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

Katie McGonagle

  • published How to Frame Homelessness Messaging in News 2017-10-06 10:06:07 -0400

    How to Frame Homelessness Messaging


    At Funders Together to End Homelessness, it is the mission of our members to end and prevent homelessness through systemic change and proven solutions, like housing.

    In 2016, San Francisco media outlets coordinated their coverage to shine a light on homelessness in the city. We applaud this effort and hope to help shed a light, not only in San Francisco but nationally, on the real issue: access to safe and affordable housing.

    Ideas to consider when thinking about homelessness across the country

    1. SolutionsHousing First models such as Rapid Re-Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing work:

    Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) assists people who experiencing homelessness chronically and may also suffer from illnesses, disabilities, mental health issues, or substance use disorders. It provides long-term rental assistance and supportive services.

    Rapid re-housing assists a wide arrange of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. The goal of this model is to help people obtain housing quickly and stay housed. It provides short-term rental assistance along with supportive services, such as rent and move-in assistance and case management.

    • Permanent Supportive Housing has a long-term housing retention rate of up to 98% in one study.
    • Rapid re-housing helps people exit homelessness quickly and remain houses – various studies have found between 75 to 91% remain housed a year after being rapidly re-housed.
    • One study found an average cost savings on emergency services (i.e. shelters) of $31,545 per person housed in a Housing First program over the course of two years. (Source)

    2. Collaborations: Funders working together as a network is an effective and efficient way to enact change.

    3. Partnership: Philanthropy, as well as the government, cannot do it alone. Private dollars can push and leverage public funding, and building a strong public-private partnership throughout the community can influence and effectively create systems change.

    • In San Diego, the group of funders was able to leverage $240,000 into $10 million of public funding to support the operational expense of to create permanent supportive and convert existing transitional housing.

    • The Funders Together to End Homelessness – Los Angeles chapter has more than thirty funder members who meet quarterly to learn about and discuss new solutions to homelessness in LA County.  Many of these members are also part of Los Angeles County’s Home For Good Funders Collaborative, led by the local United Way.  Between 2012 and 2015 the Funders Collaborative aligned over $650 million in public and philanthropic resources toward permanent solutions to homelessness in Los Angeles County. 

    • In Houston, Funders Together members are part of The Way Home, a collaborative made up of private-public partnerships utilizing community-wide strategies to end and prevent homelessness. The 2016 Point-In-Time Count showed The Way Home continuing a five-year trend in reducing homelessness - a 57% decrease since 2011.

    • In King County, The Raikes Foundation spearheaded a collaboration of private and public funders who are focused on preventing and ending youth homelessness. Through this collaboration, almost $5 million in private-public funds have been dedicated to the cause.

    • In the counties surrounding Seattle, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works with government and nonprofit partners to make homelessness rare, brief and one-time. Since its conception in 2005, this partnership, All Home, has been instrumental in creating 8,337 units of permanent housing of which 85% of the people housed were stabilized there for almost two years.

    4. People first: At Funders Together, we stress the importance of being "people first", therefore we say "people/person/family/youth experiencing homelessness" instead of "the homeless" or "homeless person". We believe that experiencing homelessness should not define a person and encourage you to also put people first when talking about this topic.

    Resources on solutions that work to end and prevent homelessness

    Messaging Guide for Funders

    Funders can have a strong influence in the community. Use your voice and influence to spread key messages around ending homelessness through out the online community as well! 

    Our Messaging Guide for Funders provides sample tweets and Facebook posts that you can share on your social media pages. You can edit to fit your foundation’s voice and provide links to articles, case studies, research papers that support how housing-based solutions work to end homelessness.

    Available Experts

    We are happy to connect with you with experts that can help inform your articles who are all ready and willing to speak with you on any of the above thoughts. Our Director of Communication and Policy, Lauren Bennett, can be reached at 617-245-0314 x107, who can connect you with folks in housing and homelessness. 

    Funders Together Overview

    Funders Together to End Homelessness is a national network of more than 260 foundations and United Ways dedicated to ending and preventing all forms of homelessness by supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions. Funders Together works to expand philanthropy’s impact and influence to advance the movement to prevent and end homelessness. Membership is open to all funders currently engaged or interested in funding homelessness or related areas. Funders Together, an approved 501(c)(3), is a virtually based in organization. For more information, visit www.FundersTogether.org.

    Question/Interview Requests

    If you have questions about a resource or where to find additional information, or would like to schedule time to talk with our CEO or a Funders Together member, please contact Lauren Bennett, Director of Communications & Policy at [email protected] or 617.245.0314 x107. 

  • Funders Only Breakfast at CSH Supportive Housing Summit

    On Thursday, May 25th , in partnership with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, funders met for a breakfast conversation, discussing the federal landscape as well as what is happening at a local level and how philanthropy can engage in opportunities around core priorities.


    Read more

  • published Employment Community of Practice 2017-03-02 11:19:31 -0500

    Employment Community of Practice

    An essential part of ending homelessness is finding and maintaining a steady source of income. Employment can help meet this need and help people remain stably housed.

    In 2018, Funders Together to End Homelessness launched its second Community of Practice, Foundations for Employment and Housing. The first, Foundations for Youth Success (FYS), was a two-year community focused on advancing philanthropy’s capacity to prevent and end youth homelessness. FYS brought together philanthropic leaders – both large national funders and those working at the community level – to identify and implement effective solutions for homeless youth. With the overwhelming success of FYS and at the request of members, Funders Together’s next Community of Practice will focus on the connection between employment and housing stability. We are excited to be partnering with Heartland Alliance as our content partner for this community and to share resources and learnings from their work. Participants will begin learning and networking in 2018 and over two years, will work together to create and support systems that provide employment to help prevent and end homelessness.

    During this Community of Practice, funders will build strong relationships with other funders committed to this area of work and together learn about best practices and innovation around employment and its connection to housing stability. After creating a shared knowledge, participants will determine group or individual actions that will help move this work forward through policy and practice.

    Learning Agenda

    Participants will play a large role in helping to shape the agenda for this community. However, a shared knowledge base and understanding of key policies and solutions will be instrumental in the success of this community. To develop this shared knowledge we will cover:

    • Employment and Homelessness: Starting the Conversation
    • Evidence Based Models and Solutions
    • Policy and Advocacy
    • Provocative Questions and Ideas
    • Opportunities within the Homeless System
    • Opportunities within the Workforce System

    How Participants Will Benefit

    Through this community participants will develop relationships with peer funders and learn about essential models, solutions, and policies that will enable them to lead their organization and community in its work to connect efforts to end homelessness with employment and workforce programs. Participants will:

    • Better understand how philanthropy can support long-term solutions to homelessness through employment and workforce programs
    • Gain access to other funders, leading experts, and government leaders
    • Participate in site visits that will highlight work happening across the country
    • Share grantmaking strategies
    • Engage in public-private partnerships
    • Develop policy recommendations to take successful strategies and models to scale both locally and federally
    • Be part of a national initiative to make employment a tool for all communities in their work to end homelessness


    Participants in this community will:

    • Demonstrate a commitment to the two-year timeline of this initiative 
    • Participate in an intake interview and help us construct a snapshot of your organization’s work
    • Attend monthly virtual meetings and biannual in-person convenings.  You may also be asked to write blog posts, conduct phone meetings with other funders and stakeholders, etc. in between meetings
    • Commit to sharing and learning in real time


    Frequently Asked Questions


    What is a Community of Practice?

    Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or passion about an issue and want to learn how to create effective solutions by interacting regularly with one another.

    What is the timeline?

    This community will launch in January 2018. Learning and networking will begin immediately through webinars, calls, and resources.

    In 2018 and 2019, we will host four in-person convenings in locations that demonstrate innovative strategies and systems. Between convenings, we will continue to learn and share virtually. This draft timeline will give you an idea of the flow of the community. Specific topics will be identified by the community. 

    Who should participate?

    This community is open to ALL funders interested in learning more about the connection between housing stability and employment. Are you a funder focused on health or education? We know that housing stability plays an essential role in outcomes in these areas and countless others. Join funders investing directly in homelessness as well as those focused on innovation in health, employment, or education.

    Funders must belong to a funding organization, which would include private, independent, family, corporate, and operating foundations, corporate giving programs, United Ways, and individual philanthropists dispersing more than $25,000 per year. Representatives must be senior staff members, defined as someone with authority over a grantmaking portfolio. 

    Who's already joined?

     CaseyPrimaryLogoColor.jpg building-changes-logo.png gates-foundation_340.gif






    SkillmanFoundation-Logo.png 40396.jpg  


    How much does it cost?

    Participation fees are $3,500 per organization for dues paying members of Funders Together and $5,000 per organization for non-dues paying members or non-members.*

    *This fee does not cover travel. Based on our previous community, Foundations for Youth Success, the funders who gained the most from their participation were present at all four in-person convenings. Travel costs for in-person convenings are estimated to be $1,500 - $2,000, per convening.

    We believe that to make this community a success it is important to engage a diverse group of participants. Are you interested in helping create a diverse group by offering scholarships for travel and fees? If so, let us know!

    For questions, contact Stephanie Chan at [email protected].



  • published NE_2016_Sponsor 2016-08-22 09:16:50 -0400

    2016 New England Convening Sponsorship Opportunities

    Right now, philanthropy has the opportunity to take on the role of risk-takers and social justice leaders. By supporting the 2016 New England Convening through your sponsorship, you will help to:

    1. Bring together funders in New England identify ways to cross collaborate and maximize investments.
    2. Raise the profile of strategic efforts happening in your own backyard.
    3. Lead efforts in New England to move funders to thinking systemically about how we can end homelessness through economic security.

    We hope you join us in taking this bold step forward.

    View the 2016 Sponsor Packet as a PDF

    Please contact Katie McGonagle for more information about sponsorship opportunities.


    Sponsorship Levels & Benefits

    Leading Sponsorship | $7,500  (Only one available)

    As a Leading Sponsor, your gift will provide broad support for our informative general session, keynote speakers, and networking lunch. In appreciation, FTEH will:

    • Include unlimited complimentary registrations
    • List your organization’s logo and name on event signage and promotional materials
    • Give special recognition from Funders Together CEO at the event
    • Provide an opportunity to give brief remarks during New England Convening lunch session
    • Write a blog post about your organization’s work
    • Publish a full-page organizational profile in  the event program
    • Show its appreciation for your sponsorship on Funders Together Social Media Pages and Monthly Bulletin email
    • List your organization as a Funding Partner on the Funders Together Website


    Convening Sponsorship | $5,000

    As a Convening Sponsor, your gift will enhance issue-specific panels that dive deep on critical issues facing the field. In appreciation, FTEH will:

    • Include 2 complimentary registrations
    • List your organization’s logo and name on event  signage and promotional materials
    • Give special recognition from Funders Together CEO at the event
    • Publish a half page organizational profile in event program
    • Show its appreciation for your sponsorship on Funders Together Social Media Pages and Monthly Bulletin
    • List your organization as a Funding Partner on the Funders Together Website


    Networking Sponsorship | $2,000

    As a Networking Sponsor, your gift will support the development of engaging learning and networking opportunities. In appreciation, FTEH will:

    •  Include 1 complimentary registration
    • List your organization’s logo and name on event  signage and promotional materials
    • List your organization in New England Convening Event Program
    • Show its appreciation for your sponsorship on Funders Together Social Media Pages and Monthly Bulletin
    • List your organization as a Funding Partner on the Funders Together Website


    Contributor Sponsorship | $500

     As a Contributor Sponsor, your gift will support general conference operations and materials production. In appreciation, FTEH will:

    • List your organization in the event program
    • Show its appreciation for your sponsorship on Funders Together Social Media Pages and Monthly Bulletin
    • List your organization as a Funding Partner on the Funders Together Website


    Sponsorship Agreement

     If you are interested in becoming a sponsor of the 2016 New England Convening, you can continue by doing one of the following:

    • Contact Katie McGonagle, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for more information
    • Print out our Sponsorship Packet, fill out the sponsorship agreement, and mail it to our offices at 89 South St, Suite 803, Boston MA, 02111
    • Complete the form below


    ***All sponsorship reservation and payment is due by Friday, October 7, to guarantee placement in event materials.