Team 1 planned and implemented a fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Club. The project was designed around two components: a fundraiser held at Vapiano located at 222 S Riverside and an online portal created to accept donations prior to and after the fundraising event. Tickets to the fundraiser were sold for $30 which provided guests with an open bar of beer and wine as well as pizza from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Wednesday November 7, 2018. At the event we raffled off five separate signed sports memorabilia. Raffle tickets were available to guests at $20 for an arm’s length. Attendees also had the opportunity to sign up for volunteer opportunities with the Boys and Girls Club. For those who could not attend the event, the online portal provided an opportunity to support the organization in whatever monetary amount they were comfortable with.
The Boys and Girls Club provides children “emotional, educational, physical, and cultural resources that allow them to enjoy their childhood and eventually thrive in adulthood.” With an emphasis on kids from low-income neighborhoods and areas of high risk of violence, the Boys and Girls Club provides mentoring as well as educational and character development programs. We partnered with the local Elgin chapter as well as the national organization with proceed from the fundraising event supporting the local chapter and the online portal supporting the national organization.
ANALYSIS OF SUCCESS
Our team had four main goals and objectives:
- Raise at least $1,000 for the charity
- Attendee goal of 40 people
- Awareness goal of registering 3 new volunteers
- No negative publicity or negative experience for charity or attendees
We were able to achieve 3 of our 4 objectives. We exceeded both our fundraising and attendee goal. In total we raised $3,135 for the charity, $2,605 of which came exclusively from our online donation portal. 44 people attended our event which, net of expenses, raised an additional $530. Through both components we were able to provide a great experience for those who attended the event as well as great publicity for the Boys and Girls Club.
While we had hoped to register 3 new volunteers at the event, we were unsuccessful in doing so. However, we had 78 individuals donate through the online portal which brought them directly to the organization’s website. Despite not achieving this specific goal, we believe we were still able to do a good job of raising awareness of the benefits of the organization.
Two key lessons we learned by planning and implementing this project were the importance of having a risk management plan and a thorough work breakdown structure. Despite how simple your event may seem, taking the time to identify all potential risks, whether they seem likely or not, as well as contingencies for those risks will make it much easier when something inevitably does not go according to plan. In addition, while it may seem unnecessary, creating a work breakdown structure to a very detailed level will allow you to identify any gaps in your planning before those gaps turn into problems. Having a brainstorming session and sticky notes is very effective way to begin the process.
Leverage your own networks and do not be afraid to ask for help or participation. We originally believed the bulk of our donation would come from the fundraising event and not the online portal, but we were surprised to have the opposite happen. By leveraging each team member’s network of friends, colleagues, and family we were able to have over 100 participants between donations online and at the fundraising event. When you leverage your network do not be afraid to ask for donations or attendance. Everyone has a desire to help those in their own network and you will be amazed at how many people want to see your event succeed. All you have to do is ask.