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zdeswarte
11-04-2004, 07:28 PM
We had all these letters typed out and edited to go to businesses asking for donations to our club. It would've worked out well because we were sending out a lot of letters to companies we knew would have interest in helping us out. So our mentor tells us to go talk to the chair of his department at school to get envelopes and postage stamps. She decided to keep the letters and edit them herself, and it is taking forever to get them back. Now its getting really close to crunch time and we have no funding whatsoever. Does anyone know of grants other than the FIRST and NASA grants for this competition? Or what would you recommend our team does?

Greg Marra
11-04-2004, 07:31 PM
We had all these letters typed out and edited to go to businesses asking for donations to our club. It would've worked out well because we were sending out a lot of letters to companies we knew would have interest in helping us out. So our mentor tells us to go talk to the chair of his department at school to get envelopes and postage stamps. She decided to keep the letters and edit them herself, and it is taking forever to get them back. Now its getting really close to crunch time and we have no funding whatsoever. Does anyone know of grants other than the FIRST and NASA grants for this competition? Or what would you recommend our team does?

You should try approaching the chair of the department and politely reminding her you need the letters like... NOW. Maybe you can get smaller donations from local businesses, every dollar counts.

Joe Matt
11-04-2004, 07:32 PM
We had all these letters typed out and edited to go to businesses asking for donations to our club. It would've worked out well because we were sending out a lot of letters to companies we knew would have interest in helping us out. So our mentor tells us to go talk to the chair of his department at school to get envelopes and postage stamps. She decided to keep the letters and edit them herself, and it is taking forever to get them back. Now its getting really close to crunch time and we have no funding whatsoever. Does anyone know of grants other than the FIRST and NASA grants for this competition? Or what would you recommend our team does?

-Reprint the letters
-Pay for postage yourself
-Send them now

You gotta do what you gotta do. If she gets mad, simply say you have taken the letters and and never gave you guys any info on how they were going, and you thought she fogot about them.

Anthony Kesich
11-04-2004, 07:36 PM
One thing you can do it hoof it. It has worked for our team for three years now and it doesnt look like it is going to stop. If you still have a list of those companies you wanted to talk to. Go and talk to them in person. Dress up nicely and walk in and ask to talk to the manager or owner or whoever. Have pamphlets or flyers ready so you can give them something physical when they talk to you. Ask if they would be interested and if they say yes, great. If they say they're uncertain then offer to set a date where you can present to them and whoever else they would like to bring. Put together a nice Powerpoint or Flash presentation if the equipment is available. Prepare just like any other sort of presentation. It has been our experience that if you are honest, friendly and professional, you will get support more often than not.

Doug G
11-04-2004, 08:01 PM
One thing you can do it hoof it. It has worked for our team for three years now and it doesnt look like it is going to stop. If you still have a list of those companies you wanted to talk to. Go and talk to them in person. Dress up nicely and walk in and ask to talk to the manager or owner or whoever. Have pamphlets or flyers ready so you can give them something physical when they talk to you. Ask if they would be interested and if they say yes, great. If they say they're uncertain then offer to set a date where you can present to them and whoever else they would like to bring.

I concur 100%. In fact the whole letter mailing thing has never really worked for us anyways. Its just to easy to throw away junk mail, and much harder to say no to students in person (especially if they are dressed up nice, planning a beter future for themselves and society, etc...). Also ask for $5000 - 1000 sponsorships at a time, then at last before they shoe you away, mention that even $100 will help and you can put their name on some T-shirts or something. A lot of business will easily give $100 to have their name on a team banner or team shirt - they do it all the time for little leagues and such. You'll find out that hoofing it, is really the best option for you.

Katie Reynolds
11-04-2004, 08:18 PM
Dress up nicely and walk in and ask to talk to the manager or owner or whoever. Some companies, especially bigger ones, don't appreciate "kids" just coming in (no matter how nicely they're dressed!!) But along those lines, call up larger companies and set up an appointment to meet with the manager/owner/president/whoever. That way, they know you're coming and they can prepare a little -- you won't be putting them on the spot.

zdeswarte
11-05-2004, 10:55 AM
Thanks for your responces. We'll make sure to try approaching the companies in person.

zdeswarte
11-05-2004, 10:56 AM
Thanks for your responces. We'll make sure to try approaching the companies in person.

Should be responses...

Rich Kressly
11-05-2004, 05:37 PM
you can put together a flyer like this one
http://www.cybersonics.org/cybersonics/contribute.asp
for small and medium sized donations
have team members take them in person

petek
11-06-2004, 11:56 AM
-Reprint the letters
-Pay for postage yourself
-Send them now

You gotta do what you gotta do. If she gets mad, simply say you have taken the letters and and never gave you guys any info on how they were going, and you thought she fogot about them.

Just a word of advice here: it's usually not a good idea to get the powers-that-be annoyed with you. You may need them to do something for you in a crunch in the future.

If you do decide you want to get these letters out (though I agree with the other posts about personal contact being the best method) - politely ask the department head if she has gotten any replies back from the letters she was sending for you. This will give her the impression that you trusted her to do the job (true or not) and if she hasn't gotten to them (let alone mailed them), she might be shamed into getting a move on.

rees2001
11-06-2004, 04:59 PM
Just a word of advice here: it's usually not a good idea to get the powers-that-be annoyed with you. You may need them to do something for you in a crunch in the future.

If you do decide you want to get these letters out (though I agree with the other posts about personal contact being the best method) - politely ask the department head if she has gotten any replies back from the letters she was sending for you. This will give her the impression that you trusted her to do the job (true or not) and if she hasn't gotten to them (let alone mailed them), she might be shamed into getting a move on.

I have to agree with this 100%. School administration, as frustrating as it can be, is still a resource for teams. Politely remind her that time is very important. I'm sure if she knows anything about your program she already knows this. As it stands she may be working to help find you something. It happened for us a few years ago when we didn't have sponsorship. One of our administrators caught wind of our issue & helped up get a grant for $7500 All because we had our department head read the letters we were sending out and she let others know of our problem.