Vera Bradley – Cornhole Tournament

1) Brief description of the project

In collaboration with the Vera Bradley Foundation, Group 2 hosted a Cornhole Tournament for fundraising and spreading awareness of Breast Cancer Research. The goal was to have as many attendees join the tournament and earn funds from contestants and raffle tickets.

The tournament was held at The RAY recreation facility, located in DePaul Lincoln Park Campus. We decided on the RAY as our venue for ease of visiting, safety, and affordability. Additionally, being indoors eliminates risks that are out of control, such as bad weather. We were supplied with one of many basketball courts, cornhole boards, and a table for displaying our prizes for the competition.

Once securing our venue, we started promoting our tournament to friends, acquaintances, and family through social media. Attendees had to sign up with another partner for the tournament, while paying a $20 fee that went into our fundraising. Our tournament was able to invite 16 attendees, all divided into teams of 2. Two teams would compete one another in a bracket-style, with the #1 winning team choosing their prizes. Outside the competition, attendees could also participate in a raffle for bags, blankets, and wallets supplied from the Vera Bradley Organization. Between games, contestants could enter their name and purchase raffle tickets for $5.

Additionally, we also made a virtual fundraiser, linked to the Vera Bradley Foundation website. Over the course of 7 weeks, we promoted our fundraiser throughout social media. The fundraiser is another option for people to support our cause, if they are unavailable to attend the cornhole tournament.


2) Brief description of the charity

The Vera Bradley Foundation is a nonprofit organization aimed to support researchers in finding treatments for breast cancer.

Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the organization was founded by Barbara Bradely Baekgaard and Patricia Miller. The two were encouraged to support breast cancer treatment, when a close friend sadly passed away from Breast Cancer. Starting in 1993, Barbara and Patricia would dedicate themselves to funding breast cancer research, effectively establishing the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer by 1998. Since then, the organization has donated $40.1 million dollars in support of researchers finding a cure for the disease.

The organization has collaborated with researchers that are developing and improving therapies for treating all kinds of breast cancer. To raise funds, Vera Bradley hosts a multitude of in-person events. Examples include the  “Turn The Town Pink”, where members tied pink ribbons around town, or “Vera Bradley Classic”, a sports event where 2,500 guests participated in golf or pickleball.


3) Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives

Goal #1 –  Invite 20 teams with $20 entry fee: $400

Our tournament invited 16 attendees, with a total of 8 teams competing. This earned us a net amount of $160 to our funds.

Goal #2 – Sell 70 raffle tickets at $5 per ticket: $350

We were able to sell a total of 47 raffle tickets, earning us an additional $235.

Goal #3 – Fundraise a total of $2800, with each group member earning $400

Our fundraiser earned us a cumulative total of $1,100.5 from donations.

Summary: From a surface level, we had very high expectations when preparing this project. Initially, when our group consisted of 6 team members, we decided to give ourselves steep goals under the assumption we could get twice as many fundings, compared to a team of 3-4. Furthermore, we mainly relied on our virtual fundraiser for earning donations, making it one of our biggest priorities. Having said that, we would be to amiss to say this project was deemed a failure. What mattered the most was how we planned and executed everything. That included coordinating effectively with our event planner, sharing our fundraiser to as many people as possible, dedicating roles to each group member, and just having fun at the event. Ultimately, we were able to earn a total of $1335.50. And considering how we all enjoyed working together on this project, I would say this was a great success.


4) Two or three lessons learned about managing projects

There are a few lessons after conducting the Vera Bradley fundraiser, it is very important to assign responsibilities to everyone in the group before beginning the process of planning the event. Since our group did not do that initially it caused confusion on assignments and on responsibilities. Another lesson learned is everyone is very busy with their own schedule, communicating with the team and setting aside a day that everyone can meet would be ideal even if it is on the weekend to go over assignments and upcoming responsibilities that are due. However with these issues our team was able to overcome them; We turned in our assignments on time and had a great turnout at our fundraiser.


5) Advice for future teams doing similar projects

Don’t be afraid to give your input. During this 10 week time period, our group was very collaborative when it came to planning, organizing, and executing the event. This took the stress off of one person making decisions and allowed everyone to feel included on the team. We encourage future teams to speak up and stay active during team meetings. This will result in the best possible project!

Be flexible with change and expectations. Change is inevitable when it comes to conducting projects in such a small time frame. We advise to make small goals and achieve them one at a time, but be prepared to pivot when necessary. Change doesn’t always have to be a bad thing! Additionally, in order to be adaptable, it is important to set reasonable expectations. In reality, you can’t do everything, so be sure to focus on your priorities.

Have fun! Schoolwork doesn’t have to be boring. In the beginning of the quarter, have group members share what parts of the project they would be interested in working on. This will maintain a positive team environment and motivate everyone to get deliverables done. Having fun will also improve the overall quality of your project for you, and all of the stakeholders involved.


6) Photos related to the project. Examples could be event photos, website, team members, etc.