Atlanta Money/Fundraising Questions

So this year is my teams’ rookie year, and we are the only rookie team participating in our regional, guaranteeing that we will receive the Rookie All Star award.

We have talked about the possibility of attending the finals, and decided that would be very beneficial to our FIRST program in future years. However, we have very little money left in our budget left (~3k) for Atlanta seeing as we weren’t planning on attending this early in our “career”. As of this moment, the majority of our money has come form a state grant, and a few smaller sponsors. My questions were,

-If your team has attended the finals before, approximately how much money did it cost you (or your sponsor :wink: ), including entry? Also, include how many people attended in that budget.

-If anyone had any fundraiser ideas that their team has used successfully?

So far our team is going to petition the schoolboard for more money since sports teams get money to goto Sates and other things. We are also going to try to find more sponsorships in any amount possible.

Hopefully we will see some of you in Atlanta!

I would like to add that we are not above taking donations from other teams.

Seriously, for us seniors this is our one and only shot for Atlanta, at least as students and not mentors some years down the line. We don’t lack the motivation, it seems to be our mentors and the heads that don’t want to look seriously into going.

You should really do everything you can to get to Championships. We were in your boat last year as Rookie All Stars but we were shocked when we won. I would suggest car washes, try to get medial coverage, send as many letters as you can to every company in your area. One team is sponsored by Yellow Cab so don’t rule anyone out. Good luck with your school, I hope they recognize that your achievement is as important as any sports team. Stand in front of grocery stores with a display board showing who you are and what you do. Provide video if you can. Do a search for fundraising threads on CD, there are LOTS of ideas. Pancake breakfasts, spagetti dinners, Pigging houses (look at 1902)

Good Luck, hope to see you there

We are in about the same boat but I think their is 4 rookie teams. I think we have a bit more money though.

Talk to your sponsors. Once they see your accomplishments, many of them will chip in a few more dollars to help you out some more.

We are in the same situation each year. Our school pays for the registration fee, one rigional and the rest we raise our selves most of the time. what we do is each student is asked to go out into the community to buissness and ask them top sponser us. wee are able to go to like 6 tons though because we are a regional school but even going to one town could bring in a lot of doagh. what we did is made up some sponser forms and brochures to hand out. i alone raise over 1500 and a few other people raised a lot too. we’re a really small team like 10 students and 5 mentors.

I know this sort of thing happened to team 1784 last year when they got highest seeded rookie at hartford and in the three weeks they had they raised all of the 5000 or so dollars they needed to go. i think they assighned each person on the team a street to go down and talk to every buisness on that street. there are a lot of ways to raise money. like someone else said do a car wash, or bake sale. even if you only get 25 or 50 bucks it all adds up really fast.

good luck:)

Our budget for the team is just the entry fee. We have individual members pay for their trip. Now, we are just pretty much just seeing if there are any more corporate sponors and asking for money.

It cost us roughly $15,000 to attend w/ 8 team members, 4 mentors, food + room and board.

I’ll post a pic of the mascot (me) making money for the team
Selling organs is very profitable, its just immoral…:frowning:

There are lots of fundraising ideas in the Fundraising forum here on CD. You should decide who is going to travel to Atlanta (all teams should make this decision early in the year in case they qualify to attend Championships). Will it be your drive team and a few adults? Your seniors? Your entire team? Who will chaperone? Find out what will need to be done to get permission to travel out of state with your team re: school board regulations and what they will allow for transportation (ie, do you need to use a school bus, or can you travel by commercial bus; if flying are there regulations about which airlines you can use, etc.). Airfares have been expensive this season - is there another team nearby which is traveling by bus that has a few extra seats available? If you’re only sending a small crew down you might be able to purchase seats on the other team’s bus. Look for hotel info - Atlanta has a great mass transit system - MARTA - and you may not be able to afford to stay downtown (and many of the hotels may already be booked anyway).
While attending Championships is a great experience, it also requires a lot of planning, time off from work and school, and is expensive… Lots of things to consider!

A good estimate is $400-500 per person for transportation, food and hotel.

If you think your situation is bad…

The initial price per student for the Israeli teams this year will be around 2000$ (before fundraising and sponsorships which will likely take off ~500$ for us)

(Our trip includes 4 days in NYC)

I have paid to go to nationals for the past 6 years and i’d say a reasonable estimate is around 400-500 dollars per person for flight/transportation and hotel. Id add another 100 at least for spending money while down there. Of course none of this includes the whopping registration price but yeah, there are plenty of threads/papers out there on fundraising.

The most succesful approach Ive come up with is just getting a list of businesses in your area and because of the short time period, prioritizing and getting out there and talking to these places. On my former team a few of our members went out and found a business, gave a presentation, formed a partnership, and now they are a full time sponsor of my old team.

Little donations of 250-500 add up after a while. Find companies you think would be willing to donate, call and speak with someone there about sponsorship and try to setup a presentation. For all the little companies, send out a letter and see if you get a response, if you do, go give them a presentation. You’d be surprised how many companies are more than willing to donate and sponsor out there.

Our students raise money in a variety of ways. We petition local businesses for raffle items and the students get repaid based on how many raffkle tickets they sold. We sell KK’s at football and basket ball games and the students share in the profit derpending on how much they work. We also provide concessions for the state FLL on the same basis. We have sold pies and cheesecakes, done carwashes for donations, sold candy and discount books, and some local businesses (like Target) have money available for local student organizations. Some businesses will allow students to work a day bagging and carrying out items at a store (we did IKEA one year) and pooled all the donations from customers. Short of it is, where there is a will there is a way.
BTW, some schools have a special budget or federal grants that help with travel, you might have to ride a bus, but it does get you there. Everyone who has a chance ought to go to the Championship, there is so much to see and do and learn.

Thanks all for your suggestions.

Right now we’re thinking of holding a huge LAN party in our gym with Guitar Hero and DDR and Halo and such. The school has a bagillion projectors, and we think it could bring in a bit of cash. Then some more tradional routes like sponsors are in the works.

The mentors and (adult) team heads are really not behind this at all. It’s extreamly frustrating. All they say is that it’s great we are aiming high, but then go off in the corner and discuss amoung themselves how “unrealistic” it is for us to want to do this. ugh…

Even though you’re the only rookie team, I suggest that you still hand out copies of the essay, talk to judges, and act with good teamwork and sportsmanship at the regional. I think that the judges don’t actually have to give the award at the regional; besides, it’s good to start your team with a good reputation at your first regional. Show the judges that you really do deserve the equivalent of the Chairman’s Award.

I want to share my team’s experience, because your mentors might not be that unreasonable:

We won the Rookie All-Star Award at the Philadelphia Regional last year. Philly is on the last week of regionals, with less than two weeks between the Saturday we won the award and the Wednesday we’d have to leave for Atlanta. In order to go to Championship, we would have had to find the money for registration, get the thing approved by the school (overnight trips normally have to be approved by the school board one month in advance, and we’d have to convince them to make an exception), plan how we would travel, contact parents to ask them to pay for hotel and food with short notice. Since that was our first year, the school and our mentors simply weren’t prepared to organize this.

Even if we had more notice, and even if we had the $5,000 already sitting in our account, the trip would have been a “logistical nightmare” to organize. Only one or two mentors would have been able to go. Those mentors (teachers) would have had to take even more time away from school. The robot needed a great deal of repair in order to safely run at competition. Most of the seniors on the team, who were pretty important for fixing the robot, wouldn’t be able to go. At most, we could only have the drive team and a couple more students go on the trip. It just wasn’t going to benefit the team to go on the trip. Only a few students would benefit from the experience of going to Championship, and the rest would miss it. We would barely have enough students to run the team at the competition. The team members wanted to go, but the mentors knew that they just couldn’t do it for that year.

The next year, the mentors met a number of times to talk about the possibility, and eventually decided to register for the Championship, since we had qualified the year before but skipped it.

So we’re still going to get what we wanted. Even if we don’t win anything at the regional, we’re planning to go to Championship this year. Some students who weren’t on the team last year will also be able to go–if we had gone last year, they wouldn’t be able to go this year.

Just keep in mind that going to Championship, missing school for a second competition, and everything else, gives the mentors much more to worry about than just raising money.

I thinks you should do all you can to get to Atlanta. Our team just received Rookie All-Star for the NJ regional, and we are planning to go. Our sponsors after hearing that we won were more then willing to help our team pay for our trip. So fund raising ideas are a pasta party at your school for the community that brings people out and your can teach them about FIRST. Its a win win, you make some money, and you get the word our there about your team. Plus its lots of fun :smiley:

You bring up some good points daniel, to which I will try to refute

The school administartion right now is awed by the program. Ever since they saw on a snow day at 9 pm us all jumping up and down shouting because we hung a plastic tube on some wooden pole, they have been doing everything we ask. Bcos and myself also talked to the principle the other day, she is ready to see what see can get for us in terms of $ as soon as we provide her with a list of expected costs. Plus helping us out in any way with our fundraising. Also, I’ve talked to the head of our school’s NHS. He is also ready to do anything neccessary for the team. There would be no problem with getting the trip authorized.

The competition is over spring break, at least for us, so no need to worry about missing school.

I don’t really agree with the “it’s not best for the team arguement.” Even if only a small portion of the team can go to the comp, the bot, and our sponcers, will still be seen by everyone at Atlanta, plus anyone watching in the feed. Not only will this most likely increase sponcership, it will be great for recruitment purposes. Some won’t get to go, but they won’t be missing out on anything they wouldn’t be missing if we didn’t go at all. It’s great for the team next year because they will have more money and a bigger team with a more diverse bunch of skills.

To me this all adds up to, Atlanta baby :slight_smile:

That’s great that you have so much support from your administration! (And a great story about the snow day.) I just wanted to explain why there were other reasons when my team’s mentors thought it was unrealistic.

Good luck with organizing and fundraising!

Thanks, it’ll be interesting how it all plays out.

Quick question. This was my team’s first year, and we won the Rookie Allstar Award at the PNW Regional. Sadly, we were not prepared and it would be a logistical nightmare for us to attempt to go to Atlanta this year. If we opt out of the championships this time, spend a lot of time fundraising, and prepare for it next year, are we allowed to register for 2008 when we register for regionals?

I am just curious to what it takes to be allowed to register in advance for the Championship, whether anyone can do it, or what the prerequisites are.

Thanks a lot, and I cant wait to do it again next year.
Helpful veteran teams FTW!