At its core, Funders Together exists to connect members to each other, partners, and learning opportunities that will provide and cultivate knowledge and understanding of how philanthropy can collectively advance the movement to end homelessness. We do this by creating programming specific to the needs of funders and utilizing our connections and resources to facilitate meaningful conversation and relationship-building between our members and partners.
Online Learning Opportunities
In 2017, Funders Together hosted 11 webinars with nearly 160 combined attendees. Webinars are an opportunity for Funders Together to highlight timely and important issues and best practices for members, and to provide action items for implementing changes in their work both internally and externally. In 2017, webinars included topics like advocacy and policy, connecting health and housing, youth homelessness, family homelessness, taking solutions to scale, and employment.
In addition to regular webinars, Funders Together hosts two annual events, the Funders Forum and Funders Institute. These events provide networking opportunities for funders locally and nationally and create a more networked environment for members and funders working to end homelessness.
In February 2017, Funders Together hosted its annual Funders Forum in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness in Houston, TX. The Forum highlighted learnings from Foundations for Youth Success and provided opportunities for participants to share directly with peers. The Forum also highlighted opportunities and challenges in working with the Administration and Congress. After a panel discussion, participants broke into groups to brainstorm ways that funders could play a role in their community and at the national level. In 2017, the Funders Forum drew 36 funders, representing 27 organizations.
In July 2017, Funders Together hosted its annual Funders Institute in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C. The Institute continued Funders Together’s work around racial inequity in homelessness for a full-day on Monday. Throughout the conference, Funders Together hosted additional workshops highlighting timely information including policy and advocacy, employment, and intersectional issues like health and criminal justice. The 2017 Funders Institute drew 59 funders from across the country, representing 39 organizations.
You can view past events, including agendas and speakers on the Past Event page on the Funders Together website.
Youth Homelessness Funder Network and Leadership Committee
At the conclusion of Funders Together’s first community of practice, Foundations for Youth Success, members wanted to continue learning and meeting, and invite other funders to join them. Funders Together began planning and organizing a Youth Network, open to all funders, that provides programming and resources focused on youth homelessness.
In addition to the larger Youth Funder Network, Funders Together also developed a smaller Leadership Committee made up of funders who are committed to the following:
- Using their voice for policy and advocacy.
- Sharing and highlighting work and best practices for funders.
- Serving as peer network for funders in this space.
- Supporting national efforts around youth homelessness both financially and with their voice.
Foundations for Employment and Housing
After the success of Foundations for Youth Success, Funders Together began planning a second community of practice, this one to be a two-year venture focused on strengthening the connection between the employment and our efforts to end homelessness. In October 2017, Funders Together convened a group a of funders interested in participating in Foundations for Employment and Housing at the Heartland Alliance Connection Project convening to plan how the community would be structured and what members aimed to take away from the group. Officially kicking off in 2018, community members meet regularly to learn from one another and from experts. At the end of year one, community members will determine a shared action that they will take to move this work forward.
United Ways Ending Homelessness
In partnership with United Way Worldwide, Funders Together launched a Community of Practice for United Ways working to end homelessness in their communities. Members meet virtually, every month, to support one another, share updates, and to work together to strengthen United Way’s work to end homelessness nationally and locally.
|Through events, webinars, networks, and communities of practice, Funders Together to End Homelessness has created a more networked environment for members and funders working to end homelessness. By providing learning opportunities, both in-depth and issue focused, and action items for implementing changes in their work, it has helped members become essential change makers in their community.|