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

Welcome To The Funders Together Board: Susan Bass Roberts and Bill Major


Welcome to our two newest board members: Susan Bass Roberts of the Pohlad Family Foundation and Bill Major of Zarrow Family Foundations!


As an organization, we aim to support philanthropy’s work towards ending homelessness by providing the most effective programming on homelessness to our members and facilitating the opportunity for funders to connect with others across the country to share best practices. We are only able to do so because of the guidance and support of our passionate and forward-thinking board members.

Today, we are excited to welcome two new board members: Susan Bass Roberts, Vice-President and Executive Director of the Pohlad Family Foundation and Bill Major, Executive Director of the Zarrow Family Foundations.

Susan joined the Pohlad Family Foundation in 2016 as vice president, executive director. She has 20 years of experience in philanthropy, community relations and communications. Most recently, Susan served as executive director of the Best Buy Foundation in her role as senior director of community relations/diversity inclusion for Best Buy.  Prior to that, she owned a boutique agency specializing in foundation management, community outreach and communications strategy for sports professionals. Previously, Bass Roberts was vice president of communications and community relations for the Atlanta Falcons Football Club in Atlanta, where she managed public relations, community relations and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. She also worked as director of community affairs and philanthropy for Limited Brands, Inc.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She has a long history of community involvement; she currently serves on the boards of the Twin Cities YWCA, Minnesota Council on Foundations and Breck School. She and her family reside in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Bill is the Executive Director of the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, the Maxine and Jack Zarrow Family Foundation, and the Zarrow Families Foundation.  In this role he oversees all grant making aspects of the Zarrow Family Foundations to fulfill the vision and mission statements and major strategic goals as defined by the Boards of Trustees. The Foundations had a total giving of $36.3 Million in 2017.

Prior to this position, Bill was the CEO of LIFE Senior Services for 18+ years.  LIFE is the premier provider of home and community based services for seniors in the Tulsa metropolitan area. Concurrently, Bill was also the CEO of Vintage Housing Inc., a non-profit affiliate of LIFE established in 1995 to develop affordable housing for low and moderate income seniors in the Tulsa region.  Previously, Bill was the Founder and Executive Director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, developing the food bank from a dream of the community in 1981 to a reality, through its first nine years.

Bill was a member of the Leadership Tulsa Class XIX, and Leadership Oklahoma Class XVI; currently serves as a Board Member of the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, and Arts Alliance Tulsa. 

“We are thrilled to have Susan and Bill join the board of Funders Together,” said Bill Pitkin, Funders Together Board Chair. “They both understand the role philanthropy plays in the movement to end and prevent homelessness and bring valuable experience from foundations involved in homelessness. We are very fortunate to have the unique perspective and leadership they bring to the board.”

Please help us give our new board members to the Funders Together leadership!

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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