Funders Together Bulletin Masthead

May 31, 2012

Board of Directors
David Wertheimer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle, WA 

Leslie Strnisha
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH 

Deborah Fung
Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation
Boston, MA 


Tom Nurmi
William S. Abell Foundation
Chevy Chase, MD 


Ann Woodward
Melville Charitable Trust
Boston, MA 


Nancy Barrand
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, NJ 


Sonya Campion
Campion Foundation
Seattle, WA 


Terri Donlin Huesman
Osteopathic Heritage Foundations  
Columbus, OH 


Nancy Frees Fountain
The Frees Foundation
Houston, TX 


Bill Pitkin
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Los Angeles, CA 


Debbie Reznick
Polk Bros. Foundation
Chicago, IL 


Martha Toll
Butler Family Fund
Washington, D.C.  


Joe Weisbord
Fannie Mae
New York, NY 

Support Funders Together      
Funders Together is supported by generous grants from several of our member foundations. We don't currently charge dues, but we do encourage members to make a donation or a grant to help support our mission and services.

Funders Together is a 
 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. 
To make a donation, contact Allison Silva at

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Funders Together extends a warm welcome to our newest members



> The Melville Trust supports the first "Opening Doors" state plan to end homelessness 
> Executive Director Anne Miskey shares her thoughts on a site visit to L.A.'s Skid Row
> Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation gives generous grant, helping to grow Funders Together's regional funder networks
> The Frees Foundation supports Funders Together's advocacy efforts with generous grant


> The National Transitional Jobs Network Conference highlights best practices for serving homeless and at-risk job seekers

Nonprofit Quarterly article highlights our members' work 

> Office of Multifamily Housing Program releases section 811 project rental assistance demonstration NOFA

> U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness announces celebration of innovative work for youth and child homelessness


The latest useful tools and resources on homelessness


Details about upcoming conferences and webinars
Welcoming New Members newsfromourboardandmembers 

Calgary Homeless Foundation | Calgary, AB 

Alina Turner, vice president of strategy


Lincoln Community Foundation | Lincoln, NE

Barbara Bartle, president


Susanne & Gloria Young Foundation | Reno, NV

Andrea Pennington, president

News from Our Members newsfromourboardandmembers 

Opening Doors to End Homelessness in Connecticut


Recently, Connecticut became the first state to model its plan to end homelessness after the national "Opening Doors" strategy, developed by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. The Melville Charitable Trust, along with other funders, played a significant role in supporting the Partnership for Strong Communities, the statewide organization that brought together a coalition of nonprofit organizations to develop "Opening Doors CT." Learn about the work that went into the plan  from Ann Woodward, board member of Funders Together and interim executive director and chief operating officer of the Melville Trust. 


Tour of Supportive Services in L.A.'s Skid Row


During the Council on Foundations' annual conference, Funders Together partnered with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Durfee Foundation, and the Weingart Foundation to present a walking tour of L.A.'s Skid Row, a 40-block area with the highest concentration of people who are homeless in the country. The tour, which was led by residents of Skid Row, service providers and local funders, included a visit to permanent supportive housing sites and an innovative community health clinic serving the area's residents. 

Read executive director Anne Miskey's reflections on the experience.



Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Helps Grow Our Regional Funder Networks


Funders Together is delighted to announce a grant of $50,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support our efforts to build networks of regional philanthropic partners that will fund and catalyze local and national efforts to end homelessness. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation assists struggling families by supporting efforts that help break the cycle of homelessness. For more than a decade, the Foundation has worked with an extensive network of public and private partners to address the needs of homeless children and families in the Puget Sound region by focusing on improved, longer-lasting solutions to end family homelessness.


Frees Foundation Grant Supports Funder's Together's Advocacy Efforts


Funders Together is extremely grateful to The Frees Foundation for their grant of $15,000 in support of our advocacy efforts, which include education and advocacy with policymakers and government officials; strategic funding investments that develop new programs and system models, leverage public investments, and gather the evidence needed to move the policy agenda; and leadership and public messaging that capitalize on philanthropy's unique role and voice. The Frees Foundation played an integral role in the establishment of the Houston Funders Together network, which recently hosted a funders forum on the HEARTH Act. 


Tell Us Your Story!


Do you have news you'd like to share with other funders about your work in homelessness? Funding an innovative project? Looking to leverage funding? Your news could appear on our blog or in our bulletin. To share your news, contact Allison Silva

National Transitional Jobs Network Conference Focuses on Employment Solutions to Homelessness


Melissa Young of the National Transitional Jobs Network blogs about last month's national conference, where 300 people gathered to discuss best practices in employment solutions for individuals facing employment barriers, including homelessness. Representatives from three cities - Seattle, Miami, and Phoenix - discussed their approaches to connecting homeless and at-risk job seekers to employment. Discover the seven core principles to serving homeless individuals seeking employment on our blog


Nonprofit Quarterly Identifies Housing First as Solution to Homelessness, Pushes for Nonprofit Advocacy


Earlier this month, Rick Cohen of Nonprofit Quarterly responded to the rise in homelessness in New York City with a call to nonprofits to increase their affordable-housing advocacy efforts. The article pointed to permanent supportive housing as the solution for reducing homelessness and congratulated Funders Together's members for their efforts in supporting successful Housing First programs. 

Read the article.


Office of Multifamily Housing Programs Releases Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Notice of Funding Availability 


On May 15, HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing Programs launched its Section 811 Demonstration Project, which was authorized under the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010. The Melville Charitable Trust, a member of Funders Together, was a major force behind passing the bill to address the housing crisis experienced by millions of extremely low income people with disabilities.


The Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Program will grant $85 million in funding to housing agencies with state Medicaid and Health and Human Services Agency partners. This funding will outreach to extremely low income persons with disabilities and provide long-term project-based rental assistance contracts for approximately 2,800 affordable housing units. HUD plans to award funds to between 9 and 16 state housing agencies. The deadline to apply is July 31. For more information, visit: FY2012 Section 811 PRA Demo.


Champions for Change Honors Efforts to End Youth Homelessness


Last week, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness announced Champions of Change, a celebration of the innovative work conducted by individuals, businesses, and organizations to end youth and child homelessness. The event, orchestrated in partnership with the White House Office of Public Engagement, the Department of Health and Human Services, and HUD, will take place July 12 at the White House.


In the weeks leading up to Champions of Change, you can recognize members of your community who embody the motto: "Innovate, Educate, and Build." Stories will be featured on the White House website.

Nominate your champion by June 4.  


Resource Centerdates



As you may know, Funders Together is preparing a series of briefs for philanthropic organizations on the HEARTH Act and its implications for local grantmakers.  There will be five or six of these short papers, each covering a different topic and featuring two or three examples of key investments, educational, or leadership roles by the philanthropic community. We want to feature a range of funder types, locations, and sizes of investment.  If you are involved in your community in any of the following (or other related) activities you want to share, please let me us know. The topic areas are:

1) Changing to a Housing Crisis Response System: seeking examples of funders involved in helping their communities prepare for change through supporting training about HEARTH and Opening Doors and their implications, helping  providers attend conferences, sponsoring site visits in other communities, funding local planning efforts, and actively participating in or leading local planning and systems change efforts.

2) Coordinated Entry and Assessment: seeking examples of investments in the development and operation of coordinated entry/access points--including hotlines or access centers, assessment tools,  training, evaluation, and improvement--and ways funders are encouraging or mandating participation by their grantees in these systems, or requiring HMIS data as part of their application award or evaluation process.

3) Expanding Rapid Rehousing: seeking examples of investments in pilot programs of full-scale rapid rehousing programs, especially for specific subpopulations such as veterans, ex-offenders, DV survivors, etc.;  investments in staff training, development of tools, coordination, evaluation of efforts; and small grants or in-kind support for individuals and families moving into their own housing.

4) Retooling Transitional Housing: seeking examples of support for providers and communities investigating ways to repurpose transitional housing, including support for work with boards, cities/counties, other funders, and examples of ways funders are changing their expectations of TH providers in their own grantmaking.


If you are involved in one or more of these activities and would like us to consider featuring your effort, please email Anne Miskey by June 15 with a brief explanation of  the effort or investment, including if it's a grant, who the recipient is, the period it covers, and the amount,  and feel free to attach any additional documents.


Grantmakers for Effective Organizations Study of Philanthropic Practice


Last month, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations released a study of the attitudes and practices of grantmaking foundations entitled, "Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? A National Study of Philanthropic Practice." 

The study reveals that grantmakers with strategies in place for listening to and learning from grantees are more likely to boost nonprofit success. GEO also examines the impact of grantmaking trends since 2008.

Download the full publication


Washington Families Fund Case Study   


Building Changes has published a case study on Washington Families Fund (WFF), the first statewide program funded by public and private dollars to effectively support providers serving homeless families. Since its founding in 2004, WFF has assisted 1,750 families and more than 3,000 children.


"Creating and Leading Washington State's First Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Family Homelessness: The Washington Families Fund (2004-2009)" offers a look at the vision behind the program and the work of the group of private funders, government officials, and nonprofit advocates who contributed to its sustainability. Its companion piece, "Leading a Public-Private Partnership: Recommendations Based on the Washington Families Fund (2004-2009)," delves into best practices for developing and leading a public-private partnership. 

View the case study


United Way Toolkit


At the beginning of May, the U.S. Intergovernmental Council on Homelessness launched a toolkit for its United Way partners based on a modification of Funders Together's funding principles. Each of the following philosophies links to resources from local United Ways exemplifying USICH's guidelines for preventing and ending homelessness. 

Making the Case for Collaboration: Family Homelessness and the Child Welfare System


On our blog, board chair David Wertheimer urges philanthropy to take the lead in joining multiple mainstream systems serving the same vulnerable populations. Using vulnerable families as an example, he demonstrates the divide between the child welfare system and family homelessness assistance. In partnering with the nonprofit sector and government agencies, Wertheimer explains that funders are in a position to facilitate cross-systems partnerships and ultimately produce better, more efficient outcomes for families that lack stability. 

Read the entire blog post


NAEH Congressional Briefing and Brief: Ending Family Homelessness with Rapid Re-Housing    


On May 17, the National Alliance to End Homelessness hosted a Congressional briefing entitled, "Rapid Re-Housing: Ending Family Homelessness." Panelists included Nan Roman of the Alliance, Matt Minkevitch of Salt Lake City's The Road Home, Nan Stoops of Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Kelly Thompson of Davenport, IA's Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc., and Frank Johnson, a former client of the Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place in Washington, DC.


During the event, the Alliance released its solutions brief on rapid re-housing, which outlines how rapid re-housing for families has impacted communities. 

Save the Datesdates

Webinar on Ending Veteran Homelessness

Hosted by the National Housing Conference  natl housing conference

June 13 | 2 p.m. ET


The "Homeless Veterans and Rental Housing: Supportive Housing Programs to End Homelessness" webinar will analyze housing challenges specific to the homeless veteran population, and cover examples of model federal and state assistance programs. Panelists include the Alliance's Vice President for Programs and Policy, Steve Berg; Brad Bridwell with Cloudbreak Communities; Baylee Crone with the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; and Ethan Handelman with the National Housing Conference.

Register now


Affordable Housing with Services Study Tour

Hosted by Grantmakers in Aging

September 10-15 |

Boston, MA 

& Burlington, VT


Grantmakers In Aging, along with LeadingAge Center for Applied Research and International Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, has organized a tour of five Northeast senior housing providers who have been at the forefront of policy shaping. Part of the tour will 

feature a visit to Hearth, an organization dedicated to ending elder homelessness.


In addition to learning about services and supports, there will be funders-only sessions covering the role of foundations and other grantmakers in fostering affordable housing for older adults.

Register by August 1


National Conference on Ending Homelessness

Hosted by the National Alliance to End Homelessness

July 16-18 | Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel 


Despite the strides we have made toward ending homelessness, there is still much to accomplish. The National Alliance to End Homelessness invites you to share your stories, discover new approaches to preventing and ending homelessness, and build strategic partnerships at its annual conference. Workshops cover a breadth of topics, including: Re-tooling Your Transitional Housing Program, Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors of Domestic Violence, Health Care Reform and New Strategies to Address Chronic Homelessness, and Improving the Crisis Response for Youth. 

Funders Together executive director, Anne Miskey, will moderate a panel on collaborative funding strategies.


For workshop descriptions, take a look at the detailed conference agenda

Register now for a reduced fee.


In conjunction with the conference, the Alliance is holding its 22nd Annual Awards ceremony on July 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. The conference fee does not include the cost for attending the award ceremony, but you can purchase tickets here.  


Email if you plan to attend. 


Funders Together Reception

July 17 4:30-6:00 p.m. 


We will be hosting a special reception for funders at the Alliance's national conference. Look for more details in our June bulletin. Email if you plan to attend. 


National Zarrow Mental Health Symposium & Mental Health America Annual Conference

Sponsored by the Zarrow Foundations

September 19-21 l Tulsa, OK Convention Center


This conference features programs and research 

that address housing,Zarrow conference logo recovery, and community supports for people living with mental illness.  Discussion will focus on innovative approaches to the development of safe, decent, and affordable housing, and best practice models of support services needed to sustain recovery. 

Register now

 CONNECT           SHARE            BUILD 

Promote Effective Solutions to Homelessness. 

Join Funders Together Today!


Through Funders Together, you can connect with other funders like you, share lessons learned and promising practices, and help build the movement to end homelessness in America. Your voice can help make the difference in your community and across the country.

Contact Allison Silva, member services and development officer, at with any questions about membership. 
                                                           Edited by Allison Silva and Divya Amladi