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

Engage in Relational Public-Private Partnerships Rooted in Justice

**First 100 Day Priority 

Now is the time to re-engage in true partnerships, not just transactional relationships, with the federal government. Philanthropy should not be expected to fill the funding gap that is created by lacking or inadequate government action. As federal positions are being filled, private philanthropy should reach out to agencies to offer thought-partnership and education on what we have learned about homelessness and housing best practices and evidence-based solutions that prioritize Black, Indigenous, and people of color. Funders should harness their convening power and expertise by offering access to evidence-based practices and research funders have supported; trust and relationships with local communities; and connections to those with lived expertise to inform programs and policies. This could be done through the exploration of on-going learning sessions led by grantee partners, specifically organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color leaders. 

Philanthropy can act as a broker of relationships between local communities and the federal administration. To ensure engagement happens before implementation, hold recurring listening sessions that feature community members such as grantees, stakeholders, and people with lived expertise and connect them to agency and department staff working to create and implement policies. This is most effectively done through an advisory role, which may require establishing a Federal Advisory Committee. Foundation staff can also be lifted up as repositories of information who can compile, analyze, and communicate guidance around what works best within local communities to prevent and end homelessness and also connection to experts on the ground for local context.

For true partnerships to form, accountability must be in place. Through these partnerships, set the expectation of accountability mechanisms determined by communities to allow for candid evaluation about what is working and what is not. Talk with grantees and other stakeholders about what the accountability mechanism design should be, then facilitate the dialogue and implementation of that with government entities. 


<< Back to Recommendations

>> Support an Equitable COVID-19 Response and Recovery**

>> Fund Advocacy and Organizing Efforts to Build and Advance Bold Policy**

>> Model How to Advance Racial Equity and Invest in Disenfranchised Communities**

>> Facilitate Transparency in Engaging Community Voices on the Ground

>> Build Relationships to Support Both Political and Career Staff

>> Support Narrative and Messaging Efforts for Public Affairs Staff

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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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