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

What is a Community of Practice and What is the FYS Agenda

Our vision for this two-year initiative

What is a Community of Practice?

The term “community of practice” is a relatively new term, but the concept is age-old. Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion about an issue and want to learn how to create effective solutions by interacting regularly with one another.

Learning Agenda

You will be a key part of shaping the agenda of the group. Conversations will be specific and actionable. Potential topics to explore include:

  • The roles of national and local funders
  • How to lay the foundation for a systems approach to youth work
  • How to educate/engage foundation boards about a systems approach and working for long-term success
  • How to vet grantees
  • The role of data collection and management
  • How to focus on quality implementation and fidelity to an approach that leads to population-level impact
  • Investments by geography
  • How to evaluate youth programs

Click here to see our tentative 2015 calendar of events

How You'll Benefit

Through this group, you will:

  • Better understand how philanthropy can support long-term solutions to youth homelessness
  • Gain access to other funders, leading experts, and senior government leaders;
  • Participate in site visits;
  • Share grantmaking strategies in real time;
  • Foster innovative programs;
  • Engage in public-private partnerships;
  • Create and expand networks of funders focused on youth; and
  • Be part of a national initiative.


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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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