Students Run Chi – Team 7

Project Description

Our team hosted a small beer pong tournament event at Beer on Clark in Wrigleyville to raise money and awareness for Students Run Chi organization.  The winning team received a grand prize and we also held a raffle during the event where participants and guests made additional donations for the chance to win prizes donated by our sponsors.  Prizes included gift cards, gym memberships, entertainment tickets, and more.  An Eventbrite and Facebook page were created including a link where donations could be made directly to the charity.


Students Run Chi (SRC) is a local nonprofit organization that serves as a mentorship program for city high school students.  Adult mentors give their time and advise in areas of career, education, and life goals all while training for running events including the Chicago Marathon together.  This builds an importance sense of connection and community across various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Analysis of Success

Our goal was to raise money and awareness for Students Run Chi.  SRC is a relatively small charity and most people are not familiar with the organization.  For our group success was the amount of money we were able to raise above our goal ($1000) and the increase in awareness for SRC by the number of participants in the tournament, attendees at the event, and our social media platform.  We exceeded our goal and ended up raising $2,257.  In addition, exposure for SRC was increased resulting in 42 attendees, 12 company sponsors/donations, and 28 Facebook shares.  We also had the support of the organization’s co-founders, staff, and board members.

Lessons Learned

  • Plan Early– We were fortunate to have a great venue and secure it fairly early on but this is not always the case.  If you need to book a venue make sure you do it early and are able to connect with them easily.  It can sometimes be difficult not hearing back from the venues you reach out to which is important because you need to secure your date and know that the establishment is a good match with the needs of the project.  Even when you have a venue secured it is crucial to be able to get in contact with them easily to answer questions you may have or if issues arise during the process.
  • Positive Attitude- It is important to keep a positive attitude throughout the process. Out team worked well together.  It is easy to become frustrated and take it out on your team.  Issues may arise and things that you originally plan may not go the way you expected them to but by keeping a good relationship with your team and positive thinking really goes a long way towards the success of a project.
  • Communication is Key- Finding the best way to communicate as a team as well as the frequency of communication is crucial.  Meeting on a frequent basis is key.  Whether meeting in person, via email, text, etc. make sure you find a method that works for everyone. Clearly communicating what tasks need to be completed and who is responsible for each item helps make sure everyone is on the same page and stays on schedule.


  • Have Fun!
  • Use your network
  • Have a contingency plan
  • Keep everyone in the loop
  • Be optimistic and have a positive attitude






Wings for Warriors – Team #2

Project Proposal

The name of our event was Wings for Warriors. We held the event at Hawkeye’s Bar & Grill, from which we will receive 10% of all sales from 3- 6 PM on Saturday, November 11th – which was Veteran’s Day. In honor of Veteran’s Day, we chose to do our fundraising and awareness raising for Wounded Warrior Project. There was no cost to attend the event. We had a display table setup with promotional materials from the charity and various options to accept in-person donations. We had a social media campaign with a Facebook event page – Wings for Warriors, Instagram, and Snap-Chat presence. Hawkeye’s provided additional advertising for our event on their web page ( and print media within the venue. We also hosted a 50/50 raffle during our event. Finally, Wounded Warrior Project provided a personal webpage to solicit donations through.


Wounded Warrior Project serves veterans and service members who have incurred injuries, either physical or mental, during their military service, along with their families. Due to advancements in body armor and battlefield medicine, more and more service members are surviving severe injuries. Beyond the physical injuries, there are those with the invisible wounds of war (PTSD, major depression, and combat-related stress), lead to a staggering number of individuals and families that need assistance. Wounded Warrior Project has served over 100,000 individuals and over 25,000 families.

Analysis of Success

Our financial goal was to raise between $500 and $1,000, while keeping our expenses at zero.  We were able to achieve our goal having zero expenses and, as you can see in the below chart, we surpassed our fundraising goal by raising $1,500!

The only metric that we did not beat was for onsite donations.  We believe that this was due to it being placed next to the 50/50 raffle, thus people were buying raffle tickets rather than donate.

Our other success metric was to raise awareness by having at least 50 people show up to our event.  The normal amount of business Hawkeye’s receives during our time-frame is around 25 to 30 people.  We are happy to report that we had over 80 people come to our event, so many that the general manager had to call in two extra servers.

Lessons Learned

  • Team chemistry matters:  Everyone getting along and being able to work together improves the project so very much.  People are more willing to help others and ideas flow easier when everyone is comfortable with each other.  Plus, you will be able to trust each other to get everything done.
  • Skill diversity:  Your team is a group of individuals with differing skills sets.  Recognize their strengths and weaknesses.  Speak up if something is your weakness and ask for help.  People’s strengths will surprise you.  Find them and use them
  • Pick a charity you buy into:  Finding a cause you support and are emotionally invested into will make everyone in group work harder and want to achieve more than you set out to do.  Don’t be afraid to change charities if you are not enjoying your first choice, we had to and were better off for it.
  • Scope Creep is very real:  As you get closer to the event, more ideas might come up.  Spotting scope creep is tough and it can be even more difficult to stop it.


  • Communicate!  Everyone should know how things are going.
  • Be positive and have fun.  This will be stressful, but you got this.
  • Risk management is needed.
  • Ask for more, odds are you are going to get it.


Susan G. Komen – Team 1

Project Proposal

Team 1 set up a fundraiser raise awareness/funds for Susan G. Komen foundation. In order to raise money and awareness for the organization we hosted an event and silent auction at Top Golf in Wooddale, Illinois. Tickets were sold at $60 a person were $45 would go to Top Golf and $10 a person would go to the charity. We also had a Facebook page were 100% of the donation would go the charity. The silent auction at the event had sports memorabilia and Blackhawks tickets available to be bid on.


The charity/ organization that Team 1 selected was Susan G. Komen. Susan G. Komen has been working in the United States for more than 25 years providing comprehensive education about breast cancer risk factors, early detection and screening, diagnosis and treatment to millions of women in need. Their mission statement has been “to save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer”. They have several different local programs and initiatives. The impact has been tremendous as they have been able to reduce breast cancer mortality by 38%.

Analysis of Success 

Our goal was to raise a total of $1,300 from our event at TopGolf and Facebook donations page. We were at a disadvantage with the high cost of the event, and the event being on a Sunday night, but we believed that we would be able to hit 60 people for the event because TopGolf is a popular venue and Susan G Komen is a very well-known organization. We also wanted to raise awareness for breast cancer, and to do this we wanted to bring a speaker from Susan G Komen to talk about all that this charity does.

As you can see from the above breakdown our fundraising events were a success. We were able to raise a total of $1,558. We also had a member of Susan G Komen come out to our event and speak about breast cancer and other events that the charity has. There were also individuals at the event that are going to be donating some of their time to help Susan G Komen with the grant writing process.


Lessons Learned

Key Lessons we learned through implementing this project are that:

  • Planning is Key: When planning a project, we need to step back and take a look at the big picture. Plan for every possible contingency, and think the project through. Since our project had really high venue costs, we failed to think through how we were going to fund those costs. We were going to get revenue from ticket sales, after the event but we had to pay for the venue before the event. Half of it was due, couple of weeks before the event to book the venue, and the other half was due a few days before the event. We scrambled to get the deposit together and then for the final payment, our PM was nice enough to pull that together for us until our revenues came in. It would have been really helpful if we had planned for the huge payments ahead of time.
  • Delegation of Work: You have probably heard it, if you want to get something done right, do it yourself. That probably isn’t the best advice for managing a project effectively. Proper delegation of duties, keeping everyone’s strong suit in mind is quintessential part of planning a project. Our team, being a cohort knows everyone and recognizes their particular abilities that they excel in. Our team worked as a well-oiled machine, because we were able to delegate the work among the team members, no one was stuck doing everything or the hard things on their own because we were there to support each other. We were also able to avoid any disagreements.
  • Fair workload amongst the team members: Workload should be fairly distributed amongst the team members, to avoid animosity, to stay focused and get the best possible outcome. No one person can do it all, and the task becomes exponentially easy when you have 6 minds working at it instead of one. Take advantage of every team member’s strength and share the success and the failures.
  • Positive Attitude: Positive attitude and fix it approaches instead of pointing fingers is necessary for a project to be successful. There are bound to be mistakes and this is meant to be a learning experience. We should be mentally prepared for damage control and fixing the situation when things do not go as planned. Playing the blame game, does not help anyone, only makes a bad situation worst.
  • Effective communication is Key: The importance of effective communication cannot be stressed enough. Our team used multiple communication methods, which included in-person meetings, emails and Instant messages. When working in teams, it is important to understand that everyone is at a different mental level, and going through their own personal obstacles. Clearly communicating the expectations helps everyone be on the same page, and work towards the same unified goal.


  • We were able to do it you can do it too.
  • Always plan ahead and plan for contingencies.
  • Keep everyone involved and take advantage of their strengths.
  • Don’t leave anyone behind, if a team member is falling behind on deliverables; ask how you can help out.
  • Keep a positive attitude; everything is doable, if you work as one solid unit.


Autism Speaks Trivia Fundraiser – MBA Students for Autism (Group #3)

Project Description

Our team’s goal was to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks. After initial challenges with several potential events and venues, the team decided to partner with Ironside Bar and Galley for trivia night and a raffle. The trivia portion of the event was free with cash and gift cards prizes supplied by the bar. Raffle tickets were $5 for one and $20 for five and prizes included Blackhawks tickets, Bulls tickets, bar gift cards, and liquor packages. The event was successfully hosted on November 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM. Even with lower than projected attendance, the team was able to raise $240 through raffle tickets and a 10% cut of our food and drink sales. Combined with the online donations collected during marketing of the event, the team was able to raise a total of $3240 for the charity.


Charity Description

Autism Speaks is a national organization founded in 2005 with headquarters located in New York. Autism Speaks has employees located across the U.S. to help support charity events, build awareness, and fundraising support. We chose this charity as a team since we wanted to select a cause that could benefit children and had a presence within the Chicagoland area.

  • Autism Speaks Mission Statement: “Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.


Success Measures & Project Financials

Our team had four main criteria to define the success of the project based on our goals of raising awareness and funds for Autism Speaks:

# Goal Description
1 The event is hosted on Tuesday, November 7th at 7:30 PM
2 35 friends and family attended the event
3 55 individuals received flyers detailing Autism Speaks and our donation page
4 A total of $2500 is raised ($800 above minimum projections)

Our event was mostly successful based on our defined success criteria. As detailed below, we met 3 of the 4 goals initially laid out as a result of following our project, marketing, and communications plans.

# Goal Met Result Reason for the Result
1 Yes Event hosted on time The team executed the project plan and completed key deliverables on time and in scope.
2 No Only ~20 friends & family attended The group failed to draw as many attendees as projected. The date and time of the event (Tuesday at 7:30) was not effectively factored into projections and made it difficult for friends and family to attend.
3 Yes Over 55 flyers handed out in person and digitally Flyers were handed out to all bar patrons, not just our group, on the night of the event. Along with including the flyer in our digital communications, the group was able to meet and surpass the goal of 55 people reached.
4 Yes Raised $3240 through the event and online donations Successful marketing and communication through social media and personal emails. Personal emails helped drive the majority of the funds raised.

The final project financials broke out across the event and online as follows:

Revenue Stream Amount
Online Donations $3000
Trivia Night Raffle Tickets $180
Trivia Night Revenue Share (10% pre-tax) $60
Total Revenue Earned $3240


Costs Incurred Amount
Raffle Prizes – Blackhawks Tickets $125
Raffle Prizes – Bulls Tickets $33
Total Costs Incurred $158


Estimated Value of Other Donations Amount
Event space at Ironside Bar & Galley $1000  (Estimated from venue search)
Raffle Prizes – Gift Cards $75
Raffle Prizes – Liquor Packages $60       (Estimated)
Total Value of Other Donations $1135


Lessons Learned

Plan Before Executing
One key lesson learned by the team was that spending time up front to plan the details of the project from beginning to end was crucial to our success. By having a clearly defined plan before jumping into action, we were able to deliver our event on time and in scope.  The components of planning that were most helpful to the team were the compilation of a detailed work breakdown structure, an activity matrix with defined due dates, and a responsibility matrix which included each task. By having items assigned to individuals, there was never a question as to who was responsible for what and by when. This extensive planning along with our communication helped us to stay focused and on track throughout the project.

Always Have a Back-Up Plan
Having a back-up plan is necessary when planning any project.  No matter how much you plan, something will go wrong.  It helped our group to have several back-up plans for the event which were decided upon in the early planning stages. For example, our initial plan was to host a corn hole tournament in the lobby of our workplace.  After initially believing this event could be hosted, building management informed us there was a liability issue for us to host our own event.  Luckily, we had a back-up plan and immediately contacted and confirmed event details.  Without knowing our other options, we would have been left scrambling and losing costly time.

A Personal Touch is Most Effective
Fundraising is not as easy as it sounds.  Initially, the group believed there would be no issue meeting our financial goals after a surge in online donations the first few days of the page being active. After that, there was a dramatic decrease in activity on our donation pages.  We believed more donations would come in after implementing our social media marketing campaign.  However, the interest generated in our event on social media was not leading to actual donations. After realizing the lack of donation activity from social media, we began sending out personalized emails to individuals and groups with which group members were closest. This helped to spur a second wave of donations which allowed us to achieve our financial goals.  Social media can be effective in promoting events, but most people simply don’t look at the pages and will rarely donate.  Personal emails were much more effective in getting our message across and ultimately raising funds.


Advice for Future Teams

  • From the lessons learned – Spend the time up front to plan. Creating detailed project deliverables will allow the group to stay on target and combat scope creep. Make sure that after creating the deliverables, you continue to use them through to completion.
  • From the lesson learned – Make sure you have back-up plans. It is not easy to host an event and many challenges may come up along the way even before you start getting into planning. Have multiple ideas at the proposal stage with ways to implement them. Once you’ve keyed in on the event that works best for the priorities of your group, make sure to define a risk management plan that lists challenges that may come up along the way. Having these identified up front along with the response plan to them can save your group a significant amount of time and potentially money.
  • Communicate with the group and other stakeholders regularly. Follow your communications plan and make sure the right people are kept informed leading into the event.
  • Select a charity that your group is passionate about, but also be mindful of whether team members have a connection. A personal connection or previous communication with a charity helps cut down on risk significantly.
  • Pick an event that allows the team and guests to have fun.


Event Photos

Event flyer

Ironside Bar & Galley

DuPage Habitat for Humanity – Group 6

Project Description:

Our team partnered with DuPage Habitat for Humanity to raise awareness and support the organization’s mission by building homes, communities and hope. On Saturday, November 4th our team participated in a build day where we helped construct a home for a family in need. Over the course of the project, the team successfully raised $2,620 by utilizing a social media campaign and a donut fundraiser.

Charity Description:

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1973 and has served more than 9.8 million people.  This organization serves 1,400 communities in the United States and 70 countries around the world. The mission is to have a world where everyone has a decent and affordable place to live. Their mission is carried out by utilizing volunteers and providing affordable homes to families. Habitat’s slogan is: “through shelter, we empower”.

Success Objectives:

As a team we concluded that our success will be determined by the following three objectives:

  • Raise awareness
  • Raise $2,500
  • Learning the history and goals for Habitat for Humanity


The team surpassed the fundraising goal by raising $2,620 and generated awareness among our social network. The campaign was trending on GoFundMe through Facebook with 55 shares and we had approximately 600 views of the post across our LinkedIn profiles. Given these metrics, our team was successful in accomplishing our goals.

Lessons Learned:

Given the short time frame of this project, there were three critical lessons that our team learned:


  • Communication can make or break your project
  • Knowing your team members’ strengths is beneficial
  • Risk management and contingency planning


As mentioned before, the team had ten weeks to meet a critical goal of fundraising $2,500. Given the short time frame, communication among team members and Habitat for Humanity was critical for our success. Relying on our team members strengths was instrumental in our fundraising campaign. Our team members relied heavily on their networks at our company along with family and friends to meet our goal. Given the nature of construction activities on build day, it was necessary to have inclement weather as part of the risk management plan. Prudent planning allowed us to still complete a successful event despite the inclement weather.



Reflecting on the project and examining the success and challenges led the team to offer some guidance to ensure success on a future project. Planning early was a critical component to our success. Identifying a charity that all team members feel passionate about will impact team motivation and morale and will drive success. At the onset of the project identify the strengths of each team member and assign project tasks based on strengths. These two components will establish a strong foundation to execute a successful project plan.

Event Photos:


Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University Fundraiser – Group 4

Project Proposal

Team Charity’s Angels set-up a goal to raise money and awareness for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University with a focus on the Early Cancer Detection Institute. In order to raise money and awareness for our charity, we hosted an event with a silent auction and set up a donation page on our charity’s website. The event was hosted at Safehouse Chicago where 20% of the bar tab and 100% of tips were donated to the charity.  We also set up a fundraising page through Northwestern Memorial Foundation to raise additional funds.  The capacity of the event was over 50 people.  There was a silent auction during the event which included items such as sports memorabilia, original art, and restaurant gift cards.

Donation page:


The charity that our group has chosen for our fundraiser is the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University has significantly made its footprint in the Chicagoland area by being one of the best cancer centers in the nation. We chose this charity because of the heartbreaking effect of cancer on nearly everyone’s life in some way, including a member or our team who has a family member currently battling stage-four breast cancer at the Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The proceeds of our fundraiser are going to the Early Cancer Detection institute at Lurie to increase research capabilities and awareness for pre-cancer screenings and technologies. It is critical that cancer is detected in early stages in order to substantially reduce its mortality and effect on our lives.

Analysis of success

Our goal was to raise $2,000 through tips and 20% of sales from the event at Safehouse Chicago, the silent auction, and the donation page. Given that the event fell on a Wednesday at 5:30pm, we strived to have at least 40 attendees at the event. We believed that if we reached 40 people or more, the amount of sales and tips received would be enough to contribute to our monetary goal of $2,000. The most important success measure for Charity’s Angels is if group had fun together.

Success Metrics Goal Actual
Total Donations  $                              2,000.00  $  2,428.49
Event Attendees 40 60+
Silent Auction At least $718.20 to cover cost of consignment items  $  1,100.00

Our fundraising efforts were successful. We were able to raise a total of $2,428.49 which was 21.4% more then our initial goal. We are currently in the process of getting our employer, Northern Trust, to match our donation of $2,428.49. More importantly, we were able to raise awareness for Early Cancer Detection and have fun while doing it! We believe we successfully raised awareness through social media, emails, and word of mouth due to the amount of people who showed up to the event in addition to the number of people who generously donated on the donation website. Our group is extremely grateful for everyone’s contributions and support during our fundraiser.


  • A silent auction requires more than one person to supervise during the event.
  • Remain supportive of one another. Remaining positive about the event and project helped the team have a fun and successful event.
  • With donations, a personal email works significantly better than social media posts.
  • Details can get lost in translation through multiple forms of communication.


  • Communicate with the team regularly – Set up weekly meetings and check points
  • Days in the beginning of the project are just as crucial as days leading up to the event. Stay organized and follow a schedule to meet smaller deadlines prior to the event.
  • When trying to raise online donations, send personal emails. Many times shares on social media are overlooked.
  • Develop a defined plan, such as a milestone schedule with deadlines and a responsibility matrix, to stay on track and minimize scope creep and procrastination.
  • If you’re going to do a silent auction, assign multiple people to work on the bidding and collect funding for the items. Make sure individuals pay using the correct method prior to gifting them the item.
  • Items on consignment with a higher price tag may prove difficult to sell to a younger crowd.

The team learned and demonstrated project management skills while raising awareness and donations for a great cause.  During the event, our team had a great time seeing our hard work pay off. Overall, this project great experience.  We learned and demonstrated project management skills all while contributing to an honorable cause.  Even after facing a few challenges, our team had a great time seeing our hard work pay off!



Fundraiser for the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab – Group 5

Project Description:

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, our team successfully hosted a wristband deal at local bar/restaurant, McGee’s Tavern. The $30 wristbands included an open bar (select beers, wine, liquor, and soda) for a three hour period with approximately 33% of the proceeds going toward the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Additional funds were raised via a cash donation bucket on site at the event and through a dollar-for-dollar match by McGee’s on all purchases outside of the scope of the wristband made during the final hour of our event.

Charity Description:

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRAL), formerly known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), is a local nonprofit organization that has received international recognition as being the best rehabilitation hospital for the past 27 consecutive years. The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, officially established in March 2017, now features five ‘innovation centers’ for perfecting rehabilitation in the following areas: brain, spinal cord, nerve & muscle & bone, pediatrics, and cancer.

Home to some of the best and brightest doctors and therapists, the SRAL is constantly undergoing new trials and research in order to improve medical advancements each and every day. The organization provides high quality clinical care to over 50,000 patients per year, treating a number of complex conditions ranging from spinal cord injuries and strokes to traumatic brain and sports injuries. The organization relies on philanthropic support in order to deliver high quality care and groundbreaking research that impacts the lives of its patients and the community.

Success Metrics and Analysis:

The group decided that we would call the project successful if the following criteria were met:

  • Host a fundraising event for the SRAL
  • Raise awareness of the charity and its overall mission
  • Learn about project management
  • Have fun during the course of the project planning and event
  • Receive positive feedback from event attendees

We decided our project’s success would be determined by:

  • 50+ attendees at our event
  • Raising at least $500 for the charity
  • Amount of positive feedback we received from attendees of our fundraising event

In the end, we surpassed our goals with attendance of 63, and we raised $1,612. The check provided by McGee’s accounts for the 47 Wristbands ($470) and “Power Hour” ($241) totaling $711.

A breakdown of the financials is found below:

Lessons Learned:

  • Project Managers should anticipate a number of obstacles beyond the constraints outlined in the plan. Most obstacles will be offset by contingencies within the plan; however, some may require participants of the project to keep a fluid approach and deal with things at the moment they occur.


  • Project management teams should be prepared to deal with the aftermath of the event. When evaluating the potential risks associated with the project, we realized that the majority of events that could go wrong would have occurred on the actual day of the event. Leading up to the event, we focused mostly on promotion and raising awareness of both our charity and the event itself. We also learned that having a clear set of responsibilities laid out for each team member following the event is crucial to the success of the event.  Fortunately, we were able to complete our event with little to no risk.


Every project is subject to risk.  Certain activities are dependent upon the preceding activities, which can cause a domino effect if one goes wrong.  If risk is not mitigated, deferred, or avoided, the entire project can collapse.  Being proactive and planning ahead on what to do with these potential risks was critical for our project’s success.

Team cohesion is one of the most important elements of project management. Each member should be clear about their role and participation.

Teams should enjoy the event they have planned. A lot of work is needed to reach the results, and the moment to celebrate that accomplishment should be present in each team member’s mind.  This will contribute to team chemistry and reduce the stress that comes with all that work.

Event Photos:

Team Heart – West Suburban Humane Society Fundraiser

Our team’s mission was to raise funds and collect in-kind donations (supplies) for the West Suburban Humane Society (WSHS).  We chose to support this non-for-profit organization by selling raffle tickets ($5 donation per ticket), getting general donations (no tickets purchased), and collecting supplies for the shelter (dog/cat food, paper towels, laundry detergent, etc.).  We held an event on 07/07/2017 at our place of employment in two parts: a lunch session “Meet and Greet,” and a Happy Hour session after work.  We provided cookies for the Meet and Greet and served snacks and beverages during the Happy Hour.  The prizes for the raffle (all donated) included the following:

  • 1st Prize: Two VIP tickets to see Chicago and the Doobie Brothers at Northerly Pavilion
  • 2nd Prize: Two tickets to see All Time Low at the Aragon Ballroom
  • 3rd Prize:  Two tickets to SkyDeck Chicago (ten sets available)

We collected donations in the weeks leading up to the event and during each part of the event.  The Executive Director and Humane Educator from WSHS pulled the raffle tickets at the end of the night to announce the raffle winners.

WSHS operates a premier animal shelter in Downers Grove, Illinois for the purpose of finding safe, permanent and compatible homes to adopt domestic dogs and cats.  WSHS serves as a resource to educate the community and animal owners about responsible dog and cat care. One of their many values is to always act ethically and in the best interests of animals and potential adopters alike.

Team Heart set a goal to raise $1,000 and collect 5 boxes of supplies for WSHS.  We more than doubled our goal by raising $2,378 and collecting 6 boxes of supplies for WSHS!

1)  HAVE FUN!  Our group had a great time supporting WSHS in the weeks leading up to the event and during the event itself.  We had musical entertainment and served snacks and beverages.  The more fun we were having, the more successful we were.
2)  ACT QUICKLY, STAY ON TRACK:  A huge part of our success came from identifying our stakeholders and contacting them as soon as possible.  As soon as we chose our charity and event location, we contacted all the appropriate parties right away (venue facilitator, employer HR department, employer facilities, WSHS representatives, “connections” who provided raffle prizes, and most importantly, the potential donators).  Constant communication keeps everyone on track.
3)  IF YOU DON’T ASK, THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS NO!:  Each time we came up with an idea, we contacted the person who we needed permission from to execute it.  Each time we had the opportunity to sell raffle tickets to someone, we took it (at work, home, parties, family events, etc.).  Each time we had the opportunity to ask someone if they had any of the requested supplies laying around the house, we asked them.  Each time we had a suggestion for the group, we threw it out there.  Getting past the fear of rejection helped us to build a momentum that lasted throughout the whole fundraiser.  If we didn’t go for it, we knew the answer would be no!

Be mindful of scope creep.  Our team was excited about our cause which led to lots of creative ideas flowing. All five of us had tons of ideas about how to collect the most donations, how to choose the raffle prizes, how to decorate for the event, how to generate revenues through multiple streams, how to promote our event, etc.  Since we only had 5 weeks, we didn’t have time to explore every avenue. There were many times that we had to recognize that we didn’t have enough time to expand our plans, or we would have let the scope get too large and unmanageable.


Team Pi – JPA Supply Drive

Description of Project

Our project was a multi-stream fundraiser composed of a collection drive for school supplies as well as in-person and online monetary donations.  We partnered with the Juvenile Protective Association (“JPA”) and their mentor program, 9th Gear.    We assembled and decorated school supply collection boxes to encourage participation and placed them throughout multiple floors in our Rosemont Headquarters.   JPA identified our initiative on their donation website in text and also built out a special event to be selected within a drop down menu to have the funds donated be included as part of this fundraiser.  We promoted online donations through flyers, verbally, and through social media.  The divide and conquer approach within our team allowed us to reach the highest number of donors possible.

Description of Charity

Juvenile Protection Association (“JPA”) is a Chicago based organization that was founded in 1901 by Jane Addams.  The mission of JPA has shifted over the years from initially providing the first probation officers within the local juvenile court system to currently providing therapeutic counseling services to at-risk children.  Within JPA, the mentor program 9Th Gear was established in 2016 to offer a summer program to help assist students in their transition into high school.  JPA currently provides therapeutic counseling services to at-risk children, both in the classroom and at home.  The social workers and therapists at JPA recognized that continual involvement with the students set them on a better path entering high school and kept them off of the gang-filled streets.

Success Analysis / Metrics

By researching school supply prices at the locations most 9th Gear students purchase their school supplies from, (Target, Walmart, and CVS), we calculated that the average student requires $30 worth of supplies each school year ($50 including backpack).  Given the brevity of the project timeframe we encouraged participants to provide tangible school supplies, but we also strongly encourage monetary donations as well.  Many of our financial donors were eager to participate even if they did not have school supply items to donate.

  • The calculated value of monetary goods received totaled $1,672.46 / original goal of $200.
  • JPA online donations totaled $2,000.00.
    • $338 in cash was received.
    • $110 received via Venmo.
  • Monetary donations totaled $4,120.46 / original goal of $700.

We emphasized keeping costs at a minimum with the intent to launch our project as early as possible to maximize the donation period. All marketing and donation box materials totaled $75.91. When deducting these minimal expenses from our aggregate donation value received our projects net income came out $4,044.55.

Lessons Learned

One lesson we learned about managing a project is that effective communication is key. We communicated in a way that worked for all of us, either through email or text, and when we met. We were able to effectively manage tasks, clarify any misunderstandings, reach out to help or ask for help through text or email.

Another lesson learned was to stay active with the stakeholders in the project. We had a team member consistently keep in touch with our stakeholders to obtain and provide updates. This helped our team shift focus when needed and remained persistent until we exceeded our goal.

Advice for Future Teams

Create a clear detailed project plan, a work breakdown structure, and a risk management plan to help prepare for what needs to be done and to help mitigate any anticipated risks. Match the team member to the task based on skills, our team shared tasks because we felt there was an overlap of skills to each task. Having clear ownership and accountability of tasks will help your team stay focused and succeed.



‘Birdies For Breath’ Campaign Benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Inaugural ‘Birdies For Breath’ Event Benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Project Description:  Our team’s mission was to create a fun and cost-effective fundraising campaign to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Our goal was to raise as much money as possible and to help achieve that goal, we created three primary revenue drivers: 1) we hosted a mini-golf event, 2) we sold raffle tickets for a pair of Cubs tickets, and 3) we established an online donation site through GoFundMe.

Description of Charity Organization:  The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is a national organization whose mission is to support all activities associated with finding a cure for the genetic disorder.  Such activities include coordinating/overseeing fundraising events, creating symptom/life management plans for people living with CF, host educational/awareness events, lead political advocacy efforts, etc.  Since its inception in 1955, the Foundation has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to help fund drug research and development and has created a national network of care centers to help extend the life expectancy of people living with CF.

Analysis of Results/Success Measures:  Given that we elected to pursue a monetary fundraising campaign, our goal was to raise as much money as possible over a 4-week period.  In order to help meet this objective, we strove to keep overhead costs as low as possible.  The nature of our revenue drivers were extremely low cost and we were able to secure a pair of donated Cubs tickets for our raffle. An overview of our revenue goals/results follows:

  • Mini-golf event – Fundraising goal of $600 / Actual amount raised $1,000
  • Raffle – Fundraising goal of $500 / Actual amount raised $2,330
  • GoFundMe site – Fundraising goal of $300 / Actual amount raised $1,100
  • Charitable Match – Not anticipated / Actual results of $2,730

All in all, we raised $6,460 of net proceeds against a goal of $1,000 and successfully achieved all of our success measures established at the beginning of the project.

Lessons learned:

  1. Great teams make all the difference – every team member approached the project with enthusiasm and excitement during the course of the campaign, making it really fun to work together!  Each member brought unique skills and great ideas to the table, which was crucial in creating such a successful project.
  2. A well thought out risk management plan is critical – Weather was a major concern for us heading into the day of our mini-golf event.  Fortunately, we had thought through the risks on the front end and created contingency plans.

Advice for future teams:

  • Find a cause that you are passionate about and create a project that fits in with your team’s personality.
  • Define team member roles early and establish/adhere to an agreed upon communication plan.
  • Don’t micromanage!  Trust your team members to accomplish their assigned tasks, but make sure that the team is providing regular updates so that everyone is on the same page.
  • Resist the urge to continually add to the project scope.

Event Pictures