Funders Together to End Homelessness
Mission: Expand philanthropy’s impact and influence to advance the movement to prevent and end homelessness.
Funders Together to End Homelessness is the only philanthropic membership organization devoted to ending homelessness in the United States. They provide critical resources and learning and networking opportunities to their members to increase their knowledge, capacity, and effectiveness in both the individual and collective work to prevent and end homelessness. Funders Together acts as a vehicle for members to be part of a broader movement and bring greater financial and intellectual resources to the work to end homelessness.
Their work brings philanthropy together around best practices and innovation to ensure investments are maximized as funders in communities around the United States work towards solutions to prevent and end homelessness.
Funders Together to End Homelessness:
- Encourages and supports their members in risk taking and learning faster together.
- Inspires by connecting members doing critical work across the United States to each other as well as members with a local focus to national efforts.
- Highlights available opportunities for funders to be part of policy change and bring the collective philanthropy voice to advocacy at both the local and national level.
- Provides tailored learning that allows philanthropy to consider the role in best practices and emerging topics around preventing and ending homelessness.
- Moving people into permanent housing through proven best practices is critical to ensuring homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time.
- It is essential that philanthropy work in a public-private partnership model identifying where funds can be leveraged, help to fill gaps, and spur innovation.
- In order to effect lasting change, it is critical for communities to take a systems change approach to the work of preventing and ending homelessness.
- Recognizing policy change and prioritizing public resources is critical to their work and they believe funders should engage in and fund advocacy efforts at the local and national level.
- Racial and other inequities contribute to homelessness and housing insecurity, therefore, it is critical philanthropy work with partners to address structural inequalities.
- In a grantee-centered approach and embedding lived experience in all aspects of their members’ work to prevent and end homelessness.
- In embedding the voices of people with lived experience in all aspects of their members’ work to prevent and end homelessness.
Their movement is growing.
As housing and social service cuts increased and the economy deteriorated across the United States, homelessness emerged as a significant problem in the 1980s. Historically, they addressed homelessness through emergency shelters and transitional housing. Today, with more than a decade of research and experience under their belts, they know that increasing access to housing and supportive services while simultaneously focusing on prevention is a much more effective and efficient approach.
Philanthropy has an important role to play in ensuring that these evidenced-based approaches are encouraged and funded throughout the United States.
Funders Together to End Homelessness began in 2004 as the Partnership to End Long-Term Homelessness (PELTH)—an informal network of seven national funders including Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation, Melville Charitable Trust, Rockefeller Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Deutsche Bank who came together to focus on ending chronic homelessness. Their goals were twofold: 1) spur the creation of 150,000 units of permanent supportive housing and 2) leverage $100,000,000 in funding for ending homelessness.
PELTH members recognized that their partnership addressed a problem they often encountered in philanthropy: information about best practices, innovative solutions, policy, and opportunities to align funding was often fragmented, failing to reach many grantmakers working on homelessness and related issues.
Through their work, their founders saw an opportunity to broaden their focus from chronic homelessness and the creation of housing to all types of homelessness and systems change. They identified a need for an independent organization to facilitate information sharing and be the voice of philanthropy, poised to advocate on behalf of effective and strategic solutions to homelessness.
This prompted the creation of Funders Together to End Homelessness.
In 2010, Funders Together became a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that focuses on building a national network of funders who are committed to solving homelessness through:
- Leadership, education, and advocacy;
- Strategic collaboration and grantmaking; and
- Effective promotion and replication of best practice models in their communities and across the nation.
Funders Together members have individually and collaboratively invested millions of dollars in pursuit of their mission to end and prevent homelessness. Their members have supported innovative demonstration programs, Housing First, permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, and health care and social service delivery that have become best practice models for solving homelessness. Their members are also actively engaged in systems change work, investing and participating in cross-sector collaborations to end homelessness at the local, state, and federal levels.