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L e a r n & E a r n P ro j e c t


PROCTOR SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL 131 9th Ave. Proctor MN, 55810 February 22nd, 2012

Brooke MacInnes • Brooke Oraskovich • Anna Swenson


Table of Contents

I. Executive Summary! II. Introduction! III. Analysis of the Business Situation!

1 2 4 4

A. Trading Area Analysis!

IV. PLANNED OPERATION OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT! A. Proposed Organization! B. Proposed Product/Service! C. Proposed Marketing Strategies! D. Projected Budget! 2. Rationale for the projected budget!

V. Outcomes!

8 8 11 13 18 19 19

A. Projected Implementation, unusual or unforeseen challenges or successes and methods of handling them! B. Learning Outcomes! C. Earning Outcomes! D. Recommendations for Improving the Project!

VI. Bibliography! VII. Appendix!

19 21 26 27 32 33

P r o c t o r D E C A!

Learn & Earn Project=


I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Everyday millions of women and children walk up to three hours to the nearest swamp, pond, or river to retrieve water contaminated with hundreds disease causing bacteria. They are forced to carry forty to sixty pound water cans on their back full of contaminated water which causes physical stress to their spines. As well as the physical stress, the three hour walk poses many environmental threats including wild animal attacks, harassment, and sexual assault.  Living only nine miles away from the largest source of fresh water in the world, Lake Superior, the Proctor DECA team wanted to take on the challenge of helping solve the water crisis. They began this journey in June of 2011 in which they first learned that 1.1 billion people  face the challenge of finding clean, safe drinking water. When the group began to conduct research about the water crisis, they immediately knew they wanted to make a substantial impact on it. Proctor DECA decided to develop a charity called Drops of HOPE to make an impact on the water crisis as well as impact the Duluth community. Through DECA alumni, they learned that Rotary Club 25 of Duluth was working to raise money for an organization called Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) which works to bring clean drinking water to the Hamar village located in southern Ethiopia, Africa. Drops of HOPE then partnered with the Rotary Club 25 of Duluth to work together to help solve the water crisis.  Drops of HOPE began to brainstorm creative and unique fundraising events which would create youth involvement and adult support throughout the community. Their main event was a competitive concert called "What It Takes," featuring the top twelve vocalists throughout the region. The audition process began with contestants uploading their video auditions to the "What It Takes" Facebook page. Then, the top ten vocal finalists were determined by the highest number of "likes" on their auditions posted on the Facebook page. Two of the twelve finalists, the "wild cards", were determined by a panel of judges. The auditions through Facebook promoted awareness for the "What It Takes" concert, created a buzz throughout the community, and created community involvement.  To promote the event, both traditional marketing and guerrilla marketing were utilized. Traditional marketing included posters throughout the area, radio advertisements, social media, newspapers, blogs, and television news reports. Guerrilla marketing included placing creative leaflets on windshields and using "morphs" to intriguingly promote the event. These marking strategies proved to be effective from the success of the concert. !  With approximately 600 seats filled, the concert successfully involved the community and gained support for the cause. From planning, organizing, and managing "What It Takes", the Drops of HOPE team learned a lot about both marketing and management. The team learned the value of networking, philanthropy, communication, and nonprofit fundraising.


II. INTRODUCTION There is a water crisis on Earth. Right now, 1.1 billion people are living without clean, safe, drinking water.  Each day, millions of women and children in places such as Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa are forced to walk miles to the nearest swamp or pond to fetch water that is contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. When a few Proctor DECA students were made aware of the water crisis’s magnitude after watching a video on the cause, they realized that they had been taking for granted the largest source of freshwater in the world: Lake Superior.  Proctor, Minnesota is located about nine miles from the lake’s shore, so these students decided that they wanted to take initiative and do something to give back and bring this basic life necessity to people living without it across the globe every day.  In June of 2011, these Proctor DECA students created a charity called Drops of HOPE following the format of a nonprofit organization; the purpose of a nonprofit organi-

1.1 billion people are without clean drinking water.

zation is to serve a public or mutual benefit other than the pursuit or accumulation of profits for owners or investors. Drops of HOPE was formed with the purpose of raising money through multiple fundraisers to build freshwater wells in Africa.  The Drops of HOPE team formulated a business plan for raising funds that consisted of approximately four small fundraising events in conjunction with one major event; since the beginning of the Drops of HOPE business, Proctor DECA envisioned


the largest source of funds to be a large-scale charity concert. The concert, which eventually was given the name “What It Takes”, was planned to be a competitive concert between regional singers and dancers. One of the biggest attributes of the concert that Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE team immediately decided upon was the quality of production; they planned the concert with a grand and professional final outcome in mind. When Drops of HOPE was first formed, Proctor’s two DECA advisors, Mr. Jay Belcastro and Mr. Bill Shelton, assisted the chapter's new business by providing advice and feedback.  Mr. Tracey Lundeen of Lundeen Productions and Mrs. Dana Lapinksi, a local piano and vocal coach, became the first two members of Drops of HOPE's advisory panel; their expertise in the music and production industries provided insight in the concert development process.  As the project progressed, Drops of HOPE formed a partnership with Duluth Minnesota Rotary Club 25, leading to invaluable additions to the advisory panel.  Duluth Rotary Club 25 was the first International Rotary Club, and they had recently partnered with a Seattle Rotary to help solve the water crisis. As Rotaries, both had given back incredibly to their local communities, and they felt the need to give back on an international level.  Mr. Bob Sherman, Chair of Rotary's International Service Committee and member of Duluth Rotary Club 25, was told about the mission of Drops of HOPE; the similar interests between International Rotary and Drops of HOPE led to a strong partnership between the international organization and Proctor


DECA’s business Drops of HOPE. The Drops of HOPE team's advisory panel consisted of four main Duluth Rotarians, as well as one Seattle Rotarian, Lori Pappas.  The main purpose of this advisory panel was to provide advise to Drops of HOPE.  Lori Pappas, the Seattle Rotarian working with Proctor DECA, actually contributed in a different way; she had previously owned a Fortune 500 Company and sold it to start a charity called Global Team for Local Initiatives (GTLI) and to live in Ethiopia nine months out of the year.  Drops of HOPE decided to work directly through her, which determined the specific Ethiopian tribe that would be given clean water by Proctor DECA: the Hamar People of Ethiopia, a

Drops of HOPE’s mission is to help solve the water crisis by bringing clean water to the Hamar people of Ethiopia.

tribe of approximately 60,000 people. III. ANALYSIS OF THE BUSINESS SITUATION A. Trading Area Analysis




Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin


Live in small cities






All ethnicities


High School/College









50th Percentile or above


Appreciate music and art


Have Interest in music


“What It Takes” Primary Target Market

The main competitors for “What It Takes” were events scheduled to take place on the same night as the concert. Of these, the largest was a University of Minnesota: Duluth (UMD) Bulldog’s game against North Dakota; this was one of the university’s largest games of the year, and all 6,000 arena seats were sold out months prior to the hockey game.  Another event to take place the same night as “What It Takes” was a concert at a local auditorium called The Encounter, but it did not pose as great of a threat because it was a heavy-metal concert; the target markets of “What It Takes” and this competitor did not overlap. These were the only two competitors the night of “What It Takes”, but a “Celebrity Dance Challenge” two days prior at Marshall High School Auditorium, the same venue as “What It Takes”, posed a threat because the events displayed similar concepts.  The “Celebrity Dance Challenge” featured local news anchors and various other local “celebrities” dancing with professional dancers from the Minnesota Ballet.  Drops of HOPE’s “What It Takes” concert presented several competitive advantages. Drops of HOPE organized the marketing of “What It Takes” in a way that ensured contestants would promote themselves to bring in fans.  Proctor DECA students


included a comparison of fan bases at the concert to encourage participants to generate a large number of ticket sales; this was called the "Fan Clan Challenge." As tickets were picked up, a concert staff member asked each person who they were supporting. The votes were tallied on iPads, then counted during the show to determine who won the “Fan Clan Challenge”, which also won them four hours of recording time at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth, Minnesota.  !

Another competitive advantage is that Duluth had not previously offered many

concerts of this magnitude targeted towards youth, so “What It Takes” was fulfilling an unfulfilled niche in the community. The recent rise in popularity of television vocal talent competitions such as “American Idol” and “The Voice” also created a competitive advantage for “What It Takes.” Proctor DECA students involved in Drops of HOPE knew that the ticket cost of $15 may be perceived as expensive, so the team knew they needed to deliver a quality show; thanks to the hired production company, Sound Central, “What It Takes” was a full-fledged concert featuring stunning light and laser shows with incredible sound, also serving as an advantage over the similar “Celebrity Dance Challenge” to take place the same week.  !

Duluth is located next to Lake Superior, the largest source of freshwater in the

world. Because of Duluth’s relationship to Lake Superior and freshwater, the “What It Takes” target market can personally relate to the water crisis, also creating a competitive advantage for the concert. Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE team knew that the concert


spectators would be emotionally struck by the water crisis, so the finale song of “What It Takes” featured all of the contestants performing the song “We Are The World” followed by a miracle minute in which the contestants ran throughout the auditorium collecting donations for the cause. !

Although Proctor DECA’s “What It Takes” concert included several competitive

advantages, it also faced some disadvantages. Since Proctor DECA is a high school organization, the stereotype of it being a high school quality “talent show” could be mistakenly applied to “What It Takes.” Another disadvantage was the ticket cost of $15 dollars; to many this seems high, but Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE team justified this with the fact that all proceeds went to the worthy cause of the water crisis.  One final disadvantage that Proctor DECA faced in raising money for the Hamar people of Ethiopia was actually the cause itself; many businesses and community members disregarded the fact that Drops of HOPE was benefitting the local Proctor DECA students by gaining experience in running a business and immediately were disengaged since proceeds were not going directly to the communities of Proctor, Duluth, or the general region of Minnesota.  Although these were difficult disadvantages to overcome at times, the Proctor DECA students always attempted to overcome them with their passion for the cause.


B. Market segment analysis !

Through observation of recent local events and the chapter members’ knowledge

of the teenage demographic, Proctor DECA knew that the high school demographic often makes evening plans spontaneously. Individuals in this demographic often times decide to attend a concert or event a few hours before doors open and buy their tickets at the door. “What It Takes” was unique in the fact that performers each promoted the concert because a large part of judging was based on audience reaction; this judging criteria assisted Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE team overcome the buying behavior of the target market by increasing the number of online pre-sold tickets.  A $15 concert ticket can be considered an impulse or a limited decision purchase for consumers, so Proctor DECA was confident in the ticket price decided upon. IV. PLANNED OPERATION OF THE PROPOSED PROJECT A. Proposed Organization  Before starting Drops of HOPE, a group of Proctor DECA students researched the water crisis after a DECA alum made the group aware of this major world issue.  Realizing that they lived next to the largest source of freshwater in the world, Lake Superior, the students chose to pursue creating Drops of HOPE, a nonprofit organization incorporated by Proctor Synergy, to help solve the water crisis.  Proctor Synergy is a nonprofit that works within the community of Proctor, Minnesota to improve the community itself; Proctor Synergy’s main focus is to give large-scale community projects a


non-profit status. Proctor DECA’s newly created charity, Drops of HOPE, and Proctor Synergy partnered for Drops of HOPE’s operations.  With a project of this magnitude, Proctor DECA knew that the next step for Drops of HOPE was to bring in industry leaders to advise the operations of the charity and concert.  Drops of HOPE's advisory board began with the Proctor DECA advisors Jay Belcastro and Bill Shelton, as well as Proctor DECA alumni Dave Sawyer and Mick Moen.  Once Drops of HOPE decided that the main source of funds would be a largescale charity concert, the group brought in Dana Lapinski, a local voice coach, and Tracy Lundeen, owner of a local production company to guide Drops of HOPE on creating a top-notch concert.  As concert planning went underway, Crystal Taylor was brought on board as the sponsorship advisor. Taylor had headed the Enger Tower Restoration Project in Duluth the summer before and served as an expert in the fundraising industry alongside Tania McVean.  McVean is the local Memorial Blood Center's Community and Hospital Coordinator; she assisted Taylor in editing the sponsorship package that Proctor DECA students eventually created for "What It Takes." After partnering with Duluth Rotary 25, Drops of HOPE gained several business advisors for the project. Bob Sherman, Chairman of Rotary’s International Service Committee and Director of Development at the UMD, served as the main rotary advisor along with Dr. James Mongé. The following diagram explains the Drops of HOPE advisory panel.


Bob Sherman Business

Dr. James Mongé Tracy Lundeen


Dana Lapinski

Drops of HOPE

Crystal Taylor Financial

Tania McVean


Dave Sawyer Mick Moen


Bill Shelton

DECA Jay Belcastro

The eight leaders of Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE created, planned, implemented, controlled, and produced “What It Takes”. Student Anna Swenson served as backstage manager the night of “What It Takes”, Brita MacInnes served as Volunteer Coordinator, TJ Lind as Production Manager, Brooke Oraskovich as Ticketing and Financial Manager, Brooke MacInnes as Logistics Manager, Gavin Johnson as  Video Production Manager, Kelsey Olesiak as Human Relations Manager, and Luke Lindstrom as Facility Manager.  From the beginning of the project, these same students were projected to be the lead management for Drops of HOPE, as these were the students who brought their passion for helping the water crisis to the entire Proctor DECA chapter.  Although they all helped each other manage the operations of Drops of HOPE, the original projected management positions are as follows: 


Proctor DECA Member

Projected Drops of HOPE

Description of Management Position

Management Position Gavin Johnson

Duluth Rotary Club 25

Prepare and execute Duluth Rotary Club 25 Presentations

Presentation Manager TJ (Todd) Lind

Luke Lindstrom

Advisory Board and Radio

Maintain communication with advisory board members

Communications Manager

and radio contacts.

Human Relations Manager

Oversee all training of operatives, maintain positive work environment, evaluate operative performance, staffing.

Brita MacInnes

Brooke MacInnes

Kelsey Olesiak

Marketing Manager: Print

Design and create competitor posters for “What It Takes”



Local Rotary Club Presen-

Prepare and execute presentations at Rotaries other than

tation Manger

Duluth Club 25.

Marketing Manager: Social

Write and post all social media posts on sites including


Facebook, Twitter, and various blogs throughout the timeframe of Drops of HOPE

Brooke Oraskovich

Anna Swenson

Finance Manager; Media

Maintain and record finances throughout the project;

Relations Manager: Televi-

maintain contact with television news representatives and


schedule interviews.

Product Manager; Concert

Record all Drops of HOPE product sales; oversee and

Development Manager

approve all developments of “What It Takes” concert.

B. Proposed Product/Service Because Drops of HOPE is operating as a non-profit, the proposed products and services consisted of various fundraising events and products; the central product was planned to be entertainment. The majority of funds raised came from the previously mentioned charity competitive concert, “What It Takes.” This concert featured twelve performers chosen by a social media voting process; all prospect contestants uploaded a video of themselves performing to the “What It Takes” Facebook page.  Once uploaded, the number of “likes” on a video determined who the top ten finalists were; two “wild


card” contestants were then chosen by a panel of judges with experience in the music industry. This concert also featured celebrity guest judge and performer, Tim Mahoney, who competed on NBC’s The Voice last year. Two local celebrities acted as emcees; judges consisted of Leanne Wallace and Dan Hanger, two Duluth area news anchors, as well as Tim Mahoney and Ali Grey, popular musicians from the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St.Paul, MN. The materials used for this concert included: professional sound and light equipment provided by the hired production company for $3,500; venue, provided by Marshall High School for $1,000; several posters and banners displaying the finalists, cause, and sponsors, all supplied by The Proctor Print Shop for a total of $61.70; various backstage and dressing room supplies, donated by Do North Pizzeria, Quiznos Subs, and Walmart; iPads to collect ticket sales online or on credit cards, provided by Proctor High School; and bottled water to sell at various rotary meetings and the “What It Takes” concert, provided by Walmart. The extensive detail, planning, and professionalism that went into the concert made it a marketable production. The entertainment offered by this concert not only came from great performers, but also from a top quality light and laser show. It was the professional concert feel that made the show a top quality product. The Proctor DECA students of Drops of HOPE also sold water bottles at various locations, staying close to the focus of the project. The water sold was donated by a local


Walmart; each bottle had a tag attached to it explaining the water crisis and the Drops of HOPE charity. These tags were designed by Proctor DECA’s Drops of HOPE team and printed at the high school. The final product sold by Drops of HOPE was Ethiopian bracelets. These multicolored, beaded bracelets were hand-made by the Hamar People of Ethiopia, the tribe for which Drops of HOPE raised money. They were sold at the "What It Takes" charity concert in the lobby at a table dedicated to information about the Hamar People and the water crisis. The bracelets were sold for 12 dollars each or two for 20 dollars. They held special marketability because the Hamar People actually made them; this brought the reality of the cause closer to consumers. The bracelets were also sold to students at Proctor Senior High School. These bracelets were shipped to Drops of HOPE through GTLI, which has Proctor DECA’s personal connection in Ethiopia, Lori Pappas. C. Proposed Marketing Strategies The first step in Drops of HOPE's business plan was to establish Drops of HOPE as a charity. Drops of Hope started by creating a Facebook and Twitter page about the upcoming events. Water bottles were sold throughout the process of the project to create awareness and information about the cause throughout the community. Water tags were placed on the water bottles which acted as a medium to gain community support for the water crisis. The night of "What It Takes," Drops of HOPE set up a booth which held a "Drops of HOPE" banner, water with tags, and bracelets made by the Hamar people


the lobby to enforce the basis behind the concert which was to bring safe, clean water to the Hamar village in southern Ethiopia. The bracelets were sold for twelve dollars which feeds a family of six in the Hamar village for ten days. Because Duluth is the third largest city in Minnesota, it provides a multitude of media outlets.  Drops of HOPE utilized these outlets in promotional activities for the “What It Takes” concert held on February 11th, 2012.  First, Drops of HOPE, created a “What It Takes” Facebook page which gathered over 1,000 fans in only two weeks. Drops of HOPE sold water at

Through status updates and comments from "What It Takes"

Rotary meetings

fans and the Drops of HOPE members, the "What It Takes" Facebook page reached 10,000 individuals per week. The page provided a marketing outlet as well as the place for contestants to audition for the concert. The page received a total of thirty video submissions, which were uploaded to the page, and one thousand votes through Facebook "likes." Drops of HOPE created a website,, which included information about the concert, a PayPal button to purchase tickets online for the concert, an "About Us" page which included





HOPE, the water crisis, and the Hamar tribe. A donate now button was provided

Hamar bracelets on sale at “What It Takes”


on the page for people to donate to Drops of HOPE to provide clean, safe drinking water for the Hamar tribe. Next, the team

Total Weekly Impressions from “What It Takes” Facebook Page

created posters which


held information about


the concert as well as


specific steps for con-


testants to upload their

0 1/5









videos to the "What It Takes" Facebook page, Drops of HOPE distributed one hundred posters throughout local high schools and local businesses including coffee shops, skywalks, and restaurants. Then, once the twelve finalists were chosen for "What It Takes," the Drops of HOPE team invited the finalists to one of Proctor's local coffee shops.  Photo shoots and video interviews took place at the coffee shop; the photos were utilized in generating 120 posters (10 of each finalist), and the video interviews formed short biographies for the night of "What It Takes" before each finalist entered the stage.  The posters were created on professional equipment in UMD's media hub at no cost.  Radio advertisements played a key role in raising awareness about the concert.  Midwest Communication’s top-40 station, 102.5 KDWZ, provided Drops of HOPE with two different promotional ads, DJ air time on the radio, and a live interview with NBC's


Tim Mahoney from the voice who participated in "What It Takes" as a guest performer and celebrity judge; all radio promotion was entirely donated. The Drops of HOPE team crafted a press release that was sent out to local television stations and print media.  Because of the press release, two news stations produced stories on "What It Takes." An adapted version of the press release was posted on "Perfect Duluth Day," a community blog that discuss local art, music, and events. The primary target market of "Perfect Duluth Day" align directly with the secondary target market of "What It Takes," which is college students.  Media exposure was a key component in marketing the concert.  On Friday, February 10th (the night before "What It Takes"), the Fox 21 news station interviewed one of the Drops of HOPE members in regards to the concert and cause.  Then, the night of the concert, the KBJR news station interviewed another Drops of HOPE member to discuss the success of "What It Takes" and the cause of bringing clean water to the Hamar tribe in Ethiopia.  After a presentation at the Skyline Rotary in Hermantown, a journalist from the "Hermantown Star" newspaper approached two Proctor DECA members to craft a story about "What It Takes."  As a result of the press release, the Proctor Journal wrote a story about "What It Takes" and the Duluth News Tribune mentioned "What It Takes" in the Saturday paper the day of the event.


Through guerrilla marketing tactics, Drops Of HOPE created and distributed 1,300 leaflets of paper which read, "This isn't a ticket, but you're gonna want one.” and 5,000 small tabs of paper which read, "What It Takes. February 11th, 2012.". The leaflets of paper were distributed in the parking lots of two colleges, the Miller Hill Mall, and the AMSOIL Arena. Among the two colleges, the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) holds 10,628 students and the University of Wisconsin Superior holds 2,880 students. The week before "What It Takes" the leaflets were distributed among car windshields throughout UMD, UWS, and the Miller Hill Mall. The night before "What It Takes," the leaflets were distributed throughout the parking lot of AMSOIL arena. At AMSOIL arena, the UMD hockey team, four-time national champions, packed the arena with 6,600 fans. With the help of two classmates of the Drops of HOPE team, 5,000 tabs of paper with limited information about the project were distributed throughout local high schools including East High School, Denfeld High School, and Marshall High School. The two classmates dressed in one blue and one orange Morph suit while distributing the tabs of paper. A morph suit is a full body, brightly colored, spandex suit.  The morph suits generated a buzz of curiosity and excitement as up-beat music boomed at each school and the students in morph suits danced and interacted with the school-goers.  Many of the students snapped pictures, some recorded video, and some danced with the morphs.   Through the use of the morph suits, Drops of HOPE directly targeted their primary target market of high


school students. With the enrollment of over 1400 students, Duluth East High School in particular was key in Drops of HOPE's marketing, so Drops of HOPE created a video commercial for "What It Takes" which consisted of video footage from the invasion of the morph suits at East High School and the URL to the "What It Takes" website. The video commercial was played throughout the entire high school two days after the morph suits distributed information about "What It Takes" at their school. D. Projected Budget 1. Projected operating budget Drops of HOPE initially budgeted

The “What It Takes” morphs at East High School

$8,100 for the “What It Takes” total budget. This included $1,000 for facility rental, $1,500 for prize money, $3,500 for light and sound, $800 for entertainment, $300 for printing, and $1,000 for marketing. Drops of HOPE ended up being $1,738.30 under the projected expenses.  This was due to lowered prize money of $1,000, and radio marketing costs were nonexistent thanks to the partnership between Proctor DECA and KDWZ. A complete budget sheet can be found in the Appendix.


2. Rationale for the projected budget Based on Drops of HOPE’s advisory board’s recommendations, the concert staff chose to use Marshall as the “What It Takes” venue because of it’s relatively low cost of $1,000. The projected budget for “What It Takes” was devised in cooperation with Drops of HOPE’s advisory board consisting of members of the business, fundraising, and music industries.  Although the projected concert expenses totaled at $8,100.00, the Drops of HOPE team found this necessary to reach the projected earning of $14,381.24. V. OUTCOMES A. Projected Implementation, unusual or unforeseen challenges or successes and methods of handling them With every effort towards success, there is always the possibility of failure. However, outcome can never be known unless the goal is attempted to be reached. The goal that was set by Drops of HOPE was to raise $50,000; this was put to the test when the group came up with the idea to hold a concert. There were many unforeseen challenges Proctor DECA faced, but these challenges must have been faced in order to achieve learning and ultimate success.  The Drops of HOPE team learned the importance of timeliness, organization, teamwork, networking, and determination. Without determination to finish a project, many people give up when things become difficult.  Even so, Drops of Hope was dedicated to the cause and to bring a jaw-dropping show to the community by providing a great service.  Timeliness holds great importance for anyone


working against time restrictions or deadlines. An obstacle Drops of Hope faced was working around schedules within the community to find the perfect date for the concert.   The Drops of HOPE team knew that finding a date with no other events scheduled in Duluth would be impossible to find, but they worked until a date was picked for the event that had only one other major event to compete against.  The other event of February 11, 2011 in Duluth was a college hockey game against a rival school. Competing with that hockey game was challenging, but Proctor DECA utilized effective marketing strategies to produce ticket sales for “What It Takes”. Organization was a key factor in making this night a success. All preparatory work needed to be completed before the night of the show, so Proctor DECA members worked through extensive checklists until all items were completed. This leads to the factor of teamwork; the eight managerial members of Drops of HOPE  had to always use great communication to make the night a success.  Without strong communication, the various components of the “What It Takes” production may not have fallen into place without error as they did.  Proctor DECA anticipated finding creative ways to gain volunteers for the night of the show, but the volunteer sign up sheet filled quicker than expected because of the buzz throughout the community regarding “What It Takes”.  Networking also played an important role in successfully implementing the “What It Takes” concert for Proctor DECA’s business Drops of HOPE; without the connections Drops of HOPE created throughout the local


community and global community alike, the night may not have reached the same level of success. Duluth Rotary Club 25 played a major role in furthering the marketing of the show as well as with hands on volunteer work the night of the show.  The Drops of HOPE team was introduced to some major business owners in Duluth and were able to collaborate with several of them in many ways throughout the implementation process.  Students took turns going to the Rotary lunches every Thursday to keep the club members updated each week.  The Rotary Club was very interested in the project, and after seeing the incredible final product the night of “What It Takes”, it wishes to continue its partnership on a long-term scale.  The service Drops of HOPE provided to the community was highly successful, and the students learned a nearly unmeasurable amount of information about philanthropy, marketing, concert planning and production, networking, accounting, and management that will be applicable throughout their entire lives. B. Learning Outcomes Because this project required extensive time, planning, and management, the Drops of HOPE team learned about marketing, management, and numerous related aspects of the business world. Through the successes and setbacks of promoting a major charity concert, "What It Takes", the team gained knowledge and a deeper understanding of the value of effective marketing. A major part of the marketing for "What It Takes" was social media.  Social media sites such as Twitter and Google Plus were used, but the key to this aspect of marketing was Facebook.  The Drops of HOPE team created


a "What It Takes" Facebook page that generated over 1,000 likes and had approximately 10,000 people talking about it weekly. The popularity of the page grew exponentially as more video entries were submitted and more people “liked” the page. This taught the Drops of HOPE team the value of social media marketing and revealed its effectiveness.  The team also learned from the success of guerrilla marketing tactics used to create a buzz within the target market; the two central guerrilla marketing tactics used were leaflets on cars and the “What It Takes” morphs. Leaflets that read, “This isn’t a ticket. But you’re gonna want one” along with website and Facebook address were placed one about 1,300 cars. After the leaflets were distributed, the management from the DECC - Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, one of the locations targeted with this marketing - contacted the Drops of HOPE team politely stating that what was done was against DECC policy and should not have happened; this taught the team the importance of requesting permission before doing something that might be a problem.  Another effective guerrilla marketing technique came when two classmates of the Drops of HOPE team dressed up in morph costumes and wore them to various local high schools; they handed out slips of paper with basic information about the concert on them. The reaction from the prospect customers proved this marketing technique to be a success and raised much interest about the cause and concert. The team also gained new insights about targeting select demographics; because the concert featured mostly high school students, the targeted market was the high school demo-


graphic. However, the older generation in support of the performers was overlooked; a surprising number of middle-age customers attended the concert, and potentially more would have if marketing had targeted them as well as high school students. Â The large scale of the "What It Takes" charity concert made sponsorships a big goal of the project. The team hoped to underwrite all costs, but soon learned how much of a challenge gaining sponsorships was. The team worked with Crystal Taylor, a professional fundraiser with Rotary Club 25 connections, who advised the team on how to find sponsors. Sponsorship packets were created and mailed to various Duluth businesses and corporations. The team discovered that, contrary to what they expected, no sponsorships were generated by this approach. Only the Duluth Rotary Club 25 contributed to the project as a major partner, and only two small sponsorships of $500 and under were given through personal connections of the Drops of HOPE team. A reoccurring reason for denial of sponsorships was the international cause; most businesses had strict policies about staying local with donations and sponsorships. The Drops of HOPE team also found that the original expectations for sponsorship amounts were unrealistic; the highest sponsorship packet was designed for $10,000 or more. It eventually became clear that this goal was too high. What was learned from this was that addressing this issue initially may have generated more sponsorships; if the local ties to the project would have been made clear initially and a stronger plan for requesting sponsorship would have been made, more businesses would have likely sponsored the event. Spon-


sorships were a major part of the learning experience and knowledge gained from this project. While marketing this project was a huge learning experience, the lessons learned about management were equally valuable. The team found that managing Drops of HOPE as a charity and managing the "What It Takes" event both required immense effort and time, and managing both gave the team extensive knowledge and experience about management.  One of the biggest parts of managing the project was organization.  Effective management needs strong organization to ensure that correct records are kept, plans are well strategized, and that all team members work cohesively without confusion or miscommunication.   Managing Drops of HOPE required the DECA team to delegate tasks to everyone willing to help. The team immediately recognized the importance of giving those working on different aspects of the project clear tasks to complete.  Without clear directions or requests, complacency could set in.  Delegating jobs held major importance when the team began collaborating with the Rotary 25 Club, the KDWZ radio station, and fellow students who wanted to help out.  The Drops of HOPE team learned the importance of communicating goals and objectives to all people involved in the project seeking direction.  Another major learning experience resulting from Drops of HOPE came from managing the night of the "What It Takes" production.  No members of the Drops of HOPE team had ever experienced anything like it; to plan, organize, and control such a


major event taught the students first-hand about management. Managing the “What It Takes” concert required extensive planning and organization. Because tickets were sold on PayPal online, a system was created to track the amount of tickets each person bought; the amount of physical tickets sold prior to the event was also recorded. This system of tracking tickets effectively organized this aspect of the concert, which helped the DECA students understand the importance of such organization. Managing all elements necessary for a professional concert helped the DECA team learn an immense amount about attention to detail and preparation for potential obstacles; before the concert, all minor details were taken care of, and the team had considered possibilities of what could go wrong.  This preparation added to the success of the event, and it taught the Drops of HOPE team the importance of planning.  Another part of management that the team learned from this event was how to effectively control a situation.  The first-hand experience this concert gave in management could not have been any more valuable; the entire team learned so much from the various leadership positions assigned to each member.  The day of the event, about 50 volunteers were on board to help, all of which needed instructions and direction for their specific tasks. Effective leadership and management of the backstage area, lobby, and production crew all made the show a success and allowed the Drops of HOPE team to gain knowledge and experience in management. Controlling the situation played a major role in the management of the concert; although the group received mostly posi-


tive feedback, they still handled all complaints effectively from customers, contestants, and volunteers. The team faced problems such as questioning of the cause and ticket price; this taught the team to be prepared for any negative comments or questions. Although the Proctor DECA students had no concert experience, they handled all obstacles as professionals to ensure a top quality show and to keep the customers satisfied. The team also faced challenges in the preliminary round of voting on Facebook; contestants neglected to follow some guidelines by uploading multiple videos or asking for a full band to perform, when the guidelines specified one vocalist with up to two instruments.  This taught the Drops of HOPE team to stay true to what was initially stated publicly rather than accommodating to each performer’s request. This was a major lesson for the team; once something is said publicly, it cannot be taken back.  These various obstacles and aspects of the project made the entire process an incredible learning experience. C. Earning Outcomes  “What It Takes” was highly successful for Drops of HOPE, Proctor DECA, and Duluth Rotary Club 25.  Net profit from the event totaled at $7,190.62. Rotary 25 has submitted applications for matching grants and if the applications are approved, “What It Takes” will have raised $14,381.24 to help solve the water crisis. A full budget sheet is available in the Appendix.


D. Recommendations for Improving the Project 1. Recommendations for future projects Although the Drops of HOPE project experienced major success with the "What It Takes" concert, some setbacks could have been avoided and have resulted in several recommendations for future projects. When planning and organizing "What It Takes", the majority of marketing and preparation for the night of the event took place within the two weeks preceding the event. Many preparatory tasks were done before then, but the team found that as the event approached, numerous tasks gained new urgency and priority; in the weeks preceding the event, several important tasks emerged including designing and printing posters, pushing radio advertisements, and ensuring all details of the show were checked and ready. From the team's experience, a recommendation for future projects would be to begin the planning of details earlier. Planning out minor details sooner in the preparation process would have lessened the workload immediately preceding the event. A part of this depended on the time decisions were made; decisions such as date, time, and venue should be made early to secure other aspects of the planning process. This would be a major recommendation for future projects. Another recommendation would be to stay organized from the very beginning of the project; although the Drops of HOPE team was highly organized throughout the project, more organization of thought in the beginning steps of the business would have provided a more streamlined timetable for Drops of HOPE. Another area of the “What It Takes�


concert preparation that resulted in recommendations for future projects was handling problems regarding contestants; since auditions consisted of Facebook videos voted on by the public, issues arose when single participants uploaded two videos; the Drops of HOPE team counted votes on both videos, but this caused some people who uploaded audition videos to become upset and think votes were tallied incorrectly; although the Drops of HOPE team handled all objections and complaints, it was still an issue that could have been avoided by maintaining the exact guidelines originally given to participants. The recommendation to future projects is to abide by the original plans and guidelines created. One of the biggest recommendations for future projects is to begin any attempts at gaining sponsorships early on in the project; since the cause that Drops of HOPE’s proceeds went to did not directly affect the local community, many companies approached for sponsorship were hesitant to sponsor the “What It Takes” concert. This outlook was something difficult for the Drops of HOPE team to change, but another aspect of gaining sponsorship could be managed by Drops of HOPE: the time frame in which potential sponsors were contacted. Tania McVean and Crystal Taylor, Proctor DECA’s two sponsorship advisors for Drops of HOPE, advised the team to contact potential sponsors during the last week of December 2011 and the first week of January 2012, even though the “What It Takes” concert was scheduled for February 11, 2012. The team took their advice, but the time between initial contact with sponsors and the date of the concert did not provide enough time for most of the companies to proc-


ess the sponsorship requests. Although these setbacks resulted in recommendations for future projects, several positive aspects of the project worked well for Proctor DECA and resulted in recommendations as well. One aspect of the project that worked well for Proctor DECA was delegating tasks.  One member took on most of the communication with advisory board members which ensured that all relationships would be maintained, and six team members made all presentations to local rotary clubs. Marketing tasks were also delegated, with separate chapter members working on social media posts, video creation, poster design, television interviews, and radio interviews. Delegating tasks the night of “What It Takes” also worked well and provided strong organization; different areas such as ticket management, volunteer management, lobby management, production communication, video production management, and facilities management each had one manager and crew; this ensured that no errors occurred at “What It Takes”, and it is recommended to future projects that a clear managerial system is created and that tasks are delegated throughout the project. Another aspect of the Drops of HOPE business that proved beneficial was referencing an experienced advisory board; this allowed the team to foresee issues that the advisors could identify but team members could not, as well as attain immediate answers to questions regarding the production of a concert. An experienced advisory board was useful throughout the project and would benefit future projects. An aspect of marketing that would be recommended for future projects was guerrilla mar-


keting; having two people in bright blue and orange morph suits hand out slips of paper that read “What It Takes” and a website link resulted in a highly positive response. Placing leaflets on vehicles throughout the community that said “This isn’t a ticket. But you’re gonna want one.” along with a “What It Takes” website link also created more interest in the concert. Untraditional marketing techniques brought positive results and are recommended for use to future projects. 2. Recommendations for improving the learning and earning outcomes of the project Proctor DECA learned an extensive amount of information by running the Drops of HOPE business, including new knowledge of philanthropy and fundraising as a nonprofit, creating a concert, maintaining financial records, building a network of advisors and supporters, and marketing a large-scale event. Although Proctor DECA was also pleased with the earning outcomes, a few components of the project could have improved the final earning outcome. The largest component that could have done this is sponsorship; if the Drops of HOPE team would have contacted businesses for sponsorship sooner, it is possible that sponsors could have completely covered all expenses for “What It Takes” and increased profit. Moving forward with the plan sooner in the beginning of Drops of HOPE might have also increased earning and learning outcomes by allowing more smaller fundraisers to be accomplished throughout the project. These past events cannot be changed however, so the Drops of HOPE team has begun to consider opportunities for improving the earning outcomes and continuing the partnership


with Duluth Rotary 25, the International Service Committee, and GTLI. After “What It Takes”, special celebrity performer and judge Tim Mahoney expressed strong interest in organizing a similar event in Minneapolis, Minnesota; this would provide opportunity to continue raising funds for the Hamar people of Ethiopia through GTLI and expanding Proctor DECA’s network of supporters. The night of “What It Takes”, an audience member who actually is a member of local band that is quickly gaining popularity expressed an interest similar to Tim Mahoney’s; the spectator, named Shane <LAST NAME>, mentioned the possibility of putting on a charity concert to support the cause of Drops of HOPE. This also would raise more funds, and the Drops of HOPE team looks forward to working with both Shane and Tim Mahoney in the future. Although the “What It Takes” concert is over, Proctor DECA students plan to continue their business Drops of HOPE until even more funds are raised through future events, possibly involving Shane and Tim Mahoney. Proctor DECA students learned an incredible amount through this project, and they look forward to continuing their work to

The production crew building light shows before doors-open

bring clean water to the Hamar people of Ethiopia. The Drops of HOPE team on stage during “What It Takes”


VI. Bibliography Author Last Name, First Name. “Book Title or Reference Title.” City: Publisher, Date.


VII. Appendix

DROPS OF HOPE BUDGET Actual Transaction Summary

Totals Category



Total income




Total costs




Projected Earnings (with match) 56%



Net income


Potential match Marshall Lights & Sound


Prize Money Total Tim Mahoney


Expenses Category








Prize Money




Lights & Sound




Tim Mahoney
















Transactions Paid








Money for What it Takes winner

Prize Money



To Sound Central for Lights and Sound

Lights & Sound



Tim Mahoney's performance

Tim Mahoney


PHS Print Shop


KDWZ Radio Promotions


$0.00 (donated)





$800.00 $61.70

Income Received




Payment in progress Rotary donations

Rotary 25


Payment in progress Rea3d grant to pay winner



Payment in progress UMD sponsorship

University of Minnesota Duluth




Payment in progress Pre-paid tickets online




Square Inc. and Rotary 25

Cash ticket sales from night of Credit card sales/water sales at Rotary




What it Takes: Project Manual  

In 2012, Drops of HOPE (a nonprofit org started by members of Proctor DECA and Rotary Club 25) organized a competitive charity concert to ra...