Baltimore, 2015

SOFII and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) hosted I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) in front of an audience of 1,200 at the AFP International Conference in Baltimore. We hand-picked sixteen American and International fundraising speakers who were each given just seven minutes to present a single fundraising idea they admired or envied. But the idea could not be their own or from their own organisation.

Valerie Pletcher

Valerie Pletcher, MinstF (Adv Dip) is the Chief Development Officer at The Brady Campaign & Center To Prevent Gun Violence. She has has worked in nonprofit management and fundraising for more than 18 years. Valerie was previously at PBS where she oversaw the fundraising support services for PBS member stations. She came to PBS after serving as the Major Gift Officer for Christiana Care Health Care System, the largest private employer in Delaware.As Co-Executive Director of Cancer Care Connection, she led multiple statewide efforts to support the delivery of coordinated and comprehensive support for cancer patients, families and loved ones.

Robbe Healey

Roberta (Robbe) A. Healey, MBA, NHA, ACFRE has practiced philanthropic fundraising and non-profit management for more than 35 years. She is Vice President for Philanthropy of Simpson Senior Services as well as a founding member of Aurora Philanthropic Consulting. She has served numerous faith based organizations as Chief Development Officer. A Rotarian, she is President of the Rotary Club of Greater West Chester Sunrise in West Chester, PA. A sought after international speaker and presenter, she is an AFP Master Teacher and has been designated a Faculty Star by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She is the 2013 recipient of the AFP International Barbara Marion Award for outstanding leadership.

Daryl Upsall

Daryl Upsall, FInstF, has 30 years’ experience of successfully founding and managing fundraising, communications and advocacy operations for NGOs in over 50 countries. He leads an international consultancy, Daryl Upsall Consulting International based in Spain with associates worldwide and runs Global Charity Jobs. In 2009 he launched “International Fundraising” doing face-to-face fundraising in Italy, Portugal, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Poland. He serves as a volunteer country ambassador and previously on the IFC Advisory Board for the Resource Alliance, is former Board member and former Board Chair of EUConsult. He's also a Fellow of the UK Institute of Fundraising and serves as Vice-Chair, Professional Advancement Division on the International Board of the AFP.

Adrian Sargeant

Harvesters Food Bank’s fundraising strategy

Harvesters, a food bank in the USA, believe that ‘people don’t want to give their money away, but they do want to make a difference in other people’s lives’. At SOFII’s IWITOT event in Baltimore, Professor Adrian Sargeant showed how that belief helped them to achieve their massive ambition to increase support from $2 million to a massive $11.5 million.

Frank Barry

Frank Barry, director of digital marketing at Blackbaud and blogger at npENGAGE, helps nonprofits use the Internet for digital communication, social media, and fundraising so they can focus on changing the world. He’s worked with a diverse group of organizations including LIVESTRONG, United Methodist Church, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, ChildFund Int’l, InTouch Ministries, Heifer Int’l, University of Notre Dame and University of Richmond.

Stephen Pidgeon


Remember a Charity’s initial research into legacy giving.

Charities in the UK receive £2 billion per year, 13 per cent of all charitable donations, through gifts in wills. Research carried out this year by Remember a Charity showed that by asking the right questions this already massive amount could be increased by 67 per cent. Want to find out the questions? Of course you do so, go ahead, click here to see them on SOFII.

Amy Wolfe

Amy Wolfe, MPPA, CFRE is President and CEO of AgSafe, a California-based non-profit dedicated to keeping farmworkers safe and healthy. She has over a decade of small-shop development experience and is passionate about the needs of development professionals working on a shoestring! Ms. Wolfe is actively involved in her community, serving on the Board of Directors for the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the Agricultural Awareness and Literacy Foundation as well as volunteering for the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California and of course, the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Derrick Feldmann


Liberty in North Korea autumn campaign

A fantastic cause that, perhaps unsurprisingly, has caught the imagination of hundreds of young people. It is surprising though that this group of under-30s has donated over $500,000. Proof, if it were needed, that a highly personal campaign, brilliant creativity and storytelling will always inspire donors and will even create some new ones.

The challenge now will be to keep these young people motivated to keep giving as they grow older and their income grows. Maybe one day they will become legacy prospects.

Bill Bartolini


Cleveland Hearing and Speech Clinic: revitalising declining revenue raised through special events

The once successful special gala dinner of the Cleveland Deaf and Speech Clinic was in decline. But their adventurous fundraisers didn’t ditch it. Instead they introduced three, soon to be four, new events. They call it ‘demographic’ fundraising and you will learn all about it here.

Tycely Williams


San Francisco Zoo’s ‘adopt-an-animal’ campaign

Many charities have seasonal appeals: Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day… Would you be brave enough to take a swerve from the traditional? Yes? Then go to Tycely Williams’ story of the San Francisco Zoo’s offer of a gift, but not to a loved one – that’s too predictable – you can send a hissing cockroach to a nasty ex.

Alice Ferris

Alice Ferris, MBA, CFRE, ACFRE has over twenty years of professional fundraising experiencespecializes in strategic and development planning, board development, annual giving, nonprofit operations and public broadcasting hosting, and is a two-time honoree as AFP-Northern Arizona Fundraising Professional of the Year. Alice chairs the ACFRE Credentialing Board and also serves on the CFRE International Board., Alice has served on a multitude of nonprofit boards over the last 15 years, including 8 years on the AFP International Board. Alice is an AFP Master Teachers and has presented throughout North America.