Kathy Wertheim has been affiliated with WEV for more than 10 years in various capacities. She has been a SET Grad, a Thrive client, a volunteer and now a member of the League of Extraordinary Women.
“I love WEV! It’s even in my will!” said Kathy. “First, WEV is educational. I had been self-employed for 19 years when I took the SET class, so I thought I knew everything. I realized that I knew how to do my work — fundraising and board development — but I didn’t really know how to run my business. I took that SET class in 2008, and I learned so much. I can still talk about a lot of the lessons, too, and I put it to use on a weekly basis.”
If you’ve ever wondered if a SET class can really impact a business, Kathy can verify it not only with her enthusiasm for the program but through her business growth and income. “That first year, for every dollar I spent on WEV, I made back $5. My income went up 20% that year. Better yet, I completely skipped the recession! In 2012, I joined the Thrive program, and I am still in it. My personal best was about three years ago: for every dollar I spent on Thrive, I made $86! So I’ve experienced tremendous results in WEV’s programs.”
Kathy is one of the five WEV clients who are among the Founding Members of the League. She choose to join because she recognizes how important it is to give back to the program. “There aren’t some magical ‘other people’ who fund WEV. Money doesn’t come out of nowhere. If I want WEV to continue to exist, it’s on me, and others like me who get it, to fund it.”
Kathy’s career as a professional fundraiser was sparked by a traumatic experience as a teen that motivated her to see the world differently. “I vowed to make my life mean something. I wanted to help others.” As she started volunteering at various places she quickly discovered that her strength was understanding money and how people relate to money. “I realized that I wasn’t cut out to be a social worker or a teacher or a disaster response specialist, but because of my ability to fundraise people who worked in those jobs could make a living.”
Having raised millions of dollars for dozens of organizations over the past 30+ years, we asked Kathy how she stays passionate about her work. “I am passionate about helping good people and good causes learn better ways to fundraise, so they can create relationships that support their work. I think it’s the wonderful people I meet — volunteers, staff, donors, clients — who keep me wanting to do this work. It’s not really about the fundraising; what keeps me passionate is that together we can make our corner of the world a better place.”