How It All Began...

AmFund's Founders, Barbara and Wade West worked as news anchors and reporters for over 30 years. Throughout their award-winning careers, they were frequently asked to emcee charity events to raise money for worthy missions. 

Having attended these fundraising events, they noticed that worthy nonprofits were leaving money on the table by not making the most of their captive donor audience. 

Growing tired of focusing on crime, crisis and corruption, they knew there was something better. Using their experience and knowledge, they made it their life mission to form the 501(c)(3) nonprofit fundraising organization, the American Fundraising Foundation-AmFund.

Using their 20 years of experience in fundraising special events, open asks, silent and live auctions, AmFund partners with 501(c)(3) nonprofits across the United States to help them meet their fundraising goals, one community at a time.

Since 1999, AmFund has raised millions of dollars of unrestricted funds to local and national nonprofits by raising extra income at their special fundraising events. At no cost to our nonprofit partners, we have helped hundreds of charities, hospitals, animal shelters, hospices, food banks, schools, and community organizations at thousands of events. As one hospital said, “AmFund is miracle-grow for our fundraising." Our nonprofit partners call what we do ”Fundraising, Friend-raising and Fun-raising."

We Are


for Fundraising 

How AmFund Supports Our Non-Profit Partners:

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), now a GuideStar Platinum-rated 501(c)(3) dedicated to helping raise unrestricted funds for other deserving nonprofits.  Over the last 20 years, AmFund has contributed more than 36 million dollars to assist the work of nonprofits nationwide.

We Look for Deserving Organizations:

AmFund representatives reach out to nonprofits that might qualify for our support.  We know we can’t help everyone, so we carefully select organizations based on their dedication to their cause, the quality of their work, their financial need, and their current fundraising efforts.  When our Board of Directors approves an organization for support, there is absolutely no cost for our services and assistance. 

AmFund Assists Nonprofits in 3 Ways:

1.  We train and partner with organizations to enhance their special event fundraising.

For more than 20 years, AmFund has helped thousands of organizations at their fundraising events.  From planning and procuring items including

obtaining amazing trips for live, silent and on-line auctions, to emceeing

and conducting live auctions and enhancing the appeal for donations;

AmFund developed valuable expertise in all aspects of at-event fundraising. We share that experience in national and regional seminars and help our nonprofit partners fine-tune their fundraising. That results in much higher net profits at their special events. 

2.  We provide silent and live auction support for select fundraising events.

Through years of experience AmFund has learned world class trips and adventures generate the highest bids at special events. Yet these trips are difficult if not impossible for organizations to procure on their own.  AmFund solves that problem by providing amazing trips specially curated for affluent audiences who attend fundraising events.  We back that up with a cadre of experienced travel specialists who turn every trip in to an exciting adventure packed with picture-perfect memories.   


With more than two decades of providing these trips and adventures, helping to promote them before and during events, and handling all of the travel bookings for winning bidders, AmFund has an unmatched track record of supporting organizations and treating trip winners as the valued supporters they are. 

3.  AmFund Provides Grants

AmFund retains no profit on the trips we provide to organizations for special events.  All the profits are returned to the organizations we support.  If, at the end of the year, AmFund has surplus funds, we distribute those funds to organizations who apply for our grant-level assistance.  

AmFund's Trips of a Lifetime:

Whether it’s relaxing in the beautiful Greek Islands, going on an amazing African photo safari, or taking a luxury cruise to Alaska, or any of the other exciting adventures AmFund provides, your supporters are thrilled to enjoy their exciting trips while knowing they are also helping your nonprofit and those who depend on you for help.   


With years of experience and connections with bespoke vacation vendors worldwide, AmFund obtains these high-quality trips at  exceptionally low cost. 100% of the proceeds of the trip sales are donated to your organization. That’s how we have been able to  donate more than $36 million in unrestricted funds to our nonprofit partners.


Receiving AmFund recognition and support provides additional benefits for your organization:


  • When supporters learn about the exciting trips available for bid at your upcoming event, it creates pre-event “buzz” that increases attendance.


  • AmFund’s beautiful “Trips of a Lifetime” display instantly impresses your guests and they automatically assume your organization has become more important!  This increases their interest in supporting your work.


  • Every dollar you receive from trip proceeds is another dollar of unrestricted income you can use to fulfill your important mission.


  • When trip winners return from their bucket list trips, they frequently become high-value long-term donors to your organization.  At the same time, they tell their business and social peers about their wonderful trip and the importance of what you do.  That also adds more donors to your organization!

The Value of Partnering with AmFund:

Everything AmFund does, it does to benefit our nonprofit partners.  We charge nothing for our services.  Our support is always at a high sponsorship level. That’s why we are especially careful to select the organizations we feel are deserving of our support.


One of our Development Directors may call you.  If so, that’s because we may have already identified your organization as possibly worthy of more unrestricted financial support.  When the AmFund Development Director calls, it’s one nonprofit reaching out to help another nonprofit. 


Or, if you wish to find out if your organization qualifies for our help, contact us at or call (407) 895-8000 and one of our Development Directors will contact you. 

Executive Team

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 20 years ago, AmFund has written checks for more than $32 million to deserving nonprofit organizations.

Barbara West


As a television 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.

Deborah Marshall

Senior Vice President and COO

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

Deborah Roberts

Senior Development Director

Experienced and thorough in everything she does, Deb leaves no stone unturned in helping organizations attain their fundraising goals.  A veteran auction specialist Deb understands like no one else the vital importance of attractive displays, placement and other silent auction secrets.

Monica Sakurai

Senior Development Director & Director of Marketing

​Smart, efficient, oh so knowledgeable about social media and event planning, Monica knows the best way to promote silent and live auction items before your event to develop “buzz,” build anticipation and boost attendance which primes the pump for more successful at-event fundraising!

Kalley Dunn

Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives

Driven, focused, charismatic and kind, Kalley is the ideal development professional.  She knows how to set goals and achieve them.  Her years of experience in nonprofit management combined with her commitment to volunteering, make her a true leader in the nonprofit community.  The nonprofit partners we sponsor can count on her to maximize at-event and post-event fundraising!  

Barbara Elyea

Senior Development Director

With a very big heart and more than twenty years’ experience in customer service management, Barbara is dedicated to helping AmFund’s nonprofit partners reach their fundraising goals.  Her personal theme song is “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” and she says helping nonprofits raise unrestricted funds is her dream career.  She blends energy and enthusiasm into everything she does - for her nothing is half way.  Making fundraising events a success for organizations is both her passion and her purpose.

Wendi Humble

Development Director

As a volunteer fundraiser for several non-profit organizations, Wendi knows what a struggle it is when too few people with big hearts try to get the job done.  She believes extraordinary results come from creative ideas, clear plans, dedication, hard work and perseverance.  With her professional background in banking, Wendi understands unrestricted funds are critical to a nonprofit’s survival.  She also knows how difficult it is to procure “big ticket” items for silent and live auctions.  Wendi takes on every cause with experience, enthusiasm, dedication and positive energy each day!   

Sally Onyett

Development Associate

Sally loves helping all the groups we support every year, but she has a soft spot in her heart for those who help rescue animals. She has worked with us for more than a decade on all aspects of special event fundraising. As an extra bonus for us, Sally regularly brings in baby birds, squirrels, raccoons, kitties and puppies that need her foster care until they can be set free or find a forever home.

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Travel Team

Jennifer Miller

Director of Travel and Donor Relations

​Every office has that special someone who “makes the world go round” by keeping everyone and everything organized and on schedule.  Jennifer is our “go-to” person here at AmFund, the one we and the deserving organizations we serve can always depend on for just about everything. 

Jessica Giles

Travel Specialist

Kind, soft-spoken, dedicated and professional, Jess knows travel inside and out.  A veteran traveler herself, she loves working with our lucky winners making their planning process easy and fun. Speaking Japanese and Norwegian can be a real asset when booking our travelers to exotic international destinations. She’s a travel specialist who understands the importance of giving our organizations’ best supporters the professional white glove service they deserve.

Diane Rice

Travel Specialist

Diane always has a smile on her face and is dependable, loyal, friendly, and kind! She began her career working for United Airlines as a customer service supervisor and spent many years dedicated to the travel and hospitality industry. She is always ready to go the extra mile to support our travelers. Diane is dedicated to the thrill and excitement of assisting our travelers in planning their adventures of a lifetime!

Lisa Robson

Travel Administrator

Lisa Robson’s years of hospitality experience makes her an invaluable member of our travel team. She has traveled the world and now supports our travelers as they book their “trip of a lifetime” experience. Lisa is a passionate customer service expert, dedicated to helping others and working tirelessly to create a memorable experience for our clients.

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Operations Team

Morgan Lewandowski

Director of Operations

As a professional networker and organizer extraordinaire, Morgan brings a strong administrative and marketing background to her position as Development Administrator. At any given time, she knows the event details of each of our clients’ events and is always ready with an answer and a plan to make sure information is focused and organized to perfection, ensuring that each one of our nonprofit partners are prepared for a successful event.

Chelsea Longacre

Director of Production

It takes a “mastermind” of production for AmFund to support the ever growing number of events we help to sponsor every year.  Chelsea has the organized, compartmentalized, and solution-oriented thinking that makes auction event planning and production a breeze for every organization we support.

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