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

Effective Grantmaking to End Homelessness


Effective grantmaking is the critical role that philanthropic organizations—large and small; family, community, corporate, or private; focused on homelessness or on a variety of social services—can and must play in ending homelessness. Whether you give $5,000 to a flexible fund that provides rent and utility subsidies to at-risk families or $25,000 to help a transitional housing provider become a permanent supportive housing provider or make a $100,000 program-related investment toward affordable housing expansion, your funding organization can help to end homelessness.


Funders Together Resources

Building a Funders Network 101: How You Can Catalyze Change in Your Community

Funders networks have been critical to bringing together all kinds of grantmakers within a community and forging commitments to a systems approach. What are the key elements in building an effective funders network in your own community?

Sample PowerPoint Slides: Building a Funders Network

Giving a presentation and want to talk about building a funders network? Look no further for slides to educate your audience on the key elements of a successful funders network. This resource can serve as a stand-alone presentation.


Other Resources

In addition to the resources below, we reviewed multiple resources geared toward helping funders make more effective grants and developed a list of 10 general steps grantmakers should consider.  This list was adapted from Philanthropy Northwest's Ending Homelessness: A Guide for Northwest Grantmakers.

  1. Have a vision and establish clear goals
  2. Understand the problem
  3. Identify your funding priorities
  4. Communicate with all potential partners and with your community
  5. Fund what works
  6. Advocate for what works
  7. Collaborate with partners to inform your work and leverage your investments
  8. Evaluate progress through data and outcomes measures
  9. Commit for the long term
  10. Share what you learn with peers, policymakers, providers, and the public 

The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Evidence and Implications for Public Policy

The Age Structure of Contemporary Homelessness: Risk Period or Cohort Effect?

Costs Associated with First-time Homelessness for Families and Individuals

Housing Trust Funds

Linking Human Services and Housing Supports to Address Family Homelessness: Promising Practices in the Field

National Alliance to End Homelessness's Front Door Strategies

Social Impact Investing: Overview and Application to Permanent Supportive Housing

Tools for Identifying High-Cost, High Needs Homeless Persons

CASE STUDY: Saving Lives, Saving Money: Cost Effective Solutions to Chronic Homelessness in Philadelphia

WEBINAR: Connecting Employment and Homelessness Systems

WEBINAR: Housing-based Solutions to Homelessness

WEBINAR: Systems Change 101

WEBINAR: Social Impact Investing


View blog posts on effective grantmaking


Still looking for more information?  Let us know what you're interested in and we'll try to help. 


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.

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

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.