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thevexkid
09-04-2006, 05:35 PM
Hay Guys its me the noob of everething!!



ok the question for today is this: How do you guys get a sponser for a team or pirvite use (me+my friend)???


thanks for your help.

JaneYoung
09-04-2006, 05:39 PM
Hay Guys its me the noob of everething!

ok the question for today is this: How do you guys get a sponser for a team or pirvite use (me+my friend)???
thanks for your help.

Hi,
Are you and your friend trying to start a team, is that what you mean?
And, welcome to CD.
Jane

Alexa Stott
09-04-2006, 07:19 PM
How do you guys get a sponser for a team or pirvite use (me+my friend)???

By private (I'm assuming that's what you meant by "pirvite")...you mean...you just want to get money? If you walk into any company/store/whatever, and ask them if they'll give you and your friend money with no reason, no cause, no organization to back you up, you're not getting anything from them.

Companies don't just hand out money because someone asks for it.

JaneYoung
09-04-2006, 07:43 PM
By private (I'm assuming that's what you meant by "pirvite")...you mean...you just want to get money?
I'm wondering if this is maybe meaning mentor -
our teacher has been called a 'sponsor' many times.

Mentors help teams
Sponsors in FIRST usually mean businesses and corporations who help teams financially.

thevexkid
09-05-2006, 09:03 AM
Hi,
Are you and your friend trying to start a team, is that what you mean?
And, welcome to CD.
Jane



Ya, if you can have a two man team.

KathieK
09-05-2006, 11:45 AM
You can have a two-person team, however, it's recommended that the team be 4-10 student-aged members with at least one adult-aged mentor. having 4-10 youth on the team will allow for more brainstorming, a shared workload, will alllow teamwork opportunities to flourish, etc. An adult mentor is needed to take responsibility for the team while traveling and at events, and to pay the bills, may be able to offer suggestions for building the robot or team organization, etc.

Your team does not have to be affiliated with a school or organization, however, when it comes to fundraising and procuring sponsors you may have better luck if you can show an affiliation with an established entity.

A mentor is often a teacher, an engineer or someone acting in another professional capacity (ie computer programmer), someone's parent, a college student. They should be interested in working with teens, able to devote time to work with you on this project, able to take time off from work if necessary in order to travel to competition(s) with you. The team needs to make it clear what the role and responsibilities of its members are - who will be making team decisions, who will be managing the budget, who will be designing the robot and building it. These are critical areas to define early in the season. They may change from year to year. There is a forum in CD for Team Organization which you may wish to look at.

When we refer to sponsors, it is usually a company which contributes financially to the team's budget, or contributes with "in-kind" donations (material to build a field or printing t-shirts or brochures) or provides support by allowing employees (perhaps engineers) to work with the team. You can approach local companies or ask parents if their employers offer volunteer grants, etc. You can find some white papers that might be of interest to you in the Resources section of the NEMO (Non-Engineering Mentor Organization) website, including Creating a Killer Team Packet (http://www.firstnemo.org/PDF/killer_packets.pdf) to use when making a presentation to a potential corporate sponsor.

In addition to having corporate sponsors, many teams will also do fundraisers to earn additional funds to offset expenses. These can range from holding pasta dinners to car washes to standing outside grocery stores asking for donations. Chief Delphi has a section devoted to fundraising ideas so you might find something there of help.

The FAQ section (http://www.usfirst.org/vex/VexQA.htm) of the FIRST Vex Challenge website gives some estimated expenses for a team as well as answering other questions you may have. Last year's competition manual (http://www.usfirst.org/vex/resources/) is still available in case you'd like to see what the game looked like but will be replaced with this year's challenge on September 13.

ManicMechanic
09-05-2006, 03:10 PM
Financing your team can take several forms, depending on whether you want a home-based team or a school-based one. My son and I have started both types. While it might be possible for students alone to start and pay for a team, things will go much smoother if you have an adult helping you.

Home-based team
1. My son approached me and asked if he could start a robotics team (FLL). We sat down together and figured out the costs ($500, since he owned a robot kit, which he was willing to share), and how many people we would need at a minimum (4). Our family was willing to contribute $200, so my son needed to find at least 3 others who were willing to contribute $100 each. I also agreed to be the administrative coach, if he would take care of the technical aspects.
2. My son invited about a dozen friends to join the team. The parents were informed that they would need to pay $100 up front, and the money would not be refunded if they quit, unless they found a replacement. They were told that if 6 or more members joined, the cost per person would go down and they would receive a partial refund. We ended up with a team of 5, at a cost of $100/person. The parents were willing to pay, since this is similar to the cost of other activities, like soccer.

School-based team
1. My son and I calculated the costs of starting a team (Vex). Our family decided to donate the robot equipment, so the remaining costs would be for registration ($275), tournament fee (estimated $300), and playing field elements (estimated $300 - $1000). We figured that if we were conservative on the playing field, we could keep the remaining costs at about $1000.
2. We approached the school principal and asked if it would be possible to start a robotics club/team at school (we brought in robots to demonstrate). He was willing to work with us (probably because we were willing to donate over $500 in robot equipment), and found a science teacher who was willing to be the coach/advisor.
3. We are working with the coach on fundraising ideas to raise the remaining $1000, including car washes, candy sales, and pizza sales.

I would try your parents first (and your friend’s parents) as a source of funding. You might be able to work out a deal with them, like suggesting that they pay for the registration as a birthday/Christmas gift, or choose to give up items that they might have purchased for you otherwise (like electronic entertainment gadgets) in exchange for their financial help. I would also see if you can recruit more people to be on your team, which means more parents to contribute to the fund.

Corporations will sometimes donate money, but you’re more likely to get donations if you’re affiliated with a school or other group (like Scouts, or Boys & Girls clubs). If you already have some money raised, it’s easier to go to a school or corporation and say, “We have already been successful in raising part of the money – will you help us succeed in completing our goal?”

I admire your enthusiasm – best success in starting and funding your team!

nonother
09-05-2006, 06:13 PM
Receiving financial donations for a FVC team will absolutely be easier if you are affiliated with a high school. Before affiliating our team with the high school we sought out the viability of receiving funds as an independent 501(c)3. We called several companies and asked them, but understandably they informed us that they rarely give to organizations without a history; which of course a high school possesses. Since affiliating ourselves with the high school, we created a team packet that has instrumental in us receiving donations.

Here are my tips for creating a team packet (with some parts tailored to the fact your team is new, like ours):
-The first page should be an Executive Summary. First and foremost it needs to clearly state you are asking for a donation. It should briefly include why you are forming the team, what FIRST and FVC are, and an example of your commitment to the team. Mention where more specific information on each topic can be found in your packet (obviously you'll have to add the specific page numbers later). The idea of this page is that after reading they know everything necessary to donate money to your team. The rest of the packet is supporting information.
-Your team doesn't have a history, you can't include any news articles or mention any awards. That's ok, because of course every team has to start somewhere. Instead talk about the team's vision; about what the team will become. This isn't supposed to be lofty. Explain how you honestly think the team will impact the high school.
-This I would say is optional but definetly a good idea. Since you are a small team have each member type up a bulleted resume of their academic, math, and science achievement. The idea behind this is because your team has no history and no track record you can help to alleviate this by showing each team members' personal record.
-In more detail explain what FIRST and FVC are. Describe either last year's challenge or this year's challenge depending on where you write it. Keep in mind the person reading it may not know the first thing about robotics, so don't make it too technical. Finally tie-in the competition and your team.
-Create a page breaking down all expected costs. This is perhaps the most important page of the entire packet aside from Executive Summary. Virtually every company will expect to know how their money will be spent. Be as explicit as possible. For instance when you say you will need to X dollars for the regional competition, tell them where and when it is if you know the information.
-The donation page. Create a form where a donating corporation can fill out all of their contact information which they will mail back to you along with their check.
-An optional but nice touch is to add a pre-addressed pre-stamped envelope. Several companies have told us they appreciated the gesture.

One week later
-Call all of the people are the companies you contacted. You are calling to check that they got your packet, and to see if they have any questions. The other reason for calling is that in doing so you will remind them of your donation request. Many corporations receive hundreds of requests a month, calling makes a huge difference. If you leave a voicemail make sure to leave a number they can you call you back at. The reality is that you will rarely get a response from leaving a voicemail. So in that case wait a few days and call them back again and hopefully you will be able to get them on the phone. If you don't get them don't leave another voicemail.

After receiving a donation
-Send them a thank you. If they donated a large amount have a plaque made for them. (The amount for them to receive a plaque should be decided in advance and you should mention it in your packet.)
-Periodically send them letters throughout your season keeping them apprised of your team's accomplishments.

Good luck!