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.

 

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