Metasoft Client Advisory Board
Sharon B. Brown
Assistant Director of Prospect Research
University of Florida Foundation
Sharon Brown is a researcher with the University of Florida Foundation in Gainesville, Florida. A 1989 graduate of
Florida’s flagship university, she spent several years working in the private and public sector, before returning to
Gainesville and the University of Florida.
Brand new to the field when she started in prospect research two years ago, Sharon has steadily increased her knowledge and
understanding of the way that a good research shop can directly affect a campaign. She serves the health science-related
colleges and units at UF, and has been instrumental in assisting the gift officers focus on the best prospects. Sharon is
a member of APRA Florida, and served on the Scholarship Committee last year.
Melissa S. Brown
Researcher and Writer for Annual report
Her research focuses on determinants of giving and the distribution of contributions by subsector. Ms. Brown joined the staff of
the Center on Philanthropy in 1991 as a development associate and has held positions at the Center in fundraising, program management,
and instruction. She teaches one course as an associate faculty member of Philanthropic Studies at the Center's home campus,
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She holds a bachelor's degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and
a Master of Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Denise Davis is a program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation working in the Health Care Group on quality, disparities and nursing programming. During her tenure at the Foundation, she served as deputy director of the Foundation’s Information for State Health Policy Program. Before joining RJWF, she was former deputy director of the Information Access Program. Prior to this, she was a policy analyst at the Center for State Health Policy, a research associate with the Carolina Institute for Public Health, and a program associate for the Center for Community-Based Public Health.
She has extensive managerial experience in health care planning, policy and administration. Her research interests include state and local health care policy, community-based approaches for improvement of health delivery systems and outcomes for underserved populations, racial and ethnic disparities in vulnerable groups, and the impact of the health care safety net on the uninsured.
A member of the American Public Health Association, she earned a Dr. P.H. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in health policy and administration, an M.P.A. in public policy and administration from New York University, and a B.A. from Ithaca College in allied health.
Elizabeth E. Liley
Director of University Foundation Relations
Betsy Liley is the director of University Foundation Relations for Purdue University, a world-class research university with 40,000 students and more than 300,000 living alumni. Purdue will complete a $1.6 billion campaign in June 2007.
Betsy has worked in development for the past eight years, in K-12 and higher education systems in New England and the Midwest. Two of the projects she managed in Vermont have won national recognition from US EPA and United Way of America. Betsy also taught journalism, public relations and business for six years at two small liberal arts colleges in Vermont.
Previously, Betsy helped to lead public relations group at an advertising, public relations, interactive and market research firm with offices in Vermont, Boston, Montreal and New York. While there, she worked with clients in higher education, textbook publishing, online educational content providers, workforce development and other clients.
She also was a print journalist covering government and politics at the state and national level as well as an editor in the Midwest and in New England.
Stephen C. Nill
CEO and Founder, CharityChannel
Mr. Nill is the founder and CEO of CharityChannel, a community of more than 150,000 professionals serving nonprofit organizations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Australasia region, and many other countries.
He has been working in the US and international third sectors for more than 30 years. He has served as the Chief Development Officer at a major Southern California university, the CEO of a large health care foundation, a vice-president of fund development of a U.S. west-coast nonprofit hospital chain, as a founder and acting director of development of a parochial school in his community, and as a founder of an organization dedicated to providing food and clothing for homeless persons in Southern California.
Mr. Nill holds a B.A degree (cum laude) in Communications as well as Political Science from California State University, Fullerton (1978), and a juris doctor degree from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles (1981). He is a lawyer practicing in the field of tax-exempt organizations.
Mr. Nill is also a composer of orchestral music.
Joey Sample is Research Analyst at Northeastern University. He recently created and now moderates the CFRESEARCH discussion list. Hosted by CharityChannel, this listserv provides a forum for nearly 400 nonprofit professionals to discuss corporate and foundation research. Joey is also active in the prospect research community through his affiliations with the New England Development Research Association (NEDRA) and the Freelance Prospect Research Network, which provides nonprofit organizations with a convenient, reliable, and affordable source for prospect research services.
Prior to his employment at Northeastern, Joey worked for Simmons College as Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer, and at the Indiana University School of Medicine as the Gift Acknowledgment Coordinator. He also spent several years in the non-profit sector writing and developing proposals for Gay Men’s Health Crisis, The Damien Center and Planned Parenthood. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Affairs-Nonprofit Management from Indiana University and a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Franklin College of Indiana.
Baylor College of Medicine
After 14 years at Rice University’s Fondren Library, Barbara Shreffler was recruited by the Development Office to help with fundraising efforts by researching and writing profiles on major donors. Since 2003, she has been Director of Constituent Strategies for Baylor College of Medicine, a nationwide model for development offices. She is President of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement Greater Houston Chapter and is a member of the American Society for Information Science and Technology as well as the Council of Advancement and Support of Education. Additionally, she serves as a board member of American Voices.
Ms. Sheffler is also an accomplished musician. A violinist for the Houston Ballet Orchestra and a professional mandolinist, she has performed with the Houston Grand Opera, Da Camera, Ebony Opera, and the Houston Symphony. So far she’s the only member of the Advisory Board who has played with Smokey Robinson.
President, Silbert Consulting Services, Inc.
Tony Silbert is President of Silbert Consulting Services, Inc. (www.silbertconsulting.com) which provides grant development, research, strategy and evaluation services to nonprofit and public sector organizations. Tony began his nonprofit career in 1986 leading urban youths on wilderness adventures. Since then, he has worked with organizations of all sizes, covering virtually every aspect of the nonprofit world, including health & human services, education & youth development, literacy, the arts, civic engagement, and public policy.
Tony graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. He received his Masters in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. He was previously the Director of Foundations, Grants & Research at the University of Judaism, where he continues to serve as a Lecturer in the MBA Program in Nonprofit Management. Prior to the UJ, he was a Grant & Contract Officer at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Tony is a founding Board Member and Chief Financial Officer of The Harmony Project (www.harmony-project.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality music education to disadvantaged children. He is a contributing writer for Foundation & Corporate Grants Alert and CharityChannel's Grants & Foundations Review, an online publication reaching 11,000 professionals worldwide.
Kathleen Warren, Ph.D.
Director, Foundation Relations
Washington State University Foundation
Kathleen Warren has worked for Washington State University since 1983, transitioning from public relations and development writing to full-time corporate and foundation relations in 1995. In 2004, she left her position as associate director of development and external relations in the university’s College of Engineering and Architecture to join the Corporate and Foundation Relations team in the central WSU Foundation. She is WSU's first ever director of private foundation relations. In her short time in that role, she has led collaborations with faculty and development colleagues resulting in substantial grants for the university from the W. M. Keck Foundation, Murdock Charitable Trust, and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. She was instrumental in getting the development teams university wide to adopt and appreciate the power of Metasoft's Foundation Search and Big Online tools.
A unique undertaking in 2006 was co-coordinating WSU's first "Mission to New York," an expedition, sponsored by the university's Office of Research, designed to bridge the geographical and communication gap between a WSU group of six talented arts and humanities faculty at our research-intensive university in rural Pullman, Washington, and significant private New York foundations with mutual interests. Memorable highlights of that trip for Kathleen included meeting in person with program directors in the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and Social Sciences Research Council (as well as visiting the MOMA, experiencing two musicals on Broadway, and taking a bicycle tour from Midtown to the Bronx!).
David L. Cuthbert, CFRE, FSAIF
Director of Development
David was the first fundraiser for World Vision in South Africa.
David is one of five founders of the Southern African Institute of Fundraising (SAIF), a body representing the Southern Africa fundraising profession.. He is also a co-founder of the World Fundraising Council, launched in 1989 to provide resources out of advanced Fundraising nations into developing countries. He has been a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 1991, and the first fundraiser in Africa to be awarded a CFRE.
He is co-founder and a current board member of SAIF Education & Training Inc.
Manager of Research
University of British Columbia
Karen joined UBC in 2001 with a mandate to create the development research department. She has extensive experience in researching business organizations and providing financial analysis on both the organization and its related individuals. Prior to joining UBC, Karen practiced law for six years, specializing in commercial and family litigation, and then became an executive search consultant for two years. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws. Karen is also the Treasurer for APRA Canada and has presented at APRA Canada and AFP events.
Manager of Advancement Research and Records
Mingxia is in the Office of University Advancement at Ryerson University, Canada's leader in career-focused education. She joined Ryerson in 2000 and has extensive experience in advancement research and information management. As a faculty member, she also taught for nine years in the Department of English at Shandong University.
Mingxia holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Language and Literature from Shandong University and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Western Ontario.
Amy Rotteau, MISt
Associate Director of Development Research
Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation
Amy joined the Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation in 2007 after several years and a successful campaign at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Amy holds an Honours B.A. in English Literature from York University and a Masters of Information Studies from the University of Toronto.
Anita Gunn Shirley
Assistant Director Foundation Relations
Duke University Medical Center
Anita Gunn Shirley is author of the 2007 and 2008 reports published by NCGives on foundation giving in North Carolina. Currently, Anita is Assistant Director of Foundation Relations at Duke Medicine. Prior to that, she was the Southeast Foundations Officer for Environmental Defense and Director of Grants and Programs at Meredith College. Anita was Vice President for Research at Capital Development Services from 1988 until 1998, where she edited four editions of North Carolina Giving: The Directory of the State’s Foundations (1990, 1993, 1996, 1999 editions.), Virginia Corporate Giving: A Directory of Philanthropic Programs (1997), North Carolina Corporate Giving: A Directory of Philanthropic Programs (1995), Georgia Giving: The Directory of the State’s Foundations (1995), and Virginia Giving: The Directory of the Commonwealth’s Foundations (1994). She is also the author of North Carolina Religious Grantmakers: A Guide to Local, State, and National Funds (1987) and Grantseeking in North Carolina: A Guide to Foundation and Corporate Giving (1984). Anita holds a MA in Philanthropy and Development from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and BA from Beloit College.