About Us

About Us

Funders for Family Leadership is a network of grantmaking professionals that recognize the power inequities in philanthropy and focus on meaningfully and authentically centering families and fostering family leadership to advance systemic equity.

Our Mission

We are a learning community dedicated to transforming philanthropic practice to equitably partner with and center family leaders so that system changes are led by their expertise and lived experiences.

Our Vision

We envision a philanthropic sector that authentically partners and shares power with parents and families and allocates resources toward an equitably designed future.

Our Values

As a community dedicated to transformation, we hold the following values:

  1. We strive for justice and equity in all of our work.
  2. We do this work with respect for and trust of parent leaders. 
  3. Authenticity through honest relationships with parent partners is central to our approach. 
  4. We enter spaces with love for those we serve and humility in our role.
  5. We will make change through uplifting parent power and leadership.

Our Work

In everything we do, we strive to: 

  • Build field consensus with parents through honest reflection and learning 
  • Expand philanthropy’s capacity for authentic partnerships through discussion and resource sharing in our networking and learning events
  • Promote mechanisms for power sharing and resource allocation 

Our Story

In July 2012, Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families (GCYF) held the first-ever Parent Organizing and Community Engagement Training Institute for Grantmakers. This generated widespread enthusiasm to work together in new ways to support the field of family engagement and parent organizing over the long term. In 2015, GCYF and Annie E. Casey Foundation co-hosted a Funder Conversation with Parent Leaders and Family Engagement Strategies in Alexandria, Virginia. Annie E. Casey, Peppercorn, Hagedorn and W.K. Kellogg foundations pursued an aligned funding initiative of creating and growing a National Parent Action Network. An informal structure developed through which the four foundations hoped to provide a space for an expanded group of funders to formulate concrete next steps about ways to effectively network. They would join forces to strengthen the capacity of low-income parents to influence budget and policy decisions that impact their children and families. 

In 2016, the Hagedorn Foundation and Annie E. Casey Foundation provided grants to NEO Philanthropy to be a fiscal sponsor for their informal funders’ group, and by 2017 the four original funders wanted to establish an official funders’ network. This group expanded to the Funders Group for Parent Organizing, Family Engagement, and Leadership Development and in 2021 – with a revised mission, vision, values – became the Funders for Family Leadership!

Our Advisory Committee

Funders for Family Leadership is supported in part by the following foundations:

Carnegie Corporation of New York
Greater Rochester Health Foundation
Heising-Simons Foundation
William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Funders for Family Leadership is fiscally-sponsored by NEO Philanthropy, Inc.

The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the above Foundations.