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

Nancy Frees Fountain


Managing Director, The Frees Foundation

Funders Together Board Member

Nancy is managing director of The Frees Foundation, a Houston-based family foundation whose mission is to support efforts that assist vulnerable and underserved populations achieve self-sufficiency, which includes a focus on supportive housing and homelessness.

Nancy was born in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. She received her B.S. and R.N. degrees from Duke University, where she specialized in cardiac and intensive care nursing. She has traveled to Latin America five times (including to the Amazon Rainforest) as a volunteer with Interplast, Inc.‘s pediatric reconstructive surgical missions.

Nancy is actively involved in service to the Houston community and has served on numerous local boards. Recently, she served on the boards of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, Child Advocates, Inc., and Healthcare for the Homeless-Houston. Past board service includes: Collaborative for Children’s Pre-School For All Initiative, C.G. Jung Center, C.A.R.E. International Foundation, the Council on Foundations’ National Initiative to Promote the Growth of Philanthropy, Conference of Southwest Foundations, Association of Small Foundations, Open Door Mission, and The Women’s Home and Avance, Inc.

Currently, Nancy serves on the Board of the Coalition for the Homeless. Through The Frees Foundation office, Nancy manages the Greater Houston Grantmakers’ Forum and Women in Philanthropy.


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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