Team 4 – Lincoln Park Community Shelter

Project Description

Our project’s objective was intended to generate direct revenue, as well as in-kind donations, and also provide a service for a worthy cause. The project scope included the following deliverables:

  • Service Event – Planned, cooked, and served breakfast for the Interim Housing Community on the morning of Friday, October 19th. We needed to arrive at 6:30am with our meal plan and groceries for 20-30 Lincoln Park residents. We also had to clean-up afterwards.
  • Fundraising Event
    • Payment in Kind: Received donations of supplies,40 items, needed by selected charity
      • Advertised to neighbors, friends, family and co-workers
      • Utilized social media, email, phone calls, and in person meetings
    • Monetary Revenue: Receive donations of $450
      • Advertised to neighbors, friends, family and co-workers
      • Utilized social media, email, phone calls, and in person meetings

The project milestones included securing the date for the service event.  The entire projected was expected to be completed by November 9, 2018.  The project met our must objectives to be safe, legal, and comply with University policies.

Charity Description

The selected charity is a local organization and is Lincoln Park Community Services (LPCS). LPCS is a social services agency focused on addressing homelessness in Chicagoland. LPCS is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation founded in 1984. Their mission statement is, “LPCS brings communities together to empower individuals facing homelessness and poverty to secure stable housing and make sustainable life changes.” Today, their Interim Housing Community program offers 24 hour services and improved living and program space for up to 35 guests. The goals of the program are to provide a safe place to eat and sleep and help individuals return to self-sufficiency. LPCS is mostly privately funded, with great support from donations throughout the community.

Our contact was the Director of Community Engagement. There are no formal clearances or applications since this is a one-time event and temporary endeavor with our group. This was confirmed by the Director of Community Engagement. However, if we were repeating volunteers there would be a more formal screening process we would need to complete prior to our service.

This charity has the resources for our community service project and has made available those resources in exchange for volunteer time and willingness to raise funds. Lincoln Park Community Services has the kitchen and shelter space we will use for preparing, cooking, and serving food. In addition, LPCS will supply materials such as dishes, cookware, and utensils that will be needed. Most importantly, they also have the workers in addition to volunteers that have served this community for many years. Since there is a great need in Lincoln Park there were plenty of patrons to serve.

Objectives and Success

Original Project Objectives

Most Likely Case

Service Event: Successful completion with 2 additional volunteers

Monetary Event: $450 in donations

Payment-in-Kind Donations: 40 items with $3 average per item ($120 total)

These were divided into individual sub-goals; Raising $112.50 and collecting 10 items per person. This case was the project team’s goal

Best Case: 3 volunteers attend; $600 in donations ($150 per person); and 60 items (15 per person).

Worst Case: 0 volunteers attend, $350 in donations ($87.50 per person) and 20 items (5 per person)

Original Budget

Revenues Costs           Service Event Costs Fundraising
Monetary $500
Payment in Kind 40 items
Groceries 80
Boxes 0
Advertising 0
Total $450 + 40 items 80 0
Net Income (40 items x $3) $490


After further discussions with the Director of Community Engagement, there was little space at the shelter for items and cash donations would be more valued. As such, the project team slightly tweaked the scope of the project to exclude payment-in-kind and increase monetary donations by $120.

Actual Results

The overall project was a success as each goal was met. The service event was completed with uproarious applause from the patrons and two additional volunteers did come to help.  The team generated $760 in monetary donations with $150 in grocery expenses resulting in a net income of $610.  This exceeded the team’s net income goal of $490.

Lessons Learned

  1. Project scope – Be aware of taking on too much. Also, it is important to be adaptable. After having discussions with the charity’s director of event coordination it became apparent that one of our objective’=s didn’t align with one of their primary goals. As such, we were willing to revise the project scope after learning new information.
  2. Assign tasks – It is important to assign even the smallest tasks to individuals. This ensures accountability as well as the task being completed in a timely fashion. Until the task was assigned, we learned there was not a high likelihood it would be completed.
  3. Risk Management – It is important to think of all potential risks for the project. Of course, you will not be able to come up with all risks but spending a reasonable amount of time on this is important. There were a couple times when our risk management plan helped us. For example, we were concerned about the groceries being delivered; not only the logistics but in a timely fashion. As such, we utilized our contingency which was to have Instacart deliver directly to the location. This did increase expenses so we had to raise additional monetary donations to cover the increased costs.

Advice for Future Project Teams

Our team would advise the group to book the event location and time as soon as possible. There is only a short time for the class and this is the hardest thing to try and coordinate.  Once the location and time is decided then it is important to complete a work breakdown structure.  If you do not complete this then you will not realize all the small details that will be required in order to successfully complete your project.   Lastly, communication is key.  If you are having issues with your specific task or role, it’s important to speak up to your project manager so they can help resolve it or allocate more resources if possible.

Pictures of Volunteer Event

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