Deb pictured on left with teammate Sheryl Dyksterhouse

We talked to Sheboygan Rotary/Interact Team Leader and superstar fundraiser, Deb Wente, about her team’s strategy for fundraising and how they met and exceeded their goal months before their trip.

Tell us about your recruitment strategy. How did you find people to join your team?

I set deadlines for myself. I wanted to have my whole team recruited in 3-4 weeks. My original plan to bring high school students didn’t work out because of school schedules. So I went to plan b.

It was easy to recruit people! I used Facebook, actually. I ended up with an eclectic group of my friends and contacts. Our team is made up of men, women, and students from different professional backgrounds.

You and your team members have already exceeded your fundraising goal, and your trip is still months away. How did you do it? 

The International Committee of the Sheboygan Rotary Club came up with an idea to host a fundraising event. We threw a cocktail party and invited all of the Club members plus our friends. For $50, guests received a great variety of food including jocon (Guatemalan chicken stew) and wine. We had an awesome turnout of about 60 people. I did a short 10-minute presentation about Common Hope and our upcoming trip.

It was a very successful fundraising event because Rotarians donated all of the food and wine, so 100% of the proceeds went to our fundraising goal.

What advice would you give to those who are worried about fundraising?

Have a strong message you want to communicate and ask with confidence! Go slow and steady. If you can’t do one big “event,” then just chip away at it. Try to do something small every month. Just keep at it!