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

2020 Virtual Funders Institute Technology FAQs

We're excited that you will be participating in the 2020 Virtual Funders Institute! We wish we could be together in person, but we're looking forward to the great content and conversations that will take place virtually on August 11-13. We've put together this guide to help answer any technology questions or concerns you might have.

If your question is not answered here, please reach out to Lauren Samblanet, Knowledge Management and Communications Manager, at [email protected].

Find the Funders Institute agenda here.

Technology Platform & Call-In Info

We will be using Zoom Meetings for all parts of our virtual Funders Institute. Registered participants will receive call-in information directly from Zoom for each day that they have registered. (i.e. If you registered for all three days of the Funders Institute, you will receive three emails from Zoom, one for each day.) Participants' call-in information is unique to them and unique to each day they've registered for.

Participants will receive emails from Zoom with their unique call-in information about a week and a half before the Funders Institute, as well as the night before each day and the day-of. We highly recommend using the links in the email from Zoom to create calendar events for yourself.

Logging in to the Funders Institute

Rename yourself

  • Please rename yourself in the participant list so that it reflects your first and last name and your organization.

Connect Phone Audio to Computer

  • If you use your phone for audio in addition to joining via computer, please link your phone and computer by entering in your participant ID. You can find your participant ID in the pop up when you log in on your computer or by clicking the arrow (^) next to the mute/unmute button at the bottom of your screen.

Do I need to turn on my webcam? How do I ask questions or share comments?


  • The first hour of each day will be a plenary conversation. You do not need to turn on your webcam for this conversation unless you are a speaker.
  • Participants will also be muted upon entry. If you have questions for speakers or staff or comments you'd like to share with all participants, please use the chat box function.

Breakout Sessions

  • After each the plenary, there will be concurrent breakout sessions. We encourage participants to turn on their webcam for these breakouts and to take themselves off mute to ask questions and share their thoughts.
  • Each breakout conversation will have a Funders Together staff person to assist with facilitation and technology.

How do I choose my breakout sessions?

Be on the lookout for an email that contains a link for you to select your breakout sessions or click here to select your breakout session preferences.

We will be populating breakout sessions in advance on the back end of Zoom so that participants do not have to worry about multiple links during the Funders Institute. If you do not fill out the breakout session form in advance, staff will reach out to follow up with you directly. If we still do not hear from you, we will assign you to a breakout session.

How will breakout sessions happen?

After the plenary, we will use the breakout rooms feature in Zoom for our concurrent breakout sessions. A few helpful tips about breakout rooms:

  • There will be a Funders Together staff person in each breakout session who will introduce themselves and help facilitate.
  • Your chat box becomes private to only people in your breakout room.
  • If you want to leave the breakout session and join a different one, hit "Leave Room" in the bottom right. That will bring you back to the main session, and Stephanie Chan can help move you to a different room.
  • After the breakout sessions, we will bring everyone back together for a few closing remarks.

Tell me more about the networking reception on Wednesday, August 12.

On Wednesday, August 12 starting at 4:30 ET (3:30 CT / 2:30 MT / 1:30 PT), we'll have a virtual networking reception. We'll kick this reception off with a poetry reading by Philip Metres, followed by remarks and fun, generative conversation.

All participants, regardless of which day(s) they have registered for, are invited to join the networking reception. All registered participants will receive an email from Zoom with unique call-in information. Please feel free to add this to your calendar or ignore it based on your ability to participate.

Will the Funders Institute be recorded?

Plenaries will be recorded and made available to Full Members of Funders Together after the event. Full Members will need to be logged in to the Funders Together website in order to view the recordings. If you are not a Full Member of Funders Together and would like to learn more, please contact Stephanie Chan, Director of Membership and Programs.

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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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