Eighty for 365 for FMSC

Eighty for 365 for


FMSC Bowling

Description of the Project and the Charity
Our project for the Project Management 598 class was to create, plan and execute a strategy to support a charity of our choosing. We chose to support a charity called Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), which is an Illinois based nonprofit (founded 1987) which seeks to conquer malnutrition in poor communities. They are 100% donor funded! Volunteers package nutrient dense meals comprised of rice, soy, vitamins, minerals, and dehydrated vegetables which will be distributed worldwide to needy people. Each meal costs only 22 cents with 92 cents of every dollar going straight into the purchase and production. These meals are sent across the globe to over 70 countries (see map below), for children as well as adults. Many people are not aware of the spread of malnutrition in modern day. According to statistics from their website, a startling 6,200 children die from starvation every day.
We hosted two micro events and one final service event, as well as well as developed active social media (awareness) and personalized website for fundraising campaigns. The micro events were organized to raise awareness and raise funds while Online media and personalized websites were utilized to promote the charity and raise funds.
Our first micro event was a happy hour at Beercade, a vintage arcade bar located in River North, Illinois. The event took place on Wednesday, October 8th from 5pm – 8pm. Attendees paid a $10 donation entrance fee and 15% of our group’s sales were donated back to the charity. The primary objective was to raise awareness and raise funds. Walk in customers and Beercade employees shared the event and the charity with their connections through social media and word of mouth.
Our second micro event was bowling at River Rand Bowl in Des Plaines, IL on October 18th. Attendees paid $20 for one pair of shoes and two games. We also provided pizza and beverage to attendees. We were able to secure sponsorship from local restaurants who supplied free pizza for the event. In addition, we held raffles, silent auction, and a bake sale at the venue. This event was a major success as we were able to raise more funds than expected, raise awareness for the charity by talking to patrons and finally, by having a lot of fun.
For the final event, we secured 37 volunteers to pack food at the FMSC location in Libertyville, IL. As mentioned before, FMSC uses volunteers to pack foods so that they can save on overhead. We covered two packing shifts for our volunteer events. In addition to offering our time to pack the food, we also learned more about the charity. Our efforts produced the following results:
• 251 boxes packed
• 54,216 meals
• 149 kids fed for one year
• $11,927 worth
Objectives and Success Measures
Our objectives for the project were to:
• Raise awareness for FMSC (Measurable)
• Raise funds for FMSC (Measurable)
• Learn Project Management Skills and Have Fun (Subjective)
To raise awareness for FMSC, we created a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a personalized webpage. We were able to promote our events, share updates and request donations through these mediums. In addition, we promoted our events by creating flyers. We distributed and displayed them in libraries, at local businesses and churches.


To raise funds for FMSC, we created a personalized webpage. We were able to collect most of our donations through the website. One of the advantages of having the website was that the donations went directly to FMSC and we didn’t have to deal with physically collecting donations and sending them to FMSC. We also collected offline donations which we submitted to FMSC in person.


Below are the results of the success measures:
• Donations: $2,200
• Number of people at bowling event: 20
• Number of people at packing event: 37
• Total number of like or followers on Facebook and Twitter: 120
• Maximum number of people reached for events: 471
Project Management Lessons
We have learned a lot of project management lessons during this project including lessons from our successes and challenges. Below are three lessons we feel are important:
• Having a designated, dedicated, and dependable Project Manager on the team. We feel it’s important for the Project Manager to be collaborative and not authoritative unless when the project is not moving in the right direction.
• Assigning responsibilities to each team member and holding them accountable is important. If a member is unable to meet a deadline, communicating that to the team early so others can pitch in also important.
• Being able to pivot quickly or having a contingency plan is very important. Initially we started the team with 6 members. The team member who was assigned to coordinate the first micro event dropped out of class and we were left to scramble to identify another venue and event. Fortunately, we had a contingency plan so we were able to reassess and deploy the contingency plan immediately.
Our advices to future teams doing similar projects are the following:
• Assign a project manager immediately after the group has been selected and start on the events and marketing early. Ideally, someone with experience could be useful but not required.
• When organizing events, be aware of other events going on in that location. Unfortunately for us, we had our first event on the evening the Chicago Cubs were playing a playoff game, so the turnout was not as expected.
• Have a good communication tool and communicate well. We used GroupMe mobile app as our main method for most of our communications.
Photos related to the project. Examples could be event photos, website, team members, etc.


No One Fights Alone

No One Fights Alone

Our team decided to work with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to raise awareness and donations to benefit the research and support of children with cancer.  We planned an event at the Chicago Loop Sports Bar and Grill in Streamwood, IL.  In order to raise money, we held a raffle and charged admission of $5.  We sought out donations from local businesses and Chicago sports teams in the form of tickets and gift cards.  We also created a Facebook page where we paid for advertising to reach out to people both locally and around the world to spread awareness about childhood cancer.


About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

This foundation really hit home for some of our group members as some of us have kids or work in the medical field where we see these children fighting for their lives.  According to St. Baldrick’s, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year.  Cancer causes more deaths than any other disease or deformity in children.  This is a fairly new foundation that was founded in 2000.  St. Baldrick’s is known for their head shaving events which happen in March.  These shaving events are in support of the children who are diagnosed with cancer and many times lose their hair due to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  In the more recent years, this foundation has been supporting many other events such as eating contests, 5k run/walks, bake sales and many more.  This foundation is dedicated the overall transparency with their financials. For every dollar they receive, about 75 cents goes to research for a cure.  To note, their administration fees make up only 3.7% of their total funding.  Our group found this to be remarkable in comparison to many other foundations that we considered.

MC Matt

-Raise awareness on all the main social media platforms
-Reach over 500 likes and followers on Facebook
-Raise over $5,000 in donations combined from our event and online outreach

Donations $$


Our event alone raised $2,915 which exceeded our forecast of $1,500.  We were able to reach 164 likes on Facebook and 7,303 page/post views.  Through our donations from work, friends and online support we were able to donate a total of $6,010.  We consider this a great success as we not only hit our donation goal but also we reached out to over 7,303 users on Facebook to spread awareness.

Lessons Learned

There are many notable lessons that we learned throughout this event.  We all agree that communication needs to be regular and everyone needs to be on the same page with initiatives.  Our regular communication via text and email proved to be effective and not overwhelming.  Communication is the key to a successful project and we cannot stress that enough.  Second, we learned that we need to be flexible with our plans.  Many things come up along the road to a successful event.  Our group had to cope with many obstacles and changes in order to successfully plan our event and hit our goals.  Third, we recommend setting ambitious yet achievable goals.  If we set a goal of raising $1000, we would have quit fundraising before the event even started. The goal needs to be within your reach but not easily achievable in order to keep motivation high.  Last but not least, we recommend leveraging your network as much as possible.  This was exceedingly important in the success of our event.

st baldricks logo

Advice for future groups and project managers
-Leverage your networks
-Communicate regularly
-Hold weekly check-ins
-Local businesses are quicker to help than corporations
-Use social media to your advantage
-Set an ambitious yet achievable goal
-Pick a charity that all the group members are moved by

Closing Thoughts

Overall, this project great experience.  We learned and demonstrated project management skills all while contributing to an honorable cause.  Our group had a great time bonding and seeing our hard work pay off.

Cancer Killers Group Pic

Thanks all for your support!
-Cancer Sucks- No One Fights Alone!

An Answer to Cancer Audit

An Answer to Cancer Audit

For our field project, our team, An Answer to Cancer, supported the Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center through a fundraising event and volunteer service event in effort to promote cancer awareness and generate revenue in support of the fight against cancer. The events were as follows:

Making Strides of Fox Valley 5k Walk: Sunday, October 18, 2015 at Pottawatomie Park in Saint Charles, IL

Support the Cure: Friday, October 23, 2015 at The James Joyce Irish Pub in Berwyn, IL

IMG_8987Project Description

The team first met on September 18, 2015 to choose our field project. Of the six different charities we all brainstormed, we decided to choose one that made an impact on our lives in some form. Our final selection was a charity that promoted cancer awareness. The team figured the timing was ideal to raise awareness towards such a cause since September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, October was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. With the help of Doug’s connections at Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center, we were able to get kickoff this project and meet with key staff members at the center. On September 24, 2015, the team had their first visit to the center and met with Ryan Alvarez. As the Business Manager who supports the operations and programming of the center, Ryan was very insightful with explaining the services this organization offers to the community and its members. In addition, he provided us with a list of the Rush-Copley Charitable Funds that we could choose to support. After careful analysis, we selected the Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center. Our group was very fortunate to have an individual so passionate about his job and the mission to support and promote cancer awareness efforts.

IMG_6730 IMG_6737


Charity Description

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately “1,658,370 new cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2015”. About “589,430 Americans are expected to die of cancer in 2015”. However, according to The World Health Organization, “40% of all cancer deaths can be prevented”. With such alarming statistics, our team decided to raise revenue to benefit the Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center at Rush-Copley. The mission of Waterford Place is to compassionately connect with and offer support, guidance and resources to people with cancer and those that care for them. Waterford Place is a home away from home for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers by providing a variety of support services including counseling, support groups, free integrated health treatments, stress management classes, and educational programming to improve health outcomes and emotional well-being. We all understood the hardship and difficulty cancer can be for the patient and their loved ones which was one of the group’s main motivation to support the development of a facility that will provide the community a space for physical and spiritual reflection. Simply put, “Waterford Place is where help meets hope.

waterford poster board

Project Objectives and Outcomes

In support of our chosen charity, the group decided on two events:

IMG_7023The first one was a service event to assist as volunteers at the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” 5k walk on October 18, 2015. At this event we worked with the American Cancer Society to collect petition signatures requesting Congress to continue funding cancer research. This event allowed us to interact with community members that supported the fight against cancer. In addition, we utilized this opportunity to promote our main event, “Support the Cure”. The walk was a huge success; with 76 teams and 909 participants, the event raised a total of $88,196.68.

Our main event took place on October 23, 2015 at the James Joyce Irish Pub. “Support the Cure” was a social gathering event that our group hosted in efforts to raise funds to support our charity through ticket and raffle sales. Our goal was to generate profit with minimum overhead cost which was possible thanks to The James Joyce Irish Pub who worked with us to ensure a successful event. As a group, we decided that in order to keep overhead cost at a minimal, we would have to seek donations from local businesses. Fortunately, Rush-Copley was able to provide us with a letter stating their tax-exempt status as a nonprofit charitable organization. Using this letter, we were able to collect donations of all food items and raffle prizes towards our event.



Our goal was to raise revenue of $1500 or greater through the combination of on-line donations, ticket sales for our main event “Support the Cure”, and in-kind donations. Our actual amounts were as follows:

Net Cash Donations: $852.00

In-Kind Donations: $1,199.00

Total Collected Value Towards Fundraising Efforts: $2,051.00

Although our ultimate goal was to raise $1500 in cash donations for Rush-Copley Cancer Care Center, we still managed to exceed our original target when we combine collected revenue with in-kind donations.

Lessons Learned

Managing project teams
As a group we met all of the conditions of a high performing team. First order of business was to create a team atmosphere. We selected our project manager who served as the coach of the team. Team members also volunteered for different assignments and other times our project manager assigned task. Every team member was responsible for a specific task and we trusted that everyone met their objectives.  We all shared the same vision once making a decision on which charity to go with. Our team did a great job of taking advantage of everyone’s strength. For example, using certain team member’s social media skills was an effective way to promote our charity and event via Facebook. As a group I think we have all been able to grasp a great understanding of the material covered in chapter 11 – managing project teams.

Developing a project plan
In order to get the finish line there must be a drawn out route to get there. Developing a project plan is key to the success of our project. There are different techniques you can use to map out your plans. For our project we  used the critical path method. The team knew the task that needed to be completed before the next event can occur. For example we set up our donations page prior to being able to post the link on our Facebook page.  I believe all the techniques described in chapter 6 can be applied to any project whether it’s for your company or a home project. AOA or AON is a great way to track and measure lead times on activities to arrive at an accurate ETA for completion.

The method of communication used by the group was primarily email, text messaging, and phone conferencing. Our project manager touched base with team members almost daily to gather updates, set reminders, and provide assistance if needed.


As a reflection on the past 8 weeks, the key piece of advice we would recommend for future teams is to thoroughly develop a well defined plan and prepare for the unexpected. We were given a very limited timeline from start to finish but our team completed both events in under 6 weeks. This would not have been possible if we did not identify the critical path and prioritize the activities that needed to be completed before proceeding to the next step. Developing a detailed project plan that listed all the activities and who they were assigned to was an effective method to ensure we met our project goals. In addition, ensure that you include a contingency plan should any unexpected circumstance occur. Our team faced that situation in the process of requesting donations from local businesses. We established a backup plan that included a contribution from every team member in the worst case scenario. The combination of persistent team members and supportive local businesses helped us achieve our goal and we held a successful event.

This field project was a great experience and opportunity for us to meet and network with other people in support of a great cause!

NavaH20 Nation Audit

Clean Water for the Navajo Nation


Project Description

On our first day of class, we learned that we had eight weeks to select a team, then a charity, organize a fundraising event, obtain donations, create a social network presence, and submit a final report and presentation.  When we learned about our project assignment, we all agreed that we wanted to support a cause within the United States and a cause that would get everyone’s attention.  Our group was lucky to have an individual who had both a personal and professional relationship with water charities.  Through this connection and a CBS news story, we discovered the Navajo Nation.

Charity Description

Within the Navajo Nation, there are nearly 100,000 individuals without access to running water.  Not to mention that these individuals also have unreliable electricity and unemployment is rampant.  The CBS news story featured a woman called the “water lady” who drove miles away each day to obtain water for her fellow Navajo Nation residents. Unfortunately, so many individuals rely on her, she is only able to deliver to each family approximately once a month.  We all reflected on how this would affect our daily lives, we were shocked this was happening in the United States.  With this realization, we understood we had found our cause: it was local and it was definitely jaw dropping.

With the help of Kevin’s water connections, we formed a partnership with Water Is Life.  Water Is Life is a charitable organization that has implemented water and hygiene projects internationally, Water Is Life has been active in Haiti and many African nations; and they were looking for a way to help the Navajo Nation.  At this point, we evaluated the possible support options for the Navajo Nation.  We set a lofty goal of raising $20k in order to purchase an item called a SunSpring.  The SunSpring is a solar and wind powered water filtration system.  Our plan was to work with Water Is Life to place the SunSpring near the Animas River to provide clean water for a nearby school.  However, we knew that $20k was ambitious, so we developed less expensive alternatives, including permaculture and hygiene initiatives, which would cost approximately $5-6k.

As a group, we decided our primary means of fundraising would be by utilizing our own personal and professional networks, as well as through social media.  We reached out to our friend, families, and colleagues via email.  The email was standardized across our group, with a personal touch at the introduction.  Also, as it turns out, our team included a social network genius and our Facebook page took off, beyond our wildest hopes (see us here: https://www.facebook.com/NavaH20Nation).   Our main fundraising took place through our MyEvent page: http://www.depaulnavah2o.myevent.com/3/donate.htm.

As for our event, our goal was to make the most profit with as little overhead as possible.  As a result, we ruled out places such as restaurants that would offer donations such as 15% of what our event spent at their facility.  Our event went through many brainstorming phases, but we settled on a two day bake sale at the DePaul Lincoln Park Student Center.  We all contributed our own baked goods and flyers and posters were created.  During this event, we were able to not only raise funds, but also awareness.

Mgt 598 - One Pager (Illustrative Communication)

bake sale photo

Project Outcomes

Throughout this quarter, we have all become passionate about this cause and have vowed to keep our fundraising and awareness campaigns going.  We have been blown away by the support we’ve received on Facebook, as well as the interest we received from our networks and the undergraduate students at DePaul.  At this time we have raised nearly $3k on our MyEvent page and have secured the following additional donations: $2.5k match donation from a local bank, plus another $2.5k and an additional $5k match from one our team member’s employers, and another $3k donation from another one of our employers.  This adds up to an astounding $16k!!

Lessons Learned

  1. Scope creep: We believe that our team avoided scope creep successfully. We had co-project managers who did an excellent job of keeping our team focused and on schedule.  Without the guidance of these two, we could have easily ventured off our project plan.
  2. Communication: We utilized email and text message to share ideas and updates. Our project managers hosted a weekly phone call in which we reviewed our current progress and addressed the next steps.  Our calls were well organized and kept to the designated appointment times.
  3. Shared responsibility: Each team member had components of the project that they were responsible for, some of which were shared. We trusted each other to be responsible and accountable.  In the end, all team members met their objectives and communicated the progress clearly to the team.
  4. Organization: Our team, led by our project managers, was incredibly organized.  We had a set timeline and plan, which we all understood.  This shared understanding, which was rooted in our clear communication, was key to our success.


If you can, pick classmates you’re comfortable with and have compatible schedules with.  Due to the short duration of the quarter, it will be important that you are able to communicate frequently and have times that you can meet with all team members.  For our group, that meant that most of us were in the weekend program, because weekend days worked best for us.

Select a cause that everyone can support.  If you select your charity well, you will see everyone’s dedication grow throughout the quarter.  Your passion will also be conveyed during your donation request and awareness events, which makes a big difference in the support you receive.

For our team, the weekly phone calls were a great opportunity to summarize the emails and texts that had occurred, as well to finalize that week’s activities.  While it may have been challenging for everyone to make it onto every call, we all made the effort and appreciated the outcomes of the weekly meeting.  The summary emails that were sent out following the calls also played a large part in keeping everyone on task

Lastly, try to be prepared for the unexpected.  None of us would have expected that bringing clean water to the Navajo Nation would be a controversial topic, but it turned out to be (see our Facebook page).  In our case, the positive responses vastly outweighed the negative, but that may not always be the case.

myevent page

Blue Demons for a Cure Audit

Our team, Blue Demons for a Cure, chose to support the American Cancer Society (ACS). We organized a few micro-events, leading up to our main event, which was the 5K Making Strides Walk hosted by ACS. Our scheduled events and a brief description are below:


Pilsen Yoga Tribe: We presented our charity and main event at an established yoga community event.

Pink & Drinks: We hosted an event at a local bar where all proceeds from pink drinks (bartender specialty drink) were donated to our team and ACS.

5K Making Strides Walk: We created a team and walked 3.2 miles around the Independence Grove Lake.

Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW): 15% of all food purchases, with the voucher present, were donated to our team and ACS.

In conjunction with these events, we sold merchandise: T-shirts (shown below left) and Dry Cookie Jar Mixes (shown below right).

TshirtCookie Jar

All our efforts were for the American Cancer Society, but specifically for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This nonprofit is over 100 years old and is the largest voluntary health organization in the United States. It goes by three values which is “saving lives by staying well, getting well, and fighting back” (http://www.cancer.org). They state that they have saved over 1.5 million lives in the past decade due to their relentless contributions.

During the planning phase of our project, we made predictions and established success measures. We did not achieve some of them, with some examples being as follows:

  •         5K attendance goal: 30 people (12 people attended)
  •         Total fundraising goal: $3,050 ($2,524 was raised)

Although some of our actual results fell short of our original success measures, we still consider our project as highly successful. We executed our plans effectively and we worked very well together as a team. All members participated in project coordination and event/product marketing, thus gaining valuable project management experience. Most importantly we were able to meet all of our deliverables on time. From this experience we learned a few things that will utilized in our personal and professional lives:

1)      Use the communication medium that works best for your team. A student from the previous MGT 598 class recommended we utilize Trello, as it could minimize the use of lengthy, confusing email chains. Our group did open up an account for that particular reason, but it was impractical for us to completely eliminate the use of email. It was much easier and more convenient for us to email each other via our smartphone. Trello became a calendar or deadline reminder for us.

Chicago Skyliine

2)      Be able to adapt to “mishaps” and bounce back quickly. In the beginning, we were debating between logos and team names. After the initial T-shirt order was submitted, we received feedback from DePaul’s marketing director that we could not use the logo. Our team quickly revised the logo to comply with university policies, selected the design below, and had minimal impact to project schedule:

3)      Expanding your scope is not always a negative thing, as long as you creatively fit the event into your overall goal. By our second week we had the final project plan and it did not include BWW. BWW finally responded to us and said it would donate 15% of food sales on the a specific day to the ACS. We initially scrapped this idea, however, we saw the event as low-risk and a “bonus” in revenue. We scheduled the BWW event on the same day as the 5K Walk to maximize attendance with hungry walkers.


As we reflect on the completion of our project, we have one primary recommendation for future teams: effective planning is crucial to project success. In a ten-week quarter there is surprisingly little time to execute the main event and the overall complexity of the project can be a significant hurdle. Each team member should have a clear understanding of what the team is trying to accomplish. For our team, we established a well-defined plan within the first two weeks. We were then able to prioritize activities and were able to complete some tasks in parallel. Our thorough planning allowed everything to fall into place.

Overall, it was a great learning experience and a great opportunity to work with new people. We wish you all the best of luck!