Field Project Audit – Greater Chicago Food Depository Food and Fund Drive – Team 1

Project Description:

The scope of our project was to partner with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) and provide donations and service to help further their cause. Established in 1979, the GCFD focuses its endeavors on serving the residents of Cook County. The GCFD is a nonprofit entity that disburses food and makes a concentrated effort to help individuals in its community become self-sufficient. With our project taking place in the summer, our group was able to provide our services during a time of great need due to summer vacation and school aged children not receiving free or reduced price lunches at schools.

The overall project was multifaceted and consisted of multiple different events:

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Food Drives, Physical and Virtual:

The food drives were the main events of the project. Each member facilitated their own food drive with one or more organization and also included networks of friends and family.

The physical food drives were managed by each group member by maintaining collection containers at their workplaces, social gatherings, or related institutions.  Each food drive location was managed from corporate approvals, to solicitation, to delivery to the GCFD receiving center. Advertisement for the food drive was completed through email blasts, social media, fliers, and other avenues.

Working with the GCFD we had access to a virtual food drive platform hosted on their website. We were able to develop our own webpage complete with the DePaul logo and member’s desired donation group to adequately track our respective contributions. Our friends and colleagues were able to enjoy a virtual shopping experience by placing virtual food items in their virtual cart and checking which deposited their monetary donations directly to our account. This created a more appealing experience than a traditional donation process.

Golf Outing Micro Event:

Through the project planning it was recognized that we had a strong network of golf fans. Leveraging this, we created a golf event complete with donations and giveaways that we were able to secure through our corporate avenues. This event allowed our supporters to enjoy the weather while supporting our cause.


Service Day Micro Event

Each of our group members spent a day off work to participate at the GCFD warehouse volunteering their time. We spent the day working with other engaged volunteers processing incoming donations. This allowed the entire project experience to come full circle.


Analysis of Success

While collecting monetary funds was critical to our project, we decided to take the opportunity to inspire other people to join the fight against hunger. Therefore, two of our success matrices are non-monetary in nature.

Our three success metrics were all met and exceeded through the course of the project.

1)     Generate $1,500 for the GCFD ($250 per team member):

We were able to more than double this goal by raising over $5175.89 in donations both monetary and physical food. We completed this by raising $4,176.69 in monetary funds and $999.2  worth of physical food donations by the conversion rate of $1 = 1.25 lbs. of food. To top this off, we can see by the conversion of $1 = 3 meals, we were able to supply 15,528 meals into the hands of those that would have otherwise gone hungry.

2)     Raise awareness to GCFD’s mission and help promote sustainable giving:

Through the project, we were able to interact with many people during the food drives at various communities. Many people expressed their support to the cause through donations and kind words and expressed interest in future involvement. Through our project we believe that we have truly brought awareness to the GCFD cause through this project. This may be the most important aspect of our success!

3)     Team members to donate one day of service at GCFD warehouse:

Each of our team members successfully took a day of absence from their respective workplaces and families to participate in a volunteer day at the GCFD. During this day we were able to assist in the sorting and repackaging of over 30,750 pounds of potatoes!

Advice for Future Teams

Choosing a partnering organization that will support you is critical. By partnering with the GCFD, we were able to take advantage of an online virtual donation platform, boxes and bins for donations, and a helpful contact. He was able to answer our questions and guide us through a successful project.

Get started early. It goes without saying that you will not have much time to complete your project. The earlier that you can get the wheels turning the more impact you will have. You will be working through corporate red tape, production schedule, and other items which all take time.

Lessons Learned:

Communication was incredibly important due to such a large amount of information to flow through multiple stakeholders. Our team made it a point to over- communicate in an attempt to ensure the proper flow of information and ideas. This proved helpful on many occasions. One issue that we experienced was not choosing the most suitable platform to complete this in however. Most of our communication was via email which quickly became cumbersome to extract information from. Utilizing alternate project management tools to collect and store information would have been beneficial.

Identifying tasks of our project in the project inception and assigning responsibilities to team members helped to streamline the project. By spreading out the workload it allowed each member to focus on specific tasks and be responsible for completion. Additionally, members assigned to tasks that they enjoy or have specific strengths in enhanced the quality of deliverables.


Beauty and DePaul’s Basketball Beast

New Depaul Arena Mccormick Place

DePaul and the city of Chicago are partnering to build a “large-scale tourism and economic development project” near McCormick place that will be home to DePaul’s men’s and women’s basketball programs. The city of Chicago will contribute $100 million, and DePaul will donate $70 million in order to make this plan a reality. The blueprints include street-level restaurants and shops, a 400-room hotel, an elevated pedestrian walkway, and will hopefully create 3,000- 5,000 permanent jobs and 5,000 additional construction jobs. DePaul also gains naming rights, income from DePaul ticket sales, and revenue from the Big East Conference.

This collaborative effort has been controversial since the city of Chicago does not appear to be in a financial place to make this sort of business move. As an example from recent news, 50 Chicago public schools are closing both due to lack of enrollment and for cost-cutting purposes.

DePaul’s basketball program is not exactly a powerhouse, and game attendance continues to dwindle. This facility will be closer to campus than the current Allstate Arena location, but it will still be 50 blocks away which doesn’t make the proximity ideal. To make matters worse, the United Center offered DePaul the option to benefit from 10 years of free rent plus all ticket revenues, but DePaul declined the proposal. As tuition continues to rise, many students question whether this is the way they feel their precious money should be spent. City representatives claim that the arena will break even the first year, but the numbers used to create these predictions seem to be optimistic and unrealistic.

On the other hand, a project like this could create jobs, further stimulate tourism, and increase tax revenue which could possibly strengthen the city of Chicago which has been struggling. “The majority of the money the city plans to put toward the construction is coming from the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, which is a separate entity from the city of Chicago. This basically means the MPEA cannot use its resources to help avoid the struggling school system as its sole purpose is to expand Navy Pier and McCormick Place, which are two of the most frequented spots by tourists.” (Fox News) The new arena also offers DePaul an opportunity to rebuild their basketball program by encouraging a higher caliber of athletes that will be enticed by the top-notch facility.

What were your thoughts when you received the e-mail announcement about this new “partnership” from President Holtschneider? Do you think this is a good investment for DePaul? Do you think that it will help DePaul’s basketball program in both attendance and recruiting? Do you think this project will benefit the City of Chicago in the long run?

Sources: http://college-

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DePaul is a Private University…not on Loop Campus!

When people think of Universities in Chicago, DePaul University is usually one to come to mind, so there’s no doubt that the university would have a few connections with some Chicago-related events, and representatives.  The mayor has donated tons of money to the school, and the university is one of the first to be included in holiday parades that march down Michigan Ave.  But why is DePaul so “plugged” into the city?

DePaul University is split into two campuses; one beautiful, and one that barely passes as a campus.  On any given day, the Loop campus is filled with not only students, but a number of pedestrians, including many loiters.  How does this constant flow of random pedestrians throughout the Loop campus affect the quality of the university?  Furthermore, how does it affect the experience of the students?  The same building that holds the school’s student center, is the same building that holds Chicago’s Water Department, as well as many eateries open to the public, so the pedestrians will always be there.  It seems there should be a set standard on how open a “Private University” should be to the public. 

Students spend tons of money each quarter paying for classes without knowing exactly where there money is going, or how it will benefit them.  Since entering four years ago, I have seen a few improvements on the Lincoln Park campus with the addition of the new library, and a few other buildings.  But what is the University spending to improve the Loop campus?

I have always imagined that DePaul would do something to privatize some part of the campus to make students feel more comfortable, or at least match the quality of the Loop campus with that of the beautiful Lincoln Park campus.  So what does the university do to help the Loop?  Add new dorms for DePaul students only?  Add a 24-hour library that can only be accessed by students? No, and no; the university invested $70 million dollars to build an arena by McCormick Place, open to the public!  Even more shocking, a former Cook County representative has consistently gotten paid $80,000 annually, by DePaul, for representing the university.  Being only a student, I cannot explain the university’s logic in these decisions, but it does make me feel like the system of the school’s budget could use some improvement.

Outside of the very few basketball games that the Blue Demons will have in this arena, it will be open to Chicago events, including Public Schools and Community Colleges.  This is great for Chicago, but how is this a benefit to the students of the university?

Hopefully this big investment will give the Loop campus a higher-quality feel.  Maybe the university wants to keep an open reputation to the city. 

Do you think this was a good investment?  What can the university invest in to improve the quality of the loop campus?  What are some of the standards a Private University campus should have?

Sources: Chicago Sun Times –

South Korea’s Mobile Technology Forecast

After  learning about forecasting in class I found it a compelling subject. What I was most interested in was how it was used in business. After doing some research I found a lot of information on how South Korea is using their forecasting to increase sales and productivity in the cell phone industry. South Korea is using forecasting to predict an incredible increase in 4G LTE phone usage.

Currently, the United States has more users engaging in 4G mobile technology, but South Korea has a higher percentage of users, at about 14% right now, compared to 4% in the United States. This is expected to more than double in the next couple of months. South Korea expects the LTE users to be around 15 million by the end of the year, and be over 33 million by the end of 2013. This forecast predicts that this new technology will give South Korean LTE users the ability to download media faster than any other country.

This impressive usage forecast is predicted not only because South Korean technology users demand the best, but it is so great because many cell phone companies are offering large subsidies for 4G devices, and fading out the old non-4G devices, leaving users the only choice to purchase the new, faster technology.

This could be an major change in the 4G LTE market and in the cell phone industry if this growth does happen, which assumingly would not only take place in South Korea, but also in many other countries around the world. What I find most limiting for this forecast is the amount of infrastructure that will need to be installed to run this large amount of LTE service. Will the world, or more specifically South Korea, be able to handle this enormous increase?