[FRC Blog] Fundraising Updates – SlingShot and Bulbs

Posted on the FRC Blog, 12/15/14: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-fundraising-updates-slingshot-and-bulbs

Fundraising Updates – SlingShot and Bulbs

**Blog Date: **Monday, December 15, 2014 - 14:04

Slingshot

We’ve got some updates on the Slingshot film fundraiser, which I talked about here and here.

Team 144, The R.O.C.K., from Mason, Ohio, USA, has successfully sold 77 tickets at $10 each for their fundraiser, and gathered an additional $490 in donations as of today, with three days left before ticket sales close. Subtracting screening expenses, looks like they will already be raising more than $900 at this one event, with great prospects of exceeding $1,000 or more, which I expect will be a big help in covering their expenses for the season. Nice work, team!

Also, just this morning I received a note from Paul Lazarus, director/producer of this great film. He and his production company, White Dwarf Productions, are making some additional offers that may help teams with their fundraising efforts using this film. For teams having combined ticket sales and contributions of $1,000 or more, Paul and his group will send you a poster for the film autographed by the crew that may be raffled off at your screening, if you wish. For teams having combined ticket sales and contributions of $2,000 or more, Paul and his group will send you the poster *and *give you an opportunity to host a Q&A with Paul or another member of his team via Skype before or after your screening. Those are some nice ways to enhance the experience for your attendees, and yourselves.

We recognize that time is getting short to host a screening before Kickoff. Please recognize that you can sign up now, but host your screening whenever you would like in 2015, after build season or even after the regular competition season itself. We encourage you to sign up now if you are at all interested! I’m hearing from Paul that the financial arrangements with the screening service provider may change with the new year, and, if they change at all, we think they are not likely to get more favorable than the good deal teams are able to get now. Also, signing up now gives you plenty of time to plan the fundraiser, get the word out, and make it successful!

Bulbs

And, here’s more good fundraising news.

The e-watt saver fundraiser program is announcing free shipping until the 2015 *FIRST *Championship. Free shipping will apply to all orders shipped by FedEx Ground. On the checkout screen just pick the Ground option. No coupons or codes are required. Free shipping also applies to the Fall Bundle promotion which will be ending soon on December 24. Teams have just a few days left to take advantage of the $60 savings with the Fall Bundle. To learn how US based *FIRST *Robotics Competition, *FIRST *Tech Challenge or *FIRST *LEGO League teams can order and sell bulbs, visit www.usfirst.usfirst/e-wattresources. Contact Mark Critz at [email protected] if you have any questions about the e-watt program.

Happy fundraising!

Frank

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/blog-Fundraising-Updates-SlingShot-and-Bulbs

Slingshot

We’ve got some updates on the Slingshot film fundraiser, which I talked about here and here.

Team 144, The R.O.C.K., from Mason, Ohio, USA, has successfully sold 77 tickets at $10 each for their fundraiser, and gathered an additional $490 in donations as of today, with three days left before ticket sales close. Subtracting screening expenses, looks like they will already be raising more than $900 at this one event, with great prospects of exceeding $1,000 or more, which I expect will be a big help in covering their expenses for the season. Nice work, team!

Also, just this morning I received a note from Paul Lazarus, director/producer of this great film. He and his production company, White Dwarf Productions, are making some additional offers that may help teams with their fundraising efforts using this film. For teams having combined ticket sales and contributions of $1,000 or more, Paul and his group will send you a poster for the film autographed by the crew that may be raffled off at your screening, if you wish. For teams having combined ticket sales and contributions of $2,000 or more, Paul and his group will send you the poster and give you an opportunity to host a Q&A with Paul or another member of his team via Skype before or after your screening. Those are some nice ways to enhance the experience for your attendees, and yourselves.

We recognize that time is getting short to host a screening before Kickoff. Please recognize that you can sign up now, but host your screening whenever you would like in 2015, after build season or even after the regular competition season itself. We encourage you to sign up now if you are at all interested! I’m hearing from Paul that the financial arrangements with the screening service provider may change with the new year, and, if they change at all, we think they are not likely to get more favorable than the good deal teams are able to get now. Also, signing up now gives you plenty of time to plan the fundraiser, get the word out, and make it successful!

Bulbs

And, here’s more good fundraising news.

The e-watt saver fundraiser program is announcing free shipping until the 2015 FIRST Championship. Free shipping will apply to all orders shipped by FedEx Ground. On the checkout screen just pick the Ground option. No coupons or codes are required. Free shipping also applies to the Fall Bundle promotion which will be ending soon on December 24. Teams have just a few days left to take advantage of the $60 savings with the Fall Bundle. To learn how US based FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST Tech Challenge or FIRST LEGO League teams can order and sell bulbs, visit www.usfirst.usfirst/e-wattresources. Contact Mark Critz at [email protected] if you have any questions about the e-watt program.

Happy fundraising!

Frank

We just had our SlingShot screening this past Saturday. We were not as successful financially at Team 144, but we did make over $200 after expenses. A local movie theater provided the screening venue on a Saturday morning, when they were already showing free kids movies.

One shortcoming is that there was little detailed information about the content of the movie, other than it is about the water purification system that Dean and his company has been working on.

After seeing the movie, I would say it’s primary topics are two fold, in about equal parts:

  1. The SlingShot system and the long story of its development and deployment challenges.

  2. The life of Dean Kamen, the man.

Secondary topics include 1) Dean’s brother Bart, 2) his father Jack, 3) Other Dean Kamen inventions, from Segway, Insulin pump, Dialysis, Luke Arm and of course, FIRST.

Anybody else bothered by this entire concept?

Seems like an effective fundraiser for whoever is receiving the $300 film screening fee, the $32 in shipping charges for a DVD, and the 5% credit card processing fee. Not much disclosure on that front.

Past that issue, their example is borderline intellectually dishonest with the math. Selling 77 tickets @ $10 each only earns the team $399.50. $370.50 goes to whoever collects the profit on this venture. Seems pretty iffy to lump “additional donations” into the equation to make the numbers look better.

The bulbs were always a bit cheesy but teams can actually make a decent ROI ($9 profit on a $2 bulb) and you don’t have to exceed ~$350 in sales before you see a net profit.

I’m looking forward to the FIRST Cutco knives fundraiser next year.

Agreed. I don’t like it.

My kids make more money with bake sales and the accounting is simpler.

I don’t think this is a ‘fundraiser’ for the producers of the film. I see the film as a commercial endeavor, and 300 + some fees doesn't go all that far toward recovering film production costs, marketing, and so on. One could say, someone should have/could have made this film with all donated and posted it on YouTube and for free download, but that’s a decision left up to those that wanted to produce it, and not up to us to decide. So far, as of right now, the ‘happened’ showings + confirmed future showings amount to 13 showings total. (https://www.tugg.com/titles/slingshot) That’s $3900 + credit card fees-- most of which goes to the CC company and to Tugg, who administers the ticket sales and payouts etc.

I’m sure they will expand to other marketing channels (Disk Sales, etc.) as tiime goes on. Will they even recoup all the development costs? I don’t know.

Also, this should be viewed not just as a fundraiser, but also as a STEM outreach method. The film does a terrific job in conveying the larger message of FIRST, via the life story of Dean.

Once we reached the $300+ threshold, we, for the most part, opened up the show to anyone with just a donation box at the door-- This, or just switching to cash ticket sales (avoiding the web site) allows you to avoid the CC charges.