Fantastic 4 Feeding My Starving Children

Project

Our team planned a volunteer event, and an online fundraiser for Feed My Starving Children charity located in Schaumburg, IL. Our project held the volunteer event on Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 with a goal of recruiting 20 total volunteers. We set a fundraiser monetary goal at $500. We wanted to spread awareness through donations for those that could not volunteer their time; we also wanted volunteers in hopes that they could continue to volunteer on their own once they saw how much donating their time impacted the charity, and helped feed the starving children around the world.

Charity

Founded in 1987, Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is a Christian non-profit that provides nutritionally complete meals specifically formulated for malnourished children. Their mission is to feed God’s starving children who are hungry in body and spirit. Their process is simple, which is raising donations to acquire meal ingredients, and recruiting volunteers to hand-pack the meals. Meals are donated to FMSC food partners around the world, where kids are fed and lives are saved!

Analysis of Success

Goals Actual Results
Raise $500 in online donations $700 total of 23 donors
Recruit 20 volunteers for the event 20 showed up to actual event
Raise awareness : Reach 500 people Emailed: 75 people

Text: To close friends and family: 61 people

Volunteer event 20 people

Total: 165

 

Project cost: $60 for 4 group T-shirts. We didn’t incur additional costs because the charity provided fundraiser site and our volunteers paid for their own transportation.

Overall we were able to raise $700 in online donations, and we had 20 volunteers show up on our event day. Our volunteers packed 6,981 meals that will feed 19 children for a year. We were able to spread awareness through social media by reaching out a platform of over 2000 people; however, there was no way of properly tracking all the views, and analyzing the full extent of our impact. Therefore, we didn’t include social media in our actual results. We utilized our own social media platforms, as well as, communicated to friends and colleagues via email and text. We personally called or told our friends and family about our event in person, and asked them to spread the word. As a team we felt that we achieved our goals and successfully spread awareness.

Lessons Learned

There were two lessons we learned from this project; the importance of effective communication and delegation of tasks. Communications via text and in class meetings were not sufficient enough for us to manage our project effectively. We found that scheduling meetings outside of class time, as well as, conference calls at least once a week were more productive for us. Delegation of task was another lesson we learned. Had we utilized the work breakdown structure and assigned tasks properly at the very beginning, we would have most likely raised more funds.

Advice

Communicating on a regular basis to track progress and meeting outside of class is important to ensure the project is executed in timely manner. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from professional and personal networks. Our networks helped us recruit additional volunteers, raise funds, and reach wider audience to spread awareness.

 

The Glass Slipper Project

Project Description

Team 5 hosted an event for the Glass Slipper Project on Saturday, November 3rd from 2pm to 5pm at T.G.I. Friday’s to raise money and awareness for The Glass Slipper Project. During the event, guests were able to eat, socialize and learn more about the Glass Slipper Project. The team collected prom dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry and money to benefit the charity.

Charity

The Glass Slipper Project is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The organization collects new and almost new formal dresses and accessories and provides them to girls with junior and/or senior status in high school. Since its inception, The Glass Slipper Project has helped over 20,000 young women attend their proms! Students shop for a free outfit, aided by more than 500 volunteer personal shoppers, with alterations available on-site.

The Glass Slipper Project was founded by Dorian Carter, Katherine Goldberg Shaw and Rachel Hart Klayman, with assistance from Julie Ann Sklaver. While Chicago Public Schools and private donors provide support for its operations, it is volunteer run and has no paid staff.

Analysis of Success

Team 5 had the following goals to measure success:

  • Collect at least 30 dresses & accessories from the following list:
    • Unused makeup
    • Sparkly jewelry (earrings, bracelets, necklaces)
    • Small, dressy purses
    • Dressy shoes and sandals
    • New or gently used formal dresses
  • Have at least 40 people attend the event
  • Have a board member from the Glass Slipper Project attend our event
  • Raise awareness for the Glass Slipper Project
  • Get 1 person to sign up to volunteer during prom season
  • Raise $750 in monetary donations for the Glass Slipper Project

We were able to achieve 3 of our 6 goals. We exceeded our both of our donation goals. We collected the following items for the Glass Slipper Project: 60 formal dresses, 10 pairs of shoes, 40 pieces of sparkly jewelry, 3 small, dressy purses and 5 makeup kits. We also collected $835 in monetary donations. We were also able to raise awareness for the charity. During our event, several members of the T.G.I. Friday’s staff, as well as other dining customers, stopped by to pick up flyers  and asked where they can drop off dresses in the future. While we had a great event, we did not exceed our attendee goal, did not have a board member from the Glass Slipper Project attend our event and did not get a volunteer to sign up. Overall, we had about 35 people attend our event.

Lessons Learned

We learned the following lessons throughout the planning of our event:

  1. Communication – We first learned that communication is key. You have to stay in constant contact with everyone that is involved with your event – especially your other group members!
  2. Marketing Your Event – We also learned how important it is to make sure you have your marketing material done as soon as possible and that you send out your invites early. This way people are aware of your event and hopefully they are free to attend.
  3. Stay Organized – Make sure you have your implementation plan and risk management plan done early. These tools are crucial to the success of the event. The implementation plan helps you stay organized and keeps everyone on task. The risk management helps you prepare for anything that could go wrong with your event.

Advice for Future Teams

Our advice for future teams would be to make sure you stay on top of getting everything done in a timely manner. Get in contact with the charity and the venue people early. When you talk to anyone, make sure that you get everything in writing.

Photos of the Event

Impacting Futures with the Boys and Girls Club

THE PROJECT

Team 1 planned and implemented a fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Club. The project was designed around two components: a fundraiser held at Vapiano located at 222 S Riverside and an online portal created to accept donations prior to and after the fundraising event.  Tickets to the fundraiser were sold for $30 which provided guests with an open bar of beer and wine as well as pizza from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday November 7, 2018.  At the event we raffled off five separate signed sports memorabilia.   Raffle tickets were available to guests at $20 for an arm’s length.  Attendees also had the opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities with the Boys and Girls Club.  For those who could not attend the event, the online portal provided an opportunity to support the organization in whatever monetary amount they were comfortable with.

THE CHARITY

The Boys and Girls Club provides children “emotional, educational, physical, and cultural resources that allow them to enjoy their childhood and eventually thrive in adulthood.” With an emphasis on kids from low-income neighborhoods and areas of high risk of violence, the Boys and Girls Club provides mentoring as well as educational and character development programs. We partnered with the local Elgin chapter as well as the national organization with proceed from the fundraising event supporting the local chapter and the online portal supporting the national organization.

ANALYSIS OF SUCCESS

Our team had four main goals and objectives:

  1. Raise at least $1,000 for the charity
  2. Attendee goal of 40 people
  3. Awareness goal of registering 3 new volunteers
  4. No negative publicity or negative experience for charity or attendees

We were able to achieve 3 of our 4 objectives.  We exceeded both our fundraising and attendee goal.  In total we raised $3,135 for the charity, $2,605 of which came exclusively from our online donation portal.  44 people attended our event which, net of expenses, raised an additional $530.  Through both components we were able to provide a great experience for those who attended the event as well as great publicity for the Boys and Girls Club.

While we had hoped to register 3 new volunteers at the event, we were unsuccessful in doing so.  However, we had 78 individuals donate through the online portal which brought them directly to the organization’s website.  Despite not achieving this specific goal, we believe we were still able to do a good job of raising awareness of the benefits of the organization.

LESSONS LEARNED

Two key lessons we learned by planning and implementing this project were the importance of having a risk management plan and a thorough work breakdown structure.  Despite how simple your event may seem, taking the time to identify all potential risks, whether they seem likely or not, as well as contingencies for those risks will make it much easier when something inevitably does not go according to plan. In addition, while it may seem unnecessary, creating a work breakdown structure to a very detailed level will allow you to identify any gaps in your planning before those gaps turn into problems.  Having a brainstorming session and sticky notes is very effective way to begin the process.

ADVICE

Leverage your own networks and do not be afraid to ask for help or participation.  We originally believed the bulk of our donation would come from the fundraising event and not the online portal, but we were surprised to have the opposite happen.  By leveraging each team member’s network of friends, colleagues, and family we were able to have over 100 participants between donations online and at the fundraising event.  When you leverage your network do not be afraid to ask for donations or attendance.  Everyone has a desire to help those in their own network and you will be amazed at how many people want to see your event succeed.  All you have to do is ask.

EVENT PICTURES

Ellie Burns Foundation

Team 2 Ellie Burns Foundation

Our team coordinated a funding raising event at Healy’s Westside Pub to help raise funds for the Ellie Burns Foundation. We obtained a donated package with bar management to donate food for 3 hours as well as provide a keg of beer. We will charge a cover charge at the door of $20 for the meal and drink package. During the event we will socialize and help spread the word about the Burns Foundation while also participating in silent auction and a raffle for an iWatch.

The charity is the Ellie Burns Foundation, a local organization with fundraisers mainly occurring in the North Shore and greater Chicago Land Area. The organization also has ties to Miami University in Ohio where one of our team members obtained his undergraduate degree. The purpose of the charity is to fund scholarships for High School students to promote leadership and education through outdoor activities. The proceeds from our event were to help fund a trip to Tanzania for two students.

We defined success in this event through the following achievements:

  • Plan well and execute well. Set reasonable expectations, communicate frequently and work effectively as a team
  • Meet or exceed projected revenue/profit expectations of $500 from the fundraising events
    • <$500 – “Successful”
    • $501-$1000 – “Very Successful”
    • $1000+ – “Extremely Successful”
  • Raise awareness among co-workers, students, working professionals and friends/families
  • Reach out to individuals/organizations via direct phone calls, emails, social media, etc
  • Establish ongoing commitments to the cause/ongoing online donations
  • Have lots of fun!

We are happy to report that all these objectives were fulfilled by the end of the event and we were able to raise over $1500.

Two lessons we learned from this are in the invitation process and plan implementation. In term of inviting guests, some arrivals we thought for sure would show up did not and people that we mentioned this to in passing not only showed up but contributed greatly. The lesson learned was to let the entire masses know of your event regardless of their relationship to you. The second lesson was to have back up plans to any downturns. The party went off without a hitch but we were prepared for low attendance and weather impacts.

Our advice to future team members would be to choose a charity that you are already involved with our have a passion for. The whole process will hardly feel like work at all.

  

Team 4 – Lincoln Park Community Shelter

Project Description

Our project’s objective was intended to generate direct revenue, as well as in-kind donations, and also provide a service for a worthy cause. The project scope included the following deliverables:

  • Service Event – Planned, cooked, and served breakfast for the Interim Housing Community on the morning of Friday, October 19th. We needed to arrive at 6:30am with our meal plan and groceries for 20-30 Lincoln Park residents. We also had to clean-up afterwards.
  • Fundraising Event
    • Payment in Kind: Received donations of supplies,40 items, needed by selected charity
      • Advertised to neighbors, friends, family and co-workers
      • Utilized social media, email, phone calls, and in person meetings
    • Monetary Revenue: Receive donations of $450
      • Advertised to neighbors, friends, family and co-workers
      • Utilized social media, email, phone calls, and in person meetings

The project milestones included securing the date for the service event.  The entire projected was expected to be completed by November 9, 2018.  The project met our must objectives to be safe, legal, and comply with University policies.

Charity Description

The selected charity is a local organization and is Lincoln Park Community Services (LPCS). LPCS is a social services agency focused on addressing homelessness in Chicagoland. LPCS is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation founded in 1984. Their mission statement is, “LPCS brings communities together to empower individuals facing homelessness and poverty to secure stable housing and make sustainable life changes.” Today, their Interim Housing Community program offers 24 hour services and improved living and program space for up to 35 guests. The goals of the program are to provide a safe place to eat and sleep and help individuals return to self-sufficiency. LPCS is mostly privately funded, with great support from donations throughout the community.

Our contact was the Director of Community Engagement. There are no formal clearances or applications since this is a one-time event and temporary endeavor with our group. This was confirmed by the Director of Community Engagement. However, if we were repeating volunteers there would be a more formal screening process we would need to complete prior to our service.

This charity has the resources for our community service project and has made available those resources in exchange for volunteer time and willingness to raise funds. Lincoln Park Community Services has the kitchen and shelter space we will use for preparing, cooking, and serving food. In addition, LPCS will supply materials such as dishes, cookware, and utensils that will be needed. Most importantly, they also have the workers in addition to volunteers that have served this community for many years. Since there is a great need in Lincoln Park there were plenty of patrons to serve.

Objectives and Success

Original Project Objectives

Most Likely Case

Service Event: Successful completion with 2 additional volunteers

Monetary Event: $450 in donations

Payment-in-Kind Donations: 40 items with $3 average per item ($120 total)

These were divided into individual sub-goals; Raising $112.50 and collecting 10 items per person. This case was the project team’s goal

Best Case: 3 volunteers attend; $600 in donations ($150 per person); and 60 items (15 per person).

Worst Case: 0 volunteers attend, $350 in donations ($87.50 per person) and 20 items (5 per person)

Original Budget

Revenues Costs           Service Event Costs Fundraising
Monetary $500
Payment in Kind 40 items
Groceries 80
Boxes 0
Advertising 0
Total $450 + 40 items 80 0
Net Income (40 items x $3) $490

 

After further discussions with the Director of Community Engagement, there was little space at the shelter for items and cash donations would be more valued. As such, the project team slightly tweaked the scope of the project to exclude payment-in-kind and increase monetary donations by $120.

Actual Results

The overall project was a success as each goal was met. The service event was completed with uproarious applause from the patrons and two additional volunteers did come to help.  The team generated $760 in monetary donations with $150 in grocery expenses resulting in a net income of $610.  This exceeded the team’s net income goal of $490.

Lessons Learned

  1. Project scope – Be aware of taking on too much. Also, it is important to be adaptable. After having discussions with the charity’s director of event coordination it became apparent that one of our objective’=s didn’t align with one of their primary goals. As such, we were willing to revise the project scope after learning new information.
  2. Assign tasks – It is important to assign even the smallest tasks to individuals. This ensures accountability as well as the task being completed in a timely fashion. Until the task was assigned, we learned there was not a high likelihood it would be completed.
  3. Risk Management – It is important to think of all potential risks for the project. Of course, you will not be able to come up with all risks but spending a reasonable amount of time on this is important. There were a couple times when our risk management plan helped us. For example, we were concerned about the groceries being delivered; not only the logistics but in a timely fashion. As such, we utilized our contingency which was to have Instacart deliver directly to the location. This did increase expenses so we had to raise additional monetary donations to cover the increased costs.

Advice for Future Project Teams

Our team would advise the group to book the event location and time as soon as possible. There is only a short time for the class and this is the hardest thing to try and coordinate.  Once the location and time is decided then it is important to complete a work breakdown structure.  If you do not complete this then you will not realize all the small details that will be required in order to successfully complete your project.   Lastly, communication is key.  If you are having issues with your specific task or role, it’s important to speak up to your project manager so they can help resolve it or allocate more resources if possible.

Pictures of Volunteer Event

Team RWB Bag Toss

Project Description
Our team decided to host a charity fundraiser Bag Toss Tournament in order to raise awareness in our local communities regarding Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB). The event was hosted at American Legion Post 973 in Ravenswood over the Memorial Day weekend. Entrance into the tournament was $10 per participant/ $20 per team, with the winning team receiving a $50 prize and the rest going to the charity. During the event we raised additional funds through a 50/50 raffle. Prior to the event we set up a direct link to Team RWB’s website to collect online donations.

Charity
Team Red, White, and Blue is a non-profit Veterans organization that seeks to enrich the lives of American veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Members participate in weekly/bi-weekly local events aimed to promote physical exercise as well as providing a social and support network. Some of the events include but are not limited to running, cycling and other fitness type actives.

Analysis of Success
Our goal was to raise funds for and awareness of Team RWB. Team RWB is the largest veterans organization in the United States though not many vets know about the outreach of this organization. We measured our success in term of how much monetary support we raised. Our initial goal was $500 given the short time frame in which to raise the funds and reviewing what other Team RWB teams have accomplished with previous online donations. Due to the amount of online giving we raised our goal to $1,000. We exceed our modified goal by raising $1,179. Our team is currently the highest grossing online donation team on the RWB website.

Lessons Learned
During the execution of the project, Team Geronimo concurs our primary lessons learned are ensuring the project plan had built in contingencies, delegation / accountability of tasks to meet the overall objective, and communication protocol. The following is a breakdown of each lesson learned:
● P-A-C-E. – This is a military acronym for Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency. the two critical areas to focus on early in the planning process are Charity selection and the venue to host the event. As a group, we focused on one charity and as it turned out the charity was great to work with and supported us throughout the processes. If the selected charity did not work out, we would have needed to scramble to identify and coordinate another charity with little time to spare. Next, securing a venue was paramount. We had a venue picked early and were in negotiations about dates but ultimately didn’t work out. We had to restart our search for a second venue a couple weeks into the planning process. Our second attempt at finding a venue applied the PACE plan and took on a multi-prong approach with three venues to choose from. If we had to do it over, we would have approached multiple venues in parallel at on onset of the project.
● Delegation / Accountability – As a large team of seven, it was important to us to outline tasks assign owners for various major deliverables. We learned quickly, first couple of weeks, we needed a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and responsibility matrix to clearly communicate who was responsible for what. We completed the WBS and the responsibility matrix within a couple of weeks of starting the project. Both documents were refined over time and served as team tools to track accountability.
● Communication – Again, with having a large team, communication becomes very important in order to keep the plans moving forward. We operated with three forms of communication: WhatsApp group chat for day to day communications, group emails for longer conversations and attachments, and Google Docs where we kept all our deliverables. In hindsight we should have also developed a communications plan early in the process to document frequency and which channel was used. We learned quickly and that helped. We could have avoided a few miss-steps in the beginning and end of the project with communication if a comms plan was developed early.

Advice
Set realistic expectations for your project, but don’t be afraid to reach for higher goals
Networking is key, so invite everyone you know
Don’t be afraid to ask for volunteers/donations, etc. The worst they can say is no.
At times when the project becomes stressful, keep in mind that this is a learning experience and you are bringing real support to a worthy cause.

 

MULLIGANS FOR MISERICORDIA

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT

“Mulligans for Misericordia” was an event at Play 18, an indoor golf facility on Wabash in the Loop, on Saturday, May 19th from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The benefactor for this event is Misericordia House of Chicago. Our decision to host the event at Play18 was due to a variety of factors, including the venue’s offering of a space that can hold up to 200 people (note: our maximum projection is 100 attendees) as well as various additional activities including: 4 PGA Tour simulators, driving bays, pool tables and a bar. In addition to proceeds from the revenue generated by each $50 ticket sold to the event, we originally planned to have a small silent auction that we hoped would further the net contribution we were going to be able to provide to Misericordia., however we ultimately held the longest drive and closest to the pin contests to award prizes. We were able to surpass our target donation amount of $1,000 and ultimately provided a donation of $1,275. We also aimed to raise awareness for Misericordia by helping promote the organization, and our goal was to increase Facebook followers by at least 20 individuals. Over the duration of our project, Misericordia’s “Likes” increased by 63, a number that we acknowledge cannot be solely attributed to our efforts, but we are confident we were responsible for at least twenty of these.

 

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARITY

Charity Name Misericordia Home
Website https://www.misericordia.com/

 

Founded originally in1921, as a maternity hospital for women of meager means. In1954, Misericordia transitioned and began recognizing an even greater need in society—helping young children with developmental and physical disabilities. Misericordia now offers a spectrum of residential options on its 31-acre Chicago campus and in the community for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities Misericordia currently serves more than 600 children and adults from diverse racial, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.

Misericordia’s mission statement:

“The mission of Misericordia Heart of Mercy is to support children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who choose our community by providing the highest quality residential, training, and employment services. We provide the full continuum of care designed to meet each person’s changing needs and maximize his or her independence, self-determination, interpersonal relationships, and engagement in the community. Through our dedicated families, employees, volunteers, supporters and community networks, we offer an environment that fosters each person’s spirituality, dignity, respect, and quality of life.”

FACTUAL ANALYSIS OF SUCCESS CONCERNING PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Our team had two goals at the beginning of the project. First, we wanted to raise awareness about Misericordia and the work they do in the community. Secondly, our team aimed to raise $1,000 to donate to Misericordia. To spread the word about our charity we created a Facebook page and an Eventbrite page that had information about Misericordia and our event. During the actual event, we were provided with several informational pamphlets that we place around the venue. We also were fortunate enough to have a few current residents at Misericordia come to our event and one of them, Christopher, gave a fantastic speech about his experiences with Misericordia. While it is difficult to quantify the impact Christopher’s speech had, we felt it was very impactful and truly left a positive impression for those who were in attendance.

Financially, our only expense was the $1,000 to rent out Play 18. To hit our goal, we needed to raise $2,000. We planned to sell tickets initially at a $50 price and then reduce the price to $25 the day of the event to attract the maximum amount of attendees. Originally we planned to host a silent auction to diversify our revenue streams, but the logistics did not work out, so we pivoted. Instead of auctioning off the items provided by Misericordia we designed a long drive and closest to the pin challenge. These contest offered a fun incentive for people to come and increase our ticket sales. Our team was able to sell enough tickets in the weeks before our event date of May 19th to break-even, so we knew heading into the week of the event that any additional sales would go directly to our charity. The final tally on tickets sold came in at 30 for a total of $1,125 raised. We received a handful of generous donations as well for an additional $1,150 to make our grand total $2,275. That meant we had achieved our goal and raised $1,275 in contributions for Misericordia.

 

TWO OR THREE LESSONS LEARNED ABOUT MANAGING PROJECTS

  1. Maintain active communication: One useful project management activity we implemented was regular weekly meetings. There were many moving parts to the project, so meeting weekly was an excellent method to avoid any surprises and to keep up to date. We also had a group email that allowed us to be in constant communication with each other.

 

  1. Planning: An area of improvement was planning. We set our event date relatively early in the quarter, which only left a few weeks to confirm a location, market, and generate sales for the event. We confirmed the reservation at Play18 on May 7th, which gave us a little less than two weeks to raise at minimum $1,000. While we were successful, we acknowledge that if possible we should utilize longer planning periods.

 

ADVICE FOR FUTURE TEAMS DOING SIMILAR PROJECTS

The first piece of advice our team has for future teams is to use your time wisely. With only two months to plan, sell, and host the event you need to make sure to regularly meet with your team to make sure you are on the right track. It can be tempting to relax the first few weeks, but that is really the time your team needs to flush out the idea. Next, always be communicating. Figure out what method works best for the team and go with it. Our team found an email thread to be a quick and efficient way to keep up to date.

Another piece of advice is to have contingency plans. As the event date approaches things can fall through. Having even the most basic backup plan can make things go much smoother as opposed to trying to figure it out on the spot. Another thing to consider is staying organized.  There were contracts, ticket sales, and donations that were very important to keep track of. Lastly, be positive and have fun. This is especially important because you are part of a team. Maintaining an optimistic and enthusiastic attitude can help you get the most out of the project.

 

PHOTOS RELATED TO THE PROJECT

Happy Hour for Charity!- Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

Project Description and Charity:

Our team conducted a Happy Hour for Charity event to benefit Mercy Home for Boys and Girls. Our group formed largely due to the fact that we all were interested in conducting a similar type of event. Based on our reviews of previous projects, we felt that holding a happy hour event would be fun and productive way to raise funds and spread awareness for a charity. For this event we had a $40 Wristband that included unlimited wine, beer, & appetizers for 2 hours at Liqrbox in Rivernorth. Once we figured out our venue, we then needed to pick a charity for our project. After briefly discussing a few options, we quickly decided to pick Mercy Home as our charity because one of our members already had a connection to the charity and a relationship with their volunteer coordinator. We felt that this would be a huge benefit to our project. Founded in 1887 and located at 1140 West Jackson in Chicago, Mercy Home for Boys & Girls helps youth escape poverty, abuse, and neglect.

Analysis of Success:

Our goal was to spread awareness and raise money for Mercy Home Boys and Girls. We decided to set the following goals for our project- raise $600 from our happy hour event, raise $500 from our online donation link, have at least 5 of our event guests fill out volunteer forms for Mercy, and spread awareness for the work done by Mercy. We fell a little short on our first two goals by only raising $500 and $300 respectively, but we were able to meet and exceed our other two goals by effectively spreading awareness for Mercy as well as obtaining 15 completed volunteer forms. We may have slightly overestimated our fundraising goals given the early timing of our event and the fact that our team only had four members. It was still rewarding to be able to donate these funds and volunteer forms to Mercy as well as inform them of the awareness we had spread for their cause.

Lessons Learned:

Organization:  Luckily our group was able to coordinate and plan everything without any issues, with that being said it was because we were very organized. Our team was in constant contact through texting, emails, and google docs. It was very easy to have a successful event because we had open communication.

Time: Since our event was early in the quarter it was important for us to communicate and make sure everything was done in a timely manner. Finding a venue and selecting which one we liked had to be done very fast. Everything that we did was time sensitive so it was a good way for us to learn how to manage our time and gets things done efficiently. 

Advice:

  • Work effectively!
  • Make a timeline
  • Set deadlines
  • Communicate efficiently
  • Have a good time!

 

Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange

The Project:

Our team did an event on 5/19 at Emporium Arcade Bar Wicker Park to raise money and awareness for the Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange organization. Attendees donated supplies that were needed by the organization and also made cash donations. We were initially going to raffle tickets to a Cubs game, but we ultimately decided to instead raffle off an RCA tablet and gift cards from Giordanos and Starbucks. Everyone who donated either money or supplies was included in the raffle. We had live entertainment for free (no cover to enter) and also gave away free game tokens.

The Charity:

The Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange is a non-profit organization that focuses on the creative re-use and re-distribution of school/arts supplies. The organization receives the materials mostly from local businesses and distributes them to teachers.

Teachers come from a wide variety of schools, but most are Chicago Public School teachers. The end goal of the organization or the reason they do this is to empower the mind of the youth by promoting creative use of the supplies. The organization frequently hosts swap circles in which teachers can go and get the materials they need for their classrooms.

Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives:

Our three main objectives were to raise money, awareness and donate supply.   We expected to raise $450 total.  We ended up raising $274 from our raffle at our event, $120 from our online donations, and $30 from the venue based on our RSVP’s.

We also wanted to raise awareness of this organization and their cause.  To promote our event, we created a Facebook event and each member of our group shared it with our networks.  Our Facebook event reached over 2000 people and had about 1000 views.  Also, we were able to raise awareness to everyone who came to emporium who might not have heard of our organization.

Our goal was to donate around 225 items of supplies and we were able to donate about 100 items from the event.  This was lower than we anticipated but we were glad to also be able to donate money.

Goals and Objectives Accomplished
Raise Money (expected $450.00) We raised about $424 from our event, online and the venue
Raise Awareness Reached over 2K people, and had 1,000 views on Facebook event page
Donate Supplies (expected 225 items) We received approximately 120 various school supplies the day of the event
Put on a fun event! About 250 -300 people attended

 

Lessons Learned:

Overall putting together an actual event in a short amount of time makes you put a lot of things into perspective.  Learning to manage risk in the event that one may arise, as well as having a solid contingency plan in place is a must.  Real life things are always happening an example is family emergencies that can happen in a blink of an eye and change your life as you know it.  Contingency plans help combat issues that can and will arise.

Holding regular team meetings are imperative to making sure everyone is on the same page.  Team meetings do not have to be useless.  Our meetings helped keep us on track.  If we had questions and concerns, we would make sure to voice this and either get on a call or follow up via email to make sure that we were in fact on the same page or figure out what needed to be done to get us back on the same page.  Meetings were extremely helpful and a vital part of managing projects.

Of course, there are vital skills that are needed and without them projects would never see fruition and that is Organizational skills, making sure that information is easily accessible for all to access we used google docs to help keep us organized as a team.  Communication skills are also a key component.  Making sure that we effectively communicated with each other is another skill needed for successful project management.  Furthermore, making sure we had clarity on our goals especially from the organization.  The organization that you are assisting may have a different vision, however making sure that you are able to bring things together is very important, even if the vision is different the end goal is the same, and making sure that this was expressed, and trying to tie the organizations vision with ours had its challenges, however in the end we were able to pull it off.   The biggest takeaway from managing projects is to have Fun!  At the end of the day there are a lot of little pieces that go into managing projects.  However, there is fun to be had, putting on events can also be fun, and as you can tell from our photos we were able to have fun while doing a great thing for a phenomenal organization.

Advice for future teams:

The best piece of advice for future groups to pull off a field project is to stay on top of communication. Another piece of advice would be to never underestimate your personal and professional networks. Although our group wanted to complete this field project for the sake of a grade, I highly doubt that the project wouldn’t have been as successful if we did not include outside stakeholders within our own networks to help pull of the event.

 

 

Barcade Benefit for Heartland Housing

The Project

For our fundraiser, we held an event at Emporium, an adult arcade located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. To raise funds, Emporium donated tokens free of charge and allowed us to sell them to bar patrons. At the end of the night, the agreement was to take the proceeds from sales and close out the drink ticket tab; we also paid a 15% gratuity to the bar staff.

We structured our prices as follows, with our take from bags sold being $4:

  • $10 – 1 drink ticket worth $6 and $5 worth of arcade game tokens
  • $4 – $5 worth of arcade game tokens

In addition to selling tokens and drink tickets, Emporium allowed us to bring food into the venue to sell to patrons. We secured 2 20-inch pizzas as donations from Dante’s and sold slices for $5 per piece.

We purchased a Square card reader for a nominal charge, so we were able to accept cash, cards, and VenMo at the event (note for future teams:  Square charges a small percentage fee per transaction).

With this project, we were able to create value for everyone involved, with patrons saving $1 per bag and donating to charity, our team making $4 per bag to donate to our charity, and Emporium benefiting from the sale of drinks to patrons who likely would not otherwise be there on a Thursday night.

Prior to and during the event, we also accepted donations online through a page set up by Heartland Alliance.

The Charity

We chose to work with Heartland Housing, a division of Heartland Alliance, as the benefactor of our event. Heartland Housing was established in 1988 and develops and manages sustainable, innovative and high-quality affordable housing so that the most vulnerable can live with dignity. They house seniors, veterans, people with AIDS, homeless and near-homeless single people and families, ex-offenders, and workers, all who need an affordable, stable place to call home. Safe, decent, and affordable housing is key to a person’s economic security, and unstable housing can catalyze poverty and homelessness.

As a member of Heartland Alliance, Heartland Housing comes from a rich history of social service. Heartland Alliance was formed in Chicago in 1888 by Jane Addams, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and widely recognized as the founder of the social work profession in the United States. The Alliance is active in over 100 communities in 12 countries, directly helps 400,000, and impacts over 7 million through advocacy and policy change. In 2016 alone the Alliance housed over 30,000 people.

Analysis of our success

Our goals for this event were to raise funds and awareness for Heartland Housing. We estimated our total proceeds as follows:

  • $300 on the low end
  • $1000 on the high end
  • $600 as a realistic donation

At the event itself, we raised $433.39 after expenses (gratuities and payment for drink tickets). We also raised $210 in the form of online donations, for a total just above our realistic expectations, $643.39.

Project Management Lessons Learned

Scope Creep is real – When our event was planned, each member of the team continued to think of ideas to make it more effective. Some of these were a net positive and fit with the mission (e.g. selling bags of tokens without drink tickets for those who either want drinks that cost more than $6 or do not drink; providing food for sale to patrons who might enjoy it with their beverages), while some did not (e.g. inviting patrons to bring their dogs to the event; having a silent auction taking place throughout the event).

Role Creep is also real – Our team coined this term to describe the phenomenon of one of the team members who was not the project manager taking on a large role for the planning and execution of the event. In project management, an effective project manager must keep tasks on schedule and know when (and when not to) step in and help. Since this was a passion project for one of our team members, that person had no problem serving as the main point of contact for the charity and bar, while our project manager ensured deadlines were met.

Through all the planning, life is happening – A few days before our event, our main point of contact at the bar had a family emergency arise and needed to leave town. Fortunately, we were able to get in contact with a new point of contact and confirm everything was a go. However, the lesson applies to other projects, as one cannot predict when something unforeseen will arise.

Advice for future teams

Make sure when planning your event to step outside your comfort zones and sell the event to people, not just in your immediate circle, but also people in the neighborhood, friends of friends, etc. If we had not passed out fliers at the public transportation stops in the area, our attendance turnout would have been substantially lower.

Talk to local businesses to receive donations, whether cash or other items. Just by asking, we were able to get the food for our event donated, and also did not have to pay for event space. The worst that can happen is they say no.