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Unread 09-19-2004, 06:06 AM
n0cturnalxb n0cturnalxb is offline
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Question searching for sponsors

Okay.. I tried searching, but I have not one clue how to narrow down the search enough to get a manageable list of significant threads..

I learned very quickly that searching for "sponsor" turns up a ton of threads where "sponsor" was mentioned maybe even just once.

Anyway!


Team 1159, Ramona Rampage, really, really, REALLY needs sponsors. The price upping this year doesn't help us much, since our school's stingy when it comes to technology and engineering and we have maybe only $2000 (heck, maybe less) in the bank.. and we won't be able to participate at all if we don't gather up the $6000 (?) for the kit.

Yeah, fund raising is limited, too, as our school doesn't allow us to have any more than TWO fundraisers.

It's great.

So we're looking for possible sponsors.. companies that would be willing to sponsor a rookie all-girls team [we've been at it for a total of (counting this year) 3 years, but the majority of our team's only done this for two years (counting this year) or less]. Now, I'm not asking for people to get hookups for me since that'd be pretty lazy of me.. but I'm asking for suggestions on where to look for sponsors, who to look to, etc.

I think we'd tried hunting for sponsors last year but were unsuccessful as far as getting sponsors went.. thankfully one teammate's parents donated $2000 to help us out, but with the kit price this year.. that might not happen again.

SO anyone.. any suggestions? What kind of companies/chains to look at as possible (hope hope hope) sponsors? And what's the best way to catch a sponsor? Any other suggestions you can think of?


Thank you all SO much in advance.. and feel free to scold me and point me to an old thread if there is one. I'm kind of new to this board (well.. to posting, at least), so I'm sorry if I'm doing anything wrong.

Thanks again, your help is VERY much appreciated!!
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Unread 09-19-2004, 06:49 AM
JohnBoucher JohnBoucher is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

Hi,
It's early here, so this might not be much of an answer.
I believe that you have a huge advantage being a all-girls team. Play it up. Use it. There is no harm in that.
I would approach you Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, and make pitches to them. Given you proximity to LA, those organizations should be very busy, and someone there might be able to help or have a suggestion as to whom to talk to.
A quick Google brings up the Morovia Corp. Their US headquarters are in your city. Make a direct appeal to them. Local company helps all girl CA team.

Good Luck
jb
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Unread 09-19-2004, 10:58 AM
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Re: searching for sponsors

This is the hard part of FIRST.
Some suggestions: contact "the Society of Women Engineers" (I think it is www.swe.org, but check) You have a huge selling point in being an all girls team.
Start asking all your parents and mentors for a contact among their friends and co-workers. Be prepared to write a professional letter stating exactly what you want. Be prepared to give a presentation on why they should sponsor you. Mention all the scholarships thru FIRST.
I have more advice but lets see what other suggestions you get.
Hang in there.
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Unread 09-19-2004, 12:11 PM
indieFan indieFan is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

In addition to asking parents and mentors for contacts, remind them to look into their own company's methods of giving. Some will donate on their own. Other will give "in kind" or "matching" donations.

Also, look into E-Scrip (www.escrip.com) and Ralph's Club (http://ralphs.com/ccprogram_about.htm). These are nearly effortless ways of raising money. The one catch is that RC pays out quarterly, and I believe E-Scrip may be the same way.

indieFan
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Unread 09-19-2004, 12:49 PM
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Re: searching for sponsors

Quote:
Originally Posted by n0cturnalxb
Team 1159, Ramona Rampage, really, really, REALLY needs sponsors. The price upping this year doesn't help us much, since our school's stingy when it comes to technology and engineering and we have maybe only $2000 (heck, maybe less) in the bank.. and we won't be able to participate at all if we don't gather up the $6000 (?) for the kit.

Yeah, fund raising is limited, too, as our school doesn't allow us to have any more than TWO fundraisers.

It's great.

So we're looking for possible sponsors.. companies that would be willing to sponsor a rookie all-girls team [we've been at it for a total of (counting this year) 3 years, but the majority of our team's only done this for two years (counting this year) or less]. Now, I'm not asking for people to get hookups for me since that'd be pretty lazy of me.. but I'm asking for suggestions on where to look for sponsors, who to look to, etc.

I think we'd tried hunting for sponsors last year but were unsuccessful as far as getting sponsors went.. thankfully one teammate's parents donated $2000 to help us out, but with the kit price this year.. that might not happen again.

SO anyone.. any suggestions? What kind of companies/chains to look at as possible (hope hope hope) sponsors? And what's the best way to catch a sponsor? Any other suggestions you can think of?


Thank you all SO much in advance.. and feel free to scold me and point me to an old thread if there is one. I'm kind of new to this board (well.. to posting, at least), so I'm sorry if I'm doing anything wrong.

Thanks again, your help is VERY much appreciated!!

Since you were not able to find other threads about sponsorship... i am gonna say the same thing in this post that i said in the others...

The city you live in... find all the businesses (like office-depot, home-depot, best buy, circuit city and others)... dont call them... but send them a letter... do a robot demo with a blow away presentation to them... tell them what is FIRST about... if you need help... there are a lot of cd users who would be willing to help you... you can ask me... ask Amanda Morrison... she will be able to help you out... she has more experience... Dori is always willing to help everyone out... also Kristen Kelso who is at UNH, has great advice... she helped me out a bunch of times... we would hate to lose a team... Good luck...
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Unread 09-19-2004, 01:49 PM
suneel112 suneel112 is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

Go to the nearest industrial / job fair. Luckily, we have one right here in Purdue University. The chamber of commerece could also help. I am not going to lie, so I will tell you that having connections helps. If Ramona Rampage is not close to anything, getting sponsorship will definitely be harder. But I suggest contacting local businesses and local factories and industries through the C of C and any college job fairs.
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Unread 09-19-2004, 11:26 PM
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Re: searching for sponsors

The businesses that your team parents work for may be good prospects for sponsorship, but take it one step further: look at the companies they do business with, too. Science and technology related businesses are natural targets, but don't limit yourself.

The team parents need to help get you the contacts. Once you've got someone to talk to, you need to explain what FIRST is about and what the students on your team are learning from participation. Prepare a budget for the team for the year to show where the money will go.

As RoboMom mentioned, professional organizations are easy to approach for sponsorship, but think outside the engineering box. Team 103 has established a very good relationship with the Society for Biomolecular Screening, whose membership is mainly biologists and biochemists (who use laboratory automation every day).
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Unread 09-20-2004, 01:28 AM
n0cturnalxb n0cturnalxb is offline
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#1159 (Ramona Rampage)
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Smile Re: searching for sponsors

Everyone --

Rest assured, I read over every single reply and you've all been VERY very helpful Anyone else, feel free to reply with any other suggestions you have - the more, the merrier! (We need all the help we can get!!)

You've all been so, so nice. Thank you so much!

All of you will (probably) be seeing a lot more of me in the coming year(s).. so be prepared! That is, if we get all the money we need.. *crosses fingers*

I'm hyped and it's not even close to January yet!!

Anyway.. THANKS AGAIN for all your help! It's greatly appreciated
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Unread 09-20-2004, 07:39 AM
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Re: searching for sponsors

Again, another non-robotic area are Politicians. I was told that they also have funds that they can give out.
They might not have a lot (or they could) to give but every little bit will help.

If you plan to send out any letters requesting sponsorship remember; 1. Give them a deadline. 2. Followup with a phone call if you don't hear from them. 3. Let them know they can also contribute certain items that could help your team (i.e. tools and materials) 4. If you go after sponsors that are in the area of food they can help by feeding your team.

Even if you are out somewhere and you spot a potential sponsor ask them. Cold contact isn't always the best but it can never hurt. Just make sure you can answer any question they might come up with.

Hope this helps.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 08:58 AM
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Re: searching for sponsors

Don't forget about small/medium sized donations as well. They really add up. I think playing to the all girls theme is a great idea too. Send all team members/parents out with a flyer. Team 103 does a great job with this form/flyer:
http://www.cybersonics.org/cybersonics/contribute.asp

Good Luck
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:10 AM
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RoboMom RoboMom is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid Cummings
Again, another non-robotic area are Politicians. I was told that they also have funds that they can give out.
They might not have a lot (or they could) to give but every little bit will help.
I forgot about this one. Good idea. Last year Team 007 got donations from our local councilman and 2 donations from local community organizations. One donation was only $10 but the others were much larger. They even asked for team tshirts.
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Unread 09-20-2004, 07:28 PM
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Re: searching for sponsors

Try local businesspeople, real estate does a good job. Be sure to offer "perks" like their name on the team shirt or stuff like that. If you need some help, feel free to stop by our place, we're quite close to you (Redondo Beach).
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Unread 09-20-2004, 09:17 PM
JohnBoucher JohnBoucher is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

You don't mention if you are you a 501(c)3? It really helps when asking for donations.
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Unread 09-21-2004, 12:33 AM
n0cturnalxb n0cturnalxb is offline
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Re: searching for sponsors

Hey everyone -- again, thanks for helping out I'm checking this thread on a periodic basis because (like I mentioned earlier) every little tip helps.. so thank you all for continuing to provide input!

Anyway..

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBoucher
You don't mention if you are you a 501(c)3? It really helps when asking for donations.
What do you mean by 501(c)3? (I have no idea what it refers to.. but I bet I'll feel incredibly stupid once someone explains! Oh well, it's good to learn )
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Unread 09-21-2004, 01:35 AM
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Re: searching for sponsors

Non-Profit Organization I believe. It means that donations can be tax-deductible.
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