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Barry Bonzack
12-01-2006, 07:28 PM
The 433 Firebirds of Philadelphia, PA, has recently lost their main sponsorship and needs the help of generous FIRSTers. The seniors of the team are on a weekend retreat but called and asked me to post a thread asking for help finding funds. If anyone knows of sponsors that would be willing to help a team continue their effort in encouraging girls to go into science and technology fields, please contact Karen (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/member.php?u=7467), or Alicia (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/member.php?u=7466), seniors of 433. They also welcome personal donations, and are willing to set up a paypal account if anyone is interested. Thank you for your time.

Tom Bottiglieri
12-01-2006, 10:14 PM
As much as I hate seeing FIRST teams go under, I dont think this will work. If the Firebirds want to continue competing, they are going to hit the streets and get a multitude of smaller sponsors.

Simon Strauss
12-02-2006, 12:21 AM
Agreeing with Tom's statement above, a collection of smaller sponsors is probably their best bet. Although i do not know of the local organizations in that area, i do know that there are a multitude of national organizations intended to promote the involvement of young women in Science and Tech from whom Team 433 can likely receive at least some aid from.

Kyle Love
12-02-2006, 12:47 AM
I think they should try as many local metal shops and government agencies as they can. Most states have education grants that could be used for robotic sponsorships. They are a veteran team, so I take it they have some machines and parts already, so they basically need entry fees?

=Martin=Taylor=
12-02-2006, 10:09 AM
An easy way to raise money would be to draft a letter and then have every team member mail six of these letters to friends and family members. If you time it right, and send it out just before Christmas, I guarantee you will get a positive response.

If you have 25 people on the team, and they all send six letters, and (on average) people donate $10, you will make a tidy some of $1500.

Our team has done this for years; sponsor or no sponsor.

karinka13
12-02-2006, 01:28 PM
FIRSTers,

We aren't asking for help because we're taking the easy way out. We're asking because we're truly desperate. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the kind of person who ever asks for help, so this is a big deal.

Here's the whole story:

Our main sponsor was McNeil Pharmaceuticals. They always paid our registration fees, and we stay in contact with them and keep them informed. They informed us by email on Thursday (yes, this last Thursday) that they wouldn't be paying this year. We've already pre-registered, but I've been told that the money is due December 7th, this Thursday. That gives us one week's notice to raise $6000.

On top of this, we have a very small team, and only a few truly dedicated members. We simply don't have the people to get this kind of money in such short amount of time. And as much as I'd like to believe that I personally can go out and get tons of money in time, this simply isn't a reality. It's been very hard for the people who really care on the team to accept that we are in desperation. Most team members have given up. The school is already treating us like we no longer exist.

There are about three girls on the team still working as hard as they can to get sponsorships, myself and Alicia included. We've called and emailed as many companies as possible, and while we have some possible leads, it's hard for a company to approve a financial move like that on such short notice.

We honestly don't know what to do. We can't sit back and accept defeat, and we love FIRST much too much to not compete, and that's the reason we're asking for help. We don't even know what kind of help to ask for.

So please don't think we're just asking for money. We're not. We're asking for help of any kind, advice, anything. We wouldn't be if we didn't absolutely need it.


Karen Hart, President

looneylin
12-02-2006, 01:53 PM
One More Clarification:

We do have a bunch of fundraisers planned, but they aren't going to raise all the money we need and the first one is happening on December 7th, so it doesn't help all too much.

-Alicia
Imagery Captain

dlavery
12-02-2006, 02:06 PM
FIRSTers,

We aren't asking for help because we're taking the easy way out. We're asking because we're truly desperate. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not the kind of person who ever asks for help, so this is a big deal.

Here's the whole story:

Our main sponsor was McNeil Pharmaceuticals. They always paid our registration fees, and we stay in contact with them and keep them informed. They informed us by email on Thursday (yes, this last Thursday) that they wouldn't be paying this year. We've already pre-registered, but I've been told that the money is due December 7th, this Thursday. That gives us one week's notice to raise $6000.

On top of this, we have a very small team, and only a few truly dedicated members. We simply don't have the people to get this kind of money in such short amount of time. And as much as I'd like to believe that I personally can go out and get tons of money in time, this simply isn't a reality. It's been very hard for the people who really care on the team to accept that we are in desperation. Most team members have given up. The school is already treating us like we no longer exist.

There are about three girls on the team still working as hard as they can to get sponsorships, myself and Alicia included. We've called and emailed as many companies as possible, and while we have some possible leads, it's hard for a company to approve a financial move like that on such short notice.

We honestly don't know what to do. We can't sit back and accept defeat, and we love FIRST much too much to not compete, and that's the reason we're asking for help. We don't even know what kind of help to ask for.

So please don't think we're just asking for money. We're not. We're asking for help of any kind, advice, anything. We wouldn't be if we didn't absolutely need it.


Karen Hart, President
Karen and Alicia -

Have you thought about the possibility of, for just this next year, participating as a FVC VEX team instead of a full FRC team? Among the many other strengths of the VEX program, it can also act as a great "safety net" for FRC teams that are having financial, organizational, or facilities challenges. When these occasions do arise, FVC can offer an alternative that would allow your team to continue to participate in the FIRST program at a different level, rather than having to drop away from the program completely while you re-group and reorganize.

-dave

Joe Matt
12-02-2006, 02:30 PM
Sending this off to my dad (Alicia knows how close we live to 433!)

looneylin
12-02-2006, 06:35 PM
haha. of course!

DotCom
12-02-2006, 10:44 PM
Hey, it's another all-girls team! Awesomeness!

Some people have already said this, but probably the best thing to do would be to go for all the small local companies. They're usually very eager to sponsor teams, since it gives them more publicity. So just write a few letters and spend a day walking into small businesses...

(Food companies aren't that bad either...)

Sgraff_SRHS06
12-02-2006, 11:38 PM
Again, try getting other local companies to get behind you for this year. It sure gets a kick for people to read your name if it's like 4 or 5 lines long. (975 from Midlothian, VA has like 6 or 7 lines of sponsors). But I would also recommend applying for a big grant from a big sponsor pretty soon (Like Texas Instruments or UTC or Alion or even Comcast so you would have it in '07. Hey, since you guys are in the Philly area, it would make a lot of sense to get Comcast to help...after all they are Philly based.

If all else fails, get a bunch of other teams to pitch in. It's Gracious Professionalism in a really true sense.

RoboMom
12-03-2006, 01:11 PM
Lots of unique fundraising ideas on these forums. I have cut and paste a lot of them into a running list that I can send to you to distribute to your entire team. The format isn't pretty.
email me at jbeatty@usfirst.org if you are interested.

Good Luck!

karinka13
12-03-2006, 03:53 PM
Thanks to everyone who's posted, we really appreciate it.

And here's an update:

We just received $1000 from a local company owned by the father of a girl at our school. YAY! Only $5000 to go!!

Karen <3

chris31
12-03-2006, 04:04 PM
Contact your regional director. I know sometimes they have money that corporations want to give awa and they just need a team to claim it. Also if you give them a heads up now that you dont have your 6k and you explain why maybe they can give you an extension past Dec 7.

efoote868
12-03-2006, 04:24 PM
I've found in fundraising that going big (usually) doesn't yield as many results... asking 100 major cooperations for $5000 will likely return less results than asking 100 small companies for $300-500, especially if the time frame is extremely small.

Also, going to restaurants is good too. Chipotle last year gave my team on the order of 800 free - burrito cards, and we sold more than 700 of them, getting about $3500 (mind you, it did take alot of work selling, but we did).

Some restaurants are also willing to set up like, "Help Support the (your name here) night!" where like, 25% of all purchases go towards the team. These fundraisers are usually easier to set up, too. (hopefully this helped you out... and best of luck to you!)

karinka13
12-03-2006, 07:16 PM
Another update: We just got a promise of $1000 from another local company!


$4000 left to go!

Meredith Rice
12-04-2006, 01:26 PM
Alicia (and Karen)

Hopefully you got all of my emails (I sent 5 emails to different companies and 1 university asking for help). I sent so many to Mr. Foell that his email account is regecting my email because it reads it as SPAM, haha.

I know each of the contacts from the companies personally, so I think there is a good chance they will do anything they can to help the Firebirds out. Do not hesitate to send your fundraising email to each one of them and I am sure you will get all the money you need! But act fast!!

The Firebirds rock no matter what happens (and we have always managed to pull through this far). My fingers are crossed.

Lots of love chicas!!
~Meredith

karinka13
12-04-2006, 03:22 PM
Thanks Meredith!

And guess what? We actually managed just yesterday to raise $4700 (shocked? I was) and we only need $1300 more! I'm certain we'll have no trouble getting the rest, as we already have some promising contacts at other small businesses.

Thanks to everyone for their support!

BandChick
12-04-2006, 03:28 PM
Congratulations girls! As a long-time supporter of FIRST, I was sad to hear about this. But it really looks like you have gotten things together, and managed to stick it out! I am SO proud of you! I reccomend if you have time hosting a spaghetti dinner. Get as many local (and not so local) teams to come out. If 56 can do you, you girls certainly can!

coreyk
12-04-2006, 03:42 PM
Hello -

We will graciously pledge $100.00 to support your effort. We would like to give more but are not financially able to do so at this time, as we have not yet heard from all of our sponsors. Good Luck!

Sincerely,

The Cybersonics Technology Team 103

Rich Kressly
12-04-2006, 03:49 PM
An update I just received from 433's lead advisor, Bob Foell...
The School (MSJA) will "front" the money in order for the registration fee to be paid by the deadline on Friday. However, 433 will still need to raise that remaining $1,300+ so the school can be repaid.

It's nice to see everyone come together and rally the troops.

chris31
12-04-2006, 04:17 PM
Im glad to hear that you will still have a team. It would be sad to lose a team to financial issues.

Barry Bonzack
12-04-2006, 04:20 PM
Go 'Birds! I'll put $20 in if needed, I'd love to give more, but I'm on a college budget. I'm amazed how much you all have rose in a short period of time, and at least now you have an extension on how long you have to raise the rest. I can see some carwashes and pasta dinners in your future. Don't stop at $6000, you all have to be in Atlanta, too! :p

karinka13
12-04-2006, 05:09 PM
Well, thanks to some truly wonderful people, we now have $5500. (Well, $5520 if we count Barry's college budget donation)

A special thank you to Cybersonics, we hope we can return the favor anytime you need something.

With regards to the idea of a spaghetti supper and raising more money (so we can go to nationals, heck yes barry), we are having a fundraiser this Thursday: The Firebirds Film Festival. It's like a movie night, with two showing times, 5 and 7. There's lots of choices of movies that can be seen, and it's being held at the school (in case anyone wants to come out). We hope to raise $1000 from the $7 admission and selling refreshments (most of which we got donated...don't you just love people?).

Also, some people have been asking about the fate of the Ghanaian team. We fundraise for them separately, and we were actually able to raise enough for their registration fee this year. Unfortunately, we couldn't raise enough for their shipping costs. But hey, we improved over last year, and if we continue in this trend, they'll be able to compete on their own soon enough. This year, they wil be combined with our team (so technically we aren't all girls anymore?), and they'll be coming over for a week during build season and then again for Drexel.

Gotta love GP.

Karen <3

molly o
12-04-2006, 06:26 PM
Way to go, Karen! I want to echo the thanks to the Cybersonics and all of the posters here.

Also, the Firebirds Film Festival is 1.5 times the alliteration of the Firebirds Fiesta and should be 1.5 times the fun. (Unless, as I have long suspected, fun grows exponentially). Either way, it will be awesome. Tell your robotics friends.

Thanks to everyone. You guys are awesome.

looneylin
12-04-2006, 06:26 PM
I would like to second Karen's thanks.

It has been an amazing experience getting all this support in a short amount of time. Only awesomeness lies in our future. haha. :D

wendymom
12-04-2006, 09:05 PM
HI Firebirds

I would suggest going to your local media....newspapers, morning news shows etc. Let them tell your story to the community. I'm sure when they hear it they wont want to lose such a great asset. '

Good Luck

Exploding bacon

karinka13
12-04-2006, 10:08 PM
HI Firebirds

I would suggest going to your local media....newspapers, morning news shows etc. Let them tell your story to the community. I'm sure when they hear it they wont want to lose such a great asset. '

Good Luck

Exploding bacon


We actually tried that, but to very little response. Oh well.

Alexander McGee
12-04-2006, 10:13 PM
Is there a "Pay to Play" fee on your team? If not, it might be a fast way to raise the rest of the registration fee. My team charges each student (As we draw from many many schools and counties) a fee to be on the team. It also helps create "investment" in the team, and we as mentors believe it makes their commitment stronger. Just a thought!

George A.
12-04-2006, 11:14 PM
I personally am ecstatic that 433 came up with the money. I was going to give a donation...but Karen wouldn't let me. Now all of you will have to be subjected to my play by play at Philly again this year.

I will offer this: If 433 ever needs anything that they can come to me and I'll do whatever it is a can to help the team out.

mrs. z
12-05-2006, 03:30 PM
On behalf of your team, the RoboRaiders and J&J Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide will be making a donation of $750 directly to your account at FIRST.

We hope this will bring you to the $6000.00 needed for registration.

Good luck.

Mrs. Z.,
Team 75 Advisor

slickguy2007
12-05-2006, 07:09 PM
On behalf of your team, the RoboRaiders and J&J Consumer & Personal Products Worldwide will be making a donation of $750 directly to your account at FIRST.

We hope this will bring you to the $6000.00 needed for registration.

Good luck.

Mrs. Z.,
Team 75 Advisor


Wow, you RoboRaiders rock!

DanDon
12-05-2006, 07:16 PM
Yes, team 75 is up there in the "role model teams", and last year they were awarded for it by getting not ONE, but TWO Engineering Inspiration awards! I'm in awe.

InfernoX14
12-05-2006, 07:56 PM
This is the most inspiring story ever...

3 girls managed to raise $6000 dollars in less than a week. That is incredible.

Best of luck in your endeavors!

karinka13
12-05-2006, 08:10 PM
Thanks Team 75!!

Alex Burman
12-05-2006, 08:56 PM
Team 75 is always there for a team in need. Especially a team as great as the Firebirds. If there is any other way we can help you out let us know and we will do everything we can to make sure you get what you need.

looneylin
12-06-2006, 04:13 PM
Double thanks to team 75 and all the other teams who helped out!

Jeremytice
12-06-2006, 09:07 PM
This is an awsome story! Im glad that you guys were able to raise the money to compete this year. Raising $6000 in a week is truely amazing. It is so awsome to see everyone that gave what they could. I hope you guys enjoy your season!