Dodge for A Cause – Team 5

Project Description – 

Dodge ball Tournament – Team 5 hosted a co-ed dodge ball tournament on October 19th 2019 from 4:30-6:30pm at DePaul’s Ray Meyer Recreation Center. Team 5 will raised funds by charging an entry fee per team ($60.00) or individual fee ($10.00) for those that want to participate but do not have a team. In addition to entry fees, we sold raffle tickets for additional prizes and create a Facebook event to solicit donations from friends and family members who were not able to attend the event but still wanted to donate.

Description of Charity – 

Maestro Cares Foundation (MCF) is a non-profit organization that supports underprivileged youth, more specifically boys, by providing them with necessary resources, as stated above. The organization was founded by Zaidy Cardenas, her father, and Marc Anthony (a well-known musical artist). After volunteering at an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, Zaidy noticed that the all-girl orphanages were well taken care of compared to the all-boy orphanages. The boy’s orphanages lacked the most necessary things such as education and sufficient sleeping space for all.

As stated above, Zaidy knew that these young boys needed help and was determined to make a change, not only in the Dominican Republic, but all of Latin America and the U.S. Zaidy approached her father about the idea and her father introduced Marc Anthony to the idea. In 2012, Maestro Cares Foundation was created and has been successfully providing housing and other necessary resources to disadvantaged kids, thus providing them with a better future, which will ultimately allow these children to get out of poverty.

Final Results – 

In order to have a successful event, we needed to have a minimum of 48 participants (8 teams – 6 participants per team). The day of we had roughly 65-70 people show up to the facility. 50 of those were participants.

Initial Goal:

  • Raise $500-$1000
  • 48 participants
  • Raise awareness of Maestro Cares

Final Goal:

  • $1,065 raised
  • 50 participants (2 were subs)
  • Raised awareness about Maestro Cares

The $1,065 was a combination of participant fees and online/venmo donations along with day off raffle ticket sells.

Lessons Learned – 

One of the biggest lessons learned was how to communicate. We did not set a clear communication plan at first and several times our ideas and opinions got lost in endless text messages threads. There were times two team members were having a conversation about an idea/thought and the other two members were in meetings or not close to their phone and by the time they got to the phone a whole new conversation had already started. The second lesson is to be ready for the worst to happen no matter how prepared you are. The day of the event, we realized that we should have toured the facility the day before in order to have a better idea of what was going to happen the day after. It did not help that we were only allowed to arrive 15 minutes before the event started. Those 15 minutes felt more like 5 minutes because people started arriving and we had to just deal with it and start the registration process.

Advice to Future Teams – 

The biggest advice we can give to all future teams is to communicate at all times! It is very important to voice your thoughts and opinions, the last thing you want is to be planning for an event you are not fully on board with. After deciding on what you want to do, have fun! Our team had a really good time planning and hosting the dodge ball tournament.

Pictures of the Event –

 

Be The Match

Be The Match ® – Team 4

Project Description:

The project management class gave us the opportunity to partner with Be the Match ®  organization to apply our class concepts and make an impact in the lives of blood cancer patients and families. Be The Match®  organization was selected as it shares our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

The project focused on increasing the ethnic diversity of the bone marrow donor registry to help more historically underserved patients find their match. Moreover, the project included an online donation campaign and a motive to raise awareness about the organization and high demand to correct health care disparities.

To carry forward growing the registry objective, two events were planned :

In-person Donor Drive: This event took place at the Commercial Club Park District’s annual Halloween party. The event was tactfully chosen to provide free access to hundreds of attendants from surrounding neighborhoods. We felt we had a compelling story with these potential donors of various ethnicities. At the event, interested people registered by creating an account online and swapping their cheek on-site or requesting a free toolkit to their home.

Formal Presentation to our MBA Cohort: With a similar strategy, a formal presentation was scheduled with our MBA colleagues to present the importance of supporting the Be The Match ®  mission to increase donor diversity. We provided every student with a QR code to easily connect to the registry and request a free swab kit to be mailed to their home.

To raise donations and awareness, a customized link to Be The Match ® was created. This direct link was shared in our marketing campaign message through different social media channels, email, and direct messaging to our networks. Additionally, a QR code was printed in business cards to distribute at the events and our social network events throughout the campaign.

Charity Description:

Be The Match ®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program ® (NMDP), is a national

organization that manages the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Be the Match® is at the forefront of the war on blood cancers and other diseases. Their research brings new technology and innovative medical techniques to the patients that need it the most. They help save lives by supporting and matching patients with life-saving transplant donors, growing the registry, and raising funds and awareness.

Every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukemia. For many, their only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. Of those patients, 70% don’t have a fully matched donor in their family. They will have to look to strangers, people who know nothing about their situation nor have any connection to them, to provide a cure. Only 1 in 430 of the U.S. registration members will go on to donate.

Success Metrics:

The Be The Match ® project focused on three distinct objectives:

  1. Grow the Registry

Growing the registry was the primary objective with the aspiration to increase diversity in the underrepresented ethnic segments of the organization. The campaign efforts resulted in 17 new registrants with 35% of the total being of Hispanic descent, three times the ratio of the current Be The Match ® registry. Although the initial goal of 25 registrants was not met, the diversity of the individual donors was a success and as important.

  1. Raise Awareness

Raising awareness outreach was primarily through social media channels. The goal was to capture a minimum of 120 “Likes” which was surpassed with a total of 771 combined “Likes” and “Views” . As supplementary, over 100 flyers were distributed within the community during the event.

  1. Fundraise for Be The Match ®

Raising funds was an important part of the campaign. The funds would be valuable for extended research as well as helping to grow the registry. The goal was to raise a minimum of $200 and the actual campaign results were $400 through our online campaign. This amount translates to four registrants!

Lessons Learned:

Communication plays a critical role in the success of the project across all stakeholders. Regular cadence amongst members and stakeholders keeps the status and deliverables honest to prevent project delays. Furthermore, maintaining the message consistent within all channels improves the outreach response.

Optimism Bias can taint the view of the overall project planning. Prepare well thought out risk responses and contingency plans for all possible scenarios. Success is the goal of every project but being over optimistic can diverge from preparing mitigation steps for possible risks. In the Be The Match project event, unforeseen rainy weather and prospect donor concerns regarding medical privacy was a challenge that was not anticipated to reach the goals.

Advice for Future Teams:

Test Technology. In advance of an event, plan a dry run to ensure technology will work as expected. The Be the Match® event relied on technology for the donor registry. Having back up devices, connectivity access and configuration set up in advance prevents delays on the day of the event.

Prepare a Contingency Plan. This is key especially for events that are planned outdoors like the primary Be the Match® event. On the day of the event, rain was unavoidable all day. The event could not have taken place without having tents prepared to set up as contingency for weather inconveniences.

Know Your Organization. Be prepared to answer questions as if you were a representative of the organization. In the instance of Be the Match® event, people were concerned of medical privacy. The team members trained and studied Q&A in advance which eased the apprehension to register.

Have Fun! Sunshine or rain didn’t matter.  Enjoying time with the team for a priceless cause to save a life is irreplaceable.

Pictures from Be The Match ® Event:

  

   

 

 

Ronald McDonald House Charities Field Project

Team 6 – Fundraiser Benefiting RMHC

Project Description

We conducted a tiered fundraising event that provides a variety of options for people to participate.  

  • Online Fundraising:  The charity has a method for online fundraising through their website.  We used this website in social media and email fundraising efforts.
  • Day of Service:  The volunteers worked with the head chef to fed approximately 80 families on Sunday, November 10, 2019 from 9:45 AM – 1 PM CT at Ronald McDonald House at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, IL
  • Volunteer Appreciation: We provided each volunteer with donated gifts through employee matching programs.  This satisfies the need to thank volunteers for their service but didn’t cut into the proceeds we can provide the charity.

About our Charity


Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana
Chapter Business Office
1301 W. 22nd Street, Suite 905
Oak Brook, IL 60523

Ronald McDonald House Charities impacted the lives of 2 team members (Adam and Chyristina) directly which was a leading reason we chose to focus on this particular charity.  Ronald McDonald House Charities is a national organization with local Chicagoland roots.  Their mission is to provide families the opportunity to get better together. Their philosophy is a sick child is a sick family.  To that end, they provide an opportunity for 150 families to stay close to the resources while their child is in the hospital for medical care or treatment.  This allows families to remain as close as possible and provide support to their child and each other during this difficult time. Our team has contacted the charity through a couple of mediums.  Volunteers are required to submit a formal application via the RMHC website (listed below). Our team has submitted an application and followed up with a subsequent email. We have chosen a couple of dates to hold our day of service.  RMHC has a social media presence, website, literature and other collateral our group can leverage during this charity event.  

Project Objectives

We found our preliminary budget was no longer viable as the project progressed.  Please find our revised projections below.  The measures used to assess project success were based on our most likely case scenario.

Project Goals and Success

This project exceeded all our expectations.  It has been a great experience to serve our community in this way.  Based on our success matrix, we exceeded our goals as follows:

Our team was acknowledged as one of the top contributors by for 2019 RMHC for Chicagoland and Northern Indiana.

Our total online fundraising effort exceeded our best case projection by $945, and the matching contributions for employers exceeded expectations by $775.  Our volunteers also came through providing us with 15 people for our day of service. Although we didn’t meet our best case scenario for volunteers, we did exceed both our worse and most likely case estimates.

We assessed a static amount of $40 of in-kind contributions per volunteer.  The in-kind amount is based on Chicago’s minimum wage of $10/hour. In addition, the company gifts for volunteer appreciation and volunteer paid parking have to be accounted for in our total budget calculations.  The volunteer appreciation gifts are Starbucks gift cards valued at $10/person provided to each volunteer via their confirmed email address.

Lessons Learned

  • Have Realistic Goals:  We learned having realistic goals helped our project be successful.  We were able to focus on a few targeted areas and this made project management and execution easily divisible among team members. 
  • Start Planning Early:  We had a full month to raise funds prior to our day of service event. This helped us standardized communications to donors and drive volunteer participation.  This also helped us minimize scope creep because we were able to assess results weekly based on our established goals.
  • People Are Generous:  We couldn’t have made our goals without the contributions of our friends and families.  They made our goals possible.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Personal Stories Matter:  Two of our team members were personally impacted by the charity, and we believe this is a key reason why our results were so stellar.  Choose something you’re passionate about.  
  • Contingency Plans Count:  Thinking through all the things that can go wrong, assigning team members to monitor and respond to those risks, and planning for contingencies helped a TON.  We were able to effectively manage towards mitigating the risks which made our project easier. 
  • Work with an Organized Charity:  We didn’t have some of the issues other teams in the past had because our charity is well established and organized.  If you choose to work with a less organized charity, understand that will impact your project scoping.
  • Knowing Your Team Matters:  We are part of an 18 month MBA cohort so we knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  We were able to assign tasks based on those things which made our project run smoothly. Get to know your team outside of class.  That connection works wonders.

About Our Event

Here’s a compilation of pictures from our Day of Service. 

Team 3- Casa Central Donation Drive & Fundraiser

Project Description:

As part of our project management course we were provided the opportunity to apply concepts we learned by carrying out a service project. Our team chose to partner with Casa Central an organization that provides a myriad of social services to those in need. We chose to organize a coat drive and fundraiser to both collect money and clothing, while increasing awareness of the organization. We partnered with Wise Owl Drinkery & Cookhouse as the venue for our event and began leveraging our networks for attendees and donations. We raffled off a variety of great prizes and reached an agreement with Wise Owl to sell drink tickets as an additional way to raise money.

Charity Description:

Casa Central transforms lives and strengthens communities, with a special focus on the LatinX community. Casa Central provides a network of social services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life.  Some of the programs provided include:

  • Children and Youth – early learning academy and school age program
  • Individual and Families – Violence prevention and intervention, La Posada for families who are homeless, etc.
  • Seniors – Adult Wellness and Home Care Services

Results

We set out with a goal of having 50 people attend our event, collecting 100 articles of clothing and making a profit of $500 dollars. While our monetary goal was conservative as a group we had a personal stretch goal of $2000 which we managed to exceed by collecting over $3000 dollars and making a profit of over $2,500. We ended up being successful in all 3 of our goals

Our results are below

  • Profit of $2,611 in monetary donations
  • Collected 156 items of winter coats and accessories (gloves, scarves, hats)
  • Had 55 attendees at our event.

Earnings Breakdown

Sales Price Quantity Sold Value
Raffle Tickets $5.00 172 $860.00
Raffle Bundle $20.00 59 $1,180.00
Drink Tickets $8.00 2 $16.00
Drink Bundle $20.00 35 $700.00
Monetary Donations $630.00 N/A $630.00
Total Raised $3,386.00
Costs Price Quantity Bought Value
Drink Ticket Cost $5.00 155 $775.00
Total Cost $775.00
Total Monetary Profit $2,611.00

 

Lessons Learned

This was a very educational experience with many valuable lessons we can take into our future project activities. First and foremost is to make sure your risk management plan is thorough, and you are prepared to enact your contingencies. For example, we had planned to have a speaker from our agency address the attendees, but they fell ill on the day of the event. Our contingency was to have a board member that would be attending speak instead, but they were not comfortable speaking and declined. We luckily had a second contingency and had one of our group members speak instead.  Additionally, if you plan to use any sort of logos that don’t belong to you, you need to do work on the front end. We ended up delaying the distribution of flyers and marketing materials for close to a month because we were waiting on approval to use the charity’s logo.

Advice to Future Teams

  1.  The best advice we can provide to any teams organizing a fundraiser in the future would be to maintain clear communication with your venues. Have some sort of documentation of what is discussed and agreed upon and make sure you are on the same page when trying to execute your event successfully.
  2. Have constant communication with your group and don’t procrastinate the more work you do on the front end the easier it is to execute your event.

Team 2- SPENGA for The Anhelo Project

Team 2- SPENGA for The Anhelo Project

Project Description:

To fully apply concepts learned in our project management class, our team partnered with The Anhelo Project organization to host an event, raise funds via raffle and online donations and increase awareness of the organization. The event we decided to hold consisted of an exercise class, hosted by SPENGA. SPENGA is an hour-long class broken into three workouts: spinning,high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and yoga. Given the class was limited to only 28 participants, we created a Google Form for participants to fill out and submit a minimum donation of $20 to have a confirmed spot at SPENGA. The form was used to track participants, collect class donations and prevent overbookings.

Description of Charity:

The Anhelo Project, (Anhelo meaning Dream), is a non-for-profit organization that consists of a group of student leaders and professionals from various educational institutions and community-based organizations in Chicago.  The goal is to support undocumented students, who despite growing up in the United States and earning a high school diploma, continuously face challenging roadblocks when pursuing a post-secondary education.  The biggest obstacle is financial aid due to their ineligibility to apply for federal and state financial aid.  The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship is available to undocumented high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students residing in Illinois, attending any college or university within the State of Illinois.

  • Founded in 2010
  • Raised over $100,000
  • Provided 50 student with scholarships

Results:

We had 27 attendees for our SPENGA class. Originally, we had a full class a week prior to the event, but 4 people cancelled the day before. Three teammates were able to take the class as our contingency plan kicked in to ensure a full class.

Original Goals:

  • Raise $1,000
  • 28 Participants
  • Raise Awareness of The Anhelo Project through social media

Actual Results:

  • Raised $2,000 (a full scholarship for 1 student)
  • 27 Participants
  • Posted on social media about the event, but no facts about the actual organization

Breakdown of donations:

SPENGA Class $620
Raffle Tickets $285
Online Donations $515
Grand Total $2000

 

Lessons Learned:

We assigned tasks to each team member and everyone communicated their progress.  Communication was key, we had a group text chat that we used constantly and responses were prompt. We encourage teams to use the risk management plan and ensure you have back-ups if issues arise. We did not realize the entrance to the SPENGA class was in the back of the building until the day of and quickly mobilized to send out texts to our attendees on the location of the door. Originally, we wanted to bring more awareness to The Anhelo Project by utilizing our social media platforms. The issue we encountered was not everyone had social media and/or we were all on different platforms. This led to the team concentrating heavily on securing class spots and online donations and less awareness.

Advice to Future Teams:

  1. We’d caution future teams on the selection of an organization that may appear politically sensitive (i.e. immigration). A couple of our team members work at corporations that match donations from a pre-approved list of charities. We were not able to leverage the corporate sponsorship such as, the match or raffle prizes, due to sensitivity around our organization.
  2. If you are doing a raffle, secure prizes early in the process to ensure proper marketing. It was easier to sell/market tickets when you already have the prizes selected. The more appealing the prize, the more tickets you will sell.
  3. When choosing a charity be aware of the size of the organization as smaller non-for-profits may not have a full-time staff member and/or are ran by volunteers. Those volunteers may not be as responsive.

 

Pictures of Event 

 

Come find out how we were able to support G.E.M.S (“Girls Empowering Meaningful Stories) and New Life Centers of Chicagoland through our Field Project!

 Photos related to the project (Attached)

Check out our pictures from our event!

 

G.E.M.S “Girls Empowering Meaningful

Brief description of the project:

Stories” is an after-school program with New Life Centers of Chicagoland in the Little Village neighborhood, which helps girls with homework, one on one mentoring to help navigate with issues at home, school, peer pressure and much more. Our group (Cristina Grijalva, Diana Mayorga, Victor Mejia and Paola Villarreal) heard their stories and started with a goal in mind to raise awareness of the program and funds for this wonderful charity organization.

For our MGT 598 Final Project, we were responsible for creating an initial project proposal, developing a project implementation plan with deliverables, create a risk management plan to prevent and be prepared for any issues that might arise, all with the goal to create an effective and efficient event. The profits we earned from the trivia night and donations were donated to the charity. Before the trivia started, we introduced Jazmin Torres, Girls Program Coordinator for the G.E.M.S. program, and Liliana Mejia, Director of Partner Engagement of New Life Centers. Their message was a brief introduction of how the program started, the current state of the program, and how the future funds will help and impact the Little Village youth.

 

Brief description of the charity:

https://vimeo.com/53105806

New Life Centers is an organization that has many after school programs such as Arise Creations, Cross Over, La Semilla, Little Village Basketball, Little Village Little League, Little Village Summer Softball, Running Forward, The Vine, and Urban Life Skills, and G.E.M.S. All these programs are either after-school programs, summer programs, or sports leagues that allow kids of all ages to participate and stay out of the streets. New Life Centers originated in 2005 to address the needs of the neighbors surrounding New Life Community Churches, as neighbors approached the church with pressing issue of youth violence, gang violence, teen pregnancy, justice system involvement, unemployment and more issues that this community faced every day. New Life responded with programs that fit the community and now they are in Little Village, Midway, Humboldt Park, Cicero, Jefferson Park, and Oak Forest neighborhoods.

New Life Centers continues to create programs that address the neighborhood needs and empower neighborhood involvement. These sites pursue seeks to equip leaders within each of these New Life communities to serve their neighbors through health, education, and employment services for all ages.

Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives:

Project Objectives

  • Awareness of program:
    • Charity representative provided a synopsis of the organization’s mission.
  • Attendance projection:
    • 25-30 participants that had no knowledge of charity
  • Fundraiser GOAL:
    • $500

Project Success:

  • Awareness of program:
    • 53 new people in attendance of the event were able to hear about the organization mission. They heard about their impacts and were able to view the flyers located on each table of the bar and how to connect with them via email, phone, social media, etc.
  • Attendance results:
    • Total attendance was 53 participants (excluding 4 team members)
  • Fundraiser Final TOTAL:
    • $6,850

The event was managed by the 4 members. We had a project manager was Victor Mejia, charity lead, day of event coordinator and marketing, and an accountant lead Diana Mayorga. Again, all the profit generated was donated and a few members of our group and charity attendees decided to sign up and become involved with G.E.M.S moving forward.

To participate in the trivia, we charged $10 to play trivia per person and sold all 100 raffle tickets ($3 for 1 ticket or $5 for 2 tickets). In addition, the bar was gracious enough to donate 20% of earnings of the food/beverage sales to our charity.

Two or three lessons learned about managing projects:

  • WBS are effective to leverage and ensures each stakeholder has all assignments and stayed on target
  • The Project Manager is crucial in managing intergroup differences
  • Always make sure you maintain accurate financial record when you are dealing with charity funds, funds for profit, etc.

Advice for future teams doing similar projects:

If the event is donating a portion of their funds to your charity, ensure that you have transparency on figures used to derive donations

If you have a “MC-Master of Ceremony”, the value added for an experienced trivia host added a special element to the event that goes beyond the numbers.

Pay attention to the Server/Bartender to customer ratio. Ensure that you communicate the best you the correct number of attendees to the event. (Note: This can be hard at time since it is hard to gather the correct amount of RSVP’s as people adjust always). This might be small; however, we want everyone (event space, event space employees and attendees) to enjoy themselves.

 

 

Team 4 – NAHS Fundraising Project

Project Description:

Our team chose the Naperville Area Humane Society as our non-profit organization to focus our fundraising effort. Admittedly, we were really ambitious with our goals at the start our project (more on that later!) but ultimately narrowed our focus toward achievable goals given our timeline. Our group focused on the following Events:

Go Fund Me Campaign

Raffle Event

Mini-Golf Tournament

We identified our strategic audience for each event to ensure we were targeting the right donors and then used many of the PM best practices to drive the events to completion. Ultimately, we were able to meet our fundraising and participation goals for each event with the bulk of our donations coming from our Go Fund Me campaigns. Overall, we were able to raise a little over $1,100 dollars for the Naperville Area Humane Society!

Charity Description:

The Naperville Area Humane Society is a no-kill animal shelter for cats and dogs that services the Naperville and surrounding area. The Naperville Area Humane Society is dedicated to making sure every animal can find a home, and receive the care they need to live a happy and healthy life. Their mission is promote the humane treatment of companion animals and create lasting human-animal bonds. They deliver services to the community that reflect integrity, respect, compassion and joy for all people and animals.

Project Goals:

The above table shows the matrix we created to grade our efforts with each event in our project scope. We decided to weight our success from “Goal Partially Met” – “Goal Exceeded” and then we determined a dollar range for each of the buckets in the matrix. The purple highlighted boxes represent the actual range we achieved for each event. We raised a little over $1,100 across the three events = GOAL MET!!

Lessons Learned:

We mentioned earlier that we started off with huge ambitions and many ideas on how we could make a difference and raise money. This made it difficult for our team of five to make decisions and move the project forward early on. There was quite a bit scope creep early on and when we compared our ideas to the project timeline, we were able to plan more realistically with the time available to complete each event.

Advice to Future Teams:

First, don’t forget to have fun with your projects – You’re helping to make a difference and that’s awesome!

A detailed risk mitigation plan is very important because there will be things out of your control that may negatively impact your project – Your risk mitigation plan will literally help you weather the storm! Identify everything that could possibly go wrong and you’ll put your team in a position to meet your goals.

We had a big team and it was important to send summaries of meeting minutes and deliverables, after every meeting, to ensure the entire team was on the same page and up to speed on next steps. Even on smaller teams we found that this was an effective way to avoid confusion and keep the project teams aligned with the project status and on-time with deliverables.

 

The Knights of Nutrition – Feed My Starving Children

Project Description:

 

For our project, we chose to work with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) located in Schaumburg, IL. In order to support and raise awareness for FMSC we coordinated an online fundraiser, as well as a food-packing event. Our food-packing event was held on May 31st, 2019 at the FMSC location in Schaumburg from 12-2pm. Our goal for the event was to have 40 volunteers and raise $1,000. The event was a great success and we were able to pack enough meals to feed 102 children for a year. Prior to the event, we created an online donation page through the FMSC website in an attempt to raise our goal of $1,000. We were able to raise a total of $1,222 through Facebook and the FMSC donation webpage. We also were able to secure a $1,000 matching contribution donation from Robert Bosch Power Tools.

Description of Charity:

 

Feed My Staving Children is a non-profit organization founded in 1987 that provides volunteers the opportunity to pack dry ingredients, vitamins and minerals into individual bags. These meals will reach people around the world and help feed and save the lives of many people. Feed My Starving Children’s mission is, “Feeding God’s starving children hungry in body and spirit.” Through donations received from individuals, they are able to purchase the ingredients for their meals.

Goals:

 

  • Raise $1,000
  • Secure Bosch matching contribution
  • Recruit 40 volunteers

Results:

 

  • Raised $2,222
  • Bosch matching contribution of $1,000
  • Recruited 45 volunteers

Lessons Learned:

 

There were many lessons learned throughout this project. The most important were organization and effective communication with your team. These were very important to us because we were a small team and needed to be organized in order to successfully complete this project. We quickly learned that it was necessary to communicate via multiple methods of communication. A combination of emails, texts and in person meetings were necessary to keep us on track with all the project deliverables.  We also realized that organization was important to ensure all members were on the same page.

Advice to Future Teams:

 

Our advice to future teams would be to have fun, trust your team members, start the project as soon as possible and do not be afraid to deviate from your initial plan. There are many deliverables and tasks that need to be completed, but if you start early enough and work well with your team members, your project results will be great.

 

The Women’s Treatment Center Clothing Room Project

Project Description

For our project we wanted to update the clothing room at the Women’s Treatment Center in Chicago, Illinois. The clothing room is where all of the clothing donations are stored. The women can get clothing for themselves or their children in this room. Our update included new paint, new shelves, new clothing rods, a new folding table, a new door sign, and plaques for the shelving. Due to the expenses of this project, we needed to raise a significant amount of funds, so fundraising was done before the building was able to start.

Description of Charity

The Women’s Treatment Center helps women who are recovering from addiction. Some of the services that this center offers are medical detox, parenting classes, an emergency nursery, a CPS certified pre-K, housing, and career training. The fact that the women can live with their children (up to 5 years old) in this center is one of the reasons it is unique.

Results

For our project, we had various goals set during our project proposal. These goals included raising $1000 from donations, getting corporate donation matching up to $1000, raise awareness of the organization through fundraising, recruit at least two volunteers to help, install new shelving and clothing rods, and complete the work within one 8 hour day. We had two stretch goals, which included painting the room and adding a new sorting table.

We were able to achieve all of the goals that we set. We raised slightly over $2000 in donations, which more than doubled our goal. Bosch agreed to match $1000 of those donations. We had more than 50 shares on our GoFundMe page which means there was awareness driven. For our paint day we had one volunteer, and for our build day we had three volunteers. This also doubled our goal of two volunteers. We did complete the painting in one day (4 hours) and the building within one day (6 hours). Due to the stretch paint goal completed, we did use two days rather than one, but the original build day scope was within our timeframe of one day. We were also able to purchase a new sorting table due to the extra funds raised.

Lessons Learned

There were many lessons learned through this process. The most important lesson from this project was looking at all of the possible risks associated. The day before the build and the day of the build we had some issues arise and were able to overcome all of them to successfully complete the project in the given timeline.

Next, assigning specific tasks with deadlines is extremely important. Just having a list of tasks and roles assigned is not enough. Setting deadlines allows you to determine your critical path to ensure everything is complete by the project deadline.

Finally, I think it is important to enjoy yourself during the project. This was one of the assigned goals but we realized that if we were not having fun and enjoying what we were doing then we would not be motivated to complete the project and hit our stretch goals.

Advice to Future Teams

The most important piece of advice I can give is to get started early. This is something we were told in class #1. Luckily, we started right away raising money and not waiting for class deliverables to get started. This allowed us to raise much more money than expected.

Next, having weekly update meetings to ensure tasks are moving forward. If you just discuss verbally and do not have a living document then it is easy to forget necessary tasks.

The last piece of advice is to run through the user journey with your group a few times to write down anything you might miss. In doing this, we remembered many critical things like moving carts, garbage bags, and specialty tools.

Photos

Before

 

Paint Day

 

Complete Project!

Free Street Theater

Our team chose to support Free Street Theater, a Chicago-based non-profit theater company that has been in the city for 50 years. After a few calls and discussions, we decided to support their marketing. With a team of only 4 full-time members, Free Street needed a lot of help with marketing, communication and strategy. We focused on 3 main goals: supporting their May 2019 youth play, creating an electronic press kit (EPK) and strategizing around their 50th anniversary event (50-in-50 which was comprised of 50 performances in each of the 50 wards in Chicago).

Free Street Theater (FST) is committed to building community through performances, facilitating difficult conversations and being accessible to anyone, anywhere. One of their main focuses is on creating a safe space for youth and compensating them for their efforts in producing and acting in performances. They have two main locations but also use community areas as their stage.

Free Street produces youth shows throughout the year including teens and young adults. Their May 2019 youth play was titled Parched, and spoke to water justice, pollution and theft. The teens that were part of the play exposed injustices and discussed the power of water and the privilege behind it. Team 1 assisted with supporting donations for FST through seeking donations and creating a pledge card. FST is also celebrating their 50th anniversary in June of 2019. They already established an event to celebrate this occasion when we joined: 50-in-50. They will hold 50 performances within all 50 wards in Chicago on June 23rd. Team 1 supported them with a communication strategy leading up to the event. Lastly, FST was in need of an EPK for various reasons. This is a helpful document to have for future grant-asks, public relations, article writing and donations. This press kit is ultimately their website scaled down to less than 10 pages of a PDF. Our help was needed in various tasks for each of the areas above.

Our project objective was to increase the ease and frequency in which the charity could receive donations and social media followers at their events. The ease of donating was a huge success by creating a “pledge card” which could be included as an insert in the program for any Free Street Theater event. This card was a simple and intuitive layout which gave 2 options for donating. First one could fill in the basic information (name and contact info) to be followed up with at another time since there was often a line by the ticket counter and people might be in a hurry to get home after the shows. Second we had a QR code which links directly to the charity’s donation page. In addition to collecting donations the card also has the reminders to check the Free Street Theater social media pages and a section to advertise the next upcoming event. While donations can be highly variable, we were told that on average plays usually raise about $250 per night that it runs accounting for both ticket sales and good will donations. Our goal was to raise the stakes and we were shooting for helping them reach double their average collections. The play was actually sold out in the last weekend it was running (with 20 people turned away because of lack of seats), so it was extended an additional weekend.

Our original success matrix was ambitious and we didn’t consider that with 50 in 50 being several weeks after the conclusion of our class, we may not be able to see a measurable change in the social media relations. Instead we changed the matrix to account for timely delivery on the community ward map and EPK since FST was requesting this a prerequisite for some other activities like choosing the locations for the 50 different performances.

 

Success Matrix
Increased donations at plays & other
Current plays $250
Success $350
Stretch Goal $500
Actual $3,131

 

Usually there are 2 plays for a weekend and they would run 3-4 weekends in a row. That means an average play gets $1500-2000. We wanted to bump this measurably, and we also got more bullish on the stretch goal when we learned that Bosch would be matching donations up to $1000 which made doubling their average seem achievable. Total donations raised by the play + Bosch’s match + outside donations were $3,131.

 

Community Map
Success Complete on time
Stretch Goal Accepted and every ward listed with at least the alderman contact info and 1 community area
Actual COMPLETED

 

The community map was underestimated and ended up taking many hours longer than anticipated. Because of this we did not complete the map in time before it was shared with presenting teams. None the less, it’s being treated as a living document so anyone can add or modify fields, so it should hopefully prove useful in the future as well.

 

EPK
Success Accepted by FST and per spec.
Stretch Goal Accepted and complete by target date (5/28)
Actual COMPLETED

 

The EPK was much more critical to have a document that was refined and represented the brand of Free Street Theater. We got a template of guidelines that should also be followed in order to keep a more consistent image with the website.

 

Two or three lessons learned about managing projects

            Something we learned early on was that we needed to have a schedule of our own deadlines. We had a lot of moving pieces throughout the project, with deadlines for class assignments as well as deadlines to the organization. We created our work breakdown structure and included as many details as possible. We kept a secondary file with our personal responsibilities and team deadlines. This helped us throughout the quarter.

Another thing we learned early on in the project was when you’re working with a charity on a project that is more in-depth than just hosting an event or getting donations, you have to set clear expectations on what you want to learn. We were given a lot of different tasks that didn’t necessarily align with what our goals were. We quickly reevaluated and aligned on deliverables that had multiple uses (i.e. electronic press kit, pledge card, community map).

 

Advice for future teams doing similar projects

            Our advice is to think outside of the box. You don’t have to do a typical event or fundraiser. We wanted to help in an area where we could drive future change rather than in-the-moment change. A lot of non-profits don’t have the bandwidth for a lot of marketing they would like to help gain traction and ultimately get more donations. Our support would be used in future events such as grant writing, press releases and events/performances.