A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Building a Funders Network: How You Can Catalyze Change in Your Communtiy

Collaboration and partnerships are at the heart of our national approach to ending homelessness, in large part because homelessness is a complex issue stemming from and affecting many systems. Funders are often seen as outside actors because they do not run programs or serve clients. But funders are essential in creating and promoting effective, long-term solutions to homelessness.

At Funders Together, we also recognize the importance of funders working together to improve their communities. Funders networks have been critical to bringing together all kinds of grantmakers within a community and forging commitments to a systems approach—that is, aligning resources and strategies in a way that can improve the lives of those you are trying to serve. (More information on systems change here.)

This guide will serve as an introduction for those who are looking to build a funders network, with a focus on ending and preventing homelessness. Because funders approach these kinds of networks in different ways and on different timelines, and because each community is unique, this guide cannot offer step-by-step instructions. We tried to capture essential elements of building a successful funders network.

View this resource

View a summary of key elements


Learn more about the Funders Together regional funders networks.


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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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