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

Funders Together Policy Framework

Last updated: May 9, 2024

As named in our Strategic Framework, Public Policy and Advocacy is one of our strategic pathways to housing justice and area of impact. Funders Together to End Homelessness’ policy framework guides the advocacy and policy efforts that Funders Together as an organization will undertake proactively and in response to advocacy opportunities and needs as they arise. It will also inform Funders Together’s strategy for how to engage and mobilize philanthropy around advocacy and policy opportunities. This is a framework for growth which will evolve into the next iteration of our policy strategy over time based on the needs and opportunities expressed by communities.  

We acknowledge this is not a comprehensive model for all that needs to be done to achieve housing justice. However, the following pillars represent efforts that Funders Together to End Homelessness as an organization is well-positioned to engage in and advance due to our racial justice analysis, capacity, and proximity to philanthropy. For other areas of opportunity, we lean on and support our national, local, and philanthropy serving organization (PSO) partners in campaigns and efforts when able. 

Funders Together Policy Framework Pillar Chart

OVERVIEW

Our policy framework consists of three policy pillars where Funders Together will focus, strengthen, and expand our advocacy in the coming years. We will mobilize philanthropy and leverage our partnerships to advance policy priorities that center racial justice and move us toward housing abundance, thriving communities, and insurmountable people power.  

Each of the three pillars embraces intersectionality and encourages policy advocacy that is bold, aspirational, and capable of holding the fullness of our humanity and our communities’ potential. The policy priorities outlined under each pillar reflect our current best thinking and analysis of the opportunities before us and the levers of power and influence most viable for creating sustainable change and for making meaningful progress toward housing justice.  

Following the footsteps of the young leaders who shaped A Way Home America’s (AWHA) New Deal to End Youth Homelessness, our policy priorities are outlined using the transformative organizing framework. The framework, created by Steve Williams of LeftRoots, helps advocates see the full spectrum of work required to achieve our justice-oriented goals without getting sidelined by efforts that detract from our ultimate aims. 

As summarized by AWHA: 

  • REFORM includes immediate opportunities to reduce harm, improve access, and produce positive outcomes even while working within a system that is rooted in structural racism and bias. While advancing reforms, we can also push to the transformative edge of reform, the edge of what’s possible under our current system, by challenging power and removing barriers for transformation 
     
  • TRANSFORMATION is the work of reorienting our systems toward justice by redistributing the resources and power our communities need to thrive  

Funders Together's priorities are aligned and follow the lead of national housing justice organizers, such as Homes Guarantee and Alliance for Housing JusticeFunders Together’s priorities for policy advocacy include efforts focused on advancing reform and transformation, understanding both are needed as we seek to address the urgency while being visionary for the future. Our advocacy will focus on federal and legislative action, though our priorities can be translated to regional, state, and local policy action. Funders Together will continue to mobilize our members and partners to advance positive policies that address not only necessary reforms, but also those that move us to the edge of transformation and beyond.  

We will continue to follow the leadership of people with the accordant lived experiences in our policy advocacy to ensure we are understanding today’s realities and working diligently to create futures that honor all of our potential. We will lean on our members and partners to support us on this journey toward justice and ask that you hold us accountable and lean in to trust that any divergence from this framework reflects that issues of justice are deeply interconnected and that in any action we take we are striving to hold integrity with our shared principles.  

Click on an image below to view one of the three Policy Framework Pillars and work associated with each:

Housing Abundance
Thriving Communities
People Power

Advocacy and Public Policy Engagement Examples

Engagement in Policy and Mobilization of Philanthropy

 

Click here for the Policy Framework in document form.

SUPPORTING OUR PARTNERS

As noted, we recognize that Funders Together to End Homelessness cannot carry all aspects of housing justice policy and must rely on and support our national and local advocacy partners as well as other intersectional philanthropy-serving organizations. While there may be elements of housing justice policy not represented in our current policy platform, we will support our partners’ efforts when appropriate to ensure our collective work moves us towards a more just and liberated society. Below are examples of our intersectional partners whose advocacy and policy efforts we are committed to engaging in when possible: 

Partner Organizations in the National Coalition for Housing Justice: 

  • A Way Home America 
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
  • Community Solutions 
  • CSH 
  • Housing Justice Collective 
  • National Alliance to End Homelessness 
  • National Coalition for Homeless Veterans 
  • National Coalition for the Homeless 
  • National Health Care for the Homeless Council 
  • National Homelessness Law Center 
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition 
  • True Colors United 
  • Youth Collaboratory 

ABFE 
Alliance for Housing Justice 
Disability & Philanthropy Forum 
Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation 
Funders for LGBTQ Issues 
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees 
Grantmakers for Education 
Grantmakers in Health 
Homes Guarantee 
Native Americans in Philanthropy 
NDN Collective 
Neighborhood Funders Group 
Southern California Grantmakers 

Click here for the Policy Framework in document form.


Showing 1 reaction

  • Lauren Bennett
    published this page in About 2024-05-09 11:49:51 -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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