2015 has been a year of growth, collaboration, and change. Funders Together Board Chair, Bill Pitkin, takes a look back at the past year.
Since the establishment of Funders Together to End Homelessness as a formal organization five years ago, we have seen substantial progress and collaboration amongst members. The passion and dedication to end and prevent homelessness is evident from funders across the United States and Canada and has spurred many partnerships in both the private and public sectors. The growth of Funders Together has been an exciting and inspirational journey.
Let's take a look back at some major Funders Together milestones over the past year:
- Our membership increased to over 185 foundations, corporations and United Ways in the United States and Canada.
- We hosted our 3rd Annual Funders Institute in conjunction with the National Alliance to End Homelessness conference in Washington, D.C. The event brought over 70 attendees together to discuss the strategic role of philanthropy in ending homelessness.
- Our first community of practice, Foundations for Youth Success (FYS), was launched to focus on sharing and building knowledge about best practices and effective solutions for young people experiencing homelessness.
- We were honored to be asked to participate in a panel discussion at the White House with Joining Forces around how private and public funders can collaborate to end veterans homelessness.
- Together with the Florida Philanthropic Network, we launched Funders Together Florida, our first state-wide Funders Network.
- Funders Together Canada was created and became our first international Funders Network.
- We welcomed Jason McGill, Social Justice Program Vice President at Arcus Foundation, as a member of Funders Together Board of Directors.
- We introduced additional tools and resources for our members including our Policy Platform, Funders Together Member Listserv and Webinar Learning Series.
One sad piece of news from this year was the announcement of Anne Miskey’s departure as Executive Director of Funders Together. Anne was our first full-time staff person and has overseen a rapid growth in the organization. We are very thankful for Anne’s many contributions to Funders Together and wish her the best in her new role as CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles.
We have received a great response of applications for the Executive Director position and are in the process of interviewing selected candidates over the next few weeks. Our board Search Committee is working diligently to recommend an excellent new leader for Funders Together. It is our hope to make an announcement in February.
We are pleased to announce that during the transition period, Ann Woodward will be serving as Interim Executive Director. With a distinguished career in affordable housing and philanthropy and deep familiarity with Funders Together during her time as COO and Interim Executive Director of Melville Charitable Trust, Ann is perfectly suited for this role. The board is pleased to have Ann with us during this time.
Thank you all for your participation in, and support of, Funders Together. During this time of reflection and thanksgiving, we greatly appreciate the collective spirit of philanthropy working to end and prevent homelessness!
Bill Pitkin is the Director of Domestic Programs at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills, California as well as the Board Chair of Funders Together to End Homelessness. Find him at @billpitkin.