The United Art Project

Brief Description of the Project:

Our group’s goal was to shed light on the importance of inclusiveness in society through art. Inclusive societies help us be more accepting, empowered, and give us an understanding of different perspectives. Furthermore, art is powerful. It can have a profound impact on communication, self-confidence, and self-discipline. In an effort to underline that children who are struggling with illnesses are part of society and together we stand united, the “United Art Project” was created.

We partnered with the Children Smile Society of Bahrain with the aim of raising funds to sponsor children battling cancer to attend an art class. On November 27th, we welcomed 30 aspiring children from the society. The art session was held at Artly – an art studio that’s mission is to spark creativity, to help people of all ages create their own fun journeys of exploration, discovery, and development through art classes, exhibitions, and experiences. With skilled artists leading the sessions, the children had the chance to enjoy two activities, namely, fizzy rainbow experiments and painting wooden coasters. Additionally, an inspiring message of hope was shared with the attendees by a former cancer survivor. To ensure that the children make the most out of the day, we ensured to have healthy food available and simple giveaways that catered to the ages of the children (5-11 years).

In the days leading up to the event, we raised awareness through several marketing efforts. We created a specific logo for our project that we used to brand our social media posts, banner, giveaway bags, and organizer t-shirts. Similarly, we exhausted most of the commonly used social media outlets (Instagram, Whatsapp, Twitter, & Linkedin). In the span of six days, we raised an amount of BHD 1,000 ( $2,652) and were mentioned in three news outlets (Albilad Newspaper, BizBahrain Magazine, and the Daily Tribune Newspaper).


Brief Description of the Charity:

Smile of Bahrain Society is a non-profit organization that supports initiatives that provide psychological and social support to children suffering from cancer and their families. The society is focused on four main initiatives:

  1. A wish – organizing birthdays for cancer warriors
  2. Psychological support – a program provided with a specialized team to tackle psychological and social challenges by the children and their families
  3. Education – program that provides education to those who could not attend classes due to treatment
  4. Improving the home environment – families who have a cancer warrior and do not have the ability to adequately equip his/her room

Factual Analysis of Success in Terms of Project Objectives:


Target Actual


Number of Attendees

30 children

33 children


Money Raised

BHD 345


BHD 1000


Impact 100% positive post event surveys 100% positive post event surveys



1 press release in a leading newspaper

3 press releases


26.6K views on Tiktok

1065 views on LinkedIn


Two or Three Lessons Learned About Managing Projects:

  • Leverage on the strengths and skills of team members, this helps everyone contribute effectively
  • Always have 1-2 contingency plans
  • Keep things simple, especially when asking for donations. Although we raised more funds that expected, we still received some comments on how our registration form was a bit confusing

 Advice for Future Teams Doing Similar Projects:

  • Make sure to establish a strong team dynamic at the beginning of the project
  • Choose a communication method that suits all team members
  • Organization and alignment are key. Make sure to have an accessible forum such as google docs or Microsoft Teams where information can be visible, shared and edited by everyone
  • Be flexible  and keep an open mind as things may not always turn out as originally planned
  • Don’t forget to have fun!

Photos Related to the Project:


TEAM 1: Donation Dash Padel


Executive Summary:

Our  Idea was to raise funds and make some fun out of it at the same time, as this will encourage people to donate more, therefore we choose a Padel tournament fundraiser which we named “Donation Dash Padel”. As the game has been a recent trend among people and they have been enjoying this activity lately.

The Project’s focus was on raising funds and getting reasonable support for Ayadi Relief a nonprofit, charity organization where our efforts were directed towards encouraging people to donate and support the cause.

We created an Instagram page for the event as an official communication tool, announce the date and timing, and register participants for the tournament. The selection of this communication method is because of the popularity of Instagram in our region many businesses are using it and it is a great way to advertise and attract people to participate in the event.

The event took place on Saturday, November the 27th at Pink Padel, which is located in Riffa, Bahrain. Following are the event activities:

  • Ayadi Relief joined the event through their booth, where they sell products that were locally made such as games, scarfs, notebooks, and other accessories with the outcome dedicated to charity.
  • Guest are welcome join and see the match and enjoy free mojito provided by one of our sponsors RIVALMOJITO.
  • The tournament consisted of 16 players, playing on four groups of two-player teams.
  • At the end of the game, winners were granted prizes that included Coffee Capsule Machine, watches, and cinema tickets.


Below are images that we designed for the tournament, that shows how we divided the 16 players:


The event was successful and achieved the result we anticipated where the participants and our team had a lot of fun. Most importantly we were able to raise funds and exceeded our target of 340 BHD with a total donation of 500 BHD approximately 1,300 USD.



Overview Of Nonprofit Organization:

Ayadi Relief is an international humanitarian association that is led by a group of ambitious youth to serve the affected communities in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa by establishing projects aimed at rehabilitating the education and housing sector with the help of strong partnerships with organizations/entities in the targeted countries.


Ayadi focuses its work on the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, establishing educational projects in Djibouti and Somalia, housing projects in Bahrain, and Syrian refugee communities in Jordan.

Their team was wonderful and supportive, they were happy to support us even with the short notice that we highly appreciate.



Our Goals & Objectives:

Time management – keeping track and completing tasks within the due date.
  • Managed to stay on track with our MILESTONE SCHEDULE
Staying within the budget allocated.
  • Budget = 100 BHD
  • Final Cost = 80 BHD
The numbers of participants.
  • Target 16 players
  • Actual 16 players
The amount of funds raised.
  • Target 340 BHD
  • Actual 500 BHD
Overall satisfaction of the Stakeholders in the event held.
  • Participants were happy and thanked us by posting on their social media accounts that they enjoyed the event and even asked to do more tournaments.
  • Team members enjoyed the event and had a lot of fun.
  • Ayadi Relief are satisfied and enjoyed the event.
  • BIBF was happy of their students and the  success of the event by posting on Instagram account.
  • Pink Padel are satisfied with the event they posted on their Instagram page pictures and videos tagged by participants in the event.
The use of project management skills among the team.
  • Each team member was able to contribute their skills in to the project such as strong leadership, organization, negotiations, problem-solving, and time management.
Enjoying and having fun during the process and the event.
  • This was a joyful and fun event all members were able to enjoy their time while organizing the event


Lessons Learned:

  1. The role of a project manager is important, most projects fail because project managers fail to understand the requirements of projects, and do not stick to deadlines, Project managers should fight for their projects, and engage their team members by delegating tasks and responsibilities to them with realistic deadlines, in order to achieve the ultimate outcome.
  2. Communication is a vital key for project success, it is essential for team members to share ideas, thoughts, knowledge and information, where team members exchange clear and precise messages, and if anyone feels confused at any stage should always seek to clear the confusion by asking questions until the information is fully understood, and by engaging in effective communication the relationship between team members will be strong, it will also reduce any stress and tension between team members, which leads to project success.
  3. Openness to change, we have changed the scope of our project and the charity to be funded at the planning stage, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and it is totally ok because success requires the ability to adapt to things, team members should accept the need of change when it is necessary for project success, it is also essential for team members to be willing to support the change, have positive feelings about it, and be involved in the change process.


 Our Advice For Future Teams:

  1. Work together, when team members are working together it is easier to generate creative ideas and share valuable information, which boosts performance and creativity.
  2. Communicate regularly, by having scheduled meetings with written agenda of the things that will be discussed.
  3. Check-in regularly, project managers frequent check-ins keep everyone on track, providing support and feedback.
  4. Prioritizing can help to schedule things based on importance and complexity, in order to start and focus on things that take longer time, or complicated issues.
  5. Emotional intelligence is a key skill to deal with different types of people, by understanding self-emotions in order to use them in a positive way and other people emotions by showing empathy and understanding their nonverbal cues that help to understand their feelings and emotions.

Photos & Video of the event:











International Men’s Health Project

Brief description of the project:

Our group’s aim was to raise awareness about men’s health in the Kingdom of Bahrain. We were inspired to focus on men’s health because it is often an overlooked topic in the Middle East. Additionally, the month of November was aligned with the international movement that is dedicated to the awareness of men’s health, celebrating male role models in our lives, improving gender relations & promoting gender equality

To raise awareness about men’s health, we collaborated with Bahrain Cancer Society (BCS) to hold a virtual Zoom session for BIBF’s students and staff. The awareness session covered Prostate Cancer symptoms, treatment, therapy & early detection advantages. The guest speaker leading the session was one of the society’s trusted experts. Dr. Akbar Jalal is the head of the Urology unit at al Salmaniya Medical Complex at the Kingdom of Bahrain. He has more than 14 years of experience in the field of Urology and Urological surgeries, Endourology and minimal invasive urological surgeries. Dr Akbar is also a consultant at Al Salam and Royal Bahrain hospital. He is a well-known and respected Doctor in his field and holds a strong passion towards raising awareness.

The awareness session took place on November 22nd, 2021, from 12:30 – 1:30 PM Bahrain time via Zoom and was facilitated by one of the group members. Moreover, as a group we created a video that raised awareness and highlighted important facts about Men’s health such as suicide, domestic violence, and depression. The video revolved around common facts presented by several students from the BIBF – DePaul MSHR 2022 Cohort. The video was posted on our Instagram account that has been created for raising awareness – @mens_day_2021. Our collaboration with BCS and BIBF was covered in a press release by The Daily Tribune newspaper on the 25th of November 2021.

Brief description of the charity:

The Bahrain Cancer Society is a voluntary non-profitable organization. Since 1989, the organization’s mission is to provide education and information to the public about causes of cancer, cancer treatment, and methods of prevention. The society has also been supporting relevant research studies undertaken by individuals, institutes and providing training for individuals participating in the field of cancer prevention. Over twenty years, the society has been successful in expanding its membership base to cover a wide range of all those concerned with cancer and its different aspects. It also has organized seminars and workshops to educate patients, medical staff, and concerned officials to assume their responsibilities and their role in the fight against cancer. The society has the following objectives:

  • Raising public awareness.
  • Promoting health education and emphasizing the importance of early detection and treatments and self-examination in cancer prevention.
  • Strengthen the relationship among the patient, family, physician, and hospital.
  • Social publishing booklets on cancer.
  • Cancer Patient Support.
  • Organizing lectures, seminars and workshops on cancer, its prevention and treatment.
  • Cooperating and coordinating with local, regional, Arab, and international agencies to fight cancer.
  • Participating in exhibitions and philanthropic activities held in Bahrain.

Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives:

Success measure

Outcome Supporting Data

The awareness event takes place on November 22nd, 2021.


Refer to picture 1 & 5

Recorded session of the event

25 participants attend the awareness session on November 22nd, 2021 Achieved Refer to picture 5
Creating an awareness video that includes 10 participants from the MSHR cohort 2022 & includes Professor Cook Achieved Refer to picture 4
500 likes/views received on our social media campaign through our Instagram account. Achieved

Refer to picture 4

Publish an article in Daily Tribune newspaper about our project before 30th November 2021. Achieved

Refer to “BIBF_DailyTribuneArticle_Group 2


Two or three lessons learned about managing projects:

  • Have a proper communication plan at an early stage of the project. Discuss communication preferences such as style, method, and frequency among team members. Expect people are different and try to accommodate these differences.
  • All assigned tasks to team members need to have clear targets/deadlines. Additionally, create a process where check-in meetings take place among team members and updates, challenges, risks, and opportunities are discussed.
  • Ensure to have the right documentation process where updates and changes are tracked. Access to the latest data and information is critical for the success of the project.

Advise for future teams doing similar projects:

  • Create a comfortable environment where open communication, flexibility, support, and adaptability is part of the team’s core values. This is key to create harmony within the team.
  • Identify each team member’s area of strength and weakness. This helps in allocating resources to tasks as per the availability of talent and skills.
  • Create a contingency plan even if you are 100% sure you don’t need it.
  • Use connections and social networks when and where you can. It can support the overall project in terms of getting information and reaching key stakeholders which help for the benefit of the project.
  • Enjoy the different phases of the project, learn from the experience, and have fun as a team.

Other references:

  1. Instagram Account
  2. Instagram homepage screenshot
  3. Instagram Statistics: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  4. Group 2 meeting face to face to discuss implementation plan
  5. Group 2 emergency zoom call to discuss risks and worst/best case scenarios
  6. Project Managers’ weekly plans and track of documents
  7. Recorded Session of the Live Event:
  8. Post-event group face to face meeting

All files can be accessed on the following link:

The Bloc -MBA DePaul Cohort Summer 21′

1) Brief description of the project 

For our project, we decided to raise money for The Bloc and use the funds to wrap one of their vans in their organization’s marketing materials. In addition, we conducted in-person interviews with their boxers to allow the athletes to practice on-camera, as well as create testimonial videos for the organization to better market themselves.

The first phase of our project was to fundraise enough money so the organization could wrap one of their vans in large decals with their marketing materials. Recently, The Bloc was robbed and they had laptops, credit cards, and one of their vans stolen during the robbery. Wrapping their vans would detract from future burglaries, but it also gives them an opportunity to market themselves as they are driving their fighters to and from practice. After doing some research, we learned that wrapping a van would cost around $4,000. Even though our class was only a five-week course, we really wanted to reach that goal so we could fully fund wrapping one of their vans. We knew this goal was aggressive, but we made it our best-case scenario and created a fundraising page on their website with that goal advertised. After creating the page, we reached out to our network through email and social media asking for donations, and we were able to surpass our best-case scenario and, as of July 16, raised a total of $4,437! We were shocked by the generosity of our network, especially since our fundraising window was open for less than two weeks.

In the second phase of our project we conducted an in-person event during one of their practices, where we filmed testimonials with the fighters to have them practice speaking publicly about their experiences with The Bloc. The Bloc’s main form of marketing is through these testimonial videos of their fighters speaking about how The Bloc has made a positive impact on their lives and how it has helped them navigate their community. Although these videos can be very powerful, the fighters often need help practicing before giving these testimonials. Our in-person event was created to give them an opportunity to practice their pitch and hopefully create some good content that The Bloc could use right away. Our event was held on Saturday July 10th, 2021 at their main facility in West Humboldt Park. While the group was practicing their boxing, we created three zones where we interviewed the fighters. Over the course of two hours, we interviewed nine of their selected boxers for about six minutes each. We found that the interviews were most successful when we interviewed them one at a time, as there was too much noise in the background when we had multiple interview sessions occurring at the same time. Overall, the event went better than expected and the children blew us away by their testimonials and natural abilities to speak on camera.

2) Brief description of the charity

The Bloc is a nonprofit boxing club located in Chicago, Illinois. The Bloc spreads the love of boxing to provide resources and opportunities to Chicago’s youth.  The organization’s main objective is to provide mentorship for their boxers. Whether it is prepping them for job interviews, helping them achieve their academic goals or frequently checking in with them to provide advice, The Bloc has become a second home for many kids.  The Bloc provides opportunity for no cost to youth or their families with the intention of expanding their boxer’s horizons with college trips and explorational learning. Since 2016 when they opened, they have maintained 100% high school graduation and college acceptance rates. Whoever enrolls in The Bloc learns to fight and ultimately learns how to fight for their success.

3) Factual analysis of success in terms of project objectives

  • Exceeded fundraising goal: $4,400+ raised with a goal of $4,000
  • Mentored boxers at The Bloc: 9 of 10 boxers prepped for future interviews
  • Spread awareness of The Bloc organization: 2,909+ of 90 social media impressions


 4) Two or three lessons learned about managing projects


1) Plan dedicated time for trial and error!

– Although we did test our camera volume at the beginning, we did not test the volume when there were boxing classes going on in the background.  In our first couple of interviews, we had trouble hearing them in our recorded videos as the organization also had actives going on at that time. As the interviews went on, we developed ways to solve the video volume issue and eventually got great footage.

2) Don’t be afraid to set your goals high!

-We originally had the goal of raising $2,000 and eventually changed our goal to $4,000 halfway through the project.  At times $4,000 didn’t seem realistic but as the project went on, we started to develop more and more passion towards the organization and as a team we continued to push for more donations.


5) Advice for future teams doing similar projects

Be sure at the beginning to focus on narrowing your scope down to a realistic project with the time you have.  At the beginning, we had many ideas on how we could help the organization and wanted to do as much as we could for them.  Realistically, we only had 4 weeks to complete this project and our entire team was working full time. Be sure to find the right balance early in the project by developing a realistic scope for your team and the organization.  Communication with the organization is key so be sure to identify an organization that is willing to work with your schedule. Once you narrow down your scope developing a critical path to achieve your goals will always help the team.


6) Photos related to the project

The Bloc | Chicago Nonprofit Boxing Club (


Project Team:

PM: Claire Kaufman

Sara Hetland

Theresa Harkey

Gabe Di Fecchio

Joe Piwowarczyk

Mike Thomas

Karaoke for a Cause – a fundraiser benefiting Make-A-Wish Illinois

The project:

For our summer 2021 project management MBA course, our group planned a fundraiser to benefit Make-A-Wish Illinois. The event itself was an in-person karaoke night, hosted at Hopsmith bar in downtown Chicago on July 8, 2021. Our project aimed to raise money for Make-A-Wish in two main ways; first through ticket sales for the event itself, and secondly through an online donation portal to capture donations from those who were unable to attend the event.

We marketed the event to our personal and professional networks frequently and aggressively. To attend the event, attendees could pre-order a ticket for $25, or pay $30 at the door (both options included a welcome drink). We also raised funds by selling raffle tickets, which were $5 for 5 tickets or $5 for 3 tickets and a karaoke song. We continually pushed the online donation page, which became our mainstream of revenue in the end.

About the charity:

The charity we raised funds for was Make-A-Wish Illinois, which grants wishes for children in Illinois fighting critical illness. In 2020, many wishes were put on hold because of COVID-19, yet Make-A-Wish IL was still able to grant 390 wishes and raise $9.4 million in cash, and an additional $4.8 million in donated goods and services. 2021 is already projected to far surpass 2020’s fiscal earnings, and this event was one way we could contribute to that.

Analysis of success measures:

Although we had just short of four weeks total to plan and execute this event, we were extremely successful in raising funds for Make-A-Wish. Our total donations were just about $4,900 (before expenses), through a combination of online donations and raffle/ticket sales from the event itself. Our net revenue after $519.89 in expenses was $4,385.11.

While we had set a goal of 50 attendees at the event, we did not have that many people attend. However, our revenue goal for Make-A-Wish was $2,250, so we far surpassed our goal in the end, even despite not having as many attendees as we had originally planned for. This was due in large part to the extensive marketing of the online donation page, which was the bulk of our revenue.

Feedback from attendees and donors was extremely positive – everyone was thankful for a chance to give back and was thankful that our instructions to donate and attend were both very clear. Additionally, we had built an extensive risk management plan for potential risks and were able to mitigate all of them and have a smooth event – a great sign of a successful event!

Lessons learned:

One of our most important lessons learned was to have a contingency plan in place for every potential risk that could occur. We did this early on, and as risks came up, we were able to mitigate them appropriately. If we had not had a contingency plan in place, hitting roadblocks could have easily thrown our very condensed timeline off track, resulting in a failed project.

Another important lesson learned was to lean into the networks and connections that each individual person had. Since our timeline was so short, we quickly tapped into resources we had, so that we could leverage those existing connections and move on quicky. This helped us secure a venue, charity, and overall plan very quickly – something that was extremely necessary with such a short timeline.

Advice for future teams:

One piece of advice to share for future teams doing a similar project fundraiser is to have multiple streams for revenue – this is something we did (ticket sales, raffle and online donation site). This allowed us to be able to hit the needs of multiple different people, which resulted in such a high net revenue in the end. We recommend future teams think this through as well, as it provides multiple ways for people to support.

Additionally, be sure to communicate early and often. We had a constant Teams chat running each day so that we could quickly make decisions and move forward on different aspects of the project. Again, since we had such a short timeline, time was of the essence. Waiting for our virtual or in-person touch points to talk through things was not efficient, so we made sure to be in constant communication.


Photos from the event:

Help Save the North Pond

The Project

Our team focused on organizing a service project to support the Lincoln Park Conservancy’s restoration efforts of the North Pond and the surrounding areas of North Pond Nature Sanctuary.  The charity regularly relies on volunteer support and made it clear that volunteer service was a top priority given COVID-19’s impact on in-person activities.

Therefore, we organized a 2-hour volunteer service event to beautify the North Pond nature area. Volunteers chose between one of three activities: removing invasive cheatgrass along the pond shore, planting and gardening in the family play area, or picking up trash around the park.  Our goal was to recruit 50 volunteers and raise awareness for the North Pond by utilizing our personal networks (via personal outreach and sharing event details on social media). An Eventbrite page was leveraged as a sign-up and tracking tool which enabled us to communicate directly with volunteers before and after the event.

In addition to being fun, the event had to be safe. While the event was outdoors, volunteers were asked to split up into smaller groups and remained socially distanced.  PPE was on hand as well. To enhance their experience, volunteers were provided granola bars and water.

Lastly, in addition to hosting a volunteer event, as a secondary goal, we asked volunteers and those in our networks unable to attend to donate through the organization’s existing peer-to-peer fundraising system. Our goal was to raise $1000 in support of LPC. 


About the Charity

Founded in 1984, the Lincoln Park Conservancy operates under a formal agreement with the Chicago Park District to restore and maintain 1,214 acres of some of the most highly used parkland in Chicago. The conservancy engages in historic conservation, ecological restoration, and park programming to restore and maintain donor-restored park sites and improve Lincoln Park. The Help Save the North Pond Project is one of many privately funded projects LPC supports.  Shallow depth, algae blooms from high temperatures, erosion, and nutrient runoff have contributed to North Pond’s dying ecosystem.  The Lincoln Park Conservancy has launched an ambitious campaign to secure private funding and volunteers to support a restoration project to save the North Pond.


Analysis of Success Measures

We were extremely pleased with the success of our project. The weather on the day of the event was sunny, clear, and beautiful which helped us achieve a 95% volunteer turnout. We received lots of positive feedback from volunteers on how well organized the event was and how much fun they had. In terms of success measures:

  • 52 volunteers recruited on a goal of 50 thus exceeding expectations.
  • 104 hours of service contributed (All 52 volunteers stayed for the entire 2 hours of the event).
  • $735 in donations raised on a goal of $1000, falling short of our goal by $265.
  • 2500 square feet area of cheatgrass weeded.
  • 400 wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs were planted.
  • 15+ bags worth of trash collected.
  • $76 in actual expenses on a budget of $200. Favorable variance driven by not tapping into contingency budget and over-estimating food and beverage costs.


Lessons Learned

  • For a service event, do not be overly concerned with the food and beverage you are providing. At the end of the day, the volunteers were focused on the service and not refreshments. While they were grateful for snacks and water, everyone’s priority was on volunteering.
  • Identify the strengths and areas of interest among team members to help lead tasks. This will ensure all team members contribute effectively and are engaged throughout the project.
  • Work with a charity you have a personal connection with that has the capacity for collaboration. LPC’s active engagement helped facilitate a successful event.


Advice for Future Teams

  • Meet early and often both with your group and the charity. Weekly team and charity meetings helped keep everyone aligned and the project moving along. Frequent meetings built a strong group rapport and enabled everyone to work more cohesively.
  • Ensure everyone is passionate about the project and the charity. This will engender high levels of commitment from all group members and will keep everyone engaged.
  • For any team considering a large-scale volunteer event, maximizing sign-ups and turnout is key. Give potential volunteers ample notice to make sure they will be available on the event day. Ensure this by aligning with your charity and establishing your event date as soon as possible and far enough into the future.


Project Photos

Virtual Trivia Night for GCFD

Project Description

This past quarter, our team planned a virtual trivia night supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository on May 26th, 2021. Our goal was to raise awareness and funding for the Food Depository to support their efforts in the local community. We also wanted to host a Covid friendly event that would be enjoyable for participants without any potential impacts from closures or restrictions put in place for Chicago due to the pandemic.

We partnered with the organization Baig of Tricks Entertainment to facilitate our event. We chose to transfer the task of running the event itself because of their experience running virtual trivia nights over the past year during the pandemic. Baig of Tricks provided a platform for the event through YouTube Live, provided most of the trivia questions, and even emceed the event. Passing along these tasks to their organization allowed our group to focus on marketing the event itself and fundraising for our charity. We wrote two trivia questions for our virtual event about the great work being provided by the Greater Chicago Food Depository to tie in our mission of raising awareness to the trivia event itself. The team marketed our event to friends and family through email communication, social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Facebook, and through direct messages to individuals in our networks we thought may be interested in participating. Through these marketing efforts, we were able to raise well over our initial goal, which we outline below.

Charity Description

The Greater Chicago Food Depository partners with 700+ food pantries within Cook County and is the largest network of food banks supporting Chicago. Food is obtained through individual donations or purchased through government programs. There is also the option to give money rather than food, as the bank gets a discount when they buy the goods themselves.

The organization aids the Chicago community in three main ways:

  • Soup kitchens to offer fresh meals
  • Food pantries to offer non-perishable goods, fresh produce, and nutritional items
  • Mobile food sites to reach more people

Analysis of Team Success

After working for several weeks to generate donations, our event took place without any issues and was very successful. We generated donations of almost $2,000 with minimal expenses as outlined below through donors who either participated in our trivia event or those who wanted to support the cause but could not attend virtually. This total donation amount exceeded our expected revenue by over $1,200. 17 individuals participated in the trivia night itself, which was lower than our goal of 30 participants we set during our project proposal; however, our event also received positive feedback from all friends and family who attended. Please see the full details of our financial overview outlined below. Our total expenses for the event were only $100.43 to hire Baig of Tricks and for shipping costs of the prizes we handed out (which were donated from our team).

Lessons Learned

Some of lessons learned from the event included:

  • Simplicity is key when asking for donations – A few of our participants had trouble following the directions of our donation page which caused two of our donations to be made to the charity through their main website and not our donation portal. We were able to receive confirmation of their donations to include in our totals, but it shows that we could have simplified the process to make this clearer.
  • More people are willing to contribute than you expect – We found that it was worth reaching out to a wider audience to solicit donations as more connections were willing to add donations than we had planned for. Specifically, many connections who we reached through our social media campaigns were unexpected and lead to our overall donations received exceeding our initial expectations

Advice for Future Teams

  1. One owner per task helps with decision making – Early on in our project, we had not yet assigned one main owner to each task which lead to slower decision making and unnecessary meetings that could have been eliminated with better foresight. Once we assigned one main owner to have the decision-making capabilities for different components of the project, it improved the efficiency of decisions and improved our overall process workstream.
  2. Communication is critical. Utilizing Microsoft Team really help our team stay informed and aligned. We also had a text thread for the week of the event which helped ensure we could be notified immediately if anything unexpected were to occur. 

Photographs of the event

Miles That Matter Walk-a-thon

The Project 

Our team sponsored a two-week challenge leveraging Tyson Foods’ Miles that Matter program to solicit protein donations to the NWA Food Bank. The challenge began on 5/15 and ended 5/30. We targeted Tyson employees, friends, and family to log their miles/exercise equivalents for two weeks. The two-week challenge is also a triple-mile event, meaning that Tyson will donate 3x the protein of our logged exercise (ex. three pounds donated for one mile walked). Our goal was to donate 10,000 pounds of protein based on 3,333 miles or exercise equivalents logged. Our goal was 10,000 pounds because this is the minimum amount needed for Tyson to cover the transportation and delivery of the donation.  Anything below that amount would require the food pantry to be responsible for donation pickup.

The Charity 

Proceeds benefited the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank (NWA Food Bank), who works to distribute food to those who are food insecure in the community while forming strong relationships with businesses, non-profit organizations, and others in the community who share the passion to end hunger in Northwest Arkansas. The NWA Food Bank is one of six Feeding America Food Banks in Arkansas, whose desire is for healthy food to reach the kitchen tables of our neighbors as quickly as possible. The NWA Food Bank currently has more than 135 partner agencies ranging from food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and many more.

Analysis of Success Measures

  • Secure 120 participants for the event.
  • 10,000 pounds target allows us to utilize the Tyson fleet to deploy the donation.
  • Solicit $100 in donations for NWA Food Bank (our primary focus was the Walk-a-thon)

Goals for Miles That Matter Walk-a-thon

Best Case:

Average of 25 participants per team member (175 participants total)

Average of 2 miles per day per participant over a 14-day period

175 participants x 14 days x 2 miles/day = 4,900 miles (14,700 LBs of protein)

Worst Case:

10 participants per team member (70 participants total)

Average of 2 miles per participant over a 14-day period

70 participants x 14 days x 2 miles/day = 1,960 miles (5,880 LBs of protein)

Most Likely:

Target 120 participants

Average of 17 participants per team member

Average of 2 miles per day per participant over a 14-day period

120 participants x 14 days x 2 miles/day = 3,360 miles (10,080 LBs of protein)

Final Mileage & Results

A total of 18,585 miles were logged that resulted in a donation of 40,000 pounds of protein valued at $103,736.  To be respectful of the Miles That Matter team and donation recipients a maximum of 40,000 pounds of protein, equivalent to one truckload (18,585 miles would have equated to 55,755 pounds of protein).

Due to the unexpected surplus protein donation, we donated to both NWA Food Bank and the West Pullman community in Chicago.

The West Pullman community on Chicago’s South Side received a donation of 20,000 pounds of protein on Saturday June 6, 2021.  Team Members were in attendance to distribute cases of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage Links and Ball Park Hot Dogs valued at $59,533.

NWA Food Bank received 10,000 pound protein donation on June 9, 2021, valued at $19,203. The remaining 10,000 pounds of protein will be donated to NWA Food Bank at a to be determined date (based on their freezer capacity) valued at approximately $25,000.

There was a total of 357 participants that averaged 52.06 miles throughout the event.

There was also a total of $120 in-kind donation to the NWA Food Bank.

Lessons Learned

  1. Set and follow targets and deadlines, employing the use of the Gannt chart and other Project Management tools.
  2. Have agendas for meetings and take minutes in a shared document.
  3. Be aware of how much can change can occur from even a small amount of scope creep.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Using templates 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. Do not commit to something without involving all key stakeholders.
  • Build relationships with charity and donors sponsors.

Day of Hunger

Project Overview

Our team focused our project on raising awareness around food insecurity by conducting a 2-part fundraiser supporting Feeding America. In 2019, before COVID, approximately 35 million people (including 11 million children) were food insecure. In 2020, that number had increased to 45 million (including 15 million children). 1 in 5 children is now living with food insecurity. Feeding America is one of the primary partners in supplying food to many of those food banks.

The first event of our fundraiser was what we called a “Day of Hunger.” For every $100 raised, our team members went one hour without eating, up to a maximum of 24 hours. The team used social media and our network to raise money. All donations raised went directly to Feeding America. This event was held from May 21, 2021, at 5:00 pm until May 22, 2021, at 5:00 pm and was a huge success. The entire team was able to participate in the event for the entire 24 hours.

The second event of our fundraiser was a Zoom cooking event for individuals who donated $50 or more to the charity. One of the McDonald’s chefs hosted the cooking event and taught everyone how to make a McDonald’s Big Mac at home. The Zoom cooking was held on May 22, 2021, at 5:00 pm. Thirty-two donors qualified to attend, with sixteen actually attending. It was a great event, and we received a lot of positive feedback from the participants.

Charity Overview

We selected to support Feeding America, the United States’ largest hunger-relief organization. They help provide approx. 4B meals annually. Feeding America works with farms, manufacturers, and consumer-facing businesses to rescue food that might otherwise go to waste. They provide this food to 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries/meal programs. 98% of all donations go to food and programs for hungry people. $1 in donations can buy up to 10 meals for someone in need.

Analysis of Success Measures

The overall project achieved almost all success objectives. We exceeded our project success objectives for donations, charity awareness, and self-reflection/understanding. We did not fully deliver on the project objective of having 20 people attend the private chef event as only 16 attended. We did have 32 donors qualify for the event, so we feel good that the event generated the interest and donations we were hoping for.

Lessons Learned

While we are pleased with the project’s overall success, inevitably, you can always think of opportunities to improve in retrospect. We have several lessons learned about managing projects we will be taking forward with us. A few of the most critical lessons learned include:

  1. Map out Milestones Early – Leveraging the Milestone Tracker was critical to our success and kept us on track with our deliverables and individual tasks.
  2. Team Meetings Early and Often – Our first team meeting was during the second week of class. Meeting so early in the class schedule was a significant advantage for us as we could begin to build team comradery and discuss initial project ideas, even before any assignments were due. This helped us get ahead on future planning and deliverables. We also met twice per week as a group to check in on progress and align on strategies, deliverables, and key next steps. This was critical for our team as it allowed us to build trust amongst the team and ensured we were still on target for the project. If not, we course-corrected quickly to recover.

Advice for Future Teams

In addition to our lessons learned, our advice for future teams would be to take the time early in the project to think through ideas. Each team member was asked to submit a ‘request for proposal’ individually with a well thought-out idea for a project. This individual exercise helped vet potential project ideas and ensured each team member benefitted from the critical thinking involved with this exercise.

We would also suggest that future teams consider the talent development of each team member when considering the role they will take on and what they want to learn from the project. For example, we had someone on our team whose full-time job was a project manager. We had another team member volunteer for the project manager role to get experience with a skill set they do not do regularly in their full-time job.

Lastly, be sure to assign a clear decision-maker for each task/deliverable. It is very easy to have multiple decision-makers for a task, particularly when tasks are related. However, it is important to have a single team member be accountable to drive decision-making and ensure tasks do not get missed.

Project Photos

Blessings in a Backpack

Blessings in a Backpack Fundraiser


We hosted a “Virtual Packing Event” online fundraiser for Blessings in a Backpack. Our initial goal was “packing” 500 bags with an initial fundraising goal of $2,000 (a cost per bag of $4). Donations received for this online fundraiser will cover costs to provide prepacked bags of weekend food to supplement week-day meals that Chicago kids are receiving through other community resources. Blessings in a Backpack created an online donation portal for us through which donors could give and see progress towards our goal.

Additionally, to coincide with the money being raised via the Virtual Packing Event, we organized a notecard drive to create positive notecards that will be attached to the bags of food for the children and will provide them with positive words of encouragement over the weekend. Our goal was to collect 250 handmade notecards.


Blessings in a Backpack is a national organization made up of seven regional chapters and more than 1,000 volunteer-driven programs. Their mission is preventing childhood hunger on the weekends for the kids who need us most. Blessings in a Backpack mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. ”

We chose to support Blessings in a Backpack because ~18 Million kids are expected to face hunger due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As Tyson Foods employees, we looked for a cause to see “how much good food can do.”

Analysis of Success

Lessons Learned

  • Find a worthy cause that everyone on the team feels passionately about. We spent extra time up front to choose the right charity and fundraiser. We felt behind in the moment, but it paid off later when we didn’t have to tweak anything while we were executing.
  • Meet early and often to keep everything on track! A team member got married during the quarter and our presentations were the week of the Memorial Day holiday. Had we not started meeting earlier on in the project we could have easily fallen behind.
  • Leverage team members individual strengths. We leaned into what our teammates were good at or volunteer to do- everyone was way more engaged, and we didn’t feel like we needed to chase anyone around to get their part done.

Advice for Future Teams

  • Don’t be afraid to aim high. Your goals should be realistic with some optimism baked in. You do not want to sandbag or express a lack of confidence in your project.
  • Don’t start your fundraiser before the Risk Plan is due/complete. It’s tempting to get a jump on the fundraiser by starting early but you don’t want to be identifying risks as you are experiencing them.
  • Take your time on the WBS, Gantt Chart and Responsibility Matrix. If you put the work in on those you will have every deliverable mapped out and protect from scope creep. Avoid emergency meetings to address a deliverable that was not accounted for. The upfront investment saved our team so much time later.