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Temp
03-19-2006, 01:31 AM
Our team, like many others, is in the enviable position of needing to raise funds to attend the Championships (on the Rookie All-Star Award). The dilemma: should travel expenses be separate from team expenses (entry fees and shipping)?

I believe they should be separate with any excess (we should be so lucky) team money held for next years entry fees. Separate and specific fund raising could be held to cover or at least defray personal travel expenses.

I would like to know how other (underfunded) teams have handled this in the past. Thanks for a reply and good luck in ATL.

Ethulin
03-19-2006, 03:01 AM
Our team, like many others, is in the enviable position of needing to raise funds to attend the Championships (on the Rookie All-Star Award). The dilemma: should travel expenses be separate from team expenses (entry fees and shipping)?

I believe they should be separate with any excess (we should be so lucky) team money held for next years entry fees. Separate and specific fund raising could be held to cover or at least defray personal travel expenses.

I would like to know how other (underfunded) teams have handled this in the past. Thanks for a reply and good luck in ATL.


I think of it this way:

Should teams cover travel? Yes. And if they could cover my college education that would be great as well.

If you are underfunded should you scrap the event due to not being able to cover travel? No.

Temp
03-19-2006, 03:18 AM
"I would like to know how other (underfunded) teams have handled this in the past."

Winged Globe
03-19-2006, 05:42 AM
We've sort of gone down the middle. All travel is booked through the team. A set percentage (usually 25%) of funds each student fundraises for the team is earmarked to defray their individual travel costs. When the final balance is due, the student pays the remaining difference. If their defrayment somehow exceeds the cost of travel (rarely have our students been this successful), the excess goes back into team funds. Outstandingly qualified students with extreme financial circumstances may get an additional partial "travel scholarship" to help make the cost more reasonable (this is decided by adult team leaders case by case).

We use the percentage as an incentive to get students to fundraise. Usually at least a few students are motivated by this.

KathieK
03-19-2006, 07:11 AM
Some teams use a similar model: they hold "personal" fundraisers which are optional and whatever proceeds you make go towards offsetting your personal travel expenses; and they hold mandatory "team" fundraisers, the proceeds of which may go towards things like purchasing t-shirts, etc. Personal fundraisers might be selling Entertainment Books or Butter Braids or Pizza Kits. Team fundraisers often are of a teambuilding nature and might include car washes and pasta dinners.

KTorak
03-19-2006, 07:28 AM
Each student on our team is responsible for all travel expenses (hotel, travel to/from, food, etc). We usually do a couple of personal fundraisers that helps most people pay for a good amount of their hotel (usually).

Andrew Y.
03-19-2006, 04:58 PM
yea, our team is lacking some corp sponsors and can not pay for everyones trip.
It would also take allot to cover all 107 people.

But we do have a way for students to earn a free trip, working.
We have a contract with Papa Johns Pizza at the Georgia Dome. We sell pizzas and get 10% of our profit for the club. Every member on the team is required to go to at least 3 of these events. For every one more they do, they receive $25 to wards their trips. Kinda like, making their own money.

Many of our team members have taken advantage of this system. In the end, they make money, the team can cover a few meals, registration etc.

Most of all, i like the concept of our guys working for what they have. I believe its both character building and team building. :] :]

paldrid
03-19-2006, 06:15 PM
We generally have enough trouble raising enough money to even compete, much less cover travel expenses. However, we always include travel expenses in the budget at the beginning of the year. Almost all of the money we have left after build goes towards travel expenses. Some years students end up having to pay, other years we have money left over.

IraJason
03-19-2006, 07:01 PM
While this has not been done for our FIRST team, this is what our Technology and Engineering Club (Which our FIRST team is a part of) does when it comes to National's time for TSA. What we do is go to the school district administration first, telling them of our achievements and asking for any support that they can possibly give us to go to competition. Once we ask for their assistance, we use money from our general funds to help allievate costs for students. In the end, the students have to pay a few hundred each for travel and accomadation expenses. It's a lot better then putting the full cost on the student, but in the end everybody is going to have to pay something.

Fundraising as much as you can is always helpful, and go out to parents and others in the community explaining your situation to see if they can help out in any way possible.

Good Luck!

EricRobodox
03-19-2006, 08:13 PM
Last year, my first year in high school and in FIRST, RoboDox barely got by paying 6k to enter. We barely squeezed by with what we had, and then the student counsol, not the school, chipped in so that we could go to a regional. This year, i did not want to be a close call like last year, and i made a policy of every person needs to get 250 dollars to be in robotics second semester for the FIRST program. It worked this year, extremely well. We actually have enough money to enter next year as well and go to nationals next year if the policy works again. Now, I did not just say, "every pays 250 or no go". I gave fundraising opportunities to the team so that they would not have to pay. If they did not fundraise, they had to pay. It was there choice, but there was always the option of them paying less or not even at all with fundraising. So, maybe create a policy that i came up with, maditory fee to be in the class/club, but use fundraisers as a way to lower the fee. We also established that if a larger fundraiser, like a Laser Tag event for the team, and a person worked, the profits that we got from that whole team event would be spread up evenly per work hour eveyone did. That money/hour system then deducted off everyone's 250. So, an event fundraiser and something like candy can keep costs down for people that cant pay the money. If you want to know more, just IM me on AIM at LAGuitaristGuru. Ill help you out.

kawelch
03-19-2006, 08:36 PM
Most the members of our team can't afford to buy school lunch, nevermind travel to competition. If the team can't pay for the team to go... the team doesn't go. We have guidelines on how many fundraising activities you must participate in in order to be eligibile to travel. If we made the students come up with the cost of travel... there would be no team. Luckily there should be a KC regional beginning next year so this will be a much less expensive for us.

BandChick
03-19-2006, 08:36 PM
Our team has always been a short-funded team. We get enough money to register for the events, but travel costs are always hard to come by. Our team is covering a SMALL portion of the cost, but originally we didn't think our team would be able to cover ANY of it. This year, we're spending over $400 to go to Atlanta, and most of that is coming out of student's/parent's pockets. It's not great, but we do what we have to.

Here's my advice, try sending a letter asking your major sponsors if they'd pitch in a little extra. Explain what great things you've done so far this year, and how many more great things you'd accomplish if you had just a little extra funding. My team did this with BMS, and we were lucky enough to get our money!

See if your school has grant money that they give out. It turned out that our Student Council used to give away almost $10,000 in grants that we never even knew about it! Maybe your school administration would be willing to kick-in extra anyway, especially since you guys were Rookie All-Star reciepients. Schools always like to look good, and winning awards is a great way to put your school on the map!

Additionally, fundraise like CRAZY. Believe it or not, it works. Our team raised over $1000 in just 3 fundraisers, in just about a month. It is possible, it's all about how much time you're willing to put in. If you're looking for a good, cheap fundraiser try doing something like standing in front of your local supermarket just asking for donations. I know you guys are rookies, so you don't have an old robot lying around, but talk to some veteran teams, maybe they'll lend you one. The best thing we've done is let kids drive our robot to win prizes. $1 to drive, and just today we made over $405 in donations and gameplay.

Here's my last advice, Team 56 was short cash last year for Nationals. They pulled together a spaghetti dinner at a local church, advertised like crazy, asked their friends from all over the east coast to come, and raised I think over $1000 in one night! Things like that are great money makers, it's a low-cost dinner with almost a 10-fold profit, and besides, most of the community is probably wondering just what robotics is. That's a great opportunity to show them!

Good luck, I hope you make it.
If you need any more help, please let me know.
Also, if you'd like a copy of the letter we wrote to BMS for an example, PM me, I'd be glad to send it to you :D

Elgin Clock
03-19-2006, 08:44 PM
Some teams use a similar model: they hold "personal" fundraisers which are optional and whatever proceeds you make go towards offsetting your personal travel expenses; and they hold mandatory "team" fundraisers, the proceeds of which may go towards things like purchasing t-shirts, etc. Personal fundraisers might be selling Entertainment Books or Butter Braids or Pizza Kits. Team fundraisers often are of a teambuilding nature and might include car washes and pasta dinners.

That's pretty much how it is on 237.

All large donations, unless actually specified by the company to go to a certain person on the team all goes into a general fund and that's team stuff.

Robot Materials, Travel, Food, Lodging etc, etc.

GaryVoshol
03-20-2006, 10:39 AM
You need a "mostly" option. We usually ask students to contribute something during the year - for the last two years it was $200. Then we also have a bowl-a-thon for our major fundraising activity (as opposed to corporate sponsorship). This year if students couldn't get at least $200 in pledges, they had to contribute the balance in order to travel with us.

Our South African team members have it much harder. It will cost about $3000 each to travel to our location, and then be with us in Atlanta. Many of them cannot come up with the funds.