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

2023 Funders Forum Agenda

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This agenda is subject to change without notice. Last updated 2/22/2023


Check out the speaker biographies for more details about the speakers, moderators, and table hosts.

8:30 am PT
Check-in, Breakfast, and Networking

Join us for breakfast and networking before the Funders Forum officially kicks off.

9:00 am PT
Welcome to the 2023 Funders Forum

We'll kick off the Funders Forum with words of welcome and grounding in our vision for housing justice. 

Keynote: Building a Vision for Housing Justice

We will kick off our 2023 Funders Forum with housing justice organizers sharing their vision of housing justice. These co-keynote speakers will share how their movement building and housing justice vision is aligned across the state and how the contexts of their respective communities shape the nuances of their work. They will create an umbrella and provide context for deeper conversation about their transformational goals and strategies, such as de-commodifying housing, and how they share their power with philanthropy.


Fireside Chat: What True Philanthropic Partnership and Accountability Look Like in Housing Justice Work

After the keynote, we’ll have a fireside chat between keynote speakers and a funder from the Fund for an Inclusive California, a philanthropic effort to advance racial and economic equity by building the power of communities of color. This discussion will explore the balance of power between philanthropy and movement leaders, how philanthropy is holding themselves accountable in this partnership, and lessons that funders can take back to their communities.


  • Veronica Garibay, Co-Executive Director, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability
  • Laura Raymond, Director, ACT LA
  • Jennifer Martinez, Policy Director, Housing Affordability, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Andrea Evans, Funders Together Consultant and Advisor (moderator)

 A brief mid-morning break will follow this morning session. 

 11:00 am PT
Stronger Together: Building Alignment to Advance Housing Justice

A vision for housing justice will remain a vision without alignment of values, knowledge, and actions. If we want our vision for housing justice to be real, we must transform how we work together, engage in principled struggle, and care for one another. Doing so requires forging deeper relationships and building coalitions that disrupt the status quo. In this conversation, we will lift housing justice work at the national and local levels with concrete ways philanthropy can fund, convene, and advocate for housing justice. Nationally, we’ll highlight the work of the National Coalition for Housing Justice, its impact on the housing and homelessness field, and the Coalition’s housing justice policy agenda. Locally, we’ll share the work of Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness and the Housing Justice Fund they recently launched. We hope you’ll bring your questions about what it takes to build alignment to advance housing justice.


  • Amanda Andere, CEO, Funders Together to End Homelessness (she/her) 
  • Alexander Rey Perez, Advocate, National Coalition for Housing Justice member (Divine, They, He, King)
  • Ann Oliva, CEO, National Alliance to End Homelessness (she/her) 
  • Emily Krisciunas, Director, Chicago Funders Together to End Homelessness (she/her)
12:00 pm PT

Lunch will be provided onsite. This is unstructured time to network and connect with your peers. 

1:00 pm PT
How Philanthropy Can Be ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

In December 2022, USICH released ALL IN: The Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. During this conversation, we'll have senior leadership from USICH share concrete ideas for how philanthropy can engage with and support this plan that prioritizes equity and evidence-based practices. We'll then transition to an interactive conversation for philanthropy to share what they are hearing and seeing on the ground and provide thought partnership to USICH. We are designing this session to be interactive and to get participants talking to each other and to USICH leadership and will provide questions to consider in advance. 


  • Marcy Thompson, Director of Policy Initiatives, US Interagency Council on Homelessness (she/her)
1:45 pm PT
Concurrent Afternoon Programming

The Funders Forum will continue with concurrent programming, which will take place in different rooms. The Funders Forum will continue in the main room, and there will be a special afternoon convening designed specifically for those that lead funder networks. 

Concurrent Program A: Deep Dives to Explore Narrative Change, Health x Homelessness, Coalition Building, and Program Design & Evaluation

As stated in Funders Together’s new strategic framework, true justice and liberation cannot be achieved until we confront and hold accountable the reality that the current ways philanthropy operates need to be dismantled, then reoriented and reimagined towards a more liberated way of resourcing communities. Doing so will require a nuanced understand of the difference and connection between equity and justice and how these concepts apply concretely to our funding strategies and priorities.  

We will begin with a fishbowl conversation between to uncover themes and questions related to four topics our funder network has expressed interest in learning more about. After we’ve had this opportunity to jumpstart our thinking, participants will have an opportunity to choose one of four tables to explore a topic in greater nuance before we come back together to close out the Funders Forum.  

Table 1: Exploring the Crossroads of Policy and Advocacy with Narrative Change

Several funders have shared common questions about connecting their current grantmaking and advocacy work with narrative change, measuring the success of narrative change work, and what is needed across the field. This table will offer a practical and concrete space for funders to raise questions, test ideas, and receive feedback from other funders working on narrative change and ending homelessness. 

Table Hosts:

  • Sarah Armour-Jones, Deputy Director, Housing Narrative Lab
  • Unai Montes-Irueste, Narrative and Strategic Communications Director, Housing California 

Table 2: A Deeper Dive into Philanthropy’s Role in Coalition Building  

Using questions surfaced over the course of the day, this conversation will answer practical questions about philanthropy’s role in supporting coalitions and navigating the internal and external tensions between movements and philanthropic institutions. Join this table to learn more about the Fund for an Inclusive California and its impact on its philanthropic partners. Bring your questions and challenges related to being in partnership with movement leaders and organizers for coaching from other funders who are doing similar work.  

Table Hosts:

  • Joe Lucero, Executive Administrator and Interim Director, Fund for an Inclusive California, Common Counsel Foundation

Table 3: Structuring the Design & Evaluation of Programs to Lead with Equity and Justice 

How do you structure the work to overcome the resistance of institutions to cede power to those most impacted? And, how can we as funders better understand evaluation is a core piece of strategy and design it so that we are measuring how successful we are at advancing housing justice and building power? This table conversation will lay out a few themes and experiences related to these questions in short vignettes before table participants decide how they want to deepen this conversation. 

Table hosts:

  • Bill Block, Block Leavitt Foundation
  • Matt Morton, Executive Director of CoLab, Constellation Fund
  • Maddox Guerilla 

Table 4: Health, Homelessness, and Housing Justice 

What would it look like to bring “health funders” and “housing funders” in closer partnership toward a shared set of goals? How do we think about messaging, narrative, program design, and measuring success at the intersection of health, homelessness, and housing? This roundtable, led by the California Health Care Foundation, is the perfect opportunity to bring your ideas, questions, and challenges about how health and homelessness to weave together themes from the Funders Forum to coalition building, narrative, program design, and policy.

Table hosts:

  • Michelle Schneidermann, M.D., Director of People-Centered Care, California Health Care Foundation  
  • Dalma Diaz, Health Equity Fellow, Homelessness and Health Care, California Health Care Foundation 


Concurrent Program B: Regional Funder Network Learning Circle

Participants who lead or help facilitate regional funder networks dedicated to homelessness and housing justice are invited to participate in this convening. Send questions to Director of Networks, Michael Durham, at [email protected]  

Funders Together supports several place-based funder networks and collaboratives that bridge national advocacy and best practices with local efforts to end homelessness. This funder network convening will provide an opportunity for participants to learn with other regional network leaders, discuss what it would look like to mobilize regional networks behind housing justice values, and identify the type of support FTEH can provide to live into this vision.  

The gathering is meant to be relevant for: 

  • Directors and staff of Funders Together regional networks  
  • Chairs/co-chairs and consultant leaders of FTEH regional networks 
  • Facilitators of funder-collaborative members of Funders Together  
  • Point-persons of other place-based networks working on housing/homelessness  
  • Anyone in philanthropy (non-government entities) in the exploration phase of forming funder networks  

Come prepared to showcase what your network has been up to or how you envision a new network, as applicable. Note that this meeting takes place concurrently with other Funders Forum sessions. 

4:00 pm PT
Funder Networking Reception

District Oakland
827 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607


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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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