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

Foundations for Racial Equity

Despite all the programs and structures designed to prevent and end homelessness and because of historical and contemporary structural racism, people of color disproportionately experience homelessness. To truly end homelessness, we must change the systems that perpetuate racial inequity. Doing so is not an easy or quick task, but together, we can take steps to educate ourselves and use our voices to push the field toward greater racial equity.    

To address this, Funders Together to End Homelessness is launching a two-year community of practice called Foundations for Racial Equity to help funders move the needle toward greater racial equity in homelessness and housing 

From 2019-2020, we will convene philanthropic leaders working at national and local levels to build relationships with other funders, learn together about systemic racism in housing and homelessness, and lead the field in creating a more equitable world. 


Community of Practice Goals 

Foundations for Racial Equity participants will: 

  • Understand how the history of systemic racism in housing in homelessness continue to affect those systems today.  
  • Learn about and use a suite of tools for applying a racial equity lens to their grantmaking and operationalizing racial equity in their organizations.  
  • Articulate a vision and call to action for funders working in homelessness and support the creation of tools and resources for funders working in housing and homelessness.  
  • Build a strong peer network to learn, discuss, and act together to advance racial equity in homelessness.  

If you are unable to commit to participating in the community of practice but want to deepen your learning about racial equity in housing in homelessness, Funders Together will be offering programming for our general membership. Please see our Programming page for updates.  


This community will launch in January 2019 and conclude in December 2020. Each year, we will host two in-person convenings for in-depth training and peer coaching. Between convenings, we learn and share virtually. Click to see a draft timeline for the community of practice.


Who Should Participate? 

This community is open to funders interested in learning more about and working on advancing racial equity in housing and homelessness. Individual participants must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be a Funders Together member at the Basic or Full level. (If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact Stephanie Chan. Membership is open to private, independent, family, corporate, or operating foundations; corporate giving programs; United Ways; or individual philanthropists dispersing more than $25,000 toward homelessness.) 
  • Work at a grantmaking organization that has started to look at or address racial inequity through its work.  
  • Be involved in and have influence over the grantmaking process for homelessness or housing at your organization.  
  • Want to learn how to apply a racial equity lens to your grantmaking and move your organization toward more racially equitable practices. 
  • Be able and willing to meet the participant expectations outlined below.   


Participant Expectations 

The success of this community of practice depends on the full commitment of each participant. While we understand that conflicts will always arise, we also hope participants will to commit to: 

  • The two-year timeline of this initiative. 
  • Participating in an intake interview and other periodic check-in calls with facilitators. 
  • Attending monthly videoconference meetings and biannual in-person convenings. 
  • Sharing and learning in real time with peer and colleagues. 
  • Completing pre-requisites for the community of practice, which include participating in our SPARC webinar and Race Matters Institute webinar series. The cost of participating in the webinar series live will be deducted from your total cost of joining the community of practice. Please note: This series will not be available for viewing after the live webinar date. If you are interested in or planning to join Foundations for Racial Equity, please register for this series. Learning materials will be available to registrants after each webinar, but webinar recordings will NOT be available. 

You may also be asked to write blog posts, speak in Funders Together programming, or conduct calls with other stakeholders in between meetings. Our hope is that you will be willing to share your insights with the field to help advance this work.  


Cost of Participation 

The Community of practice is only open to Full and Basic members of Funders Together. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact Stephanie Chan. If you are not currently a member of Funders Together, we invite you to join at the Full or Basic member to participate.  

For FULL MEMBERS with annual grantmaking budgets for housing and homelessness: 

  • Less than $1 million: $1,200 
  • Over $1 million: 2,200 

For BASIC MEMBERS with annual grantmaking budgets for housing and homelessness: 

  • Less than $1 million: $2,000 
  • Over $1 million: $3,000 

This participation fee covers the costs for trainings and programming for two years and does not cover travel or lodging for the biannual convenings. Fees allow up to two (2) individuals from the foundation to participate.

Funders Together aims for this community of practice to be as inclusive as possible and does not want cost to be a barrier to participating. We have limited scholarships available, though cannot guarantee meeting every need. Please let us know if there is assistance we can provide (e.g. subsidizing program fee, cost of travel, etc.) to help you fully participate in this community. Email or call Stephanie Chan, Director of Membership and Programs, at stephanie@funderstogether.org or 617.245.0314 x105.


How to Join the Community of Practice 


If you would like to learn more or have questions, please contact Stephanie Chan, Director of Membership and Programs, at stephanie@funderstogether.org or 617.245.0314 x105.  

Join Today

If you are ready to join Foundations for Racial Equity, please complete this application by 9:00 p.m. ET on January 11, 2019You can also preview the application questions.  


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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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