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

Racial Equity Resources


A priority of Funders Together to End Homelessness is to engage philanthropy in addressing racial disparities in housing and homelessness and advancing racial equity. As part of ongoing effort to provide support and programming on equity, we've compiled resources that can aid funders in starting and continuing the conversation around this topic in your work. We will be updating this page with timely resources as they become available, so be sure to check back often! This is not an exhaustive list, so we recommend checking with our various partners also engaging in this work.

In 2019, Funders Together to End Homelessness released our Commitment to Racial Equity to show how we have and will use a racial equity lens to support our members and the philanthropic sector to shift its practice, policy and grantmaking actions and how we will foster greater diversity, equity, and inclusion within FTEH as an organization. You can view the Commitment here.

Key Concepts


  • Levels of racism: interpersonal, institutional, and structural/systemic
  • Equality vs. equity vs. justice
    • Equality vs. equity: Most often “equality” is used to refer to inputs – people receive the same resource, with the expectation that the outcome will be the same. However, if people are situated differently when receiving the same resource, equal input will only reinforce existing inequalities.  On the other hand, we urge the use of “equity” to refer to outcomes – all people can achieve a valued goal or circumstance – that typically require differential resources — because groups are not situated similarly at the outset. Racial equity is measurable, as seen when disparities are declining or gaps are closing across racial groups on a given indicator of well-being. (Source: Race Matters Institute)
    • See the definitions and examples on pages 8-10 of Grantmaking with a Racial Justice lens,which explains the difference between racial equity and racial justice. As the guide says: "A racial equity lens separates symptoms from causes, but
      a racial justice lens brings into view the confrontation of power, the redistribution of resources, and the systemic
      transformation necessary for real change."
  • Targeted universalism



Funders Together Resources

Learning Series and Webinars

Race Matters Institute Webinars 1-2 Debrief
Funders Together has been hosting a four-part webinar series, led by Race Matters Institute, that covers a range of tools for understanding the history of racial inequity in homelessness, conducting a racial equity impact analysis, and developing strategies to advance racial equity in your organization. In this video, Stephanie Chan, Director of Membership and Programs, provides a debrief of the first two webinars in the series.

SPARC Phase One Study Findings
In this webinar, Marc Dones and Jeff Olivet provided an overview of the findings from the Phase One Study released in March 2018 and shared what they mean for the field of homelessness.  

2019 Funders Institute Past Events page
From July 22-24, 2019, we convened sixty funders in Washington, DC for our annual Funders Institute to learn about removing barriers to advance racial equity from the ground up. Held in conjunction with the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, program participants learned about what other funders are doing to advance racial equity, Native homelessness, how to engage in advocacy at the congressional level, and how to support grantees in doing racial equity work.
Resources related to specific conversations are linked on this page.

Ending Homelessness Means Ending Urban Native Homelessness
During this webinar, we shared how the Coalition to End Urban Native Homelessness is partnering with nonprofit and Native organizations, government agencies, tribal leaders, and philanthropic partners to drive long-term systems change. Ending urban Native homelessness requires a culturally competent, collaborative approach, and this webinar will explore how AI/Ans have historically been undercounted and under-resourced, and what funders can do to support ending urban Native homelessness.

New Research on Racial Inequities in Coordinated Entry System Assessment Tools
C4 Innovations released findings from their latest research project examining how coordinated entry system assessments are perpetuating racial inequities by prioritizing white people for housing services and capturing vulnerabilities that white people are more likely to experience. This webinar brought this new research to our members. In this webinar, participants were one of the first to hear their research findings, what this means for funders working in homelessness, and what needs to happen next to end racism in the homelessness system.

Are Housing Vouchers Contributing to Racial and Economic Segregation for Families with Children?
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently conducted an analysis on the location of families with children using housing vouchers. This is the first metropolitan-level analysis, to CBPP’s knowledge, to explore the concentration of families using vouchers across multiple neighborhood characteristics, including poverty rate, an opportunity index, and the share of residents who are people of color.  This webinar discussed the findings, which help us better understand how local voucher programs perform relative to the local housing market and identify areas for improvement. We shared highlights from the analysis and discussed how funders can think about these findings and their investments in their communities. 


Blog Posts and other Resources

A Brief Timeline of Race and Homelessness in America
This brief timeline lays out the history of the connections between race and homelessness in the United States and is intended to inform the work ahead in pursuit of racial equity.

Statement on the Continuous Killing of Black People, White Supremacy, and Anti-Blackness
A statement from Funders Together CEO, Amanda Andere, on the continuous killing of Black people, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness.

COVID-19 Resources for Philanthropy page
In light of concerns surround COVID-19 and how it's affecting our neighbors and communities, we know it's been top of mind for many funders and partners. This page includes general resources for funders as well as resources focused on COVID-19's impact on housing and homelessness as well as racial equity focused resources.

Voices for Justice in the Movement to End Homelessness
Funders Together is sharing statements, articles, and other resources that highlight the voices of Black leaders in the fields of philanthropy, homelessness, and intersecting systems. 

An Open Letter to Philanthropy: The Cure to Viral Racism Is Within Our Hands
This joint statement was included as part of an article "Asian American Grant Makers Call on Philanthropy to End Violence and Bias on the Rise as Coronavirus Spreads" published in The Chronicle of Philanthropy 4/8/2020. This post originally appeared on APPIP.org.

Ending Homelessness by Committing to Racial Equity
Past Board Chairs, Bill Pitkin and Janice Elliott, and current Board Chair, Katie Hong chronicle the racial equity learning journey of Funders Together to End Homelessness from naming it as a strategic priority to making its Commitment to Racial Equity.

2019 Funders Institute: Reflections from a Family Foundation Perspective
Marci Lu, Senior Program Officer at the William J. & Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation, attended the first day of the July 2019 Funders Institute, Removing Barriers to Advance Racial Equity from the Ground Up. In this post she outlines key takeaways on how family foundations can support community work that’s advancing racial equity and addressing racial disparities.

Trust Building and the Process of Learning: Reflections from the Foundations for Racial Equity March Convening
On March 6-8, twenty-five funders from across the United States and Canada gathered in Portland, OR to kick off Foundations for Racial Equity (FRE), our two-year community of practice for funders who want to undo structural racism to end homelessness. We came together to learn and share resources on racial equity work in our organizations and communities, identify collective action steps, and build relationships and trust with each other.  

Prioritizing Racial Equity Through Experiential Learning
In the summer of 2018 the Butler Family Fund board and staff along with other Butler family members, traveled to Alabama to take their racial equity learning from behind conference room walls to an on-location “classroom” filled with the most qualified teachers – those with lived experience. Funders Together spoke to Martha Toll, Executive Director, and Anne Morin, Program Officer, about the events leading up to the trip, their experience and reactions, and how other foundations can incorporate immersive learning to further their racial equity journey.

2018 Funders Institute: Reflections From The Day
In July at the 2018 Funders Institute, attendees gathered to share what they are learning about homelessness prevention, including what it is and how to work effectively with other systems to really end homelessness. The highly interactive day included a panel discussion, speed networking on what we’re each learning in our work, roundtable discussions, and opportunity to connect with multiple national leaders.

What Funders Are Saying About Racial Equity and Homelessness
On February 7-8, 2018, the Racial Equity and Homelessness Summit convened to address the connection between racial inequity and homelessness with attendees from across the country. Kollin Min, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who co-sponsored the convening with the Raikes Foundation, recaps the highlights of the two-day event and funders who were present share their thoughts, takeaways, and responses to what they learned at the summit.

CEO Reflections II: When Should Philanthropy Lead From Behind?
“How should we respond?” Funders Together CEO, Amanda Andere, asks the question of philanthropy in light of the tragic events in both Charlottesville and Texas in 2017.

An Equity-Based Approach to Fighting Homelessness
What does it mean for philanthropy to make a commitment to equity and its intersection with homelessness? Rosa Benitez of the Weingart Foundation dives in to how her foundation has been answering this question head on.

Why We Must Address Racial Inequity In Our Efforts To End Homelessness
Why is Funders Together to End Homelessness addressing racial inequity? Our CEO, Amanda Andere, explains how philanthropy's involvement in focusing on the structural issues that cause racial inequity can create a path to truly making sure homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time.


National Racial Equity Working Group

The National Racial Equity Working Group (NREWG) is leading the movement to center racial equity in the response to homelessness across the United States. The working group was launched by Amanda Andere, Marc Dones, Brittani Manzo, Jeff Olivet, and Jessica Venegas in 2019 and is now made up of individuals from 36 organizations focused on housing and homelessness. Learn more about NREWG.

Member Resources

Reports, Guides, and Toolkits

Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide
One way to achieve social change in an organization is to incorporate race equity and inclusion at every stage of work. The seven steps in this guide, from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, provide a clear framework for undertaking this important work. This tool adds to the resources already created by partners who have been working in the field.

New Resources Help Organizations Advance Race Equity at Every Step
The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s seven-step guide, Race Equity and Inclusion Action Guide, aims to help organizations advance race equity and eliminate systemic barriers en route to improving the lives of children and families. Now, in partnership with several leaders in race equity, the Foundation has created and compiled a new set of resources focused on helping social-sector organizations navigate every step of this seven-part journey.

Racial Equity and Homelessness in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania: Initial Findings
In this report Your Way Home Montgomery County shares the first cut of an analysis of our data, policies and procedures, and personnel recruitment through a racial equity lens. 

Blog Posts and News Articles

Meyer Memorial Trust: A Commitment to Equity Starts With Training

Raikes Foundation: The Power of Equity

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland: How Can Funders Strengthen Racial Equity Work?

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland: Race equity and philanthropy - Asking ourselves tough questions

Partner Resources

Reports, Guides, and Toolkits 

American Healing Racial Equity Resource Guide
As part of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's American Health work, this guide shares insights, resources and tools of individuals and organizations that have been working to foster racial healing and racial equity in communities. 

Coordinated Entry Systems: Racial Equity Analysis of Assessment Data
C4 Innovations released findings from their latest research project examining how coordinated entry system assessments are perpetuating racial inequities by prioritizing white people for housing services and capturing vulnerabilities that white people are more likely to experience.

DEI Toolkit for Consultants to Grantmakers
Guide your philanthropy clients through the complexities of their work in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with this DEI Toolkit for Consultants to Grantmakers by National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers. Help consultants and grantmakers alike look through issues with a DEI lens. The toolkit consists of key resources recommended by leading experts whose work focuses on DEI and its significant impact in the philanthropic sector.

Integrating Racial Equity in Foundations, Governance, Operations, and Program Strategy
This paper from the Consumer Health Foundation provides an excellent overview of framework for organizing racial equity efforts within philanthropy.

Equity as a Leading Principle
This is Part One of a five-part series titled, “Equity and Evaluation: Models of How Equity Can and Does Impact Evaluation” by the TCC Group.

Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens
This guide by the Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity centers what racial justice activists want funders to know and includes experienced funders’ stories and how-to tips on advancing racial justice.

Racial Equity Network Toolkit
This toolkit from the National Alliance to End Homelessness's Racial Equity Network (REN) helps to identify the following set of existing tools that you might find helpful as you get started in racial equity work in your community.

Report and Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness
This report summarizing the key insights illuminated by the Los Angele Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) Commission as well as the Committee's recommendations for necessary action to advance equity and eliminate racial disparities impacting Black people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles County.

The Road to Achieving Equity: Findings and Lessons from a Field Scan of Foundations That Are Embracing Equity as a Primary Focus
This report from Putnam-Consulting Group and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides a look at some of the efforts leading foundations are making, as well as the challenges they face. Based on interviews with 30 foundation leaders, this report explores the ways in which foundations are applying principles of equity within their own operations - from grantmaking, to investments, to human resources.

Supporting Partnerships for Anti-Racist Communities (SPARC) Phase One Study Findings
New research from SPARC documents that people of color are dramatically more likely than White people to experience homelessness in the US. The message is clear: to end homelessness, we must confront structural racism. The report offers strategies for organizational leaders, researchers, policymakers, and community members.

State of Homelessness: A Look at Race and Ethnicity
A overview of findings from the 2020 Edition of the State of Homelessness from the National Alliance to End Homelessness

True Colors United for Black Lives
A statement from the staff of True Colors United and the membership of the National Youth Forum on Homelessness.

Why Am I Always Being Researched?
Chicago Beyond created this guidebook to help shift the power dynamic and the way community organizations, researchers, and funders uncover knowledge together. It is an equity-based approach to research that offers one way in which we can restore communities as authors and owners.

Why We Need to Talk About Racism and Family Homelessness
This Powerpoint from the Center for Social Innovation provides important background and data on the connection between racism and homelessness.

King County Youth of Color Needs Assessment


Learning Series and Webinars

Putting Grantees at the Center of Philanthropy
This series from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, focuses on grantee inclusion and provides perspective from both the philanthropic and grantee view on why and how making grantees the center of philanthropy can advance initiatives and help them succeed.

Putting Racism on the Table
In 2016, WRAG launched Putting Racism on the Table, a learning series for philanthropy. The series, from January - June 2016, convened philanthropic CEOs and trustees to learn from experts on the many aspects of racism, including structural racism, white privilege, implicit bias, mass incarceration, and the racial mosaic of this country. 

Resources from the series are available on the WRAG website

Blog Posts and News Articles

A Letter from Marc Dones On the Necessity of Black Futures

Bolder grantmaking: Integrating Racial Equity Impact Assessments in requests for proposals
This blog from the Consumer Health Foundation focuses on the Foundation's revisiting of grantmaking protocols and a new practice to ensure that its investments are truly impacting communities of color.

Confronting anti-Blackness in immigrant justice philanthropy
In this Q&A with NCRP, Daranee Petsod, president of Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), urges funders to confront and overcome this implicit and explicit bias for greater impact.

Dear Philanthropy: These Are the Fires of Anti-Black Racism
By Will Cordery, Advisor with Leverage Philanthropic Partners LLC

Embracing Discomfort
Kathleen Enright, former President and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations explains why having conversations around racial equity is critical and will require us to be vulnerable if philanthropy is to succeed in addressing race and making positive changes in their communities.

Homelessness, Racism, and Social Justice
Jeff Olivet, Center for Social Innovation, examines the connection between homelessness, racism, and social justice in this Huffington Post blog post.

How Community Land Trusts Can Advance Racial and Economic Justice
In this Q&A, the Urban Institute speaks with Tony Pickett, CEO of the Grounded Solutions Network, to learn more about how community land trusts can generate opportunities for wealth creation, racial equity, and neighborhood stability

How Philanthropy Can Work to Give All Black Men an Opportunity to Succeed
By Tamara Lucas Copeland, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG)

How We Should Talk about Racial Disparities
By Natalie Spievack and Cameron Okeke, Urban Institute

"Non-Racism" Is Not Enough
By Aisha Alexander-Young, Meyer Foundation

Philanthropy and Indian Country
Posted on Philanthropy Northwest, by Se-ah-dom Edmo, MRG Foundation

Philanthropy with a Racial Equity Lens
Posted on the Center for Effective Philanthropy, by Anna Cruz, The Kresge Foundation

Race and Homelessness and inextricably linked. Here's what we're doing about it.
Posted on Community Solutions

Racial Equity and the Role of Foundations
Posted on Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, by Kendra Allen, Consumer Health Foundation

Serving Native Women Experiencing Homelessness: From Trauma to Transformation
Posted on the National Alliance to End Homelessness, by Colleen Echohawk, Chief Seattle Club


Other Resources

3 Things You Should Not Say To Your Black Colleagues Right Now

5 Way White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence

12 New Year Commitments for Anti-Racist White People

The Association of Racial and Homelessness Microagressions and Physical and Mental Health in a Sample of Homeless Youth
This article focuses on experiences of microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, in homeless youth by describing the development of a new scale measuring homelessness microaggressions and demonstrating the association between microaggressions, and health/well-being in a sample of homeless youth.

Bill Pitkin, Social Justice Advocate Medium Profile

Center for Social Innovation SPARC Initiative
SPARC is an initiative of the Center for Social Innovation in partnership with The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth. With support from the Oak Foundation and others, the SPARC team is launching a multi-city initiative to conduct qualitative and quantitative research, hold public discussions and forums, train providers and activists, and collaborate with leadership in systems of housing, health care, education, and criminal justice.

Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racists MultiCultural Organization

How U.S. Companies Can Support Employees of Color Through the Pandemic

Oppression Action Continuum

Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity
The Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity provides publications, resources, and programming that can aid as you look to advance racial equity through your foundation. The goal of the initiative is to "increase the amount and effectiveness of resources aimed at combating institutional and structural racism in communities through capacity building, education, and convening of grantmakers and grantseekers."

Unite4Equity is a Change Philanthropy campaign focused on promoting equity in philanthropy as an investment of social and financial resources in policies, practices, and actions that produce equitable access, power, and outcomes for all communities.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Equity Statement





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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