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

What a Year! Looking Back Over Our Work in 2013

What a year it has been for Funders Together! 

Here in Seattle, the approaching year’s end is that point in the calendar when we pass through the darkest night of the year, and eagerly celebrate the promise of the solstice, when we start to count the brief minutes of daylight that get added to each new day.  The end of the year is also a time of reflection for many of us about the months that have passed, and what we have been able to accomplish, as well as that list of things we didn’t get to that seems to get longer every year.

What a year it has been for Funders Together!  It was a year of many firsts:

  • Our membership crested north of 150 foundations, United Ways and corporate giving programs
  • We convened our first ever Funders Institute in conjunction with the annual National Alliance to End Homelessness conference, which attracted nearly 100 participants from more than 50 funders
  • Our staff expanded to five regular employees and two interns
  • We grew the membership of our board of directors to better reflect our national role and our range or interests and priorities
  • We went “international,” and are helping to grow a Canadian Funders Together to End Homelessness
  • We expanded and diversified our funding base, both in terms of specific programmatic grants and more than $50,000 in individual member contributions
  • We expanded our web and social media presence, launching more toolkits, blogs, tweets and infographics with specific information on ending homelessness targeting the philanthropic sector
  • We moved to a new office, now located in the energized hub of Boston’s nonprofit world
  • We restructured our financial reporting systems and completed our first formal audit (mundane, perhaps, but critically important!)

From my perspective as board chair, I want to offer a few specific shout-outs:

  • To Anne Miskey, our Executive Director, who has built a terrific staff team, and promoted increasingly strong relationships with local, regional and national Funders Together partners
  • To our amazing staff, for their passion and energy that is driving our work forward, and creating a footprint in the field in a shoe size far bigger than the size of our feet would suggest!
  • To external partners, like the National Alliance to End Homelessness and the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, for their trust in our work and their collaborative efforts that have helped us to advance on our goals
  • To our talented board, who keep us focused and pointing towards the north star of our mission with such great vision and insight

And, most importantly, a humble “thank you” to our growing membership around the United States (and now Canada), who are supporting our work and growth as an organization while working with boundless energy in their own communities to end homelessness.

In terms of the work left undone, every new report of a homeless adult, child or family reminds me anew that despite all the progress we have made, we still have a long, long way to go.  I continue to believe that, working collectively, we can in make homelessness a phenomenon that is rare, short in duration, and easily resolved.  That, to me, is what ending homelessness will look like.  Through your continuing efforts, and through the work that we now share through the vibrant organization that is Funders Together, I am confident we will get there.

Thank you, and all the best wishes for the New Year.

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

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.