Team Star organized a Volunteer Fair for the employees of MB Financial. The event was held on July 11, 2017. It offered attendees information on different non-profit organizations and possible volunteer opportunities with participating organizations. In addition, it opened the possibility of increased awareness and involvement in the non-profit’s cause.
Charity Description – based on information from organization websites
- American Red Cross: Red Cross volunteers provide disaster relief and emergency response services.
- Northern Illinois Food Bank: NIFB wants to solve hunger in 13 counties in Northern Illinois by providing nutritious food and innovative feeding programs.
- Special Leisure Services Foundation (SLSF), in tandem with Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA): Creating and providing greater options that enrich the life experiences for children and adults living with disabilities through recreation activities.
- PAWS Chicago: PAWS is committed to building no kill shelter communities, reducing the overpopulation of homeless pets, and setting higher standards for animal treatment.
- Tutoring Chicago: Tutoring Chicago provides free one-to-one tutoring and mentoring to economically disadvantaged children.
- United Services Organization (USO): [Cancelled involvement 7/4/2017] Helping Military Service Members and their families keep connected throughout their military service.
As the goal of the event was to gain more awareness for multiple organizations, we found the best way to measure the success of the event would be to track how many organizations would participate, the number of attendees and the amount of people that signed up with each organization to volunteer. In addition, to understand whether the organizations and attendees felt that their involvement was useful, we used surveys to track how well the event was received.
Based on the short time frame and to give MB Employees a semblance of choice in organizations we limited our goal to 2 organizations. After contacting 8 organizations, we gained the interest of 6. Initially, we received confirmation from five organizations but one dropped out a week before the event. However, one of the organizations that was originally non-responsive agreed to do the event at short notice.
The main HQ of MB has a total of 1,045 employees stationed in the building. We used an estimate of approximately 10% (100 people; consideration given to absences and off-site business activities) attendance as our goal and base for other measures. At the end of the event we received 156 visitors.
Not knowing how to estimate a successful percentage of volunteer signups, we calculated this at 20% of the targeted attendees (i.e. 20 attendees). The total amount of sign ups was 60 (approx. 38.5% of attendees).
After receiving the feedback forms from the organizations, we hoped to find that the majority had found the event helped increase awareness and that they would attend a future volunteer event at MB. It was a unanimous success. The five participants stated that they believed the event increased awareness and they would all participate again. Some constructive feedback was to give more lead time and to increase promotion.
Feedback from attendees was received via an electronic survey sent via email to all of the attendees who entered the raffle, 128 individuals. Ongoing results are listed below (29 responses as of July 16, 2017):
We asked what interested the attendees about the event. The top three responses were:
- Getting information regarding volunteer opportunities
- Gaining information from multiple organizations
- Learning about a specific charity that was participating
Attendees were further asked about whether they found a charity/organization that they wanted to learn more about. Of 29 individuals, 82.76% responded Yes.
In order to help learn and build from the experience, we wanted to give an open forum for input into how to better the experience and what attendees were looking for. The following information was found:
When asked what other type of charities/organizations/causes would you like to be included in future events? Some of the responses were as follows: women shelters/domestic violence services, cancer organizations, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and military and “support troops” organizations
In addition the following feedback was received:
- Multiple responses about how nice the event was (e.g., lots of learning, well-organized, interesting organizations)
- A few responses regarding disappointment around USO not being in attendance
- Having MB volunteers with the organization leads host tables together
Overall, the responses were immensely positive and the feedback received was very constructive.
- Developing the WBS was essential to the process.
- Matching team members’ functions with skill sets helped bring about the success of the event.
- Regular meetings and touch points kept the team on track and the event moving.
- Creating contingencies to mitigate any potential risk saved problems from happening.
- Finding a means of communicating deliverables to the whole team in real time without the confusion of everyone using a separate method was very helpful. We utilized a Sharepoint site.
Advice to other teams
- Planning is critical, consider risks and develop contingencies.
- Be flexible and willing to adapt.
- Trust Your Teammate. They may surprise you.
- Take care of your Stakeholders.