A Question About Sponsors Donating Parts and Team Budget

Hello everyone,

Do parts donated by a team sponsor count towards our budget limit–the cost of our robot?

Go FIRST, and good luck this year everyone.


I think you will find your answer in R14 of the manual:

The BOM cost of each non-KOP item must be calculated based on the unit fair market value for the material and/or labor, except for labor provided by team members (including sponsor employees who are members of the team) and shipping.

Example: A Team orders a custom bracket made by a company to the Team’s specification. The company’s material cost and normally charged labor rate apply.

Example: A Team receives a donated sensor. The company would normally sell this item for $52, which is therefore its fair market value.

Example: Special price discounts from National Instruments and other FRC Suppliers are being offered to all FIRST Teams. The discounted purchase price of items from these sources may be used in the additional parts accounting calculations.

Example: A Team purchases steel bar stock for $10 and has it machined by a local machine shop. The machine shop is not considered a team Sponsor, but donates two (2) hours of expended labor anyway. The Team must include the estimated normal cost of the labor as if it were paid to the machine shop, and add it to the $10.

Example: A Team purchases steel bar stock for $10 and has it machined by a local machine shop that is a recognized Sponsor of the Team. If the machinists are considered members of the Team, their labor costs do not apply. The total applicable cost for the part would be $10.

It is in the best interests of the Teams and FIRST to form relationships with as many organizations as possible. Teams are encouraged to be expansive in recruiting and including organizations in their team, as that exposes more people and organizations to FIRST. Recognizing supporting companies as Sponsors of, and members in, the Team is encouraged, even if the involvement of the Sponsor is solely through the donation of fabrication labor.

Example: A Team purchases a 4 by 4 ft sheet of aluminum, but only uses a piece 10 by 10 in. on their ROBOT. The Team identifies a source that sells aluminum sheet in 1 by 1 ft pieces. The Team may cost their part on the basis of a 1 by 1 ft piece, even though they cut the piece from a larger bulk purchase. They do not have to account for the entire 4 by 4 ft bulk purchase item.

Basically, if its a donated COTS part, then you should be counting the market cost in your total robot cost. If its a custom manufactured part, then you should count what material and machining would have cost if it had not been donated. However if the work was done by members of the team and the company is recognized as a sponsor, then only raw material cost must be counted.

Thank you very much for the help. That old us exactly what we need to know.