Fund Raising/Matching Gift Opportunity - PMMI

I want to let you all know about a cool new sponsorship opportunity for all FIRST® teams. In addition to coaching FRC team 7663, I work at ADCO Manufacturing. ADCO designs and builds packaging machinery (check out https://www.youtube.com/user/adcomfg).

ADCO is a member of a trade association called PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies with over 900 members in North America. PMMI member companies build the machines that process and package almost everything you buy at the store from food, soft drinks, medication, and other products that you use every day. PMMI member companies are eager to develop their future engineers, controls programmers, fabricators, assemblers, and sales people by connecting them with local FRC teams. The ownership of ADCO has realized the value of FRC; we have hired three FRC alumni (2 engineers and 1 welder) while supporting a number of local teams with part fabrication, financial donations, mentor support, and team plant tours.

PMMI wants to help connect its member companies with FRC teams around the country. As an incentive to help member companies to get involved, PMMI has created the PMMI U Skills Fund for the Future Workforce. Each PMMI member company can submit up to $50,000 in donations to programs like PRC per year and PMMI will match that donation dollar for dollar. These PMMI member donations can be equipment or financial and can be used for qualifier tournaments. Additionally, PMMI Invites a number of FRC teams to showcase their robots at their annual tradeshow, PACK EXPO – one of the largest tradeshows in North America!

NOTE: This program also applies to FRC qualifier tournaments! If a member company donates to a qualifier (regional or district), PMMI will match those funds!

Visit https://pmmiprod3ebiz.personifycloud.com/PersonifyEbusiness/Default.aspx?TabID=1416 to find PMMI member companies in your area. I strongly encourage you to reach out to these companies to see how you can partner with them. They may be willing to assist with fabrication, provide mentors, or even financial support. When reaching out to PMMI member companies, remind them about the Skills Fund for the Future Workforce. If they have questions about the program, direct them to www.pmmi.org/skills-fund for more information.
Cheers,
Colin Warnes
FRS Team 7663 Coach
www.central7663.org

PS: Make sure your donor company has all of the following information so they can submit your matching gift donation request.

  • Program/event Name (your team number & name)
  • Program/event URL (your team web site)
  • Number of students impacted by program/event
  • How will the funds be used (select all that apply)
    • Program sponsorship
    • Equipment purchase
    • Student travel costs
    • New program creation
    • Other – write in
  • School or organization to be receiving the matching funds
  • Address
  • Suite/Office
  • City
  • State
  • Postal code
  • Country
  • Phone number
  • School/organization web address
  • Point of contact first and last name
  • Point of contact title
  • Point of contact email address
  • Point of contact phone number
  • Donor company: Supply a letter of receipt of letter of intent reflecting the total amount of value of the donation as a pdf. If manufactured parts are donated, include itemized list of part prices
  • Receiving program/event: Supply a thank you letter describing how the funds will be used.
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This is incredible! I’ll make sure this information reaches every team I’m in contact with. A lot of teams struggle to find willing sponsors, so the chance to double up financially, get mentors, or find material/manufacturing sponsors is a big deal.

Thank you!

I work at a PMMI member company (Massman Automation) and have 3 other PMMI member companies within a 20 minute drive of my house… 4 similar companies in a town of 13,000 is pretty insane.

The PMMI matching funds is definitely legit! A very good opportunity for local team support.

I want to bump this. I reached out to the 3 PMMI companies local to me. I already have a meeting set up with one of them who seemed quite eager to donate. I’ll give an update after that meeting (Monday the 16th.)

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How local is local? I found a few in “nearby” towns but I’m always hesitant to snipe sponsors from the areas of other teams. I didn’t reach out to my local ones yet.

Within the county, 2 within the city. There are also 3 or so within the neighboring counties. I tipped off the teams in those counties for first dibs and told them to reach out to me if for whatever reason they didn’t intend to pursue the companies.

I will note that my team is smack dab in the center of wine country (Sonoma) so the local PMMI companies are mostly wine bottlers, meaning we may have a higher number of PMMI companies per capita.

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Cool, thanks for the info. It’s always good to hear the process others use when reaching out to companies that are near other teams.

Wanted to provide another update:

Met with a PMMI company today (Maspack USA.) CEO was incredibly excited by the program, particularly with the skills we’re teaching that translate to the workforce (programming, electrical engineering, and fabrication.) The sponsor verbally committed to $2500 which will be matched to $5000 by PMMI (with the check coming at the start of their fiscal calendar on January 2nd.)

More exciting than that though is that the CEO really wants to offer internships to our students. They’re willing to take 1-3 students (probably seniors) for 3-4 weeks over the summer to intern at their facility in Italy and would cover accommodations and such. Whole bunch of details to work out on that one, but I’m beyond excited!

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How did you get in contact with the CEO?

I always find it difficult to manage to get in contact with someone important at companies of any size bigger than “locally owned hardware shop or pizza place”. We have some PMMI companies in our area and these sponsorships would be huge for us if we could manage to secure any.

EDIT: Also, I see a similarly italian PMMI company with a local branch in our town. Would it be best to speak to someone from the local branch, or higher up in corporate?

I’d start with the local branch.

As for reaching out to companies…see if you can arrange on-site demonstrations during Christmas break. Oftentimes these are small to medium sized companies and when someone brings something interesting, it tends to draw a crowd…including management.

When you do make contact, make sure you are prepared to sell your program…and most importantly ask for something specific. Do you want help making parts? financial donation? You’ll never get it if you don’t ask. One team came to ADCO a few years and they put on a great presentation for our management team…their only problem? They never asked for our support.

Are any of your mentors on LinkedIn? Perhaps they are connected to someone at the target company and can help arrange a meeting.

Good luck!

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Ouch, currently no moving robots, they’ve all been stripped to bits…

Ouch!

I think I may be one of the only people on the team on Linkedin, and I’m a student lol.

Thanks for the advice.

Any suggestions on who to talk to? One of the companies I am looking at has published contact info for the VP of Business Development which seems like a promising contact point. Any other titles that may be apt to handle these type of requests?

What company are you trying to connect with? If you don’t have a robot…hopefully you have video, photos, etc.
Connect with me on Linkedin (Colin Warnes)

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We have loads of pictures. Video is somewhat limited to what we can find from competitions and live streams.

I send a connection request on LinkedIn (Aidan Mundy).

The local PMMI companies I am interested in talking to are Antares Vision (global with local branch in our town that seems to be the USA HQ), Weiler Labeling Systems (HQed in our town), Precision Automation (HQed in a neighboring town), and LAUDA-Brinkmann (HQed in a neighboring town).

OK…just connected with you. I’m not familiar the companies, but maybe some of my connections are. Search LinkedIn for the company name and then see if any company personnel are 2nd or 3rd degree contacts.

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This is suddenly turning into a much needed lesson on how to use LinkedIn. What gets me is that I’m not quite aware of LinkedIn etiquette. Would it be appropriate to connect with a 2nd degree contact and then message them?

Yes, but you should reference that you know me

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And with 3rd degree contacts? Sorry, I seem totally inept at professional networking.

3rd degrees are basically friends of friends. I don’t know them, but I know someone that knows them. It’s best to reach out to first & second degree contacts

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We have an existing sponsor who is part of PMMI.

Hoping we can pull through some matching funds with PMMI and the help of our sponsor. I recently called on them with the PMMI information.

Thank you for the thread, notifying teams of a possible source of funding.

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