AmFund is Doing Well
It’s funny the route life can take you on. One day you and your spouse are in the TV news business and a decade later you find yourselves selflessly helping non-profits raise money in ways they never imagined was possible. At no cost to the organization.
Let’s backup and meet Barbara and Wade West, the principals at American Fundraising Foundation or AmFund.
When they were in the broadcast business, they were called on often to help in charity fundraising events. As Barbara recalls, “I was hosting an auction and the live auctioneer didn’t show up. With no warning to Wade, I volunteered him to serve as the auctioneer. Wade winged it and it was incredible.”
That made the Wests realize that non-profit organizations did a great job at delivering services but not a great job at putting on events to raise the funds they desperately needed. “We could see the mistakes they were making,” Barbara said.
And that led the couple to start amassing the do’s and don’ts of successful fundraising events and Wade getting his auctioneers license (yes, one of life’s funny twists!).
Wade explains the real breakthrough moment for the Wests. “We were helping a group that was raising money for HIV/Aids research. They didn’t have much in their auction, so I called a friend with a 150-foot yacht based in the Caribbean. The local Budweiser distributor had a Gulfstream jet on which the winner would fly down to their cruise. I had no idea how much the trip was worth so I threw out a number of $40,000 and a woman stood up and said ‘Yes!'”
By their own calculation, the Wests have helped over 1,500 organizations raise money so far, including 267 last year. They created AmFund as their own fundraising charity, to specialize in putting together unique bucket list trips for non-profits to auction at their own special events at no cost to the charities.
Most of their auctions are of the silent variety. They can also set up auctions at annual meetings and conferences to help companies and associations raise money for their own favorite charitable causes.
Bill Lynch recently utilized AmFund through his board responsibilities for the Foundation of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine. They had an incredibly successful fundraising event, and Bill was tremendously inspired by AmFund. To learn more about this great company, give NHS Global Events a call.