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, The Funders Network 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.

How do we effectively steward our natural resources? How do we grapple with climate change and the impact it will have on future generations – especially those vulnerable communities that are disproportionately affected? How do we create inclusive economies that allow communities to not just survive – but truly prosper and thrive? And how do we confront and challenge unjust systems and policies that result in deeply damaging social, economic and racial divides?

We recognize these are the defining problems of our era, and recognize that this work has taken on increased urgency in challenging times. We also recognize the unique potential of leaders in philanthropy to leverage the collective resources and energy of the sector to address these issues effectively and equitably.

TFN's Mission, Vision & Frameworks

TFN’s 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.  (To learn more about TFN’s foundational and cross-cutting commitment to racial equity, as well as resources for funders, visit our Putting Equity First page.)

Our vision TFN’s vision is to create generations of courageous philanthropic leaders who are engaged, emboldened and equipped to bring
about a just society. This includes increasing representation of people of color in philanthropic leadership positions.

We aspire to serve as a leading resource for thinking and action that is interdisciplinary, innovative and transformative, and which recognizes that racial equity is both a process to guide us and an aspirational outcome.

Our strategies include:

  • Coordinating funder education and information sharing
  • Providing opportunities for funders to deepen professional relationships, hone their leadership skills and expand their impact as grantmakers
  • Helping align agendas, efforts and interests, as well as facilitating strategic initiatives and collaborations to advance progress towards desired outcomes
  • Cultivating emerging funder interest and new opportunities for funder engagement


Building Equity. Igniting Action.
TFN’s Strategic & Racial Equity Frameworks


TFN’s programmatic portfolio weaves together elements that link TFN’s role as a connector, convener and leader in the sector while prioritizing member relationships and embracing racial equity as a core tenet.

In 2020, TFN completed a strategic planning process that centered racial equity as both cross-cutting and foundational.  TFN’s Strategic & Racial Equity Frameworks shares key strategies, our racial equity framework and action plan, and program priorities.

Download a copy here.



Explore Our Work

TFN brings together funders and partners from diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging expertise, and provides a wide range of opportunities to share knowledge and deepen engagement across the sector. Take a moment and explore our programs, partnerships and initiatives.

About TFN

The Funders Network was originally created in 1999 as the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities. In 2020, following our 20th anniversary of the network’s founding, we officially changed our name to The Funders Network — or TFN for short. (We’ve been known by that acronym, unofficially, for many years.) Our name may be shorter, but our commitment to our network of dedicated, passionate and highly engaged members remains as steadfast as ever.

“As funders, we have a tremendous responsibility to help build an equitable future for the places and people we serve. Over the years, TFN has offered opportunities to deepen our skills as grantmakers — and find inspiration in our shared purpose to create communities that truly thrive.”

Tom Woiwode
Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, former chairman of TFN’s Board of Directors