Empowering worthy nonprofits by providing much-needed unrestricted funds.

We believe no worthy nonprofit should ever have to restrict vital assistance to people, animals, the arts and other lifesaving and life-enhancing causes because of a shortage of funds.  


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Our History

As news anchors and reporters, our founders, Wade and Barbara West, learned our nation’s nonprofits are vital to solving serious problems in communities everywhere.  They also discovered nonprofits never have enough funds to accomplish all they could do. And they believe no worthy nonprofit should ever have to spend money to raise money.


Based on those three basic principles, they created the American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund), dedicated to providing unrestricted funding to worthy nonprofits to fulfill their critically important missions. Over the last 20 years, AmFund has contributed more than 44 million dollars to assist the work of nonprofits nationwide.

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Since its inception in 1999, the American Fundraising Foundation has distributed more than $44 million to worthy causes. Its signature silent auctions featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences are presented at organizations’ special events, whether in person, virtual or hybrid events, drawing admiration, praise and excitement as the entire process elevates the event in the eyes of patrons, board members and the community.

Additionally, AmFund annually distributes unrestricted funds known as Golden Pear Grants, to select organizations.

AmFund's Golden Pear Story


The American Fundraising Foundation (AmFund) has been serving other nonprofit organizations for over 22 years and has distributed over $44 million to worthy causes.


Each year AmFund’s Board of Directors carefully selects organizations to support through support of their events.


The Golden Pear, prominently part of AmFund's new logo, is deeply rooted in history as well as in its mission. Throughout history, even before the written word, mankind has honored the pear as a sacred fruit signifying wisdom, prosperity, good health, longevity, and future happiness- all the things AmFund seeks for its nonprofit partners. 


And behind every golden pear is a great story. It may be the story of a child receiving special literacy assistance, or a woman finding shelter from an abusive relationship or an animal being rescued.


Every time AmFund helps an organization it is helping others. Each person has a “golden pear story” to share. That’s AmFund… The organization with the golden pear.

The Team


Executive Team


Co-Founder & President

Wade West

A former television news anchor and reporter, Wade was media trainer for members of Congress and on behalf of the U.N. and U.S. State Department, he taught physicians and government officials around the world how to use media to fight illicit drug use and eradicate human trafficking. A popular emcee and fundraiser at special events, Wade became a licensed auctioneer and founded what is now AmFund, the American Fundraising Foundation. He pioneered the concept of “Travel for a Good Cause” by creating bespoke travel adventures to raise large amounts of additional funds for qualified organizations at their fundraising events.  Since its inception over 22 years ago, AmFund has written checks for more than $44 million to deserving nonprofit organizations.



Barbara West

An Emmy Award winning news journalist, Barbara enjoyed reporting about the powerful work nonprofits did in our communities.   Her televised blood drives raised more than 60,000 units of blood and her stories on health and community needs generated floods of financial contributions.  She personally raised 2.7 million dollars for survivors of the first responders who lost their lives on 9-11.  After anchoring the news for 25 years, Barbara left television to devote herself to fundraising for deserving organizations nationwide. She is AmFund’s co-founder.

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Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President of Development

Deborah Marshall

An expert in strategic initiatives, Deborah is a seasoned and innovative administrator who oversees all operations at the American Fundraising Foundation. She has held significant leadership roles in nonprofit management, fundraising, healthcare, business development, marketing and public relations, and real estate investment.

Deborah knows first-hand the challenges our nonprofit partners face in the ever-changing climate of grant cycles and funding shortages. Her disciplined and logical approach to managing any situation, combined with her business acumen and passion for success, provide a firm foundation for AmFund’s phenomenal growth in helping hundreds of deserving nonprofits nationwide achieve their fundraising goals.

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Development Team

Monica Sakurai - Director of Marketing & Professional Development

Kalley Dunn - Director of Strategic Initiatives & Senior Development Director

Barbara Elyea - Director of Partnership Development

Deborah Roberts - Senior Development Director

Wendi Humble - Senior Development Director

Joelle Toth-Dyer - Development Director

Julie Manninen-Development Director

Chris Williams- Development Director

Natalie Simkins-Development Director

Sylvia Bova- Development Director

Queila MacDonald- Development Director

Madison Wlazlinski- Development Assistant

Kayli Hannah- Development Assistant

Travel Team

Diane Rice - Director of Travel

Doug McEachern - Travel Insurance Manager & Travel Specialist

Jessica Giles - Travel Specialist

Steven Akers - Travel Specialist

Joanne Bayless - Travel Specialist

Azeema Khan - Travel Specialist

Lisa Walls - Travel Information Supervisor

Vladimir Torchon - Travel Information Specialist

Operations Team

Morgan Lewandowski - Director of Operations

Jennifer Miller - Director of Donor Relations

Chelsea Longacre - Director of Production

Kent Jordan - Auction Engineer & Production Specialist

Luis Rodriguez - Auction Implementation & Administrative Specialist