Party For A Purpose

A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society

Project Description

Party for a Purpose was fundraiser held to support the American Cancer Society (ACS), a 501-C charity focused on cancer research and furthering technological advancements in the cancer fighting practices. Our group decided to fundraise for ACS as we have all been touched in some unique way by cancer. 

Party for a Purpose was a social gathering/party hosted at Four Shadows Tavern & Grill (2758 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60614) from 4-7 p.m. on February 24, 2024. Our group sold drink package wristbands for $45 each, and patrons took advantage of complementary beverages throughout the event. From each wristband sale, $25 went to the bar and $20 was donated to the ACS. 

Additional revenue streams for our fundraiser included online donations shared through social media posts and raffle ticket sales for those in attendance. Raffle tickets were sold for $5 each or 5 for $20. All raffle items were donations – zero cost to our group. Raffles included: 

  • Blue Yeti soft sided cooler 
  • Corona cooler and swag set (2) 
  • Whiskey basket 
  • Wine basket 
  • Victoria grill tool set 
  • Corona cornhole set. 
  • $50 gift card for Chicago Park District Golf 
  • Tequila set of 3 bottles. 
  • Misc. liquor “grab bags” (2) 

Description of Charity 

Most of us have lost friends and family to cancer too soon. The American Cancer Society is an organization known for its dedicated history in the fight against cancer. Originally founded in 1913, the ACS gained recognition as an organization with an unrelenting commitment to fighting cancer. For many years, cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. Through advances in research and care, this reality has changed for many from bleakness to hope, and the ACS has led the fight. The American Cancer Society diligently spreads awareness of the disease and funds life-saving research. Today the ACS has evolved into champions of research, support, and advocacy. They are an organization that upholds values of integrity, compassion, courage, determination, and diversity. 

Factual Analysis of Success 

Our goal was to raise $2000 for the American Cancer Society and have a fun time with the process and event. We estimated that each of our five team members could average about eight guests to attend the in-person event, which would provide us with an estimated $800 in wristband revenue for the ACS. With 40 people in attendance, we estimated that if each person bought one raffle ticket, we could count on $200 from the raffle going to the ACS. We determined that our online revenue stream would be about 25% higher than our wristband sales, due to the ease of donation and the frequency of opportunity to donate. Our lowest estimate for the fundraiser was $1000, half of our goal, to account for low attendance due to travel or weather.  

We were pleasantly surprised to exceed our goal of $2000 by raising $5,249 for the American Cancer Society! Our in-person attendance exceeded our estimate by 50% with 60 people in attendance that purchased wristbands. Our raffle exceeded our goal by more than 300% and our online donations were almost 400% more than our estimate.  

Best of all, we were able to mingle with some of our online classmates and professor. One of our teammates drove more than 600 miles one way to attend! 

Revenue breakdown 


Lessons Learned 

Here are our top three things we wish we had thought of in preparation for this project: 

Raffle Ticket Counting 

  • We were unable to pinpoint how many raffle tickets we had sold. We estimated based on revenue.  
  • Take note of the number of the first raffle ticket sold, and the last. The difference is how many you sold. 

Patrons With Disabilities 

  • We did not account for guests needing an ADA compliant venue. 
  • Luckily, we knew in advance and had the guest bring a separate chair that was comfortable for them. 
  • We recommend hosting at an ADA complaint venue, or adding this to your risk plan to know how you will adjust when needed. 

“What is covered in the drink deal?” (Details matter!) 

  • This question was asked a lot. 
  • Print out flyers or have the bar project the deal on a TV. 
  • Put flyers on various tables and sections of the bar for patrons to easy reference. 

Best Practices 

  • Consolidate payment links to limit confusion. 
  • Monitor attendance and engagement. 
  • We had many more patrons come out than expected. 
  • We were aware of the flow of the bar and seamlessly took over more space. 
  • Store reports in a shared database such as Microsoft Teams so everyone can access and review changes in real time to documents. 
  • Keep open communication and collaboration with your team. 
  • If no one knows you’re struggling, they do not know how to help. 
  • Speak up with ideas and challenges. 

Event Photos