Salsa Night for Portage Park Helping Hands

1) Brief description of the project


Our team set out to raise awareness and to raise money for Portage Park Helping Hands.   We saw the opportunity presented in class as a way to help a charity in our local community.  Gathering our DePaul network, local community as well as the school community we were able to make a difference in the lives of this charity.


2) Brief description of the charity


Portage Park Helping Hands (PPHH) is a nonprofit organization that is created to raise funds in order to promote and encourage academic excellence through a developed, integrated curriculum as well as extracurricular activities for the children of the Portage Park community. Promoting diverse programs to all students provides greater opportunity for children to develop skills in different areas and increase their capacity for knowledge and success academically.


3) Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives


Our group managed to raise funds of $1250 and increase awareness of PPHH by holding two fun-filled events. The first event was held at Kiddie Kingdom, a kiddie arcade with food and drinks for both parents and children to enjoy. Kiddie Kingdom donated 15% of the proceeds that day directly to PPHH. Our second event was held at a Mexican restaurant, El Nuevo Taco Loco, which offered a salsa lesson, food, and drinks for all who participated. We learned plenty from our first event to allow for greater success in our second. The obstacles and challenges faced in both events have definitely better prepared us for marketing, managing, and assigning roles to keep our projects in tact enough to meet or exceed our goals.

To prepare for these events, our project manager, Alicia, found our strengths and assigned us roles that complied with those strengths to allow for a smooth transition into our roles in this project. We each had roles such as creating the flyer, uploading to social media, creating a budget, communicating with any vendors, etc. The role assignments and deadlines for each task enabled us to be well organized prior to our events and during the events as well. We found that assigning tasks and deadlines put us in a much better place in regards to timing and better prepared us for our second event over our first. That explanation you will see shortly.

For both of our events, we created flyers to be distributed physically and electronically via social media. The social media outlets utilized were Facebook, SimplyCircle,  CrowdRise, and EventBrite. Further, our group wanted to arrange a convenient time for people to join and want to enjoy our event. We also needed a convenient location in the city of Chicago for people to attend and enjoy this event. Coming up with an attractive price and finding our target audience were some of the additional details we had to pan out. Further, we had to contact a restaurant owner, salsa instructor, and a DJ to agree to host the event at an affordable price.


4) Two or three lessons learned about managing projects


Our first event was unsuccessful for several reasons. For one, we did not market the first event well enough to create awareness both about the event and for those to attend. We limited our marketing crowd to the Portage Park Elementary school media which included: Facebook and SimplyCircle. Further, the physical flyers we printed out were sent home to all students, in hopes that all teachers sent them home in time, and in hopes that the students provided the flyers to their parents. Because of the lack of control we had over the viewership of our marketing, and the finite targeted crowd we chose, we did not have as large of a crowd as we had anticipated. Further, each member of our team carries a different personal and work schedule, which made it difficult for some of us to communicate effectively and/or complete our own assigned tasks. Because of this, some members had to carry an extra workload to compensate for the members who were difficult to communicate with and/or could not meet some of the deadlines.


5) Advice for future teams doing similar projects


The advice that our team would like to extend is to start early.  We started almost the first week of the project and still had concerns that there was not enough time.  Working with the charities like Portage Park Helping hands requires a lot of approvals from the school board as well as the charity board of directors.

Scope creep is something that is also dangerous for projects.  At times we had many ideas that we would have liked to pursue, but we needed to stay with the original plan. The weeks during the quarter seem to go quickly and scope creep can be detrimental to your team’s success.


6) Photos related to the project. Examples could be event photos, website, team members, etc.


Awareness Brochure – Near West Side CDC

Project Description

Our project was to create an awareness brochure that would describe our organization’s programs and services. The idea followed from our consulting project with the goal formalizing our organization’s external messaging.

Organization Description

Near West Side CDC provides services to low and moderate-income residents in the West Haven community. These services include job preparation, life skills training, financial literacy, social services, youth programs, and housing to residents who would otherwise be homeless. Near West works with residents to create strategies for supporting the neighborhood’s social infrastructure, improving the aesthetic identity, improving access to education, and attracting more jobs to the area.


Our original idea (and project proposal) was to hold a carnival event on our organization’s premises. As we reflected on the work breakdown, we quickly realized there were many risks associated with the project that were out of our control and difficult to mitigate. Instead we chose to create awareness flyers which the organization could distribute and cover our costs through a bake sale. We are happy to report that we successfully created our awareness materials and covered all costs associated with making them.

Lessons Learned

The main lesson learned through this project was to understand scope of what you are undertaking and realize you have the power to adjust if the situation requires. Our original carnival idea had many risks: weather, attendance, location, materials, and organizational cooperation. Our team at first felt overwhelmed by the deliverables but was able to pivot, and made the decision as a group to scrap the original idea and to start a new project entirely. Our revised project was much more realistic and had three main paths in the project network: bake sale, flyer design, and content creation. Much more of this project was under our control and could be worked on in parallel to meet our class time frame.

Another lesson was to not underestimate the importance of the risk management plan. Even though we significantly reduced project risk after our revision, we still relied on the risk management plan to help us through a few hiccups. For example, we were not able to find a student graphic designer at an appropriate cost to help us design the flyers. Our risk management plan told us to switch over to Canva and design the flyers ourselves after the trigger date had passed without any drama.


Our advice is to truly think about the scope of your project before you commit. Take care in your risk planning to decide if the project has a good likelihood for success. Be creative and enthusiastic with your ideas, but also be realistic. Don’t feel stuck with every aspect of your initial proposal and don’t be afraid to shrink the scope to make your goal achievable.

Team 5 – St. Joseph Services

Project Description
The St. Joseph Services (SJS) group project was a meet and greet that we hosted after both Sunday morning services at the St. Martin de Porres church in the Austin neighborhood. Our goal was to generate local community awareness for the organization within the Austin and Humboldt Park neighborhoods. We provided complimentary coffee and refreshments to the parishioners in order to draw in attendees and worked with representatives from SJS to speak about the organization, hand out promotional material and answer questions.

Organization Description
St. Joseph Services provides after school programs for children, adult language classes, and computer classes primarily in the Austin and Humboldt Park neighborhoods of Chicago. In addition to their youth and adult programming, they also foster an environment for developing values and talents through interpersonal engagements in order to strengthen their respective communities. SJS places special care in cultivating engaged volunteers and program staff from the neighborhoods they serve, and places an emphasis on becoming positive role models for friends and neighbors while building programs from within the community. Most of the proffered programs are provided for a small fee, and the organization operates out of third party locations to save on expenses.

Our primary goal at the outset of the project was to create local, community awareness for St. Joseph Services. We would host a meet and greet at a local church, with a goal of spreading the word to at least 25 people after each church service. We had planned on hosting two events, one in each of Austin and Humboldt Park. After we were unable to partner with a second church in Humboldt Park, we decided to supplement our Austin event with an online fundraising campaign. Our second goal for our project was to generate $400 in donations through our GoFundMe page, all of which would go towards the SJS summer camp program.

We were successfully able to exceed both of our project goals, and therefore deem our project a success. As explained in our initial proposal, our goal for our community awareness event was to speak with at least 25 people after each ceremony. We were successfully able to attract and speak with over 75 people across both masses, well exceeding our goal of 50. We also generated $610 through the GoFundMe page, $210 more than our initial goal of $400. Lastly, we were able to successfully minimize our out-of-pocket expenses spent on organizing and hosting the event. Our expenses totaled $130 between supplies, fliers and other materials, which after being divided evenly, we feel was acceptable and within our spending limits.

Lessons Learned
During our time spent on this project we learned a great deal regarding successful project management. We discovered very early in the process that it was going to be difficult to schedule meetings that fit within everyone’s school and personal schedules. Due to this conflict, we realized early on that we would have to make the most of the time we had together as a group. Having a set agenda and delegating tasks before and after each group meeting allowed us to be time-efficient and focused, maximizing our time together. We were able to have focused conversations around tasks accomplished by individual group members, and spent our time making project decisions rather than working on tasks as a group. Each meeting ended with the delegation of more tasks to move the project forward, and we made sure to maintain regular communication outside of the meetings to address issues that came up along the way. Working in this fashion kept us aligned with our proposed timeline and allowed room for diversions from the planned project plan and timeline.

We also learned that in general, when planning a project it is best not to make assumptions. Assumptions on schedules, response time, and priorities can all derail a well thought-out and organized project. While we knew that not every church would be open to helping us host our event, we made a general assumption that people would be responsive. We were quite surprised that when trying to schedule an event in the Humboldt Park area, our only contact at the proposed venue was very reluctant to communicate with us and ultimately prevented us from having an event there as well. This had an effect on our overall timeline, as we were only able to organize the fundraiser in lieu of the event during the last two weeks of our project.

The first piece of advice we would give to other groups is to contact potential venues and schedule dates as early as possible. Scheduling with the venue can be challenging, especially when accounting for personal schedules of group members. Getting this done early will allow for more date options and might be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful event. We would also suggest having backup venues and dates ready in case of unforeseen circumstances or the desired venue is not available during the desired date. These were all issues that came up for us during the planning stages of our project, and we eventually had to enact one of our contingency plans since we could not secure a second church.

We also suggest that when looking for a venue to host or partner with, try to find one that has a similar mission or goals as you and/or your organization. We found that partnering with a church who valued community outreach, which was the ultimate goal of our event, extremely helpful. They were supportive of our project, and made every effort to help us plan our event and make it a success. This allowed us more flexibility in promoting the event, and provided us with additional moral support on the day of. When imagining how our event would have played out with a more reluctant venue partner, we are appreciative of the support we were provided.

Finally, we also recommend staying within the original scope laid out in the beginning stages of the project. Deviations from the plan will likely be unavoidable as issues and problems arise, however these changes should be focused on reaching the ultimate project goal. It’s too often that deviating from the plan results causes disruptions in the project and ultimately leads to a decreased chance of success. Making slight adjustments to the proposal is fine and often beneficial, as we found it to be, but trying to achieve more than the group is capable of is a recipe for disaster. Aim high, but stay within the group’s limits, as failing to do so leads to far more harm than good.

Event Photos



Team 1: Buddymazing

Brief Description of the Project

Team 1 worked with Best Buddies, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We helped the organization raise funds and awareness by hosting a bar night at Skores Sports Bar and Grill in Hardwood Heights. The team sold tickets for $50 and half of the proceeds were donated to Best Buddies. We were also able to obtain straight donations and a sponsorship from donors who were unable to attend the event. At our event, we raised additional funds by raffling in-kind donations we received from our sponsors. In addition to hosting a bar night, we also raised awareness by posting our event through our social media outlets. We worked closely with Kaitlyn Rose, Director of Development for Best Buddies Illinois. Ms. Rose provided the marketing materials for our event. She also made sure that a representative from Best Buddies was present at our event to help spread awareness to our family and friends.

  • Team Name: Buddymazing
  • Organization: Best Buddies of Illinois
  • Event: A Bar Fundraiser at Sports Bar & Grill in Hardwood Heights, IL
  • Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
  • Time: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Cost: $50 per person
    • Three-hour open bar with food
    • $25 – Bar Cost & $25 – Fundraising
  • Raffle Tickets:
    • $1 for one
    • $5 for six
    • $20 for a “Wingspan”

Brief Description of the Charity

Best Buddies International is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships and helps find employment for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

  • Best Buddies was founded in 1987
  • Works directly with people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD):
    • Down Syndrome
    • Autism
    • Fragile X Williams Syndrome
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • 109,033 Total Participants in 54 Countries
  • Dedicated to ending social, physical and economic isolation for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD)
  • Works with people ages 12 years old to adulthood
  • Teach public speaking skills by building self-esteem and confidence
  • Three Program Pillars:

Factual Analysis of Success in Terms of Project Objectives

Buddymazing Fundraising Goal: $4,325.00

Buddymazing Actual Fundraising Total: $6,525.00

Buddymazing Exceeded Its Fundraising Goal by $2,200.00

34% Over Fundraising Goal!! 


Total Revenue:                                                                     $7,225.00

  • McCormick Foundation Sponsorship: $5,000.00
  • Ticket Sales / Personal Donations: $2,020.00
  • Online Donations: $205.00

Total Expenses:                                                                    $700.00

  • Venue: $25 per ticket – Total Venue Expense: $575.00
    • 23 Guest Attended
    • Included 3 Hours Open Bar & Food
  • Service Gratuity – Total Gratuity Expense: $125.00
    • 1 Server

Total Other Expenses & Donation Value:                           $426.00

  • Team T-shirts for $10 each – Total: $50.00
    • 5 Team Members
    • This expense was covered by each team member individually
  • Decorations & Supplies – Total: $61.00
    • Invitation & Ticket Printing: $35.00
    • Raffle Tickets: $8.00
    • Wristbands: $10.00
    • Balloons: $8.00
    • These expenses were covered by each team member individually
  • Raffle & Give Away Donations Value – Total: $315.00
    • Hush Salon Gift Certificate: $50.00
    • Blooming Lotus Spa Gift Certificate: $65.00
    • Cite Restaurant Gift Certificate: $50.00
    • Porretta Italian Restaurant: $100.00
    • Wine Basket: $50.00

Lessons Learned About Managing Projects

  • Communication is Key for a Successful Project
  • Focus on Either Raising Funds or Awareness
  • Prioritize Your Time
  • Balance Your Work/School/Life Schedule

Advice For Future Teams Doing Similar Projects

  • Start Early
  • Prioritize Your Time / Meet Deadlines
  • Be Organized
  • Stay Focused on the Ultimate Goal
  • Be Prepared For Last Minute Changes – Prepare
  • Have a back Up Plan Ready – Plan B, C, D…
  • Respect
  • Have Fun!

Photos Related to the Project

Team Buddymazing:

Event Invitation & Ticket:






Venue – Skores Sports Bar and Grill:

Best Buddies Information Table:


Just Having Fun and Being Buddymazing:









Team 1: LUCHA Benefit Concert

Brief description of the project

We held a ticketed benefit concert featuring Chicago artist, Michelle J. Rodriguez, at Stage 773, a small theatre venue in Chicago to raise both money and awareness for LUCHA. Michelle is a Latina artist who has a band, MICHA, which plays a mix wide range of original music (including jazz, Latin, R&B) and she has played several similar types of events in Chicago. We promoted the event via social media, the venue, and LUCHA. At the event we had a few people from LUCHA speak about the organization and we had a table with promotional materials including ways to get involved with the organization. We also set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise additional money (and awareness) for LUCHA, as well as a 50/50 raffle at the event that helped us raise more money.


Brief description of the charity

LUCHA, founded in 1982, is the Latin United Community Housing Association. They are a non-profit organization that advances housing as a human right by empowering communities – particularly the Latino and Spanish-speaking populations- through advocacy, education, affordable housing development and comprehensive housing services. Their main goals are to combat displacement and to preserve affordable housing in the community. LUCHA has helped more than 68,000 low-to-moderate income families with tasks such as rental assistance, rent and finding affordable housing, emergency repairs, and many others.


Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives

Social Media Engagement:






Revenue Expenses
GoFundMe – $610 Venue – $300
50/50 Raffle – $180 Raffle Tickets – $10
Ticket Sales – $240 Artist (MICHA) – $200


Total Revenue Total Expenses
$1,030 $510


In total, we generated revenue of $1,030 and had expenses of $510. Thus, were able to generate $520 in profit!

Attendance: Our original goal for attendees was around 45 people. However, we fell short of our goal as we only had seven outside participants. This may have been due in part to our show being on a Monday or a lack of marketing from our stakeholders, but even with the low attendance we were still able to raise awareness and money.


Two or three lessons learned about managing projects

Be extremely thorough in your communication process. There are many stakeholders involved in these type of projects, so it’s very important to be as explicit as possible to ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows what’s going on. Selecting the appropriate communication channels for each stakeholder ought to be carefully considered based on varying schedules, preferred styles of communicated, and timeliness of response required.

Stay organized and prepared by creating WBS’s and Risk Management Plans. These will ensure that your group is ready to take on whatever tasks needed to complete the project, but will also make sure that your group is prepared for unforeseen circumstances that can affect the status of the project. Assigning accountability through these project management tools helps the project stay on track as well as ensure everyone is working together to complete various deliverables according to schedule.

Lastly, it’s important to understand that even with a risk management plan in place, it’s important for all group members to be flexible. This means that each group member is willingly able to adapt to any given situation that may arise and could change the logistics of the event. Communication is again a factor here, as well as a generalized positive and optimistic attitude to carry out unforeseen changes to plans to help the event run as smoothly as possible.


Advice for future teams doing similar projects

Our advice for future teams doing similar projects largely revolves around ensuring they are fully aware and adequately prepared to coordinate the large scope of responsibilities for a benefit concert or event of a similar scale. This event was far more challenging than initially anticipated given the variety of stakeholders as well as the short timeline we were operating under. Therefore, effective communication was key throughout our planning process. We want to highlight the importance of the “ABC Rule” (Always Be Communicating) with the team as well as updating external stakeholders on a regular basis. We found it very helpful to always be communicating whether it was through email correspondence or weekly meetings with our group.

Additionally, securing a venue for a concert on a short timeline with limited budget turned out to be more difficult than we originally anticipated. We therefore suggest doing this sooner rather than later in order to ensure you find the best venue, on the date you want and for a reasonable price. Remember, there will be communication barriers with the venue’s and they won’t always get back to you in a timely manner (if they even get back to you at all). Also, when it comes to the money to rent out a venue, thinking through payment is critical. In most cases, the group must put down a deposit up front to secure the venue spot, which creates a risk of losing money should the event turnout fail to generate enough attendance to cover these up-front costs. These are factors that need to be addressed in a project similar to this.

Also, we encountered some unforeseen challenges we ran into were permissions and coordinating the exchange of funds. If you’re planning on doing some sort of online fundraising (GoFundMe for example) make sure you know all the logistics about the process of getting the money in and out of the fundraising account. Due to the fact that we signed up as a “Charity” account instead of “Personal”, it made our process of withdrawing the money much more difficult and we needed assistance from LUCHA and PayPal.

Lastly, we would advise teams doing similar projects to have an effective marketing channel strategy. Despite low attendance at our event, we were able to raise awareness, which was our primary objective. We were able to do this through an effective marketing channel by using social media, local marketing and effective relationship marketing. All of these elements helped us raise awareness for our organization and allowed us to meet our main objective.


Photos related to the project





Team #6: Donda’s House Awareness Event

Project Overview

Launched in 2013 by Che “Rhymefest” Smith and Donnie Smith, Donda’s House, Inc. provides unprecedented access and education from leading experts in the music, fashion, and entertainment industry to Chicago’s creative youth and young adults. Donda’s House has direct access to accomplished professionals, artists and curators in the industry and leverages these connections to provide training, incentives and employment opportunities for the programs participants who are 14 – 24 years old.

Our project was a presentation pitched to a DePaul student organization, the DePaul Music Business Organization. Our goal was to spread awareness about Donda’s House as well as recruit some potential volunteers that would be able to assist Donda’s House in the future. In addition, we also suggested to the student organization that Donda’s House could potentially be a great partner that could bring together great local artists and people who are interested in breaking into the music industry.

Implementation plan 

Decide on an initial project plan

We worked with the client to draft an initial plan for a donor reception (fundraising event) which would be followed by a Chicago Blues Festival Finalist Audition. We shortlisted a venue based on client partnership, time, and other attractions during the event such as silent auction, raffle, and presentation.

Create a contingency plan

We created a risk plan for the donor reception event and brainstormed ideas for a target audience and presentation for an awareness event if initial project plan falls through.

Initial project not possible, employ contingency plan

Three weeks to the event, client informed that venue partner would be able to honor the commitment and we must look at alternatives. Since we had a contingency in place, we quickly started mapping out specifics of awareness event collaborating with the DePaul Music Business Organization.

Coordinate with student organization and create presentation

We reached out to DePaul Music Business Organization and locked on a date to present to all the members of the student organization. We then finalized talking points, presentation, video introduction and variety of volunteer opportunities to be discussed at the event along with snacks for the attendees.

Present to DePaul Music Business Organization at its bi-weekly meeting

Coordinated arrival of the student organization and project team members to the event location with snacks for the attendees. Delivered the presentation and followed it up with space on student organization newsletter to augment our in-person presentation.

Project Financials

We conducted an awareness event for a student organization so there were minimal costs involved in our event. As snacks for the attendees, the project management team made an in-kind donation (cookies) worth $10.

Objectives & Outcomes

Establish awareness of Donda’s House

Raised awareness by giving an overview of the organization at the DMBO event as well as through channels DMBO shared the event as well as the volunteer link.

Establish relationship between Donda’s House and DePaul Music Business Organization

Made the connection between the two to start getting DMBO members involved with volunteering.

Receive positive feedback from event attendees

Received attendee engagement and questions during the event.

Received a follow up email from the organization contact expressing members’ interest in getting involved.

Project Challenges

  • Our original plan of doing the donor reception for Donda’s House at the Virgin Hotels was pushed back to mid-June, two weeks after Final’s week for DePaul after supposedly being finalized. Our team’s response due to a lack of time was to create an awareness event partnering with a student organization from DePaul. We picked the DePaul Music Business Group thinking the organization was an excellent fit because Donda’s House has connections to top professionals in the music, fashion, and entertainment industry, contains local roots, and can provide excellent resume booster experience for undergraduate students.
  • After agreeing to speak at the meeting run by DePaul Music Business Group, our point-of-contact notified us the day before that nobody from their organization can go to speak at the event we were partnering up with due to scheduling an event of their own on the same day. We responded by quickly asking for the organization to send us a PowerPoint/video that we can prepare and present ourselves during the event.
  • On the hour of our event, there was a clash between pro-Trump and anti-Trump protestors right by Lincoln Park’s Student Center where our event was taking place. Public safety officials and law enforcement officers did not let anyone with a DePaul student ID into the building, so we responded by postponing the start of the meeting with the Group to allow extra time for attendees to come in.

Overall, the initial event had to be completely replaced and there was a lack of stakeholder engagement. There were a variety of curveballs that our group had to face and find immediate, effective solutions for. Our response was multiple brainstorming sessions to make our solutions more creative as well as constantly adjusting our risk management plan to potentially stop any future problems from happening.

Examples of Effective / Ineffective Project Management Activities


  • We could successfully come up with a backup plan under a tight time constraint after our initial proposal fell through.
  • Our team met weekly to discuss updates on the project and what we needed to complete that week. This helped keep everyone on our team in the loop and have clear goals and initiatives in place.
  • We were able to make a presentation conveying the ideals of Donda’s House and answer all of questions without a representative of the organization being there.
  • We planned different contingency plans in case our initial project fell through, which proved to be very helpful.


  • We had a communication discrepancy with the organization regarding the event space.
  • We didn’t include a venue issue in our contingency plan, since we thought it was secured.

Lessons Learned

Even if your risk management plan is thorough, unforeseen obstacles may arise. The one logistic detail we thought was certain and was a determining factor of our entire event ended up falling through. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to keep the team positive and to take initiative of brainstorming backup solutions if they weren’t already on the plan.

When making a decision that needs to be done quickly, don’t rush it so fast that you don’t think strategically about what the effects could be. If we wouldn’t have taken the time to find a student organization that wasn’t aligned with our nonprofit then it wouldn’t have been a good use of our time/a meaningful event. The time spent up front finding an organization ended up saving time overall.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Spend time researching and brainstorming to come up with multiple ideas as a team.
  • Create a substantial risk management plan including all possible risks, as you may need to use it.



Team 5: Raise a Glass to Raise a Roof

Project Description:

Team 5 held a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Chicago and Northwest Indiana (CNI). The fundraiser was a social event at Chicago Joe’s (located in Roscoe Village) the night of May 19th, where a split of the revenues went towards the organization and the remainder to the venue. We sold wristbands for $40 at the door.  Attendees had access to various drinks from 7pm-10pm. $20 was donated for every wristband sold. At the event, we had table tents and other materials talking about RMHC-CNI and ways to donate. In addition to the sales, we hosted a 50/50 raffle where the winner took home 50% of the total money collected and the other 50% went to RMHC-CNI. RMHC is a global organization that supports children and families by delivering programs and services in more than 63 countries and regions. We focused on the Chicago & Northwest Indiana (CNI) chapter. The mission of RMHC-CNI is to care for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community. RMHC-CNI keeps families of hospitalized children together in a ‘home away from home’. They have 5 local houses in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area, 3 local Family Rooms, sponsor a scholarship program, and Care Mobile.

Charity Description:

RMHC is a global organization that supports children and families by delivering programs and services in more than 63 countries and regions. Our team focused on the Chicago & Northwest Indiana (CNI) chapter. Their mission is caring for families of children with complex medical needs by providing comfort, compassion and a sense of community. RMHC-CHI keeps families of hospitalized children together in a “home away from home”. They have 5 local houses in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area, 3 local Family Rooms, sponsor a scholarship program, and Care Mobile.

Factual Analysis:

Our goal was to raise awareness and funds for RMHC-CNI. We did marketing on Facebook inviting all of our friends and family members. We also posted our event on various student organizations’ Facebook pages, so more people would get to know our charity and help us for fundraising. The larger reach, the better probability. We expected $200 in donations through our dedicated site outside of the event. The team knew not everyone would be able to come or wants to come to the event. We wanted to have a way for them to contribute outside of the event. We also planned a 50/50 raffle. Our goal was the sale of 20 raffle tickets at $5 per person for an eventual revenue of $50 after the payout to the winner. We intended to reach our minimum attendees (36 x $10 = $360) and get our minimum goal donations outside of the event ($200). In addition to the 50/50 raffle, we would reach our overall goal of $530. After the event, we received more onsite donation than online donation compared with what we expected. The final amount donated to RMHC-CNI was $566.

Lessons Learned:

  • Do your research
    • Locations
    • Alternative opportunities
  • Pick a strong team
    • You do not know it all
    • Be resourceful to be successful
  • Never rely on weather
    • Especially in Chicago

5) Advice for future teams:

  • Take control of Project Scope – When our team edited our event proposal, we wanted to ensure that what we added was necessary and helpful for the event. We tried to avoid adding irrelevant items that could miss critical deadlines.
  • Use applicable programs for communication – Our group used WhatsApp as a quick and convenient tool for group chat because it would be easier for all group members to go over 30 messages than 30 emails. We also used Google drive to share all documents and photos for our project. Our team tried Trello, which is a great project management application. However, we preferred to use WhatsApp and Google Drive. Choosing applications or programs that fit the team will be helpful for the project.
  • Set a deadline for each task – There were many small tasks in the implementation plan, so deadlines can keep us on track of the progress of all tasks. If one of us miss the deadline, our project cannot keep going without those small steps. We marked “To Do” and “Done” next to our tasks as the status so we can keep our project moving forward in a limited time.
  • Keep in agreement on a common goal – Each team member comes from different backgrounds and has different ways of doing things. We had various ideas about charities when we started the project. Rational persuasion was helpful for us while we made decisions and agreements. Alignment of all our ideas was important for us as a team.
  • Plan well on risk management – It is important for the team to have a well-planned risk management because there are many unpredictable conditions, such as weather. Our selected venue has both indoor and outdoor areas for the event. Our team anticipated raining on the day of our event, but we did not expect it to be held on the coldest day of May. Risk management plan can make the team confident and calm if an unexpected situation happens.

6) Project Photos:

Team Members:

Members of Group 5, from left to right, Alex Berestenko, Mark Bechtold, Kate Andorka, Yuting Wei, Ziyan Yin, Ivan Espinosa.

RMHC-CNI Website:


Event Photos:


Global Leaders HIIT Chicago @ Barry’s Bootcamp

Vince, Laura, Shea & Joe


Project Description

The Blue Demon Consulting Group (BDC) hosted a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout class at Barry’s Bootcamp to raise awareness and funds for the Global Leader’s Program (GLP) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The event was held on June 3, 2017 at 2:15pm at the River North location.  In addition to the workout class, we accepted donations through Eventbrite and hosted a raffle after the class.

Charity Description

The Global Leaders Program @ the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is a Chicago based free two-year program for high school juniors and seniors.  The GLP introduces them to the STEM fields, develops leadership skills, and helps them work on getting into college.

Analysis of Success

  • Goal: Revenue of $1,500 through ticket sales, donations, and the raffle
    • Outcome:
  • Goal: Fill 50 spots at Barry’s Bootcamp
    • Outcome: We sold 36 tickets to the class. 31 of these attendees came the day of the event.

Lessons Learned

  • Anticipate obstacles and develop alternative courses of actions
  • Adjust plan and exploit new developments – in our case it was the high level of donations
  • Identify team members strengths to optimize results
  • Communicate, be flexible, and most importantly, HAVE FUN!


Beware of conflicts of interest. One of our teammates has a contact at Muscle Milk that we were hoping to use to have a Muscle Milk surprise for everyone after class.  We quickly learned that we would not be able to have them come because Barry’s Bootcamp has their own Fuel Bar that would make it a conflict of interest.

Pace Yourself.  Throughout the project AND the workout class!  We made sure not to promote too early to lose interest to people since our event was at the end of our 10 week class.

Have fun!  Our team was positive and encouraging throughout the whole quarter and we think that this was a key to our success!


TLP Happy Hour Fundraising Event

Team 2: Sarah (PM), Tazarf, Peggy, Rawand, Jen, and Steven

Description of Project:

What: Team 2 hosted a Happy Hour Fundraising Event that offered attendees unlimited drinks and pizza. We included a 50/50 raffle and a “pass-the-hat” for extra donation throughout the event.

Where: Glascotts Saloon, 2158 N. Halsted Street Chicago, IL

When: Tuesday May 16, 2017 6-8pm

Our team partnered with Team Living Programs (TLP) to raise awareness of homeless youth and the importance of building a community, hope and opportunity for youth that are homeless. We chose to host our event at Glascott’s Salon in Chicago. The venue donated 50% of all ticket sales for our event and provided the venue space at no cost, which also supported the charity. Our team and all our guests were present at the venue on Tuesday May 16, 2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm to support TLP and provide insight and information regarding the charity. A board member from the charity was also present at our event to provide assistance and outreach regarding TLP and to educate our guests on homeless youth in Chicago.

Flyer used to market the event

We sold tickets for wristbands at the cost of $40.00; the wristbands included unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and pizza for a period of 2 hours. We also offered a 50/50 raffle ticket sale at $5 for 1 ticket, $10 for 3 tickets and $20 for 7 tickets where the winner would receive half of the raffle money and our charity would receive half of the raffle money. The winner of the raffle decided to donate all her winnings to the charity. Our team utilized online networking sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as word of mouth and we all sent personal email blasts to family and friends regarding TLP and an invite to our event. Glascotts Salon, our venue, advertised our event at no cost by posting our event invite on their Facebook page, Instagram, and provided a Twitter blast. We also setup an online donation page via EventBrite to capture funds from people that could not attend our event but wished to make a donation to the charity.

Description of the charity

Banner used on Facebook Fundraising Page

We chose to support homeless teams via the Teen Living Program (TLP): “Teen Living Program builds community, hope and opportunity for youth who are homeless. We address their immediate needs and help them achieve independence and stable housing.”

We chose TLP because it’s a local not-for-profit that we all believe has reputable, and important mission to end youth homelessness in Chicago and to build community, hope and opportunity for such youth. Our team also chose to partner with TLP because of existing contacts with the charity. Sarah Pinter, our Project Manager, has personally volunteered and attended various TLP charity events throughout the last few years. Sarah also has various points of contact on the charity’s board that we were able to utilize to ensure our event was successful. Sarah’s existing relationship with TLP definitely facilitated effective communication with the TLP and provided resources for our event. TLP also uses <3% of its profits towards covering overhead expenses which attracted our team to support this charity.

Factual Analysis of Success:


  • Goal: $2,000
  • Result: $1,200

Raise Awareness

  • Goal: 50 event attendees, event invitation circulation to over 100 people
  • Result: 20 event attendees, over 100 people invited

Challenges faced:

There were a few challenges with respect to our project:

  • The limited time period we had to plan, market and execute the event. We essentially had about 6 weeks to plan, market and execute the event. Due to our individual schedules, our team was forced to host the event in mid May 2017. Accordingly, we essentially had about 6 weeks to plan, market and execute the event. Despite this challenge, we feel as though we did a good job creating awareness about the charity and we definitely had a ton of fun. However, the funds generated from our event and further requests for donations after we hosted our event did not meet our planned goal.
  • Ski-Ball League during fundraising event – Team Response: Used this to our advantage to sell 50/50 raffle tickets, helped fill up the bar space with lower attendance than anticipated
  • Lack of Attendance – Team Response: Pushed for donations post event for those that could not attend
  • Higher Ticket Costs at the Door – Team Response: Made last minute decision to drop price to $40 to increase marketability to last minute attendees

Lessons Learned About Project Management:

Our team walked away with the following 2 critical lessons learned:

  • Importance of Effective Communication– During the course of project, it became very clear that effective communication is the key to a successful project. As a team, we had great communication. Sarah, our Project Manager was very organized, created timelines, utilized several tools such as Trello and What’s App, held in person meetings on weeknights and before class, and was always responsive and available to ensure our project was moving along. We found that the more collaborative we were together as a team, the more successful we were as a team. We also learned that over communicating is not the answer, communicating well is the answer.
  • Importance of a Time Management Plan – We learned that having a time management plan is critical. We learned to track the progress leading up to the event to avoid last minute “sprints”. We learned the importance of analyzing the project’s critical path – where the project could be delayed or set off track. We learned that we should have been more strategic of timelines and budgets and paid more attention to our project scope, time, cost and where we should be via our deadlines and project objectives.

Advice for Future Teams:

In addition to the above lessons learned, we make the following suggestions to future teams holding a similar event:

  • Choose a charity everyone wants to support and where a team member has a connection
  • We think future teams should definitely chose a charity that a member of the team has a connection to and has been involved with in the past. This allows for additional support from the charity. TLP provided a lot of feedback and support that was very resourceful and that facilitated a solid execution of our event. We had access to their board members, marketing materials, logos, social media channels, and the board president attended and was a resource at our event.
  • Choose a Supportive Venue.
  • The venue we chose to host our event supported our charity via donations, providing a free event space and providing free advertising for our event.  We found this to be extremely helpful!


Few images from the event


Chicago HOPES for Kids – Fundraiser and Book Drive

George, Nathan, Nicole and Kate


Project Description

Main Event

This event took place at Barcocina in Lakeview where attendees paid an entrance fee that allowed them unlimited beer, wine, and appetizers for three hours. A portion of ticket prices went to the venue and the remainder went to Chicago HOPES for Kids. There was silent auction at the event in which participants had a chance to win Blackhawks/Cubs memorabilia. We also collected book donations at the event that were donated to our charity.

Book Drive

Chicago HOPES for Kids utilized collections of books to help children living in homeless shelters advance their literacy skills. We coordinated a book drive through the Elmhurst Public Library to add to these collections. This was done by raising awareness of the book drive in the community and setting up a donation bin in the library entrance.

Online Fundraising

Our team set up an online donation page through GoFundMe to diversify our revenue streams in addition to what was raised at the main event. This was an easy way for friends, family, and others interested in supporting the cause to donate even if they were unable to attend the main event.


Charity Description

Chicago HOPES for Kids provides educational support for children living in Chicago’s homeless shelters. It is their mission to provide their students with the resources and encouragement needed to succeed academically, despite the challenges of homelessness. HOPES runs an after-school program where they help children complete their homework, improve their literacy skills, and participate in enrichment activities. We reached out to HOPES to gain approval for our event and obtained support resources such as signage and marketing materials prior to the event.

  • Website:
  • Office Address: 641 W Lake St. (West Loop)
  • Main Contact:


Measures of Success

Our group put together a fundraiser/book drive for HOPES. Our initial measures of success and the final project figures were as follows:

  • Book drive collects a minimum of 100 books – 765 collected
  • Main event raises $1,000 – $2,000 – $775 raised
  • Main event has a minimum of 50 attendees – 51 attendees
  • Raise at least $200 from silent auction – $360 raised
  • Fundraising page raises minimum of $500 – $828 raised

At the conclusion of the project, we determined that our book drive, financial, and attendance goals were met. The book drive collected far more books than we had anticipated. Our initial goal of 100 books proved to be far too low in comparison to the final tally of 765 books. The only individual goal that was missed, was the goal for dollars raised at our event excluding the silent auction. This shortfall was made up for by the larger than expected funds raised during the silent auction and through the online donation page.


Lessons Learned & Advice

We faced numerous challenges during the book drive. One of these challenges was scope creep. Other libraries expressed interest in hosting book drives in other towns. Working with these libraries would have made our logistical challenges more complex and possibly taken away from our ability to complete the current project at hand. An additional challenge for the book drive was that some books were donated that were above an eighth grade reading level. These books were not able to be used in the after school program.

Additional challenges presented themselves during the Barcocina fundraising event. We initially had low levels of interest in donating and buying tickets. Luckily, interest picked up significantly during the couple of days before the event and 51 people ended up attending. We realized during the event that we did not have a good plan for transporting books that were donated. The number of books that were donated at the event itself turned out to be small enough that transportation was not a problem. Lastly, we put more effort than anticipated into encouraging silent auction bids in order to get substantial donations.

We would advise future students to spend as much time as possible going through the potential issues that may arise during their project. People tend to want to wait until the last minute to complete tasks and this can be a game changer if someone doesn’t come through as expected. We were lucky that the challenges posed to our event did not significantly alter the outcome.

In the end we finished up with a successful project and a very happy charity. Chicago HOPES for Kids made sure to give us a mention on their Facebook page, and thanked us in person when we went to deliver the books. We are thankful to have worked with an organization with such an important mission and are proud of the work we did this quarter.