Field Project – Cupcakes for Charity

Project Audit Report

(MGT598, MBA X)


“Cupcakes for Charity – Fundraising for the less privileged”

 Project Description & Analysis

“Cupcakes for charity” was the collective brain-child of our team when we were assigned to conduct a charitable event for the course. The event fulfilled multiple objectives:

  1. Apply project management principles, as taught in class, to a real-life project.
  2. Spread social awareness of our selected charity – what they do and how they do it.
  3. Raise funds for a charitable organization.
  4. Ensure that we enjoy ourselves.

Although we were quick to define what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it, a structured approach was followed. At the outset we created a formal proposal for the project outlining the charity, what we wanted to do, our objectives, a brief plan of action and the perceived road blocks. The next step was to create an implementation plan that provided further details on how we were planning to accomplish our objectives. This involved detailed definition of the sequence of activities plus identifying the work packages for each team member. We also had a support or rather back-up for each team member in case the original team member was unable to perform the task for any reason. So, for example, Syed’s work package included venue and stall. Hamza was in-charge of arranging the Charity and the Sponsors. Further to that, Mahmood was back-up on the Venue. Presented below is a snapshot of the final definition of our project plan:


Now that we all had a clear idea of what needed to be done, we prepared a risk management plan for the charity event. This document contained a list of 12-odd “developments” that could potentially be detrimental to our progress. Each “development” was ranked depending upon its how critical it was (“1” considered as the most critical) and associated with a strategy for mitigation plus a contingency. Mitigation of the risk identified specific actions that would be taken to ensure it did not threaten progress; the contingency would provide an alternative to safeguard out interests. So, for example, venue identification was identified as the riskiest activity and the team agreed that mitigation lay in identifying a location that was easily accessible and well-known on the island. One thing we might add is that although we had a contingency plan, it wasn’t very thought out. With the initial response that we got from Seef Mall, the probability on relying on contingency was very low. As such, we did not take into account the low demand that we will face. So if we had a proper thought out contingency plan, we would have had an option to lower the number of cupcakes from the vendor.

Planning aside, we had to move quickly due to severe time constraints. The project completion date was approximately two weeks away coinciding with the end of this course. The first thing we approached was the venue and got approval in principal from Seef Mall. In parallel, we engaged with specific firms apprising them of our future event and exploring the possibility of getting sponsorships. We also spoke to a few bakeries to determine the level of discounts they were willing to offer if we purchased merchandise on a bulk basis. This phase of the project was the most crucial since the choices here would determine our capacity at a later stage.

Unfortunately, Seef Mall started delaying and became non-responsive a few days before the event and consistent with our contingency plan, we managed to obtain space in BIBF. In the meantime, our drive to obtain sponsorships bore fruit and we raised BHD 500 cash (~$1,300). Some organizations also contributed in kind – the stall rental cost was waived (BHD 400 equivalent value over two days) plus we received a batch of 150 free cupcakes.

The cupcake sale spanned two days during which we sold more than 400 cupcakes. As a small token of our appreciation we also gave away cupcakes to our various sponsors who helped us make the event possible.

Lessons Learned & Takeaways

Having been through every stage of the event ourselves, there were a few takeaways that we felt could be beneficial for the future:

  1. Setting Milestones – It is of utmost importance to set clear milestones and adhere to them. In our case, we had extremely limited time at our disposal and realized that any slippage could easily jeopardize the entire project. Clear milestones and deadlines need to be established upfront and adhered to so that there is no ambiguity of what is due when.
  2. Progress Monitor – Project progress and overall development needs to be established on a frequent and regular basis. This can be easily done through clear communication without even meeting face-to-face. If ignored, slippage can become uncontrollable very quickly putting the entire project at risk of failure.
  3. Activity Slack – It is a prudent habit not to depend on slack times. Although the implementation plan might show slack in some activities, this can quickly disappear especially if those tasks also involve external parties.
  4. Try to complete tasks as soon as possible although there may be slack available. Given the number of externalities in any project it is difficult to predict what and when something can go wrong. Doing this will ensure available time for any other activity that requires attention.

Advice for Similar Events

Our advice to other teams attempting to conduct a similar event would start with the list of lessons learned in the previous section. In addition, we would recommend the following to ensure a smoother implementation:

  1. Whenever any third party is involved, ensure there are written agreements so that neither party suffers due to any untoward event. In our case we made the mistake of not taking this route at the time of finalizing the venue. As a result, the Seef Mall management failed to appreciate our sense of urgency in the matter.
  2. Try to finish everything as soon as possible. Slacking is dangerous. Usually, a plan is as good as its implementation. But a plan cannot incorporate unforeseen risk as you as a planner are not very experienced in project management.
  3. One should have clear understanding with the charity organization as the things they are responsible for and their continuous support on the day of event is very important. Choosing a Charity that you are going to represent is also a very important decision. Charity and their causes have inherent fund raising power. In our case, the charity we chose had no specific cause and as such it was harder for us to rally support.


7 6 5 4 3 2

Team members:

Syed Ehsan-Ul Hassan

Mahmood Abdulla

Asim Qureshi

Mayukh Chaterjee

Hind Abdulla

Hamza Haroon


Field Project – Fund Raising For Ayadi Relief Organization

The project objective is to raise funds for Ayadi Relief Organization to help with providing relief, awareness and rehabilitation to poverty stricken countries around the world. This is as well as providing these countries with their health, education and social needs. In addition, invest in youth to build in them the love of humanitarian work.

Ayadi Relief is simply a group of Bahraini youth who came together for the passion of volunteering and helping others, and decided to create the first relief organization in Bahrain. This group has started working on relief projects since 2010, although the relief organization was initiated officially in August 2013, titled “Ayadi Relief.” Their aims are to:

– Provide emergency relief in poverty and/or disaster stricken countries around the world.

– Involve young people in humanitarian missions and voluntary work, locally and worldwide.

– Provide continuous assistance in the field of education for local communities and poverty-stricken countries around the world.

– Provide continuous social assistance to local communities and poverty-stricken countries around the world.


The team set out with three main goals and objectives. We set out to achieve them by devising a detailed plan of action. Our main goal was to raise funds and awareness of the organization. We managed to raise around BD 560 for the organization from the event. In addition we achieved the goal of raising awareness of the organization by using both the event and our marketing plan. Word has reached the organization and our team that people from all over the country are calling and asking about the organization and its events.

The second goal was to manage a successful event with no major problems that could cancel or jeopardise the event. We succeeded in achieving this goal regardless of the setbacks and challenges that have occurred prior to and during the event. We devised a detail plan of action and risk assessment to make sure that everything has been thought off. The plan of action was present to guide us through the different tasks in an organized manor ensuring that every member of the team was aware of their own tasks. The risk assessment was used to plan ahead for any problems that could affect the event. We gathered up all the potential problems and put a plan of action for each, either try to solve it or if necessary a backup plan would be used. This detailed planning helped mitigate the severity of the potential risks due to the plan of action placed for each.

The third goal was to discover our strengths in the project and project management in general. Most of our team have been together in groups throughout the past year and a half during the MBA program. We somewhat know what our strength and weaknesses are. Yet we have never faced a project like this as a group. Therefore we were keen to discover our talents and strength in the different aspects of the project and project management. We accomplished this goal and where surprised that there were still some hidden talents and strengths that we have not yet discovered in each other. Some excelled in risk management, some in negotiation skills, some in people or guest relations and some in taking point in a sudden problem and trying to solve it rather than loose time being upset. Due to this experience it strengthened our friendship and ties as team. As one of my colleagues said, “We came into this project as a group of friends and class mates and left it as a strong team.” – Badran Mahmoud

For future teams we would advice them to put together a detailed plan of action and support it with a very detailed risk assessment with its contingency plans. Reason being, that you can never have enough planning or assessing risks due to the unpredictable nature of the project. Hence it is very important that you look at all possibilities and weigh the pros and cons. By doing so, you will have a clear plan of action that is understood and can be implemented by everyone. In addition you will reduce the amount of potential risks or problems that might occur during the project due to the risk assessment. Hence, the whole team will be ready for everything that is ahead of them.

Some of the lessons that we have learned from this project are:

–          Have things in writing: In project management in general, you have to have most if not everything in writing. It helps smoothen out the different stages and processes. Plus it helps guide the two or more parts of the project to what has been agreed upon. Plus it makes the conditions of the agreement clear to both parties. In addition it helps as a guideline to return to if a team member or one of the parties forgot due to human nature.

–          Projects are unpredictable: Projects are naturally unpredictable. No matter how much you plan to have a perfect execution, there will always be things that happen unexpectedly. Rarely do you get a project that doesn’t face any problems or hiccups, and when you do project managers often retrace their steps thinking that there is something wrong.

–          The larger the number the harder it is to manage: Having a large group has its advantages and disadvantages. An advantage is having enough people to do many tasks in a project therefore each can focus on one or two instead of many tasks like in smaller groups. A disadvantage is that it is very hard to manage a large group due to the amount of opinions and ideas each have. It is not an easy job and time consuming reaching a decision with a large group. In addition, in some projects there aren’t many tasks to do therefore some of the group members will have nothing to do.

Team: Khalid Al-Saei, Ahemd Al-Kooheji, Zeyad Zainal, Badran Mahmoud, Ali Rasti, Mohamed Juma and Ebrahim Akbari




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Field Project – Team 1 : Support Sickle Cell patients by drinking Coffee

Our project was to sponsor a Catering Company at BIBF for few days to support a charity in Bahrain. We have considered some options for the charity we wanted to raise awareness of and the same for the coffee shop we wanted to make the deal with.

We were thinking about two charities, this first was “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” and the other charity was “Bahrain Cancer Society”. We decided first to contact “Bahrain Society for Sickle Cell Disease Patients” because of the increase in death among their patients in this year comparing to couple of years back. We had a good response from the society and agreed to work together.

Also we put some options for selecting catering company or coffee shop and started communicating with some of them like COSTA Coffee, American Bagel, and Al-Abraaj Restaurant. In addition to communicating to these companies we had a backup plan of dealing with the local cafeteria in BIBF in case we could not manage to agree with one of them.

We managed to get to an agreement with COSTA Coffee and Al-Abraaj restaurant, but we decided to go with COSTA only because of the time constrain.

We have created the project plan using Microsoft Project software and assigned the tasks between us, below are some of the tasks:

  • Searching for catering company, and make a deal with it.
  • Searching for Charity.
  • Get a required approval from BIBF and other if needed
  • Arrange meeting between Sponsoring Company and BIBF to make a setup and discuss their requirement and provide all facilities they need.
  • Arrange for meeting with charity society to discuss their input in project
  • Follow up the Coffee shop installation
  • Media cover, and informing the BIBF student and Staff about the project.
  • Closing the project

We think the main reason behind our success in the project is defining our goal and put a plan for conducting the project, distributing the task according to the capability of team member, following the project at different stages, have a conference call at each stage to discuss the difficulties we face.

There were many challenges in our project, starting from the limited period we have to do the whole project which was around 2.5 weeks only and which was not negotiable, and the fact that we are one of the smallest teams (4 members), ending to the fact that the regulations in Bahrain restrict fund raising without a prior approval which normally takes one month to obtained!

We believe we did good work regarding creating awareness about the society between the students in BIBF considering the number of booklets distributed. But on the other hand the funds generated from this project were not up to the expectation.

Our advice for any team doing similar projects are:

  1. Take enough time in planning, but don’t over plan, especially when your total project time is very limited.
  2. Make your estimation according to real figure.
  3. Conduct survey/questioner before start.

We learned a lot of lessons from this project:

  1. There is big gap between science and art in project management
  2. Define goal, very important to success the project.
  3. Assign tasks to the members with right skills.
  4. Main reason behind success of project is your team.
  5. The team should know the goal of project to make it succeed.
  6. Relationship between the project manager and project team should be strong enough.


Setting up COSTA mini branch




After setting up COSTA



Putting Project name stickers



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Team members with Prof.



Team members with class mates, Prof, and our guest speaker.




Field Project – Group 4 – Plastic Recycling for Charity (Project Audit)

Our project was about recycling plastic for charity. We worked with Bahrain Association for Parents and Friends of the Disabled as this project was already initiated and ran by the Association to use the revenue to buy a wheelchair for a child in need. Our main objectives were to raise awareness about this project and encourage people to make long-term commitment to contribute.

The other objective was to help collecting as many as we can to generate target revenue of BD 140.000 (USD 372.00), which is two tons of plastic. The recycle factory wich the association has a deal with is paying BD 70.000 (USD 186.00) per each ton of plastic.

We set out with two main objectives for our project, including:

1-     To create and / or increase awareness about Bahrain Association for Parents and Friends of the Disabled activities towards securing 21 wheelchairs for those in need.

2-     To collect as much plastic as possible to sell and recycle in order to provide the monetary proceeds to the Association for buying the wheelchairs and donating them.

Our best estimate for the collection of plastic was three tons, which is equivalent to BD 210.000 (USD 558.00). However, our most likely estimate was to collect two tons, which is equivalent to BD 140.000 (USD 372.00).

Initially, we reached our target by collecting the two tons estimated. Subsequently, we exceeded our target and collected three tons in accordance with our best estimate. Therefore, within a period of three weeks which includes planning phase, we were successful in achieves around 100% of our target.

We used different methodologies to approach our objectives. We had contacted all our family members and friends asking them to be part of the project. This was the most successful method which contacting people face-to-face, the second best method was circulating a message (bilingual) Arabic and English through social media to our contacts, we were thrilled with the responses we got. Lots of people approach us informing that they already collecting plastic and they request us to cooperate with them to pick it up. Also some people approach us that they would like to donate the full amount of a wheelchair, which was unexpected.

A few recommendations and words of advice that we would like to offer future teams doing similar projects are as follows:

Lack of space for collecting and storing the plastic was a challenge. At the same time, because plastic is light in weight. It took lots of space without generating much money for donation, our advice in this case to make sure enough space and storage places are available in which to collect the materials chosen.

Another challenge we faced was coordinating with the different venues to provide us with their used plastic waste. The reason for this was the lack of convenient drop and pick up points. We recommend that where needed, proper channels of delivery and transportation are prepared before pursuing a similar project.

A different difficulty that we faced is the limitations in time frame, thus, a smaller objective or more time added would have enhance the results of this project.

Other hindrances to fulfilling the associations ultimate goal of buying wheelchairs for the disable include lack of sufficient publicity for their goals, as well as, limited resource availability in terms of moving and picking up the plastic from various areas around the country. Hence, these points must be thought out and addressed prior to deciding on a similar project.

Finally, the challenge of maintaining long-term commitment by the people is another concern that remains. Continued commitment by people for charitable projects can’t be guaranteed but for such a goal, continued repetition and awareness of the association’s aim in needed.

We learned from this project the following:

1-     Even the best laid plan with details there will be always some deviations that exist that why we need to update the plan and accommodate the changes accordingly.

2-     It’s not easy to plan a project with no prior experience, because there will be unknown variables that will appear during executing the project.

3-     Problem solving in practical, where we faced lots of problems and we came up with solutions.

4-     Communication with others is a main obstacle and its need a special skills where we could learn it during handling this project.



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