The charity selected for our team project was the Association House of Chicago, a nonprofit organization serving the communities of Chicago since 1899. Their services include:
Employment training and placement
Foster care support
Mental health programs
High School guidance services
The event we chose was to host was a Trivia Night with the following components that we focused on: Venue, Accommodations, and Entertainment
Venue: The venue selected will be the Revolution Brewery. This location is a popular location for with a great atmosphere and popular among residents of the city of Chicago. An added bonus is that the venue already has a standing relationship with our selected charity, which aided in planning and execution of this project.
Accommodations: Our event offered all you can eat and drink for a standard ticket price. This helped loosen up the atmosphere and ensured a good time!
Entertainment: Alongside a great atmosphere and drinks, this we offered attendees multiple avenues for entertainment aimed at aiding in raising funds. Those avenues included a Trivia Game with prizes for winners, Silent Auction, and a 50/50 Raffle
Primary purpose of the event was to raise awareness and funds for the charity.
Our project raised a lot of awareness for the charity. We had the charity’s staff at the even mingling with attendees and sharing some of their work for the residents of Chicago. We also played a brief video highlighting the charity’s work.
We also raised a substantial amount of funds, approximately $4,500; only $100 shy of the goal we set out for. We also had close to 50 people attending the event, making it a great success.
Some of the lessons we learned in the project are the following:
Plan for contingencies and focus on teamwork: Things happen, emergencies professional and personal. It’s important for the team to have sense of camaraderie. This helps in ensuring that things don’t fall through the cracks and that we are all vested in each other’s success!
Be nimble in your plans: We planned for around 75 people to attend, however we only sold 50 tickets. It was important for us to remain nimble in our plans, had we stuck to our original work plan, we would have fell much more short of our goals for funds to be raised. But by remaining flexible and being able to adjust project plans, we were able to still hit our targets with a smaller than expected turnout.
Our team chose The Greater Chicago Food Depository as the organization for the project. Our objectives consisted of spreading awareness and raising funds for this organization. Our team members also had personal interests in this assignment. The desired outcome was to gain project management experience along with enjoying the time working on the project.
The reason why we chose the GCFD was based on our personal values and available resources. We wanted to collaborate with a local organization that has a proven evidence of spreading positive impact on the community. An organization that is known for their act of kindness rather than just another big brand name. The GCFD was a perfect fit to this description.
We worked on the assumption that the first and the best step to help the organization is to find their needs. Then we matched those needs with our available resources and identified the following events as the most suitable in contributing towards our goals:
• Volunteering at the GCFD facility
• Running a traditional food drive
• Running a virtual food drive.
These events became the core elements of our project.
Brief description of the charity
The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank. Their mission is to feed the poor and to end hunger in the community.
The GCFD partners with 700 agencies and programs including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and responses for children, older adults and veterans to collectively achieve their goal. Since 1979, the Food Depository has made a daily impact on hunger across Cook County. Last year, the organization distributed 70 million pounds of food, 35% of which was fresh produce. Every day GCFD distributes the equivalent of 160,000 meals. The GCFD has been recognized as one of the leading charities in Chicago.
Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives
Goal of 130 likes on our Facebook Page
Goal of 40 donors contributing on our Virtual Food Drive
Goal of completing 30 Hours of volunteer work at the GCFD facility (equals 10 volunteers)
Goal of collecting 150 lbs. of Food
85 likes on our Facebook Page, 661 people reached
4 donors donated $130 via Virtual Food Drive
24,75 hours of volunteer work (equals 9 volunteers)
181 lbs. of Food obtained via actual food drives
We have learnt that identifying risk possibilities and managing risks are two different things.
Identifying risk is the first and the basic step in risk analysis.
On the other hand, managing risk is a much more difficult and complex act. Having backup plans is a key element in any project.
We have learnt that maintaining a healthy balance between planning and execution is very important.
Advice for future teams doing similar projects
Do not go easy on the marketing part. Focus more on advertising and promoting your events. It is easy to set up marketing campaigns, but difficult to attract and motivate people to participate.
So be strong in marketing and promoting your event.
Communication is the key. Have a regular face to face group meetings to communicate all aspects of project.
Have contingency plans for your events. This includes back-up plans for places as well. Do not rely on just one event. We had a good experience with dividing our project into the variety of events.
Don’t forget to have fun whether it’s just a group meeting or the actual event.
The purpose of our project is to plan, host, and execute an event to support Bridge Communities Inc. to assist with propelling their cause. Our group had set up a trampoline night at SKY HIGH SPORTS in naperville to raise awareness for the Bridge Communities. This event would attract trampoline enthusiasts and also family and friends in residing in DuPage County for fun trampoline night. SKY HIGH has a program “bouncing for Bucks”, which donates half of the ticket prices to non profit organization of our choice. So we held a successful trampoline night for family and friends on may
30th 5-9pm at naperville location of SKY HIGH SPORTS to raise awareness and donations for the organization.
The charity that our group has chosen for our project is a local charity that assists DuPage County, Illinois residents with giving them free temporary housing to 131 DuPage County families each year. The name of this charity is Community Bridges Inc.
The critical services Bridge Communities provides to the homeless are housing, mentoring,unemployment and other supportive assistance. This includes giving the homeless a place to stay, learn to save and budget financials, obtain employment, and guide them to live self-sufficiently in the future. The first two years that each family spends in this program, they learn to save money, learn budgeting skills, and more.
The area which they target is DuPage county which is west of Chicago. Because of this, we wanted to host an event within the area in order to reach the community which is directly affected by Bridge Communities.
The reason we chose this charity was,
Chicago magazine ranked Bridge among the 20 Best Charities in Chicago in 2015, for connecting more than 130 families to homes and hope each year
Bridge partners with dozens of local churches, community groups, and businesses to provide a comprehensive program for homeless families in DuPage County. These partnership result in awareness, donations and volunteering for the events at Bridge communities.
We started the project with the intention of creating a dodgeball tournament to drive ticket sales and fundraise for Bridge Communities. This included providing Bridge Communities a proposal which states what our event is, what are the tasks involved, who is completing the tasks, and when we are expecting these tasks to be completed.
During this process, we also had to consider where our event would take place, when the event occurs, how much time the dodgeball tournament will last, the budget of our group, the materials and equipment needed for the event, how to track team registration and revenue, and finally how to attract people to this event.
We decided to host the dodgeball tournament on May 27th, 1:00PM – 5:00PM but now we needed a location. After conducting cold calls to numerous school’s and recreational centers within the DuPage area, we had to look elsewhere because the prices and availability of the facilities were unsuitable for our capabilities. This made it easier for us because the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility in Chicago was able to accommodate our requests. In addition, the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility could provide us with dodgeball equipment such as the dodgeballs, whistles, ect.
Once we acquired the facility, we had to start marketing the event with 3 weeks left. We made a Eventbrite page so teams are able to pre-register and we could forecast whether to shorten or extend the time of the event. Because the Ray Meyer Fitness Facility was a DePaul building, it accommodates DePaul students for a rental discount. We focused our marketing efforts to attract DePaul students which included posting 52 flyers in the student dorms and pushing 78 emails to undergraduate and graduate student organizations. In addition, we posted on DePaul related groups on Facebook to drive awareness.
Unfortunately, a few days before the event, only a couple teams pre-registered. We decided to cancel the event and proceed with our contingency plan which was to partner with an indoor trampoline park called Sky High Sports.
We contacted the Regional Manager of Sky High Sports about 3-4 weeks before our planned event date of May 30th. Usually, their organization only accepted events if requests are made prior to a month before, but because we communicated our strategy to attract customers, he allowed us to host the event. Our marketing strategy was:
Post in high, traffic groups in Facebook which are approximately close to the Naperville area
Leverage Bridge Communities’ capabilities to email blast and post on their social media channels
Engage and persuade our peers to come to the event and bring friends and family
When we were posting on Facebook, I came across a group called “Naperville Moms Network Business, Events, & Happenings!”. It was a closed group for Napervile moms but we made contact with the administrator of the group. She was not only the admin of the group but also the leader of a community group called Naperville Moms Network. She allowed us to post in the Facebook group and she spread our event on her website and community group.
On the day of the event, we set up a table which included a banner, flyers, and a free raffle. Everyone received a free raffle ticket but if they liked and shared Bridge Communities’ group page, they would receive an additional 2 raffles to win a Patrick Kane and Addison Russell jersey as well as other coupons and gift cards from local stores.
Increase Facebook Likes by 100 on Bridge Communities’ official Facebook page
Pass out 50 Bridge Communities’ informational flyers at the event
Raise $750 which is equivalent to 150 attendees
Increased Facebook Likes by 186 (raised from 2054 likes to 2240 likes)
53 Facebook Shares of Bridge Community which reached 34,149 friends
Passed out 82 Bridge Communities’ informational flyers at the event
123 attendees – $492
Donations – $104
Although 123 attendees sounds like a lot, it was a family event. For perspective, if you brought 50 people and they all have 1 child, there are essentially 100 attendees. In our event, there were people who brought 1 or 2 children as well as both parents attending.
We are very proud of the successes we’ve made despite being unable to meet our fundraising goals because of the difference we’ve made in both the homeless community and those who helped us achieve our goals.
Of the lessons learned from the project the two the immediately stand out are:
Establishing a risk management plan
Stay on schedule and establish dates for when contingency plans kick in and staying in constant communication with one another.
If it wasn’t for our risk management plan we may not have been able to pull off an event. The main take away from our risk management plan was the chances of our event having to be canceled due to venues complications or lack of turnout which in the end made us start preparing our secondary event at Skyhigh which would allow us to pivot from the Dodgeball event because the chances of having to cancel where high enough for us to have to start preparing for what would eventually be the inevitable.
This lead into our second major take away, which is establishing deliverable dates and contingency plans. Because of the risk management plan we were able to set up key dates for when deliverables had to be completed. This allowed us to coordinate appropriately as a group. We met up as a group once a week on Saturdays and had follow up calls on Tuesday evenings to make sure everyone was on task and on track to meet the due dates. Eventually we started having evening calls daily during the last week leading up to the event so we knew what the game plan was, who was arriving when, and how we would follow up with our report and presentation that was due the very same week of the event. Because of that we were never caught off guard and had an unforeseen event occur during our time together as a group.
Advice for future teams doing similar projects Peter from final paper & slides
It is always important for teams to always be able to come up with an alternative project in case one does not always work. It is always important to maintain group communication between the charity that the group, the customer, and the charity that we are working with. The Project Matrix is the last major requirement that will be needed in terms of responsibilities and to communicate who does what in the group. The Project Matrix success plan is explained in terms of awareness, participants, and revenue. Controlling scope creep is important in which the project’s parameters are restrained and the project scope is classified. The goal is to produce the wanted product on time and in the budget. Some colleagues in project management from the Project Management Institute state that there are six primary reasons for project scope creep. The first one is less articulateness and greatness of knowledge about the initial specification document, permitting straightforward contact between client and team participant members, customers attempting to get more work that is cheaper for them, starting design and advancement before a comprehensive requirements analysis and cost-benefit analysis has been completed. The fifth one is in which the belief is “to do it yourself” because of less anticipation and devising. The last sixth one are badly explained initial requirements. The main reasons for using scope creep is because of a dishonest customer with a “value for free” policy, improved communication between parties, improper antecedent about what is needed to bring about the project’s goals, bad change control, an active and energetic project manager or executive sponsor, quick and durable software development primarily relying on subjective amounts. Some important challenges to be aware of finding a proper venue, finding the correct price ranges, trying to determine which events to cancel based on event awareness, and maintaining communications with charities. There are seven important lessons to maintaining scope creep:
1. It is imperative that the project perception and point of view.
2. Know the order of activities that comes first activities that are permitted by project controllers.
3. Describe the project end results and goals and make sure these are authorized by the project drivers.
4. Make the sure approved project deliverables are placed into real work requirements.
5. Describe areas of the project that are major and minor goal indicators and make a great project schedule to be finished by the project drivers.
6. Appoint resources and figure out the critical path using a project evaluation and review method chart or a work breakdown structure.
7. It is important to know that scope creep will occur. Scope creep happens when there is a bad requirements analysis, not getting users engaged early soon enough, and not knowing and being cognizant of the largeness of the project. There at times is a lack of understanding the change and control enough and gold-plating in which the practice of exceeding the scope of the project in the belief that value is being added.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
$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):
Fragile X Williams Syndrome
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
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
These expenses were covered by each team member individually
Raffle & Give Away Donations Value – Total: $315.00
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:
GoFundMe – $610
Venue – $300
50/50 Raffle – $180
Raffle Tickets – $10
Ticket Sales – $240
Artist (MICHA) – $200
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Do your research
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:
Members of Group 5, from left to right, Alex Berestenko, Mark Bechtold, Kate Andorka, Yuting Wei, Ziyan Yin, Ivan Espinosa.