Heartland Head Start Strategic Event Planning & Fundraiser

HHS was approached by one of its vendors who helps with marketing and outreach about a potential Medallion Hunt event that could raise awareness for HHS in the communities it serves AND potentially generate financial resources (fundraise). HHS believes there are multiple opportunities for its organization with this type of event that could potentially be HHS’s Annual Event in Bloomington/Normal. HHS is seeking something that others have not done and that could be unique to HHS and to the citizens in Bloomington-Normal. Pekin, IL has hosted a Medallion Hunt for many years and this ICC project could use it as a starting point or model.

Client(s) name(s):

Heartland Head Start

Heartland Head Start (HHS) is a nonprofit charitable organization based in the city of Bloomington, Illinois. HHS provides comprehensive early childhood and social/human services for low-income children, ages birth to 5, as well as pregnant women and their families. HHS’ geographical area includes McLean and Livingston Counties in IL. More specifically, it operates Head Start classrooms (for ages 3-5) and Early Head Start classrooms (ages 6 weeks to 3 years) in Bloomington, Normal, and Pontiac. It offers home-based services in the rural communities for eligible pregnant women and Early Head Start children. The majority of children live in neighborhoods in the cities of Bloomington and Normal. Eligible families must meet income eligibility guidelines (at or below the federal poverty line) or be homeless or part of the foster system. All of its services are free. HHS is funded by the federal government and small local and private grants. Services include education, physical health, oral health, mental health, nutrition, socialization, transitions, transportation, family literacy, parent engagement, and services that meet the needs of special populations (children with disabilities, dual-language learners, children in foster care, children with incarcerated parents, and homeless families).

Per Federal regulations, the staff at HHS are not allowed to fundraise on work time. HHS has a non-federal match requirement to its grant as well that requires HHS to raise $920,000/year in donated time, space, goods or financial donations via volunteers, grants, etc. Due to HHS’ non-profit status, it struggles with time for strategic planning. HHS is also always faced with overworked and underpaid staff.

Project Mentor

Bailee Taylor – an ISU alumna, with significant experience with Event Marketing, Sponsorship Activation, Entertainment Marketing, Consumer Promotions, Marketing Integration, Trade Show Development, and Relationship Management.

Competencies needed by faculty and students involved

  • Marketing & Communication
  • Organizational Strategy

Final deliverable format:

Recommendations on the feasibility of hosting such an event. Possible sponsors, vendors, staff required, hours invested, locations of medallions, celebrity clue writer, media outlets to participate, and impact on the agency.