Fundraiser for the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab – Group 5

Project Description:

On Saturday, November 4, 2017, our team successfully hosted a wristband deal at local bar/restaurant, McGee’s Tavern. The $30 wristbands included an open bar (select beers, wine, liquor, and soda) for a three hour period with approximately 33% of the proceeds going toward the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Additional funds were raised via a cash donation bucket on site at the event and through a dollar-for-dollar match by McGee’s on all purchases outside of the scope of the wristband made during the final hour of our event.

Charity Description:

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (SRAL), formerly known as the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), is a local nonprofit organization that has received international recognition as being the best rehabilitation hospital for the past 27 consecutive years. The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, officially established in March 2017, now features five ‘innovation centers’ for perfecting rehabilitation in the following areas: brain, spinal cord, nerve & muscle & bone, pediatrics, and cancer.

Home to some of the best and brightest doctors and therapists, the SRAL is constantly undergoing new trials and research in order to improve medical advancements each and every day. The organization provides high quality clinical care to over 50,000 patients per year, treating a number of complex conditions ranging from spinal cord injuries and strokes to traumatic brain and sports injuries. The organization relies on philanthropic support in order to deliver high quality care and groundbreaking research that impacts the lives of its patients and the community.

Success Metrics and Analysis:

The group decided that we would call the project successful if the following criteria were met:

  • Host a fundraising event for the SRAL
  • Raise awareness of the charity and its overall mission
  • Learn about project management
  • Have fun during the course of the project planning and event
  • Receive positive feedback from event attendees

We decided our project’s success would be determined by:

  • 50+ attendees at our event
  • Raising at least $500 for the charity
  • Amount of positive feedback we received from attendees of our fundraising event

In the end, we surpassed our goals with attendance of 63, and we raised $1,612. The check provided by McGee’s accounts for the 47 Wristbands ($470) and “Power Hour” ($241) totaling $711.

A breakdown of the financials is found below:

Lessons Learned:

  • Project Managers should anticipate a number of obstacles beyond the constraints outlined in the plan. Most obstacles will be offset by contingencies within the plan; however, some may require participants of the project to keep a fluid approach and deal with things at the moment they occur.


  • Project management teams should be prepared to deal with the aftermath of the event. When evaluating the potential risks associated with the project, we realized that the majority of events that could go wrong would have occurred on the actual day of the event. Leading up to the event, we focused mostly on promotion and raising awareness of both our charity and the event itself. We also learned that having a clear set of responsibilities laid out for each team member following the event is crucial to the success of the event.  Fortunately, we were able to complete our event with little to no risk.


Every project is subject to risk.  Certain activities are dependent upon the preceding activities, which can cause a domino effect if one goes wrong.  If risk is not mitigated, deferred, or avoided, the entire project can collapse.  Being proactive and planning ahead on what to do with these potential risks was critical for our project’s success.

Team cohesion is one of the most important elements of project management. Each member should be clear about their role and participation.

Teams should enjoy the event they have planned. A lot of work is needed to reach the results, and the moment to celebrate that accomplishment should be present in each team member’s mind.  This will contribute to team chemistry and reduce the stress that comes with all that work.

Event Photos:

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