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

2024 Funders Forum Working Agenda

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For more information about our speakers, check out our speaker biographies.

This agenda is subject to change without notice. Last updated 2/8/2024

8:15am PT

Check-In and Breakfast 

Enjoy breakfast and networking before the convening officially starts.

At check-in, please be prepared to show a photo of a negative COVID-19 rapid test taken that morning. Tests will be provided and required on-site for those without a photograph. Please note that masks are also required during the Funders Forum unless actively eating or drinking. 

9:00am PT

Welcome and Grounding 

Opening Plenary: Staying Focused on the Path Toward Justice and Liberation

In Funders Together’s strategic framework, we state that “Housing justice is a building block for racial justice and liberation. A just housing society offers the assurance of safe, secure, affordable, and dignified living conditions where people have power and agency over how and where they live. […] Funders Together advocates for corrective action, such as reparations, to address the cumulative disparities and transform systems of accountability to ensure housing for all.”  

With homelessness as a hot policy issue during a consequential election year and the Supreme Court taking up the most consequential case about homelessness in over 40 years, all of us – organizers and philanthropy together – must stay focused on how meeting the needs of the moment are connected to long term housing and racial justice.  

The opening plenary of our 2024 Funders Forum will address questions such as:  

  • How do we stay focused on transformational change amidst a barrage of policies and tactics that are designed keep us in a constant mode of crisis response? 
  • What are housing and racial justice goals movement leaders working toward, and how can philanthropy be in better lockstep with them? 
  • What is the type of power building philanthropy should invest in for marginalized communities to actualize their vision for housing justice?  

Speakers

  • Aria Florant, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Liberation Ventures
  • Gloria Bruce, Senior Program Officer, Housing and Public Private Partnerships, Crankstart Foundation (moderator)
  • Tara Raghuveer, Founding Director of KC Tenants, Homes Guarantee Campaign Director at People's Action
  • Tammy Bang Luu, Director of Programs, Grassroots Power Project

11:00am PT

Mid-morning break

11:15am PT

Introducing Funders Together's Policy Framework

Funders Together’s policy framework serves as a guide to our priority public policy issue areas and how we will engage in both reform and transformational ways. The three pillars of our platform – Housing Abundance, Thriving Communities, and People Power -  embrace intersectionality and encourage policy advocacy that is bold, aspirational, and capable of holding the fullness of our humanity and our communities’ potential. The policy priorities under each pillar reflect our current best thinking and analysis of the issues before us and the levers of power and influence most viable for creating sustainable change and for making meaningful progress toward housing justice.                                         
 
With this policy framework, we hope to continue our work of transforming philanthropy’s role in housing justice advocacy and elevate and diversify the voices of organizers and activists while centering people with lived experience.  

During this conversation at the Funders Forum, participants will use Funders Together’s policy framework to engage in active dialogue on how we as funders can meet the needs of the moment while supporting long-term transformative change. 

12:00pm PT

Lunch 

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

1:00pm PT

NAEH Opening Plenary 

Please note that only those who are registered for the NAEH conference are eligible to attend the opening plenary. The plenary is usually live-streamed for those not registered who wish to view it.  

2:15 pm PT

Transition

Participants will have time to transition from the NAEH plenary ballroom back to Union Square 22 for the Funders Forum.

2:30pm PT

Funders Forum Reconvenes

Together, we’ll spend a few minutes getting energized for the afternoon. (Get ready for surprises!) Participants will then be able to choose which afternoon program they’d like to participate in:

Program A: How are Funders Working toward Housing Justice?

Since releasing our new strategic framework in 2022, Funders Together has been focusing on defining housing justice for our members and lifting up the work of movement leaders and grassroots organizers. And, the questions on many of our members’ minds are, “What does this mean for philanthropy? How are other funders using their resources and position to advance housing justice?”  

During the afternoon of the Funders Forum, several Funders Together members will share what they are doing to advance housing justice. Recognizing that our work is a constant evolution and cannot be done without support and accountability from others, we will create space for discussion through case consultations. Participants will have an opportunity to listen, ask questions, and offer insights from their own experiences, and those presenting their work will gain valuable advice to deepen their own knowledge.  

Case Consultation Leaders

  • Allison Clark, MacArthur Foundation
  • Emma Hertz, HealthSpark Foundation
  • Diana Amparo Jiménez, Weingart Foundation
  • Lucky Michael, Arlene & Michael Rosen Foundation
  • Shilpa Bavikatte, Crown Family Philanthropies

If you are interested in sharing your work related to housing justice and are looking for insight from other funders, please let us know! Email Stephanie Chan, Chief Strategy Officer, to learn more.  

Program B: Embracing Repair for Youth Housing Justice

When we realize our north star of housing justice, we will have also ended homelessness for youth. Young people, too, deserve “power and agency over how and where they live,” to cite our strategic framework. But it won’t happen by accident: we must continue to reflect on how prevention and services may look different for children and youth.


This breakout session will dedicate time for youth homelessness funders (and funders exploring youth work) to envision a world where philanthropy failed to catalyze the movement to end youth homelessness and identify ways to prevent that future. In addition to building relationships, we’ll conclude by naming key priorities for youth homelessness programming in the coming months.

4:00pm PT

Funder Networking Reception
Join us for an off-site funder networking reception at Bodega (138 Mason Street, San Francisco, CA 94102) with light appetizers from 4:00-6:00pm.

 


Showing 1 reaction

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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