Overview and Scope
The current project deals with planning a fundraising event at the Camden School, which thematically ties to the end of their school year, with the raised money being donated to charity. A fair may be an appropriate type of event considering the educational setting, allowing both the school and its participating students and their families the necessary flexibility in their actions. End-of-year activities, such as selling books and baked goods, as well as hosting a winning raffle, could additionally stimulate an indispensable sense of community, necessary in charity events.
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Division of volunteers from both school staff and students’ parents into executive and organizational teams should provide for the most efficient execution of activities, creating a steady working pace. Additionally, sub-division into responsible sub-groups, along with assigning group leaders, should secure interconnectivity between the various teams and achieve joint goal attainment.
Held in May 2019, the school’s project aims to raise a minimum of £2,019 throughout one day, necessitating an extensive and efficient fundraising program. As such, the project schedule may be defined as lasting one and a half months (approximately seven weeks), leaving appropriate time for project slack. Outlining the event’s main milestones per the definition of SMART goals, which are sensible, measurable, attainable, rational, and timely, becomes necessary to stimulate productivity. Coordinating a venue within school grounds and incentivizing students and their families to participate all lead to creating an overall well-established fundraising event. Acknowledging these permits outlining numerous spheres of work:
- Securing possible sponsorship contracts before April 10, allowing to correct the plan before its ultimate implementation;
- Organizing two main volunteer workgroups, which will respectively help with event organization and execution, after reaching out for support within both family communities and school staff before April 20;
- Establishing a venue and organizing entertainment and photography at the event before April 30;
- Creating a relay of funds between families, who are receiving money from sales and the school, documenting net revenue before May 1 and until the full handover of funds to the chosen charity.
A school fair is a traditional type of activity that could always be presented in a new, modernized way, providing pupils with a chance to exhibit their school spirit and demonstrate their community awareness. Additionally, it may be essential to outline the impact of the celebratory nature of a school fair, as it symbolizes the end of the educational year and a changeover into summertime. Therefore, for students, their families, and school staff, a school fair may be an optimal way to signal this shift, as well as solidify the positive school experiences experienced throughout the year.
As a fundraising event, the most significant limitation of the project could be money, as it directly affects the primary deliverable, which is the received funds, in the event of overspending or under-reception. Consequently, the second constraint is time, outlined by the 50 days during which the fundraiser is to be ready for execution, including participating volunteers, pupils’ families, and auxiliary services. Thus, keeping in mind time and cost may be the most necessary approach to executing the school fundraising project successfully.
The primary assumption of the event’s hosting date as May 1 allows adequate room for plan improvement, implementation, and slack time. However, the idea of a school fair relies on the involvement of volunteers who will sell baked goods and books, thus bringing in the majority of the revenue. Therefore, the outlined project builds on some assumptions regarding the community atmosphere at Camden School, necessitating a degree of involvement from both parents and staff.
After identifying the project’s constraints and assumptions, it becomes necessary to determine its stakeholders, which in this case are the school and its chosen charity organization, which will receive the raised money. Per their interests, the project charter outlines the main deliverables of the project:
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- An organized venue;
- Entertainment during the event;
- Volunteer groups, which will provide a support structure for the participating parents;
- Relay of money to charity.
A school’s resources are limited financially, physically, as well as demographically, which necessitates an analysis of the Camden School’s available assets:
- School staff, as one of the primary driving forces behind the project, as well as parents, should be organized efficiently as human resources;
- The Camden School may also use intellectual capital, such as their reputation, to invite sponsors’ attention to their fundraising project;
- Physical capital possessed by the school should be used to provide for a venue place.
Budgeting the money received from a sponsor allows for the most efficient use of available resources, giving adequate attention to all sides of a project. Thus, understanding that the costs are to be budgeted equally, with an expectation of an increase in expenditure as per the time-phased budget profile s-curve. As the deadline of May 1 becomes closer, the spending of the project increases and this is an unavoidable circumstance, which should be recognized, documented, and integrated into the plan.
It is necessary to identify the necessities, which Camden School will need to take into consideration to account for expenditure. While some of the essentials already exist, such as the venue place, which may be held on school grounds, the school should make additional payments for:
- Raffle prizes;
- A photographer, who will be handling photography and photo editing;
- Incentives for teachers to participate in the organization of the fundraiser.
A Gantt chart allows visualizing the process of responsibility and its overlay for the assigned volunteer groups, which the school administration should organize at the beginning of the project’s execution. Since the duration of the project is identified as 50 days, this translated to roughly seven weeks, with the remaining extra day allotted for some additional slack time. No overlay of events allows establishing a stable flow of activity based on continuity with the last action, which is the handover of funds to charity, outlined outside of the plan’s deadline (Table 1).
A network diagram permits assigning roles efficiently, without a severe overlay in responsibilities, which, in turn, allows securing a regular project achievement program. The two set up volunteer group should be used respectively for organizational purposes (OVG), such as obtaining contact with entertainers and photographers, and executive (EVG), such as ushers, and helpers on the designated venue. Assisted by the School Administration (SA), it becomes possible to delineate the main objectives in weeks (Table 2).
Critical Path Analysis
With a project time of 50 days, the project is required to be completed in May, with an estimation of duration in days. Table 3 demonstrates the calculated earliest start (ES) and finish (EF), as well as the latest start (LS) and finish (LF) times. These calculations permit identifying the total slack (TS) for each activity and, therefore, determining the critical path for the project, as demonstrated by blue cells (Table 3). The current calculated zero slack, which may pose a hindrance to the plan’s timely competition, might be modified to be positive by the fact that the deadline is further away than outlined in the project. Thus, the final date allows for an extra week between activities, allowing participants for greater freedom of actions and their completion.
Table 3. Project Estimated Times.
|Information from Table 2||Estimated time||Latest time||TS|
| ||Finding a sponsor||SA||1||0||1||0||1||0|
| ||Encouraging parents to sign up for participation||SA||1||1||2||1||2||0|
| ||Organizing volunteer groups, assigning team leaders||SA||1||2||3||2||3||0|
| ||Searching contracts with entertainers and photographers||OVG||2||3||5||3||5||0|
| ||Setting up the venue with the help of volunteers||OVG||1||3||4||4||5||1|
| ||Hosting the event||EVG||1||5||6||5||6||0|
| ||Relaying money to charity||SA||1||6||7||6||7||0|
The majority of the risks that the current project faces base themselves on a lack of community spirit at Camden school, thus resulting in a decline of human resources and participants. Additionally, not finding a sponsor during the first week of the project’s execution could lead to the project being held back until such a sponsor may be found. Thus, the main two risks may be delineated as a lack of human involvement and investment in the project. Within other activities, for example, organizing the event, possible risks remain unpredictable, such as bad weather, and therefore may not be accounted for correctly. However, the rest of the potential dangers link directly to correctable circumstances, which the Camden School should be able to overcome.
The lowest risks are linked to the productivity of the organized parent-staff volunteer groups, which after their formation answer for the quality of the organized venue. The highest risks may be connected to the sponsorship and initial involvement of people in the project. Relaying the received money to charity may be a medium level risk, due to the undocumented nature of collected funds, making attention to this sector necessary but not vital.
Thus, the most crucial part of the project is its first steps, which are handled by the school administration, carrying the majority of the project’s weight. Paying attention to sponsorship and staff incentivization for participation may be viable options to combat the possible issues, which could arise during the first weeks of the project.
Compiling the found risks into a table permits visualizing the possible drawbacks that a project may face, while at the same time measuring the severity of these liabilities. Traditional color coding, such as green for the low-risk rating (L), yellow for medium (M), and red for high (H), allows for an efficient system of awareness. Each activity, as outlined in Table 1, was analyzed and reworked into a risk matrix in Table 4 for productivity.
The produced table allows tracking the most susceptible aspects of the plan that are necessary to focus on, allowing the correction of possible shortcomings (Table 4). As may be seen from Table 4, the most affected area is the beginning of the project, which relies on garnering public support and sponsorship, and, thus, is highlighted as the most important. Therefore, the brunt of the project lies in the school’s administration, as responsible for both garnering outside funding and encouraging parents to participate in the fundraiser.
Table 4. Risk Matrix.
|Information from Table 1||Risk Elements|
| ||Finding a sponsor||H||M||H|
| ||Encouraging parents to sign up for participation||H||M||H|
| ||Organizing volunteer groups, assigning team leaders||L||L||L|
| ||Searching contracts with entertainers and photographers||M||L||M|
| ||Setting up the venue with the help of volunteers||M||L||L|
| ||Hosting the event||L||L||L|
| ||Relaying money to charity||M||L||M|
The chosen project allows adequately reflecting the educational setting of the Camden School, allowing both parents, students, and staff to participate in a bonding end-of-term experience. The seven weeks before the project’s due date in May give adequate time to prepare a plan for the holding of a fundraising fair. The resources available to the school allow for a sufficient amount of room for the plan’s implementation, relying on outside sponsorship only for the provision of supplementary funds for the hosting of the event.
The risks associated with the plan link to a possible lack of volunteers, which may be amended in various ways, including staff incentivization to participate. However, this approach may affect the project’s goal of accumulating £2,019 throughout the fundraiser and could result in a loss of revenue. The outlined plan presents possible solutions to these drawbacks, allowing for a smooth implementation of a school-level project that remains community-oriented.
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