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

California Funder Session: Power Building for Equitable Impact

Thursday, June 24, 2021 | 9:00am-10:30am PT 

This session is part of the California Homelessness and Housing Policy Funders Network and will last 90 minutes.  

As funders think about what it means to engage in homelessness and housing policy change that is rooted in equity and justice, the strategies used to achieve true systems change require an intentional shift in power and voice. The question funders must ask is how can philanthropy ensure it is “powering with” rather than “powering over” activists, organizers, and people with lived expertise who are on the ground advancing the work? To answer that question, a understanding of what it means to build power and how it relates to homelessness and housing efforts is critical.

Join other funders in California on Thursday, June 24, for a interactive session focused on power building to advance policy change. This session is held in conjunction with the Housing California 2021 (Un)Conference and is free to attend. You do not need to register for the full conference to attend the funder session, but participation in the conference is encouraged. 

During the session, we will be joined by Eleni Refu from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy to discuss their Power Moves initiatives and the dimensions of power. We'll also focus on why funders who are committed to equity and justice should focus on power building and how philanthropy can “lead from behind” to advance policy change in California through through it. 

In addition, Jazmin Segura, Director of the Fund for an Inclusive California will share reflections from their power building initiative, the impact its had with grantee partners, and the process of co-creating a community initiative. 

More information, including additional speakers and full agenda coming soon!  


Learning Objectives: 

  • Establish a base understanding of power building and the dimensions of power 
  • Create shared knowledge around philanthropy’s role in building power for equity and justice and how it relates to moving homelessness and housing policy in California 
  • Generate a learning agenda and share resources around power building to create policy change and how funders can incorporate it into their grantmaking strategies 


How to Register 

To register for the Funders Session, please register through the button below. The session at the Housing California Virtual (Un)Conference is free to attend and will be hosted on Funders Together’s Zoom platform. You DO NOT need to register for the full Housing California (Un)Conference to attend this funder session. 

However, we encourage you to participate full Housing California 2021 Virtual (Un)Conference on June 22-24. You can register on the conference page here.  


Participation is limited to private funders in California. Only private funders (e.g. foundations, United Ways, corporate giving programs, philanthropy serving organizations, and members of Funders Together) located in California or do grantmaking in California will be allowed to participate. If you have questions about your eligibility, please email Lauren Bennett.  


The California Homelessness and Housing Policy Funders Network is generously supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.   

June 24, 2021 at 9:00am - 10:30am
Lauren Bennett ·

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  • Lauren Bennett
    published this page in Programming 2021-06-04 13:16:58 -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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