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

Spring has Sprung at Funders Together

Funders Together to End Homelessness is coming into leaf in new and exciting ways. 

Out here in Seattle, signs of spring have become insistent, despite a long and wet winter. Flowers are blooming, trees are coming into leaf, and temperatures are slowly but steadily climbing. I’ve finally tuned up my bike and have resumed commuting to work on two wheels rather than four.

Funders Together to End Homelessness is also coming into leaf in new and exciting ways. Through the hard work of our dedicated staff and board, and as a result of expressions of interest and efforts by funders all over the nation, the vision of a vibrant network of philanthropic sector partners that lies at the core of Funders Together’s goals is rapidly being realized.

Since the start of 2012, representatives from the following organizations have joined Funders Together:

  • Vladimir & Araxia Buckhantz Foundation

This list includes everything from large foundations with corporate connections doing bold work across the country to small family foundations working diligently within very specific geographies. The list also includes a growing number of United Way chapters from a broad range of jurisdictions that all share the goal of ending homelessness.

Regardless of their size or the scope of their activities, each of these organizations is a valued partner with a commitment to engaging in strategic, catalytic philanthropy that touches the lives of people who are homeless today while simultaneously promoting systemic level changes that will lead to ending homelessness once and for all in this country. Funders Together is now more than 135 members strong.

Developing Resources & Networks to Make Connecting Easier

Funders Together staff also have been hard at work developing new tools that our sector can use to better inform our voice, engage our partners, and embolden our work. Some of these tools give us the information and context to best align our work with the much larger federal resources that are now or will soon be coming into play, such as HEARTH Act funds. Others of these tools are designed to help our members and allies create partnerships and working groups to further shared agendas. Stay tuned for a refresh of our website that will make it far more accessible and user friendly, with easy access to the things funders need and want to know to enhance their work.

Funders Together is also proud to support and promote the work of existing or emerging philanthropic sector funders’ networks in cities throughout America, including: Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, Miami, Sarasota, Chattanooga, Tulsa, Chicago, and Seattle. Even more importantly, many of these networks are now building bridges to the public sector funders from local, state, and federal systems that are at work in their jurisdictions, creating true public-private partnerships that will be essential to achieving shared, long-term goals. Funders Together – and our members – now have stronger ties than ever to important organizations like the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the National Alliance to End Homelessnessthe Corporation for Supportive Housing, and others.

This is truly exciting work, and I salute our Funders Together team and our partners across the country for the amazing work underway that puts the goal of ending homelessness even closer to our collective grasp.

There is a reason spring is my favorite season. Spring is the season of hope and certainty that infuses the air with growth and the promise of new life. And I’m delighted to report that spring is well underway at Funders Together.

David_Wertheimer_2012a.jpgDavid Wertheimer is the Deputy Director of the Pacific Northwest Initiative at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington, as well as the Board Chair of Funders Together to End Homelessness. Find him at @DavidWSeattle.

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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