.