Jan 25, 2023 Written by Fiona Hanlon, FIRST Robotics Competition Team Experience Specialist
Last week we shared some community-based resources to help teams the season. This week, we wanted to share an update on our blog from earlier this month as FIRST ® has created some additional resources to help teams this season.
Earlier this year, we released a Bumper Guide to help provide more information on various ways to make bumpers. Since then, we have released two new Bumper Videos that are intended to help give a quick overview of making bumpers and go over some ways to create them. Huge shoutout to AndyMark for helping us create these videos:
Another area we know teams are looking for assistance is with electronics. We have created two videos to go along with the written instructions that can be found in WPILib. The instructions on WPILib can be used for both the REV and CTR Electronics products by toggling the instructions. These videos describe how to wire the basic FIRST ® Robotics Competition Control System using the REV Robotics Control System components provided in the rookie Kickoff Kit. Thanks to WPI for their assistance editing these videos:
As part of a collaboration between FIRST and the nonprofit Hack Club, we are excited to introduce you to Hack Club Bank. This service is a comprehensive financial platform that can be used by all FIRST teams to help streamline their finances and gain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, with onboarding that is typically less than 72 hours.
This is huge. I know @saikiranra and others have looked into 501(c)(3) status as a barrier to fundraising for teams. The fiscal sponsorship route makes a lot of a sense, but it’s often hard to find one that understands what you’re trying to do and is equipped to support it.
In the heat of the pandemic, I joined @seg9585, @Aaron691, and others to help produce face shields for medical professionals. We learned that GoFundMe only goes so far, but for a project temporary in nature – and needing rapid deployment – securing our own nonprofit status was likely a fruitless endeavor. I stumbled upon Hack+, a similarly named but different organization from the one above, that we were able to partner with for the fiscal sponsorship. In addition to the obvious fundraising advantages this opened up for us, it also enabled us to apply for things that nonprofits can get for free, including software licenses and special rates.
If any FRC teams seeing this are not yet operating as a nonprofit (or through one), I’d highly encourage checking this out. I’m sure there are rules that schools, etc. have about going down a path like this, so be sure to do your homework, too.
Going to also emphasize this before anyone starts this process without consulting their school first. Be sure to define relationships very clearly between organizations your team plans to be affiliated with. It should be very well understood what each org brings to the table, and also things like machine ownership etc that is purchased via grants won.
I’m very interested in learning more about this. I’ve researched similar orgs but cool to see one specifically for FRC , FTC, and FLL!
This is incredible news! Really surprised and enthralled that FIRST is diving into this. It gives local organizations working with teams on the ground greater resources and guidance on how to approach becoming financially stable. I am excited to see how this plays out in the next few years - could be a real game changer.
For anyone who currently uses Hack Club, I would be curious to hear about your team’s experience with them and perspective about this.
This is incredible and supper awesome to see they have the backing of FIRST! Also love the transparently mode, too many times us that manage non-profits say our books are open you just have to ask but this allow those to look without ever needing to ask for that.
Hey folks! I’m an FRC alum from 6763 and 1519 (which became 8724) and one of the engineers behind Hack Club Bank. We’re really excited about making Bank the platform we wish we had on our teams, and I’m happy to hear any questions or thoughts here or via email.
Glad to see Hack Club Bank becoming more mainstream for other teams to use. I am proud to say that our team Killabytez has been using Hack Club Bank for the past 3 years. Apart from ease of use, Hack Club Bank allowed our team to streamline our fundraising and reimbursement process. Additionally, Hack Club Bank’s status as a non-profit allowed us to practically DOUBLE our funds through company-matching and thus conduct our entire season much more liberally finance-wise. Our team’s credibility as a non-profit also made our community outreach and sponsorships extremely successful. Definitely would suggest Hack Club Bank to anyone looking for team fund management platforms.