Dog Says of Summer


Project Description-

Our project scope was to raise substantial funds as well as awareness for our desired charity, Safe Humane, through a fundraiser event held at a Bar/Restaurant that is willing to assist in our fundraising efforts. The location we selected was 27 Live in Evanston. Our main goal was to raise money through tickets sales, food and liquor sales at the event, on-site auctions and charitable donations donated at the event or online through Eventbrite. Our event took place at 27 Live Restaurant & Bar on Thursday, July 31st.  27 Live donated the space and staff, and provided unlimited appetizers for the duration of the event for a reduced per-person fee. This greatly reduced our costs to hold the event. As mentioned above, we also had an online fundraising site established to ensure that individuals who are not able to make it to the event but wished to contribute to the cause had a method to do so. We were able to push the message through social media and our personal and professional contacts as we marketed the main event to reach the largest possible group. We had a live band at our event to provide a pleasant environment where people want to attend, stay, have fun, and potentially donate more through the silent auction. The band was John McHugh & Company.  We reached out to local dog-based vendors to have them come out to our event and get visibility with their potential future clients. Most were unwilling to do so, but provided some silent auction items.  We held a very successful silent auction at the event raising $2000 additional funds for the charity.  Various vendors, our employers, and family and friends donated items for the silent auction. In addition to the above, we partnered with Safe Humane to volunteer at the Taste of Lincoln Beer Tent.  Members of our team volunteered our time at the beer tent to help Safe Humane raise the highest possible funds. The contributions we raised through tips during this event were accounted in our total proceeds raised for Safe Humane.



Project Success Metrics-


Overall our team did very well base on the metrics we decided to use at the beginning of the project. We raised a total of 5793 which was at the higher end of what we expected. One of our goals was to keep costs low so we could donate as much of our revenue to the charity that we could. The number of donors we calculated only took into consideration the number of entries on our site. The number is realistically higher but we didn’t take into consideration those who we couldn’t track as well as those who donated multiple time or through multiple avenues. The average gift size of 55.4 was much higher than the cost of an individual ticket for the event which is a reflections on the success we had through the silent auction. On the efficiency front we were able to generate a dollar of profit for every $.30 of expenses. None of the expenses were paid out of pocket. The expenses were the profit sharing we had to give the bar for allowing us to use their facilities. Profitability for this project was excellent with a return on investment of 339%. If a project like this was available for investors, they would gladly jump all over it.


Advice for Future Teams

As you embark on choosing your own project, there are several things to keep in mind. First, it is important to have one of the team members that is truly passionate about particular charity and have ties to it. One of our team members volunteered for Safe Humane as result has strong ties. When it came to leverage charity’s network and getting their overall support, we already had that connection and it made things less stressful. Second, it is important to think broad about how you plan to support the charity meaning what type of fundraising activity you would like to do. While it is good to think big, it is also important to be realistic. Since our class had only 10 weeks, it was important to be realistic about the timeframe that you have and what you can accomplish. Some of the fundraising ideas we had included things like special permits, which take long time to obtain. Think big, share ideas with your team and vote on the best option that you can come up with. Third, it is important to have several ways for your network to donate. Some people may not be able to attend the event you are hosting, but would love to be able to donate money to your cause. We used online website called eventbrite, which offerred several options including ability to sell tickets to the event as well as collect plain donations. In addition, you are able to easily share your donation website with your network via social network/email, etc which brings up next point. Fourth, social media is critical part of your marketing plan. It is important to leverage it because it is effective and free. Our charity also had strong following on Facebook and shared our event to help generate excitement and in turn donations. Lastly, it is important to tap into your network and business community for support. Share your fundraiser info with your family, friends and do it often leading up to the event. People forget to donate, therefore it is important to keep it on the top of their mind. In addition, introduce  yourself to your local area businesses. They are looking to promote their lines of business and donating to your fundraiser is a business opportunity. It is important to have good sales pitch, but just plain ask.


Lessons Learned

There are many lessons learned from doing a project such as the one we have done, however there are 2 critical lessons learned that our team walked away with.

  • Importance of Project Management– During the course of project, it became very evident the critical role our project manager played in making sure we have a successful project. During the class, you will learn many skills that are required to become a good project manager. When doing a project in practice like we have, our project manager was very organized, broke down our work structure, created timelines, held weekly calls to ensure timely execution and strong follow thru. In business world, you would hope to have strong project managers to do the same thing on the projects you are working.
  • Risk Management Plan – If you don’t have a risk management plan, you are probably likely going to experience some hard time. When we were compiling risk management plan, we didn’t think that certain things would happen. However, we quickly realized the importance of risk management plan. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to think quickly on your feet. Whenever you start a project, it is important to identify potentially risks and propose how you plan to address those risks. It is critical to identify all risks, ways you would address them and proceed with your plan.

Photos from our Project 



11 thoughts on “Dog Says of Summer

  1. I like that you were focused on fundraising in person and online, a lot of fundraisers focus on both but this gives you a lot more opportunity for reaching people. Also the tip on finding a fundraiser you have connections to is very smart. Even though you may be passionate about a certain fundraiser, if you don’t already have good connections it will make your work a lot harder.

  2. It was really amazing how much help you had from outside sources. It’s great seeing the far reaching impact. The fact that there was an avenue for donating for those who couldn’t attend was a great idea that helped reach others and provided more funds for the cause.

  3. The part that stuck out to me most was the passion put into this fundraiser. I liked that you had team members who were tied to the charity and reached out to people who were already volunteers for Safe Humane, making it easier to network. I also liked the idea of helping out another cause while getting something in return. Instead of just asking for donations, you partnered with the Taste of Lincoln Beer Tent, giving back to the community and volunteering at the tent, in exchange for having a tip jar during the event to help raise money.

  4. I like how passionate you and your team were fundraising for Safe Humane.Like you mentioned its better to be realistic with what you plan on doing. I’m glad that you did better than what you thought you would. It has really inspired me to do something similar.

  5. I can relate to this because this past weekend I attended and worked at a fundraiser that used the same methods as the fundraiser for Safe Humane. They used a banquet hall that was attached to a local bar that assisted in raising money, had chipotle and other restaurants donate food for the event, sold tickets for raffles, had a silent auction for items donated by various people and companies, and used social media to promote the event. All of these methods are crucial and important to help raise awareness and contributed to the large amount raised in the fundraiser I attended last weekend. Getting to work and experience a fundraiser really made me aware of everything that you need to consider and how difficult it can be to be a project manager and be in charge of running an event.

  6. Very well executed, and a very successful fundraising, well done. I think that the most important input to this project was the amount of total time in hours donated by your team, it is definitely a very important metric, I wish you guys kept track of it. I also wish you had posted the Risk Management Plan that your team came up with. I think it would be educating for others to see it within direct link to an existing project.

  7. I am very impressed with amount of time and effort was put into the event and the fundraiser as a whole. The team seemed very passionate about the cause which helped make the event even better and got a lot of outsiders to contribute and participate as well. The project seemed to be very well organized and involved in the fundraiser. The team did not stop with the event itself which was very inspiring, bringing it to the Taste of Lincoln.

  8. I liked what you guys did with this fundraiser. Raising money is always a little tricky. You don’t want to just ask people you know for money, but at the same time doing a fundraiser while counting on strangers to donate is risky. I liked the organization of this project. It seemed that your goals were clear and you used as many outlets as you could to raise money. I’m glad you attempted to keep the total costs down, because even if you spent more money to somehow improve the event, there is no guarantee that you would make that money back. This shows hows stressful managing a project can be.

  9. It is always inspiring when people go above and beyond to try and help others. The fact that you guys had so much success is awesome. As some of the other comments had mentioned raising money is very difficult and getting a large group of people to help you is not an easy task. Business seems to be all about greed and money these days, and its very refreshing to see its practices being used for a good cause.

  10. Its always refreshing to see people in the community still gathering together to try to make a difference. I really hope your success even though many of the challenges you are facing are rather difficult to over come. It just goes to show you the most important lessons aren’t learned in the classroom but what you use what you gain from the classroom to accomplish things such as this.

  11. I really enjoyed reading your blog post. Of all the blog posts I have read thus far, I would have to say that this project was the most successful in raising money. You guys raised a ton of money, good job. I believe that your funding you guys made from donations correlates with your project managers success. It seems like you had a lot of synergy doing this. When you said that this project started with the critical role of the project manager, I couldn’t agree more. The project manager is the leader of this team and I have realized that this is true. When we were building our spaghetti tower it was important for our project leader to lead us into what we want to do. If not, then the project would be a huge mess and unorganized. Strong project managers lead to strong projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *