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

Facilitate Transparency in Engaging Community Voices on the Ground

Strategic philanthropic partnerships helped previous administrations move beyond the walls of government and into the communities to make an impact and feel connected. The new administration must again have presence in the field to make sure the voices of communities are prioritized and reflected in programs and policies.  

Through public-private partnerships, funders can push the administration to prioritize policies and practices that follow the lead of grassroots organizers and activists. Because philanthropy already has relationships in local communities, funders can partner with the administration to go beyond community engagement and engage in co-governance models and focus on racial justice by using the expertise of those who have been doing this work locally for decades. In addition, fundamental to creating a culture of racial justice, philanthropy should examine how they can create pathways to careers, advisory bodies, and task forces for grassroots organizations and people with lived expertise of housing insecurity.  

Another focus is around creating a listening or feedback mechanism that requires the voice of communities, especially those who are most impacted, to be incorporated into any program or policy. Philanthropy can support and facilitate real time feedback from the community on advanced notices or early-stage ideas of program design that can then be used to make necessary changes that center equity and justice prior to being implemented into near final versions.   


<< Back to Recommendations

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

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

>> Engage in Relational Public-Private Partnerships Rooted in Justice**

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

>> 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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