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Re-planning a fundraising event during a global pandemic

Susan Cholette (Lam Family College of Business, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California, USA)

Publication date: 9 February 2023

Issue publication date: 27 March 2023


Research methodology

The case recounts actual events and embeds information that has either been provided by the organization or that is publicly available from secondary sources, such as links to news articles, the organization’s financial report and videos. The protagonist is a real person, although identified only by first name, and she was interviewed extensively and provided planning documents.

Case overview/synopsis

The case addresses fundamental project management concepts via a nonprofit’s fundraising event that had to be shifted to online delivery during the early days of COVID. Students take the perspective of advising the protagonist, a key member of the event committee. As if this substantive re-plan during a pandemic was not challenging enough, the committee had the additional complication of integrating a fundraising management system into the organization in time to support the event. Students must work through detailed planning and calculations and also need to think more broadly about appropriate tradeoffs and justify them in their recommendations.

Complexity academic level

As this case has students work with concepts and skills central to project management and has involves a mix of applying, analyzing and evaluation outcomes, it can be used within operations management or project management courses for either undergraduate senior-level or early graduate-level business or engineering students. It has already been assigned in project management courses in two separate MBA programs. The case required no substantial revisions, and feedback from student evaluations show that it was perceived positively in both classes.



The author would like to thank Executive Director Sarah Gordon and volunteers at Clinic by the Bay for their assistance.

Disclaimer. This case is intended to be used as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. The case was compiled from published sources.


Cholette, S. (2023), "Re-planning a fundraising event during a global pandemic", , Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 178-203.



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