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

Funders Together Board: A Heartfelt Thank You & Welcome

Funders Together is grateful to have a board of directors that exemplifies our values of love and disruption. In both their professional and personal lives, they continually inspire us to make bold, meaningful strides towards racial and housing justice. We would like to recognize the leadership and service of our outgoing board members and extend a warm welcome to our board members stepping into new roles.

Thank You for Your Leadership: Alicia Lara and Susan Bass Roberts

Funders Together staff thank Funders Together Board Chair Alicia Lara and Susan Bass Roberts for their incredible service and leadership to our mission and for bringing unique perspectives to ensure our work moves forward in the spirit of love and disruption.  

Alicia has been an invaluable member of the Funders Together Board since she joined in 2016. With her experience at the helm of Community Partners and United Ways Worldwide, she helped to establish a national partnership with United Way Worldwide that has resulted in an ongoing network of United Ways Partnering to End Homelessness from across the country who are doing innovative grantmaking to prevent and end homelessness. 

"As Board Chair Alicia was instrumental in making our new strategic framework rooted in housing justice come to life," remarked Funders Together CEO Amanda Andere. "She has been a constant support to me as leader pushing me to grow and reminding me rest and care are part of that growth. I am so grateful for her service on the board and for her mentorship and friendship, always allowing me to show up as my authentic self and helping me to find joy!"

Susan Bass Roberts has served on the board since 2018, bringing with her decades of experience in philanthropy, community relations, and most recently as the Executive Director and President of the Pohlad Foundation. During her time on the board, she was a champion for racial justice and helped us think about connecting our work to local contexts.

Amanda Andere shared, "Susan Bass Roberts has modeled true leadership joining the board to learn about housing justice. She took that learning back to her community and as a result has led innovative grantmaking that sees community as partners to achieve racial justice through housing justice. Personally, Susan has supported me during some rough storms in my life and I will be forever grateful for her care and concern that helped me navigate my grief journey."

We will miss both Alicia and Susan and are grateful for their countless contributions to the Funders Together board, helping shape the field of philanthropy overall.

Announcing Tony Richardson as Our New Board Chair

We are excited to announce that Tony Richardson, President of the George Gund Foundation, will be serving as our new Board Chair. Tony has been serving on Funders Together's board since 2018, and most recently as the Vice Chair of our Board of Directors. Tony always leads by example and has pushed Funders Together to be bold in our policy and advocacy efforts.

Tony brings to the board a multitude of experiences. He previously led the Nord Family Foundation as its Executive Director, and has held positions in the private sector, K-12 education, higher education, and government. He is a recipient of Philanthropy Ohio’s 2017 Emerging Philanthropist Award, and his work has been featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and The Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Please join us in welcoming Tony as the new Board Chair!

Welcome to the Funders Together Board: Brian Paulson

We would also like to welcome to Brian Paulson, Senior Program Officer at the Pohlad Foundation, our newest board member! Brian has been an active member of many of our learning communities and has modeled true allyship in the work of racial equity.

At the Pohlad Foundation, he directs the Foundation’s grantmaking strategies and their effectiveness; strategic partnerships; and community engagement. Brian has 20 years of experience in the social sector, having served children and families living in poverty through direct practice, developing and managing programs, and grantmaking. 

Brian also serves in a variety of local leadership roles, such as: board member (former Chair) of Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative; past chair of Workforce Matters; and advisor on workforce development strategies in Minnesota’s Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. 

We are thrilled to have Brian on board, so please join us in welcoming him!

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  • Jack Zhang
    published this page in Blog 2024-05-24 13:06:44 -0400

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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