The Funders Network

Impact at the Intersection of Environment, Economy & Equity

aka TFN   |   Coral Gables, FL   |
GuideStar Charity Check

The Funders Network

EIN: 57-1173613


To leverage philanthropy’s unique potential to help create communities and regions that are sustainable, prosperous, healthy and just for all people.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Dion L. Cartwright

Main address

2000 Ponce de Leon Boulevard Suite 600

Coral Gables, FL 33134 USA

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Formerly known as

Funders' Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities



Subject area info



Sustainable development

Economic development

Housing development

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Population served info

Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Pollution Abatement and Control Services (C20)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are in the midst of transformative times. How to grapple with climate change and the impact it will have on future generations--especially those vulnerable communities that are disproportionately affected? How to create inclusive economies that allow people regardless of their ZIP codes to not just survive, but truly prosper and thrive? How to confront and challenge unjust systems and policies that result in deeply damaging social, economic and racial divides? Even further, what will it take to transform our sector? To truly shift structures and cultures within philanthropy itself? To take lessons and experiences from the pandemic and racial and social justice movements to foster philanthropic relationships, tools and leadership that meet the moment? And to connect, support, complement and be accountable to efforts already underway at the community level? The Funders Network recognize these are the defining problems of our era, and that this work has taken on increased urgency.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


Climate change directly impacts the safety and wellbeing of communities across the globe and has a disproportionate effect on low-income and other vulnerable people. Advancing clean and healthy solutions and more sustainable practices and policies brings multiple benefits: healthier places, healthier people and people-centered economic opportunities.

What can funders do to make sure that “green” is more than a trendy buzzword — and that green strategies actually reduce the carbon footprints and energy costs of buildings and transportation networks, enhance the health and vitality of neighborhoods and address the urgency of the climate crises?

TFN’s GREEN working group — which stands for Green, Renewable, Efficient, Equitable, Now — brings together local, regional and national funders to connect and learn, align thinking and strategy and support strategic collaborations and joint projects that advance sustainable, equitable and prosperous regions and communities.


Our funders come together to address interrelated challenges that impact people and communities, such as climate mitigation and resilience and land use and development practices. GREEN funders have especially focused on place-based solutions, field-building and supporting key networks and partnerships.

The GREEN working group was created in 2006, initially operating as an ad hoc learning group that grew out of TFN’s first funder conference on Green Building in 2005. Since then, the group has expanded its focus to climate mitigation and adaptation, equitable and sustainable communities and partnerships for sustainability that include partnering with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.

Our Goals & Strategies

The GREEN working group helps funders connect and learn together, align around shared ideas and strategies and support strategic collaborations and joint projects that advance sustainable, equitable and prosperous regions and communities. Funders have a special interest in the following issues:
- Climate mitigation and adaptation in cities and metro regions
- Equitable and sustainable communities
- Network collaboration and systems change
- Partnerships for sustainability, including local governments, nonprofits and other community stakeholders
- Funder practices to advance racial equity and inclusion

Connect & Engage

Funders and partners that participate in TFN’s GREEN working group have the opportunity to:
- Deepen their knowledge about topics about policies, best practices and innovative approaches impacting the field, engaging with peers in the sector as well as with a variety of key stakeholders – including community leaders, policy advocates and local government practitioners.
- Learn and share with fellow funders and partners through peer-learning calls and via our GREEN funders listserv and quarterly newsletters.
- Expand their professional network and hone leadership skills by volunteering on planning committees and designing or participating in webinars, panel discussions and other TFN networking and learning events.
- Gather during our annual in-person GREEN meetings and TFN Annual Conferences to learn from place and peers, deepen relationships and support joint learning and collaborative efforts.

Partnerships and Initiatives

Several longstanding funders in the GREEN working group (The Kendeda Fund, New York Community Trust, The Summit Foundation and the Surdna Foundation) partnered with TFN and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network in 2011 to create the Partners for Places grant program. Since then, additional national funders have joined this collaborative matching grant program, including The JPB Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and The Pisces Foundation. For nearly nine years, Partners for Places has invested in U.S. and Canadian communities, building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations and supporting projects that promote equitable and sustainable communities. Visit our Partners for Places page for more information.

Population(s) Served

The Funders Network believes that in order for communities to be truly just, sustainable and economically prosperous, we must challenge and confront the power dynamics and structural racism that have historically fostered inequities and informed policies and practices.

Racial and economic equity are fundamental to just and inclusive communities, cities and regions. Both urgent and sustained action are needed to change systems that prevent historically marginalized people from prospering, and address deep and widening disparities in income, wealth, and social outcomes.

About Inclusive Economies

TFN’s Inclusive Economies working group brings place-based funders and related partners from across the sector together to build working relationships, advancing understanding of practices and policies that lead to inclusive prosperity and taking joint action that drives the field forward. We apply a three-part focus — race, place and prosperity — to economic growth and development. A particular goal is connecting people and neighborhoods of color to employment and wealth-building opportunities through investment, systems change, and policy reform.

Inclusive Economies launched in 2019, replacing TFN’s Restoring Prosperity in Older Industrial Cities working group. This new group represents a vision of shared, restorative and equitable prosperity in places of all types (urban, suburban, and rural), sizes (neighborhoods, cities, towns, and regions), and market conditions (weak, moderate, and strong).

Our Goals & Strategies

Inclusive Economies’ work reflects a number of related premises:
- We prioritize racial equity in recognition of the far-reaching role of race in determining economic and social outcomes, and the inequitable advantages conferred by privilege and power.
- Inclusive Economies’ strategies integrate the economic, physical, cultural and social dimensions of place.
- Our work advances systemic change as a matter of racial and economic justice, and affirms intersectional approaches to supporting economic growth and resilience.
- We seek geographically targeted and locally determined strategies that build power, wealth and justice by connecting historically marginalized people and places to investment that generates income and wealth.
- We strive to challenge and confront the power dynamics and structural racism that have historically fostered inequities and informed policies and practices, and create communities and regions that are sustainable, prosperous and just.

Initiatives & Partnerships

Anchor Institutions Initiative
Drawing on longstanding interest by TFN members in the role of anchor institutions in driving local economic inclusion, this initiative systematically integrates anchor strategies into the work of Inclusive Economies, and seeks opportunities to collaborate with other working groups to highlight the relevance of anchor-based economic development across a range of issue areas. This initiative produced the report, Anchored in Place: How Funders are Helping Anchor Institutions Strengthen Local Economies.

TFN’s Federal Reserve-Philanthropy Initiative
The Federal Reserve-Philanthropy Initiative (FPI), a collaborative framework that brings funders, regional Federal Reserve Banks, and other partners together to pursue research and joint projects that advance the fields of community and economic development. FPI has supported a number of projects, some of which are highlighted below, and convenes periodically to share learning and develop new lines of inquiry. The Initiative is housed under the Inclusive Economies program umbrella. It collaborated with the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership and several Federal Reserve district banks to produce Turning the Corner: Monitoring Neighborhood Change to Prevent Displacement.

The Federal Reserve-Philanthropy Initiative (FPI), along with several Federal Reserve district banks, also produced the study Looking for Progress in America’s Smaller Legacy Cities: A report for funders.

Connect & Engage

Inclusive Economies engages funders and working partners through a variety of activities and communications that are designed to advance discourse, provoke new insights, and provide funders with actionable information and resources that enhance their philanthropic practice.

Funders and partners that participate in TFN’s Inclusive Economies have the opportunity to:
- Deepen their knowledge about topics about policies, best practices and innovative approaches impacting the field of inclusive economic development through regular learning calls and webinars.
- Learn and share with fellow funders and partners through peer-learning calls and via our Inclusive Economies listserv.
- Attend the Inclusive Economies Annual Meeting and other networking opportunities offered by The Funders Network, including TFN’s Annual Conference.
- Participate in collaborative research opportunities via The Funders Network-Federal Reserve Initiative, as well as the facilitation and management of collaborative projects.
- Expand their professional network and hone leadership skills by volunteering on planning committees and designing or participating in webinars, panel discussions and other TFN networking and learning events.

Population(s) Served

Transportation is the circulatory system of a community. Shifting from our car-dominant systems to more sustainable and equitable options will improve climate, opportunity, health, safety and quality of life. While the words “mobility and access” rarely show up in a foundation’s mission statements, many funders are increasingly attuned to connections between their goals and the shortcomings of our current transportation system.

TFN’s Mobility and Access Collaborative is an action-oriented effort that recognizes the urgency for ambitious — and quickly implemented — solutions to limit the devastating impacts of climate change. The collaborative brings together place-based, regional and national funders to share stories, examine best practices and explore critical issues.

In 2020, the collaborative launched the Mobility Fund, a new matching fund in support of local advocacy.

The collaborative is led by a core group of regional, place-based and national volunteers who are shaping and guiding work on transportation, including funders from the Barr Foundation, The Bullitt Foundation, Houston Endowment, TransitCenter, The George Gund Foundation, The Energy Foundation, The Joyce Foundation and The Summit Foundation.

Connect & Engage

TFN’s Mobility and Access Collaborative embraces an agenda that includes learning, outreach and action. We work to provide funders with opportunities to share and learn from fellow leaders in philanthropy as well as key thought partners across a variety of sectors. Participants engaged in this funder collaborative have the opportunity to:
- Deepen their knowledge about critical issues and opportunities related to transportation, mobility and access through funder-only webinars and other learning opportunities.
- Expand their professional network and explore opportunities for collaboration at in-person meetings of the funder collaborative and other TFN events.
- Share ideas, insights and resources directly with members of the funder collaborative through a dedicated listserv.
- Explore opportunities to co-invest or pool funds on high priority projects
- Amplify their learning and best strategies across TFN communications channels, including blogs, social media and newsletters.

Population(s) Served

Communities are increasingly challenged by natural disasters including floods, tornadoes and earthquakes. Every time a disaster strikes, community members are forced to figure out how to respond, often with little preparation. With support from individuals, nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, funders and government agencies at the local, state and federal levels, incredible work gets done — but perhaps not as effectively or as efficiently as it could. PPREP, which stands for Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency and Emergency Partnership, was created to provide resources for community foundations to build their skills and leadership capacity in order to be better informed and prepared should a natural disaster strike their community.


At its core, PPREP is about strengthening the relationships between community members and organizations to maximize their impact in preparing for and recovering from disasters. Given the disproportionate health, economic and social impacts of disasters on low-income communities and other vulnerable populations, PPREP works to embed an equity lens into the cohort’s learning about preparedness, response and recovery practices and policies.

Working with and through community foundations in a community leadership model, these place-based grantmakers are developing relationships across the disaster preparedness and response spectrum in their communities and helping to weave together networks that are positioned to act along the disaster continuum. This work is fundamentally about strengthening social and human capital through coordination and collaboration —and ultimately strengthening community resilience.

Now entering its third phase, PPREP is focused on these objectives:
- To support a Midwest community foundation cohort model that features information, tools, and resources to help participants better understand, prepare for, and recover from disasters in their communities, enhance resilience, and play a community leadership role.
- To provide resources for participating community foundations to address critical disaster preparedness, response, and recovery needs (internal or community).
- To apply an equitable preparedness and recovery lens, given the disparate impacts of natural disasters on vulnerable populations.
- To strengthen a philanthropic network across a ten-state Midwest region, using a network health and stewardship frame and tools.
- To help formalize the ad hoc peer support provided by cohort members to provide support should a natural disaster strike a PPREP community.

Connect & Engage

The community-based funders that take part in the PPREP cohort have the opportunity to:
- Deepen their learning about critical issues related to disaster preparedness and equitable recovery through two in-person and two virtual convenings each year.
- Expand and improve their abilities to prepare and respond to disasters with relevant tools and technical assistance (including a Community Foundation Disaster Preparedness Workbook).
- Access to grant resources to invest in community and organizational preparedness and recovery needs.
- Participate in regular training and an annual survey designed to increase network health and stewardship.

TFN works with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) to provide curriculum, facilitation and technical assistance, as well as with Network Impact as a partner on network health, stewardship and assessment.

PPREP Cohort

Community foundations engaged in the PPREP cohort are drawn from a 10-state Midwestern region:
- Arkansas
- Oklahoma
- Missouri
- Kansas
- Nebraska
- Iowa
- Minnesota
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
- Montana

PPREP cohort participants include:
- Central Kansas Community Foundation
- Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque
- Community Foundation of the Ozarks
- Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
- FM Area Foundation
- Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation
- Initiative Foundation
- Lincoln Community Foundation
- The Minneapolis Foundation
- Minot Area Community Foundation
- Montana Community Foundation
- North Dakota Community Foundation
- Northwest Minnesota Foundation
- Oklahoma City Community Foundation
- Quad Cities Community Foundation
- Southwest Initiative Foundation
- Tulsa Community Foundation
- West Central Initiative
- Willmar Area Community Foundation
- Iowa Council of Foundations
- Kansas Association of Community Foundations
- Minnesota Council on Foundations

Population(s) Served

How California grows is determined in great part by the policies and programs that shape land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure. This growth, in turn, will profoundly influence how well the state can address climate change, protect open space and arable land, manage water resources, and support health and access to opportunity for all Californians — particularly low-income residents and other vulnerable communities.

About Smart Growth California

Smart Growth California is a network of funders working together to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities throughout California. We are dedicated to advancing reforms that will benefit all Californians and the communities in which they live.

Our funders work to achieve a range of outcomes related to climate, transportation, land use, housing, water and wildfires. We believe that connecting and working across these issue areas is essential to addressing California’s challenges. Throughout all of our work, we seek to ensure that these reforms bring benefits and do not harm low-income communities and communities of color.

Founded in 2009 by The Funders Network and The San Francisco Foundation, our approach is grounded in shared learning and collaboration with a focus on facilitating funder action and leadership.

In the past decade, Smart Growth California has grown into a robust, action-oriented network of over 400 funders dedicated to creating healthy, equitable, and sustainable communities throughout California. Smart Growth California works at the state level and in key regions around the state, and helps to coordinate and connect funders’ efforts at the state, regional, and local levels.

Our Goals

Smart Growth California is dedicated to helping bolster and support foundations in their efforts to advance a smart growth agenda that will benefit all Californians and the communities in which they live, with particular emphasis on advancing racial equity.

Our main goals are to:
- Increase the number of foundations actively engaging in strategies to advance transportation, housing, water and land use reform in California.
- Foster collaboration among foundations in order to increase their effectiveness at promoting transportation, housing, water and land-use reform in the state.
- Increase financial resources devoted to transportation, housing, water and land-use reform in California.
- Increase the knowledge among California foundations about transportation, housing, water and land use reform.

Connect & Engage

Smart Growth California focuses on increasing funder learning and connections, facilitating funder alignment and fostering funder collaboration. Our activities are designed to meet funders specific needs while also helping them move along a continuum of engagement towards greater levels of knowledge, commitment, investment, and leadership. The overall goal is to enhance their effectiveness and impact through timely, strategic collaboration with other funders.

Smart Growth California funders work together to identify specific opportunities for shared learning, alignment, and action and currently supports the following workgroups:
-Smart Growth California is led by an active statewide steering committee, which sets the overall strategic direction in order to facilitate aligned grantmaking and action for the Smart Growth California funder community.
- Our Los Angeles Funders’ Collaborative supports funder learning and collaboration to promote healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities in Los Angeles County.
- Our San Joaquin Valley Funders’ Collaborative supports funder learning and joint action in order to promote healthy, equitable communities and sustainable natural systems throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
- Our Community Foundation Water Initiative supports participants as they work individually and collectively to advance sustainable water management in California regions.

Funders that participate in Smart Growth California have the opportunity to:
- Attend our biennial Smart Growth California Funder Summit and TFN Annual Conference.
- Deepen their knowledge on timely and relevant topics via webinars and other learning opportunities.
- Stay connected with colleagues and partners in the sector through our monthly e-newsletter Smart Growth CA’s Twitter account.

Population(s) Served

Water shapes the economic growth, environment and social fabric of our communities and is vital to our daily lives. Increasingly communities are facing a variety of water related challenges – aging and inadequate water infrastructure, flooding, drought and extreme weather, and water service affordability.

About Urban Water Funders

Urban Water Funders is a network of place-based and national funders addressing urban water issues in communities across the country. Funders learn together, build relationships, and catalyze action.

Currently, funders are prioritizing a variety of solutions to urban water issues — including One Water approaches, natural and green infrastructure and climate resilient strategies — with a strong focus on water equity and vulnerable communities.

Our goal is to explore the role of water in urban settings to the benefit of the environment, equity and economies of communities, with specific interest in:
- Climate resilience, including an emerging interest in disaster preparedness
- Natural infrastructure and green stormwater infrastructure
- Integrated water management or One Water

Connect & Engage

The Funders Network strives to provide funders with the tools, connections, partnerships and resources they need to inform and strengthen their grantmaking.

Funders that participate in the Urban Water Funders are able to:
- Connect and learn together on a range of relevant topics.
- Align efforts to scale up solutions to urban water challenges.
- Collaborate on joint projects and special initiatives.

By engaging with the Urban Water Funders working group, funders have the opportunity to:
- Attend annual in-person meeting to build relationships and explore collaboration.
- Deepen their knowledge about topics of national interest through regular learning calls and webinars.
- Learn and share with fellow funders through regular peer learning calls and virtual brown-bag conversations.
- Align philanthropic efforts on urban water issues through conference calls, in-person meetings, funder exchanges, and data-sharing to explore specific issues.


Urban Water Funders, originally known as the Stormwater Funders’ Group, was created in 2010 and initially operated as an ad hoc group interested in the intersection of smart growth and sustainable stormwater practices. In 2012, the Stormwater Funders’ Group became a learning network in coordination with leading national and regional funders. In 2015, the Stormwater Funders’ Group developed a formal steering committee structure as it shifted from a learning network to one focused on aligning and action. The group changed its name to Urban Water Funders in November 2017 to better reflect its goals and participating funder interests.

Population(s) Served

At TFN, we believe that grantmaking institutions hold tremendous potential to make positive change in the communities they serve.

We also recognize the obstacles many funders face — both externally and internally — in turning ideals into impact, especially when their work in vulnerable and distressed communities often falls short of intended goals or fails to make a lasting impact.

TFN’s PLACES Fellowship is a transformational leadership development program for professionals in philanthropy to better understand issues of race, equity and inclusiveness — and to then translate those skills and knowledge in to their grantmaking practices.

By the end of their year-long fellowship, participants are equipped with the tools and resources to understand, challenge and change systemic inequities. Our hope is that by cultivating and connecting a diverse cadre of leaders passionate about racial equity and social justice, PLACES not only benefits those individual grantmakers, but enriches their institutions and the field of philanthropy as a whole.


PLACES — which stands for Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Sustainability — uses learning, coaching and reflections to explore structural racism, community empowerment and equitable grantmaking practices.

We envision that all graduates will have a deep understanding of the following concepts:
- Personal leadership development
- Equity, inclusiveness and smart growth principles
- Understanding the constructs of race and racialization
- Collaborative grantmaking and community engagement to increase equity in philanthropy
- Influencing the field and encouraging change in culture and equitable practices through leadership and action

In addition to the PLACES curriculum, Fellows learn from the people and places we visit. Our Fellowship Cohort, selected annually from a highly competitive pool of applicants, embarks on year-long journey that includes four site visits to communities across the U.S. and Canada. (The site visit locations vary each year. To read more about our Fellows’ experiences on the road, check out our Going PLACES blog series below.)

The PLACES Fellowship concludes with a capstone presentation and graduation — but that rarely marks the end of the PLACES experience. As any PLACES alum will tell you, the deep bonds and professional connections forged by the Fellows extend well beyond the end of their cohort year.

Our Alumni

For more than 10 years, PLACES has welcomed more than 140 fellows to participate in this unique opportunity intended to help grantmakers embed the values of racial, social and economic equity into their work.

Our alumni hail from all corners of the United States and Canada, representing national, regional and community foundations. Their grantmaking portfolios encompass a wide range of passions: building healthy communities, spurring inclusive economic prosperity, fighting climate change, combatting social injustice, supporting local artists, and rebuilding civic trust — to name just a few of the areas where PLACES fellows are making an impact.

At the end of their cohort year, PLACES Fellows are welcomed into the robust and highly engaged PLACES Alumni Network. The PLACES Alumni Network offers peer learning opportunities, timely webinars, and our annual Alumni Gathering. PLACES Alumni also have the opportunities to further hone their leadership skills by volunteering on the PLACES Advisory Board and other TFN boards and committees.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of conference attendees

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

COVID-19 forced the cancellation of our in-person 2020 Annual Conference. We re-imagined the conference as a virtual learning experience over a three-week period in May 2020.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

TFN believes that collaboration and connections are where real change takes root. When funders decide to act, lead and advance an agenda together, entire regions and policies can be transformed.

For the past two decades, TFN--formerly known as the Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities--has helped our members advance shared learning, develop best practices, create policy agendas, support policy reforms and improve outcomes in communities across the U.S. and Canada addressing issues of deep relevance to people and place.

TFNs mission is to leverage philanthropy's unique potential to help create communities and regions that are sustainable, prosperous, healthy and just for all people. TFN is committed to helping funders understand and address racism, economic inequality, and the imbalance of power while engendering community-driven solutions and amplifying the expertise and experiences of those communities who are least heard.

TFNs most recent planning process resulted in the development of new strategic and racial equity frameworks that we are implementing. Faced with stark economic, racial and social inequities, disenfranchisement and degradation of democratic institutions, and an escalating climate crisis, the frameworks outline TFNs role in meeting this moment of unprecedented challenges, which includes seven key strategies to:

-Put Equity First: TFNs racial equity framework builds upon our foundational commitment to create a community of funders who can challenge and confront the power dynamics and structural racism that have historically fostered inequities and informed policies and practices.
-Share Knowledge: TFN prioritizes member learning by amplifying member knowledge, creating and curating essential resources, and building capacity for collective action.
-Build Leadership: TFN is working to create philanthropic leaders who are engaged, emboldened and equipped to bring about a just society. This includes increasing representation of people of color in leadership positions.
-Foster Collaboration: TFN creates opportunities to break down silos and connect funders with diverse areas of focus, educating and inspiring the philanthropic sector to leverage its collective power to tackle systemic problems--together.
-Invest Strategically: TFN makes strategic investments in initiatives and projects in communities to support marginalized people and places in their quest for justice.
-Seek Impact: TFNs programs encourage and support members to strive for place- based, equitable impact through an integrated, action-oriented, systems-driven approach.
-Amplify Impact: TFN seeks to hardwire methods to determine the impact of our work on the sector through data, research and other methods, and effectively share that impact with our members and amplify across the philanthropic sector and beyond.

For nearly two and a half decades, TFN has facilitated a suite of member services, funder working groups and partnerships, and leadership development to engage funders the three Es of sustainability--environment, economy and equity--and to help inspire, advance and facilitate philanthropic leadership and impact. From working groups like GREEN, Urban Water Funders, and Inclusive Economies to the PLACES fellowship program and alumni network, to the Partners for Places grant program, TFN works across a continuum of connecting, aligning, and producing activities to engage and support philanthropic action. And as documented in the TFN report, "Community Foundations: Drivers of Inclusive and Meaningful Local Change", TFN has developed models of and experience with connecting funders across local, place-based, regional and national perspectives to achieve meaningful change that includes broadening subject matter expertise, growing peer networks, deepening relationships, and building community power.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback


The Funders Network
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30
Financial documents
2023 TFN FY23 Audited Financial Statements
done  Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant. info

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 6.04 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 9.1 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2023 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 31% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Funders Network

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Funders Network

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Funders Network

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of The Funders Network’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $94,725 $39,796 $552,295 -$221,522 -$68,165
As % of expenses 1.9% 0.8% 13.9% -4.3% -1.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $94,725 $39,796 $552,295 -$221,522 -$68,165
As % of expenses 1.9% 0.8% 13.9% -4.3% -1.2%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $3,543,461 $7,947,409 $5,142,783 $3,541,588 $4,696,100
Total revenue, % change over prior year -13.1% 124.3% -35.3% -31.1% 32.6%
Program services revenue 13.2% 4.5% 7.4% 13.0% 11.3%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.5%
Government grants 0.0% 1.1% 6.5% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 86.8% 94.4% 86.1% 87.0% 88.1%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $4,859,280 $4,979,410 $3,982,666 $5,117,639 $5,530,248
Total expenses, % change over prior year 5.5% 2.5% -20.0% 28.5% 8.1%
Personnel 33.5% 35.7% 40.4% 34.6% 36.1%
Professional fees 19.8% 21.3% 20.0% 13.6% 15.3%
Occupancy 3.3% 3.4% 4.2% 2.1% 0.4%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 27.0% 32.9% 30.9% 41.4% 36.0%
All other expenses 16.4% 6.7% 4.4% 8.3% 12.2%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Total expenses (after depreciation) $4,859,280 $4,979,410 $3,982,666 $5,117,639 $5,530,248
One month of savings $404,940 $414,951 $331,889 $426,470 $460,854
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $125,310 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $5,264,220 $5,394,361 $4,439,865 $5,544,109 $5,991,102

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Months of cash 6.1 9.9 15.0 10.5 8.6
Months of cash and investments 6.1 9.9 15.0 10.5 8.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 1.5 1.6 3.6 2.3 2.0
Balance sheet composition info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Cash $2,462,199 $4,087,335 $4,976,331 $4,492,978 $3,980,166
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $1,264,103 $2,851,600 $2,647,000 $2,096,000 $2,192,000
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $8,847 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 13.4% 10.2% 3.3% 11.0% 18.0%
Unrestricted net assets $613,331 $653,127 $1,205,422 $983,900 $915,735
Temporarily restricted net assets $2,739,695 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $2,739,695 $5,667,898 $6,275,720 $4,921,191 $4,155,208
Total net assets $3,353,026 $6,321,025 $7,481,142 $5,905,091 $5,070,943

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Letter of Determination is not available for this organization
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President and CEO

Ms. Dion L. Cartwright

Dion took the helm of The Funders Network (TFN) as president and CEO in January 2024, having joined the network in October 2016 to direct the PLACES fellowship program and lead the organization's work to address equity, inclusion, and structural racism. She is a 2010 graduate of PLACES and chaired the PLACES Advisory Board for four years before joining the staff. Previously, Dion served as a member of the Baltimore Community Foundation (BCF) Community Investment team for 15 years. With a strong focus on intergenerational community engagement, she was responsible for the implementation of BCFs Neighborhood Improvement Strategies that focused on creating safe, clean, green, and vibrant neighborhoods, increased leadership development in communities, and the development of community advocates. Dion helped to shape BCFs commitment to racial equity and inclusion and worked with a committee of board and staff to implement an internal and external equity strategy for the foundation.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

The Funders Network

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

The Funders Network

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

The Funders Network

Board of directors
as of 02/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Don Hickman

Initiative Foundation

Term: 2022 - 2024

Jessica Boehland

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Shawn Escoffery

Roy and Patricia Disney Family Foundation

Don Hickman

Initiative Foundation

Elizabeth Love

Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation

Sheena Solomon

The Gifford Foundation

Karla Twedt-Ball

Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

Isabel Barrios

Greater New Orleans Foundation

Lisa Jacobson

Barr Foundation

Nathaniel Smith

Partnership for Southern Equity

Chan Brown

Kansas Health Foundation

Kaying Hang

Sierra Health Foundation

Janel Hines

Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Surabhi Pandit

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/29/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.