BY TFN Staff

As we approach the New Year, we wanted to take a moment to thank our community of funders, partners and allies.

TFN is a diverse network of more than 130 foundations across the U.S., from small, rural community organizations to large urban foundations.

Our members reflect a broad spectrum of place-based philanthropic efforts — working to tackle the climate crisis, expand economic opportunity, improve health outcomes, reimagine built environments, safeguard civil liberties, and forge community power and collaboration.

But we’re connected by a common thread that runs through all of TFN’s many working groups, partnerships and learning cohorts: Our commitment to addressing the systemic racial inequities that stand in the way of building a more just and compassionate world.

This work can be complex and often frustrating, especially when we reflect on the many ways communities are challenged and marginalized people are oppressed —  both at home and across the globe.

We hope this season offers a chance to connect with the people and places that bring joyful purpose to your work, and to reflect on the opportunities for change in the year to come.

TFN will be closed Dec. 25 to Jan. 2, but we’re ready to kick off 2024 with events and programs designed to amplify your grantmaking impact, hone your professional skills and deepen your engagement with other leaders in the sector.

We’ll also share insights and reflections as we move forward with TFN’s leadership transition, bidding a fond farewell to our outgoing President & CEO Pat Smith and welcoming our colleague Dion Cartwright as she steps into her new role as head of the network.

If you’re new to our community, we hope you’ll take a moment to explore our work and learn about the benefits of joining TFN’s membership.

Read on to learn more about just a few of the things we have in store for 2024!


We’re excited for our Spring Convening of funders engaged in TFN working groups focused on climate and sustainability, urban water issues, and transportation, mobility and access.Newcomers are welcome! Any funder interested in these focus areas is invited to attend the convening, which takes place March 27-28 in Austin, TexasClick here for registration rates, lodging and other info.


Applications for the 2024 PLACES Cohort are now open! TFN’s PLACES Fellowship is an eight-month learning journey designed to help grantmakers embed the values and practices of environmental, economic and racial justice into their work. The deadline to apply is Jan. 5, 2024. Learn more and access the application here.

More PLACES news: 

  • Mark your calendars for a three-part leadership coaching series March 8, 15 and 22 from 1-2:30 p.m. ET/ 10-11:30 a.m. PT with Bina M. Patel, PLACES alum and facilitator, and author of Say The Quiet Part Out Loud: Liberate Your Inner Changemaker. Keep an eye out for registration info in early January.
  • PLACES is launching a virtual commuity of practice for PLACES alums in executive positions. Participants will meet bi-monthly starting in February. Please fill out this interest form if you’d like to participate and we’ll get back to you with next steps.
  • Save the date for the 2024 PLACES Alum Gathering, Aug. 8-9 in Chicago!


TFN, in partnership with the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), has openned the latest round of the Partners for Places grant program.

The deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 27.

This matching grant program improves communities by supporting equitable sustainability projects that build partnerships between local government leaders, frontline community groups and place-based funders in the U.S. and Canada.

Learn more about the latest grant opportunity and application requirements.

More Partners for Places resources:

– Register for our Round 21 Informational Webinar designed to help potential applicants prepare proposals, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. ET.

 Learn about Partners for Places grantmaking impact in 2023.


Smart Growth California’s Funder Summit takes place March 4-6 in Sacramento. The Summit is where California-focused funders share, learn and collaborate on work that advances a common vision – creating sustainable, equitable communities across California’s diverse landscape. Register here.

More Smart Growth California events:

– Smart Growth California’s LA Funders’ Collaborative meets Jan. 26, and the Climate Funders’ Collaborative (Baja, Imperial, San Diego) meets Jan. 29. Reach out to Ron Milam for more information.


Coming soon!Stay tuned for the premiere of Reel Change: A TFN Virtual Film Series — our first ever virtual film series showcasing documentaries and short films focused on racial, social and environmental justice.The series kicks off in 2024 and will include virtual conversations with filmmakers, activists and funders focused on storytelling and narrative change.


Don’t forget to sign up for TFN’s Member Portal!

This password-protected, member-only portal is designed to support collaboration, deepen understanding and spark connections within our network and beyond.

Our peer-to-peer platform will allow TFN members to access a searchable database of funders and learning resources and recordings. You’ll also be able to update your individual TFN profile and engage with our working groups.

How do you access TFN’s Member Portal? Just fill out our simple sign-up form. You’ll then receive a welcome email with your username and login instructions.

We look forward to staying connected in 2024!



Holiday background with a sparkler” by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY