Masks for Toys

The Project 

Our fundraiser focused on selling reusable masks for $10 each – all funds are going to Casa Central’s holiday efforts. Traditionally they host a toy drive however, with COVID-19 we recognized the toy collection would be an unlikely option, therefore, opted for raising the money.  In addition, we chose to go with a mask design that would increase the organization’s awareness while also helping stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Charity 

Casa Central is a community organization servicing the Humboldt Park area since 1954, with programming that supports the entire family. Babies and children via daycare and after school programming. Adults are assisted through preventative and transitional services. Senior activities encourage healthy living and include an at home care service program.

Analysis of Success Measures

Being in quarantine and the increase in restrictions while working in the project, made it harder for us to reach our audience.  While social media was great for spreading awareness, most of our sales came from contacting our friends and family through text messages, calls, and in-person (while following restrictions).

Raise Funds for Casa Central   

Best Case: $4,500

Description: 250 masks sold for $10 each, a profit of $2,500 plus $2,000 employer match, total best case $4,500 or possible donations.


Worst Case: $500 

Description: 50 masks sold at $10 each or possible donations.  No employer company match attained.


Most Likely: $1,500 

Description: 150 masks sold ($10 each) or possible donations.  No employer company match attained.


Actual: $3,050 (including $900 company match)

Increase awareness/exposure of Casa Central

Social Media: Amount of like/shares/mentions/#MasksforToys

Best Case: 100

Worst Case: 30

Most Likely: 60

Actual: 199*

*This number is from the Masks For Toys social media sites alone and does not include the team members’ engagement through their personal social media sites.


Increase awareness of use of Face masks and assist in the efforts to slow the spread of COVID19

Best Case: Sell 250 masks

Worst Case: Sell 50 masks

Most likely: Sell 150 masks

Actual: Sold 150 masks

Since not all of the 250 masks that we purchased were sold, the 100 masks remaining were donated to the Organization.  They really appreciated the donation of the masks which will help keep them and the individuals they interact with, safe.

Lessons Learned

  1. Set and follow targets and deadlines, employing the use of the Gannt chart and other PM tools.
  2. Have an agenda and take meetings’ minutes on a shared document.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Having templates to use when sending communications out, saves time and creates a uniform message across different communication channels (e-mails, social networks, others).
  • Be in constant communication with the team.
  • Following-up is important in order to ensure donations and participation.

A Safe Haven Foundation

Project Description

Under the current circumstances, the team wanted to raise funds for an organization that helps individuals most directly impacted by COVID-19. Our goal was to raise awareness and fundraise for A Safe Haven Foundation. The team understood that an in-person event was not possible due to the restrictions in place.  We found a way to promote and host a virtual fundraiser that allowed individuals to participate from the comfort of their own homes.

We partnered with A Safe Haven Foundation to create awareness for their virtual Halloween Hustle Run from October 30th through November 1st. We promoted the virtual run by sharing the organization’s marketing flyers on our individual social media pages to create exposure and to attract more participants to the event. The team met on Halloween and participated in the Halloween Hustle virtual run to show support for A Safe Haven Foundation.

For the second part of the project, the team partnered with Baig of Tricks Entertainment to host a virtual trivia night fundraiser. The trivia night was on Sunday, November 8th from 6:00p.m. to 7:30p.m. via YouTube Livestream. The team created a Facebook page to invite our network of friends, family and co-workers to the event. The fee was $10 per person, but we were encouraging to give more if they chose to do so.  Participants had a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card prize. Those who were unable to attend, but wished to contribute could also donate and support this great cause. 

Charity Description

Organization Name: A Safe Haven Foundation


A Safe Haven Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been serving Chicago since 1994. The organization helps people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose.  A Safe Haven Foundation has helped over 65,000 individuals and provides services daily to 1,200 of them. We chose this organization because of its support to local residents of Chicago on issues with poverty, mental health and housing. A Safe Haven not only helps individuals overcome homelessness, they improve the lives of veterans, women with children, families, and the community. They have job training programs and approximately 80 percent of those secure job placements that can provide the financial foundation to support recovery, stability, and, eventually, independent living.

Analysis of Success Measures

The team exceeded our monetary donations goal by $2,595!! It was such a great accomplishment for the team. While we just fell short of our goal for the participants on trivia night, we were excited to have come very close to the goal. 

Lessons Learned

  • Know your target audience
    • We overestimated the interest in the virtual trivia night.  We had to get creative with the ways we encouraged individuals to participate.
  • Communication is vital
    • It became apparent that the best way to secure donations and participants was to contact our network directly via email, texts and phone calls. We also learned that Chicago doesn’t like to commit until the last minute. A majority of the trivia participants registered a few days prior to the event.

Advice to Future Teams

  • Choose an organization that all team members are passionate about. A compelling story will maximize donations.
  • Have a contingency plan. Don’t underestimate the importance of the Risk Management Plan.
  • Manage your time and energy wisely.  Be flexible and adaptable.

Trivia Night

Halloween Hustle

A Safe Haven Website

The Love Fridge Chicago

With food insecurity at an all-time high, keeping communities fed is now more important than ever.

The Love Fridge is a Chicago-based initiative created to nourish communities through mutual aid by offering solutions to food scarcity and food waste. They place community refrigerators across the city that provide neighbors the opportunity to donate food as well as take what they need, ensuring accessible food 24/7.

Our team built a short-term consulting engagement with The Love Fridge that created lasting solutions that addressed two of their need that they had neither the resources nor skill set to touch.

  • QR Code Fridge Management Checklists that linked a series of QR codes to Google Forms to a single Google Sheet that displayed and summarized the current state of each of their fridge’s hygiene with helpful metrics like “days since last cleaning” and more.
  • Wi-Fi Fridge Inventory Scale prototype that not only was built from scratch using load sensors and a Raspberry Pi but also was linked to a real-time web-chart to display readings at 5 min increments of the current incremental weight of the food contents of one of their fridges.

The top lessons learned (or advice) from this project were 1) fully understand their needs, 2) set clear expectations, and 3) value their time. Initially our team tried to deliver a solution that didn’t necessarily fit their needs and we had to shift to a listen-first model (which was much more successful). The volunteers that support TLF (and most charitable organizations) tended to ask for a lot and it was crucial to remove all ambiguity about what you plan to deliver (since you can’t do everything and openly stating what you’re doing will help to strengthen the relationship a lot). Finally, as consultants, your charity (or any client) will not always want a high meeting cadence until you prove out or create a sense that you’re creating value for them (once we started to deliver for them there was a clear shift it their behavior, responsiveness, and level of engagement).

Overall this was a very positive and rewarding experience for our team and we learned a lot about the nature of project management in the field (:


SOS Children’s Village Illinois

Project Description:

Our team has created a Holiday Giving Fundraising page on the organization’s website. Our team is Ayuda SOS – DePaul Alpfa. This page will help aid with raising money to help buy holiday gifts for these children residing within the SOS foster care organization. Furthermore, our goal is to also bring awareness to the SOS Children’s Villages organization as help is needed all year round.

We will be hosting three separate events:

  1.      Specialized DePaul DePaul MBA ALPFA Cohort II t-shirts proceeds benefiting SOS
  2.      Volunteer day to decorate homes for Halloween and provide Boo Kits to the foster families
  3.      A 5K Run/Walk

Our holiday giving fundraising page:

DePaul MBA ALPFA Cohort II

Charity Description:

We’ll be working with a non-profit organization, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois. This organization focuses on providing children in foster care additional resources, keeping the siblings together, and providing the emotional support these underprivileged children need.

  • Focus on keeping siblings together
  • Growing up in a private, single-family homes
  • Cared by a professionally trained full-time foster parent(s)
  • Provides children with resources, recreational facilities, mental health resources, emotional support, educational support

Project Objective Analysis:

Our overall fundraising effort was very successful. We met and exceeded our project objectives, both, in delivery and financially. Our team was able to deliver a unique Halloween experience and BOO kits to the SOS Lockport Village while keeping COVID restriction guidelines in mind. In particular, the BOO Kits was a special touch and brought joy to the children on that day. The engagement in our social media (Facebook and Instagram) helped bring traction to our donation website resulting in additional donations to the Holiday Giving Program which contributed to the success of exceeding our initial fundraising goal. Contributing to our fundraising efforts we thought a creative way to generate additional donations and remaining engaged with the donors is by participating in a virtual 5k run. We offered a raffle that included a month’s worth of health supplements and coaching along with the virtual 5k run. Our fundraising would not be complete with the amazing help from our sponsor Armando who was generous enough to donate funds for the Halloween decorations and BOO kits supplies.

Lessons Learned:

  • Ensuring that you identify any key adversities you may face and planning contingency plans for them in order to ensure you have a back up plan.
  • Setting key milestones and due dates is key in order to ensure items are completed timely. It also helps to delegate so individuals know the priorities they need to complete.
  • Organization and communication is key!

TIPS for Future Teams:

  • Communication continuously
  • Set goals, milestones and due dates for those goals
  • Contact a key personal immediately
  • Set goals in the beginning so you don’t go around in circles.
  • Ensure that you have a tracker and expectations for each team member

Project Photos:

DePaul MBA ALPFA Cohort II (