A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Exciting and Bittersweet Changes at Funders Together

Recent changes at Funders Together have us all on staff feeling both excited and bittersweet!

Thank you!

It is bittersweet for us to announce that Jennifer Olney, our Director of Networks and Programs, will be leaving us this August. We are so grateful for her time at FTEH and the legacy she leaves at both the organization and in the field. During her tenure, Jennifer has developed, facilitated, and grown our Communities of Practice, including Foundations for Youth Success and Foundations for Employment and Housing. In addition, she has been instrumental in planning our in-person programming including our annual Funders Institute and Funders Forum as well as in providing funder networks across the country with programming, technical assistance, and support as they work together to end homelessness. We are truly appreciative of all the dedicated work she has given this organization and its members over the past 3 years. Join us in wishing her luck in her new endeavor!


We are so excited to introduce you to our two newest members of the Funders Together team! 

tabitha.jpgTabitha Blackwell, incoming Director of Networks and Programs

Tabitha is coming on board as the Director of Networks and Programs. She oversees engagement with Funders Together regional affiliates, funder collaboratives, communities of practice, issue-based networks, and Funders Together events. Previously, Tabitha acted as the inaugural Executive Director of Youth Forward in Chapel Hill, NC where she spent the last five years working with funders to take their vision for a better community to scale and worked to help them collectively provide funding, trainings, and technical assistance to organizations on the ground working directly with youth. Prior to Youth Forward, Tabitha developed work study, internship, and service learning partnerships with colleges and university as an East Coast Outreach Manager at Reading Partners. She also acted as a National Volunteer Specialist at Goodwill Industries International where she built organizational capacity by developing a structure volunteer program. She has 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector as well as managing relationships with nonprofit, college, government, and corporate partners. Tabitha believes that building healthy nonprofits helps create strong communities. This belief is echoed in her work every day. 


Lauren_S.jpgLauren Samblanet, Membership and Program Coordinator

Lauren is responsible for Membership and Program Coordination for Funders Together. Prior to Funders Together, Lauren gained administration and coordination experience at a variety of non-profits. Most recently, she worked in administration and website maintenance at her local YWCA. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry from Temple University and a Bachelors in Creative Writing from University of Colorado. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, social justice, and the power of language and communications as a means of community building and solidarity. She is an avid reader, movie watcher, chef, and hiker. She enjoys spending time with her friends and cat, Pascal.



We hope you’ll join us at our 2018 Funders Institute, July 23-25 in Washington, D.C. to say hello and meet Tabitha and Lauren, as well as say goodbye to Jennifer and thank her for all her hard work!

Showing 2 reactions

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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