Fundraising 101

Fundraising Ideas

[FONT=Times New Roman]*This is a collection of Ideas and experiences posted by Members of Chiefdelphi over the years on the topic of fundrasing. Most of the useless extraneous material has been removed and actual suggestion and explanations on different fundrasing strategies have been extracted from their original threads. all text in **Bold *are individual fundrasing ideas and done for convenience and easy scanning. if there is any confusion on context or require more information click on the name of the post and you will be lead to the original thread. this research has been done to share the knowledge of Chiefdelphi to other FIRSTers not on Chiefdelphi, with that in mind Click on Print]( to print this thread or go to the go to the Thread tools on the right and proceed to “Show Printable Version” Print and share with your team. If you have tips that are in Chiefdelphi please quote them here or if you have your own suggestions write them below.

[quote=santosh;405381]1* We work alongside Papa Johns during most Flacons home games and other major events at the Georgia Dome. We help staff their booths and we can receive up to 12% of th profit that they make which ends up being like around $1000 per a game. It is a lot of fun too.
But a car show. That is a very interesting idea. I hope it goes well for you.[/quote]

[quote=dubious elise;405445]3* This is an interesting idea. Can you elaborate on it please?

Our team has used the information from team 364, that we found in the white papers section, to** host and manage a golf tournament**. After all expenses, we made approximately $2,300 this year alone.

**Wal-mart will match donations up to $500 for car washes **during the summer months.

If it is available in your area, Entertainment and Gold-C books have an excellent return, I believe $10-15 per book sold. The books are about $35 apiece and have, literally, hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars worth of coupons in them.

Though we have never tried this ourselves, there are some groups that sell First-Aid kits door-to-door. Its an oft-overlooked item that many people are willing to purchase, simply because they need one or two. (And of course, the FIRST-First connection is great )[/quote]

[quote=KenWittlief;405497]6* **have your team members, families and others donate unwanted stuff, and sell it on ebay.
An ebay party is a blast - schedule all the sales so they end at 2 or 3 minute intervals, then you can all watch together as the snipers drive the prices up at the last few minutes.

a team can raise thousands of dollars this way - and you can see what stuff is selling for (on the completed listings section) so you dont end up listing a bunch of junk that wont sell.[/quote]

[quote=Robocat1;406083]*8 We do an annual Trash & Treasure Sale and advertise for donations **(taken the night before) and usually make about $1300.

Max & Erma’s also holds special breakfasts, profit about $1200 - no work for us, just sell tickets (they make them), advertise, and bus tables. Sure beats the old Pancake Breakfast we used to do where we had to get donations and cook and clean up!

Instead of just asking for donation, our community members can sign our robot (or a sign when there’s no room on the robot) for a minimum $5 donation.

We host a Beach Party Dance for grades 4-6; an alumni DJs and we make about $1200. Everyone else at our school hosts dances for the high school, but we’re the only ones putting on a dance for the middle school - and they all come! We sell hot dogs, pop and popcorn that night too. Then, they all sign a banner with the FIRST and LEGO logos and we add pics from the night and hang it in their cafeteria - great way to begin recruiting early.

Our golf outing and Night at the Races are taking a few years to get established - be patient if you do this, it takes 1-3 years to catch on, then its easy. But then, the profit is at least $3,000 each.

Aluminum Recycling drives are also painless and easy - just set up the bin and advertise. Very little time & manpower so even if you only make a few hundred dollars its okay.

We have also done a successful dunking booth at a local festival. Rent the booth and then get all the other high school activities and teachers to be the dunkees. Profit over $1000 in 5 nights. Very fun for us too!

Finally, just try to balance what you sell with what you host and vary the audience you sell to.[/quote]

[quote=Zero-Bee;568451]9 Raffles generate huge profit for little investment*. With Valentine’s day coming up, a cute basket should do you some good.

Also, one thing our team does is sell chips and drinks for $.50 each, and that hasbeen generating some nice money from our team.[/quote]

[quote=sheltie234;569169]10* If you go to Fazoli’s (if any are near your team), you can volunteer to serve breadsticks for a night, and you get a profit. Sure, it won’t work during the six weeks, but after… You can also sell Krispy Kremes for a fundraiser. During the summer, our team does car washes at the nearest McDonalds. We got around $700 for just one day! Our orchestra had to raise a ton of money, so every student was responsible for making a basket (photograpy, italian, couch potato, Colts, Pacers, whatever you want), and all were auctioned at a starting price of $25 (do the math; a 20 person team means at least $500). Another thing you might want to consider is instead of getting money from sponsors, ask for something that you can put at a silent auction (like a TV or something; we got one for our orchestra’s auction once) or some of your teams items (like a shirt or a piece of CNC’d aluminum with your logo; people will love it!). That way, you can do the fundraising dinner and the auction in one huge, gigantic fundraiser!

Good luck![/quote]

[quote=newton418;569203]11* Some of our more creative fund raising ideas have been:

A car bash. For this we get a car about to go to a junk yard, bring out a couple sledge hammers, and let students smash the car before our rival football game.

A garage sale. We’ve been allowed to use a parking lot close to a major road, and everybody just brings stuff to sell. This one has really surprised us with the amount of money we’ve raised.

Stadium clean up. We sign up to clean part of the UT stadium after a football game. It’s dirty work, but a consistent source of money, and a good excuse to go swimming as a team afterwards.[/quote]

[quote=Kyle;569246]13* There are sooo many ideas on how to raise money.
One of the best places for money would be different lodges in your area…Moose lodges Rotary club’s places like that. Most of them are more then willing to listen to a demonstration from a team and sometimes they give money.
Also places that have lots of money would be car lots and dealers you might be able to find a nice one to help you out if you advertise for them.
Do not forget about grants from local and federal and also private places.
send me a PM for more ideas if you need them[/quote]

[quote=Protronie;569493]15* Krispy Kreme donuts have fund raising packages they offer to groups.
Theres a **local car wash franchise (Auto Bell ) the offers groups help with fund raising **, the groups sell preprinted coupons for a car wash and they get a percentage of the money for themselfs.
Food Lion supermarkets also help groups with fund raising with hot dog sales in front of their stores.
Something to check into also… here in Greensboro,NC … non-profit groups man the concessions at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex . The groups keep the profits from the food and drink sales. Perhaps the coliseum in your area has such a deal too.

Good luck at the fund raising
Remember sell the sizzle not the steak. [/quote]

[quote=Dantvman27;569545]16* We, Team 241 (out of NH), Do a classic Car show, brought in huge amounts of money. we contacted all the local car clubs and asked them to bring cars and had the public vote for their favorite cars. we charged a small fee to have your car in the show, and then charged admission and had a huge consession stand. A DJ is also something good to have at one of these, as is your robot. we got press coverage and tons of other stuff

here is our basic outline from our website on how to plan a car show

Planning a Car Show

Booking a Day
· Early fall is the best time to host a car show
o Be sure to start working on it before summer vacation
· Run the show from mid morning to early afternoon (10-2)
· Find a suitable parking lot that can support all your cars
o If your school has one we recommend using that
· Choose a day when the lot is available months in advance
o If you are using your school’s lot be sure there aren’t any home sports events to compete with
o Choose the day months in advance for advertising purposes
· Be sure to have a RAIN DATE!

Getting Cars and Spectators
· Contact area car clubs and invite them
o Go to “cruising nights” and advertise the event
· Find local websites for car shows and clubs to advertise on
o Advertise months in advance
· Put up flyers in local businesses
o Especially car dealerships and auto shops
· Contact local papers to advertise the event
o Also invite papers to send a reporter to the show
· Invite car local car dealerships to bring cars
· Advertise months in advance

· Ask to borrow your school’s sound system and hook it up outside
o Be able to play music and use a microphone
· Play music during the event
o Make a play list of car and cruising songs
o Be sure the music is appropriate and tolerable my all age groups
· A DJ is not required
o If you can find one who will donate his time do it
o If not just choose one of your team members to MC
· Have your robot there and driving around
o Entertainment as well as a demonstration of your team

· Keep it simple
o One choice for a meal (we recommend hot dogs)
o Have chips and drinks
· Try to find a grocery store who will donate some food and drinks for you or give you a discount

· Give a complementary just for entering a car
o We used ribbons with the name of the event
§ Order in bulk and don’t put the year on them so they can be reused
· Keep it simple: first, second, and third place
· Get prizes focused around car care: oil, detailing kits, oil changes, etc
o Try to see if local car shops will donate prizes
· We recommend awarding prized by popular vote
· Each car owner or spectator gets one voting ticket with entry
· Assign each car a number upon arrival to use for voting
o Keep a record of the year, make, and model of cars and their numbers

Running the Event
· Get there early to set up food tables and equipment
· Charge a fee for cars to enter and for spectators
o $10 for cars and $2-$5 for spectators recommended
o Post people at every entrance to charge entry fees
· Keep a record of all cars entered and a way to contact the owner for next year
· Have students parking cars in the lot
o Park cars in order of their number
· Be sure to have cans for garbage
· Have plenty of extension cords
· Set up a table where people can vote, check in, and look at information about your team
o Have your robot near by
· HAVE FUN![/quote]

[quote=RoboMom;576685]17* I just stopped by my local volunteer fire dept and bought 2 dozen roses for Valentine’s Day. I live in a rural area and we depend on the fire dept.

In talking with the all the volunteers, this is the first year they have tried this fundraiser and they are very happy. The flower company provided all the signs (they are everywhere) and the fire dept. can return any roses not sold. It is pure profit for them.

Teams might want to think about this for next year![/quote]

[quote=Carol;577400]18* MOE 365 last year had a 5K run in which we raised about $2000 from sponsorships and pledges. We had a local company that organizes these types of runs in order to make it an “official” event that serious runners can use to record their times - I’m not a runner so don’t ask me for details on that. It cost more but we got more runners than we would without it. But you can make an unofficial event as well. Money is raised by sponsors and by pledges. We were able to get sponsors that wouldn’t ordinarily be interested in sponsoring a robot team but who routinely sponsor 5Ks and marathons, like a chiropractor. Individual team members also went out and got pledges per miles ran (or walked in many instances). The amount you can raise that way is unlimited.

We also advertised to local FLL and FVC teams, several of which used it as their own fundraiser via pledges.

Our 5K this year is scheduled for April 7th. Details are on our web page -

P.S. I didn’t run it last year - I took pictures of the runners instead! [/quote]

[quote=wolfj;607300]21* A local restaurant, called the TI Inn, has created a special in honor of us. It’s called **“The World’s Largest Pancake Breakfast.” Basically, people pre-order the breakfast, and they get them on any weekend in… **I think it’s mid-May to late-June. Anyway, it seems like its going to be a huge success.

Try suggesting things like that to local businesses. See what happens. Good luck![/quote]

[quote=artdutra04;607320]22* For the 2007 season, Team 228 teamed up with a local neighborhood association group to sell pulled pork sandwiches at the Meriden Daffodil Festival, a HUGE parade and festival in our town that draws 200,000+ people every year. Some civic groups in the past have reported earning as much as $30,000 selling food and concessions at this event!

This past year, we’ve also had a car wash, a pasta dinner, and a pancake breakfast, all of which earned between $500 and $1000. In the coming months, we’re planning on hosting another car wash and a possible can and bottle drive.

// Shameless plug: If you’ll be at the Meriden Daffodil Festival in Connecticut on Saturday April 28 or Sunday April 29, 2007 and would like to support a fellow FIRST team, then be sure to stop by our food booth in the concessions tent! [/quote]

[quote=MChapman;637443]24* In my experience on Aces High we have a unique way of fund raising. Each student takes the names of a some businesses around our surrounding towns an goes out to the company and explains who we are, what we do, ect. we then show them a yearbook with all the events we do (our sponsors from previous years are in them) an give them the option in supporting our team. We have sponsor amounts ranging from $30.00-$2,000.00. Each different price the company pledges for allows their name on something. (ex. 30.00 gets you a business card size ad in our yearbook, say $500 gets you the ad an your company name on our banner) Many companies love donating their time an money to our team once we explain everything about our team an how we work. They find it very fascinating what we do, an they usually do not hesitate in giving us money. Each year students go back and ask again, an each year we get a great success rate.

Our biggest fund raiser is our pre-ship scrimmage. This is the biggest event before ship date in our area and teams from Ct, Ma, NH, and even NY have come to it. We get to test out the FIRST field. We have our registration fee, the food stand, a bake sale, we sell shirts, all of this money is helping our team, an we thank the other teams that help support us. If you can manage something like this, or smaller it helps a lot.

Even the pasta dinners. We held our first one last fall, an it was a great success! It can be a lot of work, an a lot of setting up, but once its time for pasta, you’re guaranteed some great fun and laughs. Just think great team bonding! It really works, and your community is supportive. Even ask Rosie, RAGE, or Gus. They would tell you the same thing.[/quote]

Verizon Foundation has a donation program for employees who can verify 50 hours of volunteer service.
Thanks to Mark from Team 2199 for letting me know of this program.[/quote]

[quote=njamietech;642214]27* 624 generally does a carwash at our local Kroger.

However other clubs in our school have done:
Lolipop sales** (HOSA)(you can buy boxes from certain companies online)(ive done this one before)

Mum and Garter sales (Band) (very annoying though)

Warm Cookie Sales (FBLA) (yum!!!)

Various order sheets (Multiple organizations)

Reusable Discount Cards (Football)

Coupon Books (football)

Running the school Store (FBLA)

Your welcome to try any of these.
However some may be harder to do than others. Ive put a by the ones i reccomend

Good Luck[/quote]

[quote=Bethany Mc.;655755]28* With the Christmas season coming up there are tons of things you can do!
Gift wrapping at a store** or even at your school, spread the word(works best at store) I was fundraising for People to People student Ambassadors, and on Christmas eve alone my mom and I worked, and raise over $1,000 in 10 hours. Not including the money from the day before, or the other 2 weekends…great fundraiser!!!
Candy sales** if you can get it approved by the school is good, go to Sam’s club (best of the three) and buy boxes of candy, or go to CVS, Rite AID, and buy candy on sale and sell for $1

I also did letters from Santa, we sent out fliers to people through email saying we would write their child a letter from Santa (send me a PM if your interested i have the flier we scanned and sent)

Also **talk to stores and restaurants about giving you a night where you get a percentage of what people buy **(most use only the fliers you hand out)

These are the main fundraisers i did for my people to people trip of $5,800 I was able to fundraise it all+ spending.

my team did car washes, gift wrapping, we were going to do a adult spelling bee, and an auction, a family fun night…and more[/quote]

[quote=wendymom;655961]30* Same thing as Cynette. Parents and mentors are taking them (Hexbugs) to work. Kids are selling them in school (not officially, just out of their backpacks) and to neighbors. We did have a booth at a middle school winter carnival last weekend as well. I think we sold about 40 of them there. My husband took them into work and his company bought 50 of them for the company store.

You can purchase the bugs from IFI…there is a thread on Chiefdelphi about them.

I’ve heard rumors that SPAM has sold over 26 cases. I highly recommend this fundraiser.[/quote]

[quote=Cynette;655863]31* Team 1511 is selling HexBugs too, with the same flying off of the shelf scenario. The mentors and parents are selling them in their workplaces and team members are selling them at school and in their neighborhoods. They make excellent Christmas stocking stuffers or Chanukah gifts, or just for fun!

[quote=mrs. p;212198]33* hi! will add our 2cents. we do fundraising year round and as of today have raised about 17K. we have a car wash each month (more than that and it gets old real fast). we sell candy. we do gift wrapping at the mall during christmas break. we hooked up with a travel agent who let us sell luncheon/cruise ship tour tickets (we made all of the profit) we hosted a golf tournament. we’ve done the murder/mystery dinner theater along with our drama dept (they did the acting - we supplied the food - usually donated by a local business) and both groups sold tickets. we give lots of presentations at local civic organizations that usually donate money. this year, a group has asked us to selll 5$ raffle tickets (we keep 4 and they get 1 back) they buy the items and it works for everyone.

hope that helps

mrs. p[/quote]

[quote=Jay H 237;240687]37* Our team has held car washes, sold Tupperware, Avon, **bulbs **(as in flowers), hold pancake breakfasts and ziti dinners through out the year. We also have held bottle and can drives, take-a-chance raffles, and bake sales. We do this year round, not just the six weeks.

[EDIT] Our team has also held tag sales with donated items and performed can shakes outside local supermarkets. We also sold hometown cards for $10. These cards were good for one year and got the bearer of the card discounts at local stores. The last one I remembered was our first year we held a smash-for-cash. We had a local junkyard donate an intact '85 Buick Century. They delivered it and picked up the remains, or carcus of it, since everyone was taking pieces for soveniers. I broke a 16 pound sledgehammer on it…that Buick put up a good fight!

[quote=MisterX;240792]38* One thing that my Explorer post does for rasing money is we hold a competition against other local groups and sell tickets to watch. I.E. our town Fire Post against the Police town post in basketballO, or our nieghboring Fire Post insoftball is another big one. Plus its sets a venue for you to sell food and stuff. We raise anywhere from $500 to $1000 dollars depending on attraction and sponsors. Also we do a breakfast with Santa during Chirstmas time ($1000-$1500) and a breakfastst with the Easterbunny ($500-$1000)

Besides who wouldn’t pay to watch two groups of geeks go at in full contact football? [/quote]

[quote=RoboMom;259915]40* Some new ideas that will take some work but are unique and fun.

  1. Become a "mystery shopper"and donate your earnings to the team. Could work as a family fundraiser. One of the largest companies is Maritz Research., 1-800-782-4299. Once you are in their database, they will list opportunities on their site by proximity to zip code. They are looking for your opinions. Not big bucks, but flexible and sometimes fun. There are lots of other companies that do this. You need to do some research.
  2. I’m just organizing the first of what I hope to be many, team and **school “taste testings.” Large company wants consumer opinions. **This time it is chips ( when I lived in England, they were called “crisps” ). Takes 5 minutes/person. Look around at any food corporations in your area and approach them. Permissions are usually needed for those under 18, so need to have adult as well as student involvement.
    Good luck![/quote]

[quote=KathieK;259962]41* Our students have had pasta dinners, sold **Papa John’s Pizza Kits **(yum), Butter Braids (also yummy), Pies at Thanksgiving, Entertainment Books. We’ve had car washes and bottle/can collections (what’s the “can shake” from an earlier post???). Our town has an annual townwide tag sale (garage or yard sale) and we joined in and earned close to $500 at it. Our adults recruited friends and co-workers and we staffed several concession stands at our new football stadium. (We earned several thousand dollars doing that, but it was a LOT of DIFFICULT work and our students could not be a part of it.)

One of our students has been researching fundraising and just presented the team with a list of 45 ideas for us to research this summer![/quote]

[quote=JudyVandy;525743]42* Chuck 84 was originally locally sponsored. We’ve recently picked up some Dupont Corporate sponsorship, for which we are very grateful. Since we’re almost 11 years old, it does testify to the fact that it is possible to survive on local funding.

With that said, it’s tough! You have to be very actively seeking funds from your local businesses and recognizing their contributions. We are fortunate in having 3 fairly large manufacturing plants on our area: DuPont, Osram Sylvania, and Craftmaster. In addition there are several smaller operations. Don’t forget things like banks and other such institutions. Another good source of funding are organizations such as Lions, Rotary, and Kawanis.

Plus there are the fund raisers you can run. We’ve done chicken BBQs, yard sales, linen and tool sales (I can give you a vendor for this. It’s been our biggest fund raiser in $$.), pizza tickets, Thanksgiving and Christmas pies, and tag days. Get creative.

No contribution is too small! $$ add up!

Good luck with your efforts. Feel free to e-mail or pm me.[/quote]

[quote=BandChick;260286]43* While i was in Annapolis, I spoke to the team from Immaculata High School in Somerset, NJ (sadly I can’t remember their team number…12 something) about fundraising. They told me about how a group of students gets together outside of local stores and sell sodas and such. They talk about how it’s for a good cause, and nearly everyone buys a soda or brownie or whatever else they happen to be selling that day. I know when my team does car washes, and we talk about FIRST and the good cause people tend to give us an extra $5 or $10. So make sure to hype up FIRST and get your potential customers interested in the cause and you’ll be that much more successful.

I wonder…would it be illegal to sell girl scout cookies as a fundraiser? :yikes:[/quote]

[quote=Keiko173;260376]45* RAGE had a carwash, and put out the “twin britneys” to get cars, then we made LOTS of good money, plus we had a good system to keep cars moving.
Another thing we did, sell fish, cheap goldfish in bowls w/ water and a few rocks $4, 12 sold and people asked for more, 50% profit i believe
What happens if you don’t sell them (although we didn’t have that problem) some team members get new pets[/quote]

[quote=RoboMadi;731264]46* Team 612 was looking for some extra bucks for Championship, so they a door to door coupon sale.
We have a dry cleaner franchise in our area, also known as Crest Cleaners. They give us free coupons every year, which we can sell for $20 bucks each. In last two days, students have made around $3000 just by going door to door and selling coupons.
If you have any franchise that is well known in your area, you can give it a try. If some of them don’t have a coupons program, you can help them start one and make money out of it, while they get promoted and get more customers.


[quote=ICanCountTo19;731293]47* Fund raising is one of the best ways to impact the community. People are always willing to pay to be inspired or taught, even entertained.

We do 3 separate weeks of FLL camps in the summer to teach kids prior to the upcoming FLL season, this has not only brought in about 2 or 3 thousand a year but also has TRIPLED the amount of FLL teams in our area. We provide an advanced camp for students as well which assures that they’ll come back and learn more.

Another thing we’ve found (on a slightly unrelated note), if we do these things while students are young they grow up and join the team. I’m an example of this. RUSH did FLL camps when I was in 4th grade I did it, I conned my mom into getting the school to start an FLL team, and grew up to join FRC. So this truly does wonders for not only fund raising but also recruiting.

There is also our Parent’s Night out. This is basically an activity night for kids at a local middle school. We have plenty of things to do, and of course food for sale (because kids love food, and we love having $ to build a robot). Every 10 year old is ridiculously excited to see robots, so we like to show it off. This takes quite a bit of planning, and is a decent amount of work, but they make us about $1000 each.

In the past we did a garage sale of stuff (mostly junk) we got donated from the community. It, again, was a lot of work organization wise, but in the end was successful. We found the key was advertising.

Selling stuff works well and all, but it is probably not as profitable as community events, and for some students is more of a commitment than 3 hours on a Saturday.

I’ll post more if I think of them and/or remember to come back to the thread, I know we’ve done other things, but it’s 2 am…[/quote]

[quote=EricH;404986]48* My team does several fundraisers, including but certainly not limited to:
-Garage sale
-Spaghetti dinner
-talk to companies for corporate funding
-Getting a machine shop to sponsor you cuts down on machining costs
-Restaurant’s deals–each restaraunt has its own thing about this, and fast-food places are the most likely bets
-Bake sale
-**Box Tops For Education **(run by General Mills)
-Albertson’s Preferred Card
-Our newest idea: get some VEX kits (borrow from local teams/people, or have club members buy for themselves or the club), set up a game booth at the nearest fair or show, and charge people to drive the robots and compete in game of your designing.

Any other ideas will work, and it is possible for a team to get enough funding without corporate sponsors. You just have to work hard, and maybe use the KitBot if it comes this year.[/quote]

[quote=Cow Bell Solo;723302]49* Type up a one page letter, maybe put a picture of your bot on it, mention what FIRST is and why its a good program. Talk about your team, achievements, how FIRST influences students and their life. Mention that without sponsors this program is impossible, because it is.

Then with that letter go to local stores and have a student or two talk about FIRST and the Robotics program and maybe give personal experiences and then leave the letter with them(best to talk to the manager, not just a normal employee)

We also went to Carbonnees(sp?) and they gave us coupons for 5 free pizzas. And that is better than having to purchase 5 pizzas even though they only lasted 2 meals or less but we didn’t have to purchase them. We have gone to the local Lions Club, Rotary Club, a local small collage. Also some local Enginnering/Science/Technology busnesses.

Hope that helps[/quote]

[quote=OScubed;723458]50* This is a presentation I did for raising money for not-for-profits. This particular presentation is not targeted specifically at FIRST (I did it for a local symphony orchestra) but the ideas are common no matter what kind of NFP you run. I serve on a number of not-for-profit boards.

Feel free to copy and distribute, or drop me a line if you’d like a “FIRST” customized version of it, or have any questions.

The big thing that new NFPs forget when they are raising money is to PUSH THEIR SPONSORS. These guys and gals GAVE you money. Mention them every place you can - whenever you have an interview, show the robot off, in your pits, on the robot itself, on your banners and T-Shirts, on TV etc. Think NASCAR. If you watch a NASCAR race you’ll see the sponsors name on EVERYTHING. It’s INSIDE THE HOOD in case the engine fails and they have a shot of the engine on TV. Give back at least as much as you get, and you’ll get more money and better sponsors next year.

Your goal should be that the SPONSOR’S CUSTOMERS and PERFECT STRANGERS, come up to them and say “hey - I saw you sponsored a FIRST team! Can you tell me more about that?”. I guarantee that if at least one customer comes up to them and says that each year - they’ll sponsor again and again. And guess what - that fits into Woody’s mission to “spread the word” about FIRST because by promoting your sponsors - you’re also promoting yourselves.

Lee Drake[/quote]

[quote=Uberbots;723515]51* on a similar note, we also have a coupon for 20 free doughnuts (= (or is it 50? i cant remember)

one way we have found successful for fund raising is looking for local restaurants that host events for NP organizations. We bring our robot it, hold a raffle, explain our team to those interested, and usually get $500 to $750 from the restaurant/raffle profit/donations.

another thing we sometimes do is picket outside of stop&shop or home depot or something like that, and explain our bot to those interested.

something else we do often are demonstrations to the various schools in our area, promoting the ideas of robotics and technology (and hopefully recruiting new members!). what usually happens here is that excited kids tell their parents, and then excited parents come visit us, and if they are still excited they talk to their company (sometimes).[/quote]

[quote=Stephi Rae;723560]52* The Skunkworks, 1983, had some issues with fundraising our first year because we expected to get a NASA grant and didn’t. That’s where our business plan has come from. I would recommend downloading it, and not only checking out our spaghetti dinner fundraiser and student letter writing campaign (which both consistently have raised over $10,000 apiece) but adapting the document to fit your own team. It might take you a little while, but it is really impressive to take to businesses and prove to them that your team is a good investment.

We have found that requiring each of your students to raise (not have their parents write a check for) at least $250 per event they wish to attend is a good place to start. Also, if you wish, I can get you a copy of the vague letter explaining FIRST that we send out for our letter writing campaign, just PM me. We also suggest that students write a personal letter explaining their experiences and what the FIRST program means to them and how it has affected their lives really helps get money, especially from local business owners (but also family and friends).

Also, knowing that you guys are very close to us, I’m sure I can run something by my coach and the rest of my team, if you want to maybe talk about some joint fund raising i think we might be able to work on some of that.

If you have any more questions, or might be interested in what I have mentioned above, feel free to contact me through PM, or an email to[/quote]

[quote=blakcheez;725805]53* Two that our new team is looking at (and will most likely do):
Pizza Hut** -=- -or-

Krispy Kreme -=-[/quote]

[quote=rmadsen55;12046]54* Hi all,
WOW! After month of anticipation the time has finally come. FIRST 2002 season has officially started. during these times with the economy doing what it is money is tighter with our sponsor corporations and they are not able to kick in as much as they have been able to in past years in light of this I am asking for your help buy sharing ideas for fundraisers you do. I am sure we are not the only team facing this additional challenge this year so I will also share with you what we do.
-Coffee Sales through Boston’s Best CoffeeBOSTON"S BEST COFFEE
-A raffle of donated Items
-Local Bussiness Donations
-take and bake **Pizza sales **through a local pizza place

I thank you for your help and good luck to all in the 2002 season.


[quote=Gadget470;186048]55* Talk with local businesses!

7-11, Tim Horton’s, Tim Horton’s, Tim Horton’s, Tim Horton’s, *, Local Bank, Hardware Store, Deli, Pizza Shop, Travel Agency. EVERYTHING.

For example, 470 is sponsored by Papa John’s Pizza. We don’t get free pizza, but we get a “generous” amount of pizza’s at the price it costs Papa John’s to make it.* I can’t remember the team number anymore, but last year there was a team with about 40 sponsors (30 on their list).

Leave no business unasked. But before you ask, develop a gameplan befrore you approach them. Don’t expect $1,000 cash from your local hardware store. Perhaps attempt a materials discount. For everything your team uses, chances are you can get a sponsor for it.

Remember, accept “no” politely, and ask again in 6 months or so.

A small ‘registration fee’ is acceptable to many teams. My first year in FIRST we had to put in a “$200 Deposit”. We were expected to have it returned in full if the team fundraised enough money. If not, the deposit would be used. For those who couldn’t afford the deposit, installment-style payments were made to build it up. I ended up getting $150 back, and that went to the next year’s deposit.

Personally, I feel $50CDN is not a bad price for a FIRST team member. Yes, I understand, some families can’t just drop $50, but that’s where the special arrangements come in.

Anyways, as I was saying… try for everything local. Are there billboards or movie marquee’s in your area? ask the owner to put up a “Support local robotics team - Team Name!” Don’t give more info. Let the citizens question it in their minds. Then when they get a flyer… they’ll remember you and look into it. Intrigue is a beautiful thing.

Those should be able to catch someone’s eye as they pass it in the hall and make them watch it for a bit. Don’t expect some company to take your video watch it, and fall in love. Yes, it could happen, chances are it won’t, though.

Talk with an English teacher at your school about making a formal letter to submit to businesses. They will be your biggest help in making a professional and respectable approach to getting a sponsor.

Let the businesses now what they are getting for their money. Most places won’t be happy with just a sticker on the robot. Some want their name in pamphlets, on shirts, etc. Create a system of equality. Meaning, equal funding = equal treatment.

Say Fast Joe’s Pizza gives you 50 free pizzas. Regular price for a large pizza is ~$10, $10 x 50 = $500. Fast Joe’s should get equal treatment as Jerry’s Bike Shop who donated $500 cash.
Your team should decide what that treatment is. Many teams have a policy of:

Level 1
$50-$500 = Name/logo on all documents given out (Pamphlets, CD’s, other promotions)
Level 2
$501-$1500 = Name/logo on T-Shirts and Level 1
Level 3
$1501-$2500 = Name/logo on Robot and Levels 1, 2
Level 4
$2500+ = Name announced with Team and Levels 1, 2, 3, 4

Your team should decide the structure, if you tell them “that’s how it will be” then DO IT! Don’t promise a company something and not follow through or you won’t get returning sponsors.

Toot your own horn in the letter. Toot it like it’s never been tooted before. Consider swinging the letter to say that you need not want sponsorship. Let them know of all your other fundraising efforts and community outreach. Small Businesses by nature love to take credit for other people’s accomplishments, but they need a reason to.

Last year my team, 114, had 1 car wash fundraiser, it work out great, we got a total income of $1500 from it, but the best part was that we did the car wash a week after my schools parent teacher conferences, and we sold tickets for the car wash and made $200 just from pre-selling tickets, and only 1 car with a ticket turned up.

2003 Driver, 2003 drive-train designer

some ideas for fundraising that i don’t think i’ve seen before. we also do the car washes(with matching funds), candy sales and donut sales. we’ve also collaborated with the high school drama department every year and split the profits for a mystery dinner theater. they do the show and we do the dinner. this year we’re hosting our FIRST golf tournament. this summer, our county hosted a teen festival (for thousands of kids) and we were able to be the sole provider of drinks. profitable venture! we also do gift wrapping around Christmas time with the robot nearby and visit the local civic organizations to give presentations, demo our robot and ask for support.

Dues can be ok as long as they are small. Team Hammond’s funding covers half of the transportation costs while students and families are left with the rest (this info is from 2001 anyway), which made the dues $525 for 2001. That was a lot, obviously.

Anyway, as Josh said, Duct Tape is good. Go to Walmart, buy a bunch of rolls, and then set up a teacher or principal on a couple of chairs, back to wall, legs spread, and arms out. Do this at a big event, like a dance or something. Sell the tape for $1 or $0.50 a yard (or meter) and $10 or $20 a roll - and let them go nuts, putting it where they want (if the volunteer approves). It’s a little difficult to con someone into being taped, but if you do it, after you get a good number of rolls up there (5-15, depending on size), they will stick to the wall without the chairs supporting them! (be careful pulling them out, and be sure to take pictures)

Krispy Kremes also has a great fundraiser if you don’t have a shop close by. They sell you glazed dozens for I think half price and then you sell them off quick either at the corner of a local business where traffic is good or the entrance to a big local event. Team Hammond makes this a weekly event at times.

T-Shirts can also bring in money instead of making it go out! The Prank Monkey logo made about $350 for the team last year. We had a different shirt printed with just a big logo on the front and a little text on the back. We sold them at $15 each to classmates, family, friends, and other FIRSTers.

What about doing any of these funraisers at the high school BSU is working with? College fundraisers rarely work…

The one college fundraiser that DOES work:
Step One:
-Get a table to sit up outside

Step Two:
-Set that table up outside a major lecture hall or academic building…that or in the middle of the dorms

Step Three:
-Krispy Kreme has a fundraiser plan where they will deliver X boxes of donuts to a certain place in the morning

Step Four:
-**Sell donuts to college kids…**they will buy them like they were an addictive substance which they are

Step Five:
-Repeat weekly in the same place…people will come back.

Step Six:
-Love the profit!

Otherwise, I’m sure you can look in this forum for idea’s that have been already posted.

Here in MI there is a big deal with recycling, I have had numerous fundraisers come by and ask if they can have any of my cans or bottles. I usually give them all I have in the garage and they get about 10 cents a piece at the grocery store. Its quick, easy and even saves me the hassle of taking them to recycle myself.

Bagging Fundraisiers (bag peoples groceries at a local supermarkets; "waldbaums,pathmark, keyfood etc

Running Marathons (e.g. NYC Marathon - be a clean up volunteer)

Mini Running Marathons (same job as above)

The proceeds will go to the team itself. split it in half.

Half goes to the student portion which is divided amongst how many hours was worked by each student and the other hald of the proceeds will go towards team needs - e.g. shirts, jackets, buttons, robot materials etc…

thats all i can up with for now.

Our band (and soon, hopefully robotics) sells Krispy Kreme dohnuts at school. They have a few hundred boxes of them come to the school monthly. They sell $5/box and 12 in a box. I’m not totally sure on the profit on them, but I may be able to find out soon enough.

Comments: I REALLY like that idea of the **carwash-a-thon! **The bagging idea is cool too but that wouldn’t work out here in cali where there are bag boys.

Anyway, here’s something I posted a long time ago…
Well for those who need quick cash (lets say you need an expensive part soon) there’s always the bakesales (we made a nice $100 in one day), See’s Candy Sales, selling rootbeer floats, and carwashes. The only problem is that every other club at the school does this.

For more money, it takes a little more preparation. Our big student fundraising event is putting together a dinner, ours is actually next week. All the parents make pasta and one of my teammate’s dad is a chef so he makes the sauces. Another dad is big on garlic bread so he just prepares bread like there’s no tomorrow. Put some tablecloths on tables in the school’s cafeteria, display your robot and show it off by running it around, and put together video clips of your robot…and voila, you got yourself a good fundraiser. We charge $8 a person (team members get in free of course because they’re all gonna be working). We give two tickets to the presidents of companies who sponsor us to show our appreciation and they can purchase more tickets if they want their kids or friends to come or something. The kids that our team mentored for lego league are also really eager to come…and so are their parents…and so are our parents…and so are the administration. Tons of people bought tickets just to support us even though they could not attend that day. You get the picture, lots of people = lots of money. Each person has to sell at least 3 tickets. So if I do my math right and everyone sells the bare minimum, our class is making around $1000. Thats about how much money we raised last year and our team was half as small and just a loosly structured club.

Not only is this as great way of making money, its also fun because its like an end of the year wrap up for the team. We get to show off our accomplishments (especially to our sponsors, who are more inclined to donate again once they see their money being put to good use). We also do a little thank you ceremony at the end, to our teacher, mentor, sponsors, and our team captain’s parents, whose house we lived in for 6 weeks.


Ok, in the segway forum our acedemic advisor posted this note, I just cut and pasted it here for you info. As you can see we work our tails off. Ninety percent of fundraising is PR and projecting your image and showing the community what you do and where thier money is going.

Please share ideas on fundraising. Include unique ideas, and how you organized them and pulled them off. Also include # of people involved, prep time, PR time, and how you made it a success.

We have had to be very creative, especially when there are so many fundraisers being carried out by other groups and organizations.

Some of our ideas are:

Have a **Sponsor Appreciation Dinner **and share the many ways that your community leaders can help the kids.

We are doing gift wrapping in an empty store in a local mall. The Mall coordinator is letting us use the space for free, and in return we are wrapping the Toys for Kids drop off donated toys as a community service. We will be open Thanksgiving weekend, and the 2 weekends before Christmas.

We do leaf raking.

Sell the fabric stretchy bookcovers at our school-- turtle company

Sell flashy magnetic lites at ball
Sell school clothing**–sweatshirts, faculty shirts, and monogrammed coats

sell frozen slabs of bbq ribs from local BBQ restaurant

Take pre-orders, set up in a large room, make and deliver hot BBQ meals (bbq meat, potato salad, cake, beans, bread) and deliver to work sites.

Have pre-game meals at your high school cafeteria.
Sell commemorative bricks and put them in a place at your high school that needs beautifications**. Fill in a flower bed that has weeds in it.

**Sell ad space on your robotics trailer **(if you have one)

Contact local kid play center (the kind with indoor jungle gym) and set up a mom’s night out, and babysit the kids for f$10-$15 for the evening. Feed them Pizza.

Deliver food on Super Bowl Sunday
Sell smoked brisket, turkeys for Thanksgiving & Christmas**

Have a local Photographer come into the school around a holiday. He can set up a background and do pics during lunchtime–the kids will love it. Have him/her do buttons, keychains and locker frames.

Have a booth at each local festival. Even if it is to demo last year’s robot. The more publicity you have the better your other fundraisers will do.

Hope these will help you this year–it is tough economically!

I would love to hear your ideas too!

Tonya Scott
Ponca City, Oklahoma

Tonya Scott

Here is a great fundraiser.
Take the car wash to the next level.
Here is how it works, Advertise two to three days a week after school you will be hosting a car detailing fundraiser. The cars must be washed prior to bringing them to the detailing.
The materials needed:
1.Windex glass cleaner
2.Armorall protectant for tires and rubber parts
3.Three to four foam sponges for wax applicators
4.Paper towels
5.Old towels for wax removal
6.Cotton “T” shirts for armorall application

2 students apply wax
2 students do rims and tires
2 students remove wax
1 student does outside of windows only
1 student applies armorall to rubber car components
1 supervisor usually an adult will monitor quality control

Once you get the routine down you can finish 4 cars per hour
our team was asking for donations of minimum $25 for regular cars and $35 for SUV’s

We were clearing easily $150 in as little as one 2 hour session
and raised nearly $2000 for the short time we did this.

Get on this activity ASAP if everyone works well and learns their job, and the participants work as a team it will be very successful.
The time to do this is now! everyone is looking to wax their car for the winter season.
P.S. Use the term Car Detailing /Waxing it makes a difference.

We go out and get 10+ students and go do work in pre-planed yards. You charge like $5 an hour per person for the time it takes to do the job. We usually make $100-200 a yard and can get up to 4 yards in a day.

It’s great for team building too. Everybody learns to work better together etc.

Sponsor dinners uaully work well too…

Our booster club has a huge operating bingo 2xs a week for the public year round. Each year there’s a lottery for school clubs to get dates to earn money for their club. Most clubs get 2 dates a year. The club has to get 5 persons for each of the 2 shifts on the day they’re responsible for. Each worker earns $50 for the team. So a full day’s shift earns the team $500. Late workers, someone not showing up, early departures, reduce the money to the team, and shows the booster club your club’s not reliable. If a team doesn’t show up for their date at all, all subsequent dates are cancelled. There are regulars working the hard and foundational part of putting on the bingo. The volunteers walk around constantly selling $1 cards or games. Those on the 2nd shift also clean up.

We aren’t doing candy or car washes… Cuz of the particular circumstances of our team, we’ve been meeting 3xs a week since spring 2002, all of which is an open house to the public advertised in the paper. That’s brought us visitors from as far away as Riverside, an hour away. We had a very tough year last year, and had a lot we needed to accomplish this year, like completely reorganizing our facility cleaning up the auto shop that hadn’t been used in years

Cleaning out old greasy yucky abandoned auto parts.

Putting our stamp on the cleaned out cupboards.

(1/03 auto shop’s being redesigned into construction technology and a robotics area), , reorganizing the way our team does things, experimenting with robotic subsystems…

Most clubs only want 2 bingos cuz it’s hard to get that many volunteers. Last year we had 3 bingo opportunities. I got 5 bingo opportunities this year - all scheduled July - Sep. I sweat some bullets deciding whether to take all those dates. I am getting commitments NOW from parents, mentors, students who will be 18 by end of June, that they do 2 bingo shifts. If everyone does their part, I’ve covered all 5 bingos and our team will have earned $2500.

Next year we don’t expect to be meeting 3xs a week, our facility should be done, we’ll have experienced our newly cohesive team and come up with better ways for us to organize ourselves. Who knows what fundraising activities we’ll be doing then.

well our team is currently in the midst of three ongoing fundraisers…well one was a one night thing but and is now over but was very successful…we are selling pretzels and soda afterschool, selling wawa coupons and we sponsored a Halloween dance…

pretzels and soda - is an everyday fundraser where we set-up a table with pretzels and sell them for $0.50 a piece and as the kids are walking out they pick up a pretzel and soda…we only have permission to do this for one quarter…and is successful…we sell the pretzels out daily and thats 75 a day…and then how ever many sodas we decide to set out.
WaWa Cupons** - ok to all of u non-northern-east-coast people that dont know what WaWa is…its sorta like a glorified convienient store…its huge up here and we all love it…so they sell like hoagies and the such…well we are selling hoagie cupons for their 6" hoagies that are $3.00 a piece, you save $0.40,and we get a dollar per cupon sold…its a very good fundraiser and did well last year

Halloween Dance- We heard about teams last year sponsoring dances and our school doesnt have enough dances as is so we decided it would be benificial to sponsor our own halloween dance since the school doesnt have one regurlarly and we needed a fundraiser…we made $1,500 for one nght of work, which was a lot of fun too…that was so worth it…i hope we do it again…we charged $5 at the door…it was nice

Joe Troy Jr.
Team 357
Royal Assault

2003- Return of the Jester

We like to make money in bunches. We do some fundraisng at school, penny drives, sell candy, etc. But the best way for us to make money is through business presentations. We send out letters of introduction, follow up with a call to set the appointment, make a presentation, follow up with thank you notes, and an invoice for the donation. We have worked on 15 companies thus far and have received $6,000 in a month and a half, commitments for another $6,000 or so, and two more companies who want us to get back to them to set up presentations. In Az we made it manditory that each team member come up with $200 in tax credits. With the tax credits we have earned about another $5,000. We also have local comapnies donate another $2,000 to $3,000 in parts and supplies for the robot.

See this thread

Then read this.

For big, corporate soponsors, it’s going to take a lot of work. We currently don’t have any either. You can write letters to either the local or corporate offices of some companies near you. You will need to write dozens of letters because most of them will just be ignored. You also need to have a follow up phone call 2-3.5 weeks after you send the letter. I can send you a copy of the letter we currently use if you like.

You can also try to fund raise/obtain sponsors on the local level. Have a few people of your team just go in to your local home center and ask to to speak with the manager. If he is busy, arrange another time. When you speak with the manager, have a nice presentation ready with something like a binder to show who your team is, what you do, what you need, and why this place should help. They will probably be able to give you a percentage off all purchases or a gift certificate or possibly a donation.

You can also divide up the back of your team shirts into about 24 business card size rectangles. Sell these as advertising space to all the local businesses for $100-$200 per square. You will need to be able to tell them how many people will be wearing them, how often, and when the shirts will be made.

Another thing you can do is go around to perhaps the same businesses for the back-of-shirt advertising and offer them a plaque (spelling? - sounds like “plack”) that has a photo of your team (students, mentors, engineers, robot(s) all included) and a place where it says “A proud supporter of the 2003 Timberlane Tantrum Robotics Team”. You can probably get these made for around $30 and sell them for about $150. They can hang it in a public place of their store/restaurant to show people that they have community involvement.
You can also have fundraiser nights at a favorite restaurant nearby. Many restaurants are happy to set up an event for you where you take something like 20% of the sales that night** because it’s all tax deductable for them. Just be sure to stay away from Baja Fresh (if there’s any of those near you) because you’ll hardly make a dime.

Car washes can also bring in the bucks. If you can do it in a high traffic area in a place near your school, you are bound to make minimum $200.

Last, if your school has lunch carts or a cafeteria, try to see if members of your team can work in any of those during lunchtime. We get $25 per day for 2 students on one cart for 20 mins. Not bad.

Remember for any outside funding or fundraising, you will most likely need to have your team’s or school’s tax ID number on hand.

Hope this helps. If I can be of further assistance, let me know.

  • sanddrag

. It is getting a bit late in the season to be having one though, so you had better hurry up

Try asking your school if you can sell refreshments at sporting events. I’m sure this brings in loads of money (especially if you get the stuff donated or made). I’m not too into sports (haha…) but I think basketball, football, soccer, cross country, and maybe wrestling is before the deadline. It should add up over time.

Go beg to local places. This is what our team does. Our biggest sponsor is less than $4,000. Ask schools for money. Ask local (read: not huge chain) stores for money… Ask factories. Ask electric companies/cooperatives. Just bug the heck out of the community You’re sure to get a few thousand dollars worth of pity money.

And presentations really count. Bring an adult (I doubt many companies will give checks to kids)

Sell **candybars in your school Sell hoagies. Sell donuts. Have a collective yardsale (They work!) Have a bingo night (we’re working on doing this). Five bucks a card…10 games or whatever…split your money in half and give out one half worth of prize money (assuming it will be greater than $5 )
Go to local fairs and happenings. Make a donation box. You wouldn’t believe how well this works. All profit…well…besides the box

And lastly,
DONT SELL FREEZY POPS! Argh. Because sell is one thing they don’t do.

TJ has been doing there candy selling for about a month now and we’ve raised around $3,000 profit. Course are kids are now profesional candy sellers. We’ve been doing it for like 7 years. We’re good.

. It didn’t quite work out, and now we have a couple large boxes of lollipops lying in our storage room. We gave them away by the handful one night, but they’re still there. I also heard another team got a load of money just from going to a fair and charging $1/minute for people to drive their robot around.

Actually, we do something like that. We help out with the regional FLL tournament and host the state tournament. At each of these events, our team sells concessions. We sell soda, milk, coffee, lemonade, pizza, hot dogs, chips, and cookies. We sell them at a reasonable price ($0.50 for a soda, $0.50 for a bag of chips, etc.) - but we make a really good profit.

We also sell **candybars **to raise money. We buy them for $0.50/bar and sell them for $1. It actually does raise a fair amount of money.

This past year, we sold giant Pixie Stix at our city’s Octoberfest. We bought the candy for $150 (total) … but by the time we are done selling them, we will have made $800 profit. It’s a pretty good deal.

As far as corporate sponsors go, we have two main ones: Plexus Corp and the Appleton Area School District (AASD). The AASD gives us a really nice grant to keep the program going, and Plexus picks up the cost of our spare parts and such. It’s a really nice deal. Kimberly Clark also sends a few of their engineers over to help. They donate welding equipment to the school, which we use.

Our team also has a lot of smaller sponsors - but we appreciate them as much as our main sponsors! These “smaller” sponsors donate food, materials and equipment to our team. Without them, we would have problems.

Every year, after Nationals, Our team has a sponsor’s banquet. We invite all of the head people who’s comapnies sponsor us to the dinner. We recognize them, and hand out plaques with the company’s name, the year and a picture of our team at one of the competitions we attended that past season. Many of our sponsors have the plaques hanging in their lobbies, so a lot of people see these!

Our team also does a fair amount of demonstrations around the city. We don’t get any money for doing these demos, but we have picked up a few sponsors by doing so. I think our piggest sponsor pick-up is at Octoberfest. Thies year, a guy from Bimba noticed us and said he can give us almost anything (pneumatics-wise) for free! All we have to do is ask. So even though we don’t get money directly for doing these demos, many times it pays off in the long run!

One new thing we are trying this year:

Each team member is responsible for fundraising half of his/her cost to go to a competition. Example: if a competition is going to cost a student $50 to attend, they must raise at least $25 to be able to go. This just encourages fundraising for students.

Does your team pay for students to go to competitions, or do they pay for the costs themselves? If the team pays now, you might want tot hink about making the students pay (or fundraise!) to go. That will cut back a little on your team’s costs.

I hope this helps!!

  • Katie

Raffles are also a good way to earn money- raffle off something kids really want like a xbox and you’ll make a ton

Another really really good way to make money is to host a mini-competition. We’re having our third annual “Ramp Riot” this coming saturday… I know you guys probably can’t do this since you don’t even have a robot- jus throwing my part in the pot

I’ve noticed some other teams with about twenty or thirty sponsors- you could go around to every local business and tell tehn you’d put their name on your shirt and the robot, etc

Another idea- if you have a few robots sell one of them… you could fool someone in paying a few thousand $ for it…

Sell a robot? Never.

We just had a carwash on a cool, partly cloudy day and made $680 - $35 for water. We had about 15 people working. We presold tickets begining 4 days in advance and a car/truck/suv wash was $5. Parents donated soap, towels, sponges, etc. We even got Papa John’s to HIGHLY discount some pizza for us for lunch. We’re talkin’ like 2 bucks for a large.

Very nice.

<edit> And oh yeah, at my school, it is illegal to hold any form of a raffle. So you might want to check on that first. </edit>

In Wisconsin at least you have to get a liscence from some state agency and put the Lic. # on all the tickets you sell, we did a PS2 and TV raffle last year and made around $2500.

Different for this year is that our district (OASD) is our biggest sponsor, giving us $6000…Quest has dropped their money support to $2500, and our 3 or 4 other big sponsors give us $1000. We raise the rest with candy bars (lots and lots and lots of candy bars), pizza sales, car wash, bake sale, and just plain out donations. Team members get their regional trips paid for (at least 1, we aren’t sure how it will work out with going to 2 regionals this year) and the members that goto nationals usually end up paying about half, and the other half comes from the team.

Another idea for fundraising would be a silent auction. My team used to do it, we made a coulple thousand last year. What you need to do is send your team members out with general letters asking companies for a donation of their goods or services. You then can make it into either a dinner or dessert buffet, we prefered the last one, and charge people for coming in. It was a great way to make money and fun You just have to make sure your team is willing to put in all the work that goes into it.

P.S. To make it more cost efficent we had the students bring dessert so that we had no out of pocket cost.

I know what you are going through … my team is totally unresponsive to fundraisers … meaning no ideas and even the ones that i do find through threads on CD, no one is willing to volunteer there time to participate in them. all i can say is if you want ideas on fundraising, there are a lot that can be found in this section. some of the ones that i can think of off hand are:

: yard clean- up
: car washes (or the varied … car wash-a-thon )

: collective yard sale
: bake sale

i know that there were many more, so just have a look through the threads

hope that helps


.** We take our bot out to Walmart**, make boards with action shots, the workshops, etc. etc. and things to show the games, and such. Then you have buckets and as people enter and exit some will drop some money in, start asking questions, etc. Sometimes you find people interested in mentoring who never knew about it, depending on the people you can make it a pretty good fundraiser (maybe like $300 for a few hours, not much, but it isnt bad since your interacting as well) and you really sometimes get your image out there, and (well since we’re the “sleeper” town for Kennedy Space Center and the town where you see the shuttle launch and such) we have engineers who get interested, then come down and check it out, some who will offer machine shops, etc. It really helps in more ways then money. People sometimes won’t donate money, but things you need (machine shops, volunteer time, ideas, etc.)

Well, a really good one is to work concessions at sporting events. My team runs a concession stand and a few beer booths at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions (they suck!).

We make lots of cash doing that, but you need a lot of students and parents. About 25 total for each event. We work about 11 of them each. Pulls in a good 20 g’s a year.
Well, to the point, contact local arenas, and the people in charge of the food, and ask if they need help, or if they could fit you in.**

Any questions, email me at


I have a cool pamphlet that asks for money and it hasn’t let us down yet. So far we got 2 commitments for $5000 and 3 commitments for $500. One was just collected today! You can see it on our website . Everyone we have that we have asked has given us something. Plus we have a candy sale that makes our team about $1000.

As an advisor for the “Dirty Birds” we have learned a lot about fund-raising! One of the major things we learned is to NOT fund-raise during build time! We do all of our fund-raising in the “off” season. We raise our money by doing a service, instead of selling stuff. Try to contact any large arena, track, fairgrounds, etc. We sell beverages and snacks at our local fair during demolition derby’s. We made $1,500.+ selling this year. Our biggest fundraiser is cleaning up at a racetrack (an hour away) that hosts the Winston Cup series. We were only able to clean 2 days out of the 8 that were offered, but we still raised $2,500.00. Keep in mind we only worked 5 hours total, it is the easiest money you will ever make! We also made $1,100.00 selling coffee and hot chocolate at our local pumpkin festival. **If your town hosts a tree lighting festival or anything like that, you can see if you can sell there. **The added bonus to that is that you can also show your robot off. I hope this helps, I wish you luck motivating your students, that is the hardest part!

For our area events, we get $80 an hour. You have to be a non-profit and have 8 people working the entire time.

Team 1983 has experienced some difficulties with money in the past, and are anticipating a possibly difficult year ahead of us if some of our former sponsorships fall through for the coming year.

All that aside, it is my opinion that sponsorship from a business that gets excited and is interested in being a long term sponsor is the best way to go. Though we have not yet achieved this, it is something that we have begun to chase.

We believe that having a business plan, or documentation of budget, fundraising techniques and general team information is a solid asset to generating community interest in your program.

Two of our annual fundraisers generated about $10,000 apeice this year that we think we will be able to continue for many years to come. The first is a student letter writing campaign. Each student is required to send a bare minimum of 5 letters to family, friends, acquaintances and local community members or companies, with a team overview and gentle request for a contribution. We greatly encourage students to send more than 5, and this has proved very influential in increasing community interest and awareness. It is also key to send thank you letters, and a sort of team update to these contributors, so they are aware of what your team has been able to accomplish. (This also tends to make them more likely to contribute again the next year)

Another fundraiser was our spaghetti dinner and dessert auction. Local families buy tickets, which is the only cost they pay for food, music entertainment, and a presentation from the team. There is then an auction where we sell both regular auction items and desserts for them to eat or take home. We also have a “Fund-a-skunk” part of the auction, where people can donate money to send a specific student to competition (approximately $250 per competition per student) or just a general donation for this purpose.

Our seemingly best policy is that each student member is required to raise $250 for each competition that they plan to attend. This helps to get the students motivated to fundraise, specifically if you give them a beneficiary cut of what is raised at each team fundraising event that they attend.

I believe there are a couple of different business plans in the white papers section, I know that Team 1983’s is there, and also at Hope this helps you! If you have any questions about our plan, or some of our ideas, feel free to PM me or email me at

Our team runs a battle of the bands event at our school twice a year. Usually in early December and late May. We’ve got bands from the school (a requirement for various reasons that at least one member must be a student in our school).

It’s a fair amount of work, but honestly little overhead. The school provides the venue and the sound system. The bands bring thier own instruments. Our costs are usually related to things like t-shirts for give aways and sales, some costs for refreshments at intermission, and prizes for the winners. We run between 5 and about 8 bands.

We average between $2000 and $2500 a show depending on expenses and how many people show up.

PS: If anyone happens to be in South Jersey next weekend, this Spring’s show will be May 31, 6 (I think) to 11pm in the Performing Arts Center at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, NJ.

In addition to asking parents and mentors for contacts, remind them to look into their own company’s methods of giving. Some will donate on their own. Other will give “in kind” or **“matching” donations.
Also, look into E-Scrip ( and **Ralph’s Club **( These are nearly effortless ways of raising money. The one catch is that RC pays out quarterly, and I believe E-Scrip may be the same way.



Sponsorship is sometimes extremely difficult to obtain. Regardless of whether the team is a rookie or more established, lacking personal “connections” with a corporation might result in receiving limited funding. However, Cybersonics Technology 103 has developed steps in establishing a yearly budget that strays from digging too far in member’s pockets.

  1. **Make Your Team Known **

Send out monthly newsletters within the community, create a website, and/or host a fundraising event(s).

  1. **Become Involved **

Engage in community service efforts by collecting can foods or clothing for those in need. Show the community that you care and that you are willing to give back.

  1. Market Your Team

*For Corporate: * Create a Professional Packet highlighting who your team is, what FIRST is, goals for the future, past achievements (including community efforts), and where you are traveling to this season. Personalize these documents with the name of the corporation and a budget of the previous year. Place these documents in a folder and mail it to the intended corporation. After a few days make a follow-up call to insure that the documents were received and ask if they have any questions. Prepare a presentation where you illustrate the importance of FIRST and the works that you have completed. Mention to the corporation that you would be more than willing to travel to their facility to give the presentation.

For Businesses: Create a basic, yet attractive flyer with a picture of your team and small text areas that include who you are and why you are in need of funding. Also include your goals for the future and how with their donation you will be able to have a successful season. After creating this flyer, print or copy enough to disperse among team members. Require each member to obtain at least 2 local businesses to sponsor your team (even in the most rural locations this is possible). Also Make sure to Poll Members to see if they know anyone (corporate, business, or otherwise) who could contribute to the team.

  1. Host Fundraisers

Plan fundraisers that can increase your teams funding, examples: Basket Bingo, Spaghetti Dinner, Magic Show, etc. Travel to local supermarkets to see if food items can be donated or to other stores to request door prizes that can be raffled. Set a goal for the number of tickets each member is required to sell (divide how many people you are able to accommodate and divide it by team members, ex. 200/20 = 10 tickets each need to sell). Always decrease the accommodation amount when making this calculation if you are selling tickets at the door.

  1. **Involve Parents **

Involve parents in aiding with fundraising events by contributing refreshments that can be used for the event. Make these free to increase attendance. Create a small presentation for parents of new members to inform them about the program and to also motivate them to help.

Accomplishing the above steps will increase funding yearly. However, all of these steps may not be able to be completed in a single season. As you become more established they should be expanded on yearly. I hope this helps, if you have any questions please contact me.


Are you looking for one big sponsor or several minor ones? MOE was fortunate enough to have DuPont approach us initially about starting a team (actually, they wanted to convert an Explorer’s Post to a FIRST team - long story). But we are constantly approaching many places for lesser amounts, $500-$2000 range, which can add up. The most successful way is through parents. Ask them if they work for a company who would be willing to donate, or if they can give you a name of a person at that company. We usually send a packet and follow up with a phone call. Other local companies we have gotten from word of mouth or through directories. This is less successful but can still generate some money.

We’ve had more success getting sponsorship for individual events, such as the Duel on the DE and our 5K fundraiser. Some companies prefer donating for a specific event rather than sponsoring a team. For our 5K, which raised $2000 BTW, we promised to put the companies names on the runner t-shirts, which we promoted as a great way for them to advertise to a larger audience and for a long period of time.

Good luck - fundraising is very difficult!

You can have a two-person team, however, it’s recommended that the team be 4-10 student-aged members with at least one adult-aged mentor. having 4-10 youth on the team will allow for more brainstorming, a shared workload, will alllow teamwork opportunities to flourish, etc. An adult mentor is needed to take responsibility for the team while traveling and at events, and to pay the bills, may be able to offer suggestions for building the robot or team organization, etc.

Your team does not have to be affiliated with a school or organization, however, when it comes to fundraising and procuring sponsors you may have better luck if you can show an affiliation with an established entity.

A mentor is often a teacher, an engineer or someone acting in another professional capacity (ie computer programmer), someone’s parent, a college student. They should be interested in working with teens, able to devote time to work with you on this project, able to take time off from work if necessary in order to travel to competition(s) with you. The team needs to make it clear what the role and responsibilities of its members are - who will be making team decisions, who will be managing the budget, who will be designing the robot and building it. These are critical areas to define early in the season. They may change from year to year. There is a forum in CD for Team Organization which you may wish to look at.

When we refer to sponsors, it is usually a company which contributes financially to the team’s budget, or contributes with “in-kind” donations (material to build a field or printing t-shirts or brochures) or provides support by allowing employees (perhaps engineers) to work with the team. You can approach local companies or ask parents if their employers offer volunteer grants, etc. You can find some white papers that might be of interest to you in the Resources section of the NEMO (Non-Engineering Mentor Organization) website, including Creating a Killer Team Packet to use when making a presentation to a potential corporate sponsor.

In addition to having corporate sponsors, many teams will also do fundraisers to earn additional funds to offset expenses. These can range from holding pasta dinners to car washes to standing outside grocery stores asking for donations. Chief Delphi has a section devoted to fundraising ideas so you might find something there of help.

The FAQ section of the FIRST Vex Challenge website gives some estimated expenses for a team as well as answering other questions you may have. Last year’s competition manual is still available in case you’d like to see what the game looked like but will be replaced with this year’s challenge on September 13.

. It normally brings in $15,000, but this year we got $23,000. For more information go here . The best part about our fundraiser is that it not only paid for our trip to Lone Star and Atlanta, but we also recieved cash back to spend during the trip. I hoped this helps.

one thing that we did for fundraising is that we had a Halo 3 Lan Tournament for the school

Usually our team sells candybars fro VandeWalls… we get them fro 50 cents and sell them for a dollar. Students buy them!! Another thing we did this year was selling poinsettas before Christmas. During our city’s Octoberfest celebration we set up a booth to show off our robot and FIRST and also sold candybars there. Our team helped out at a regional FLL tournament so we sold concessions there and we hosted the Wisconsin state FLL tournament which we also sold concessions at. The total amount raised from the regional and state competition was close to $1000, plus we got to help out with FLL (an added bonus!) After the build we will be doing carwashes and such to raise more $.

I hope this helped!

  • Katie

A relatively quick and easy fundraiser that works for a quick $800-$1200 is a pancake breakfast or pasta dinner served in a public facility. In most cases, the pancake batter or pasta can be donated or purchased at a discount, and charging whatever you would feel a comfortable price would bring in a rather good profit.

Just two cents from team 38.


Raffle $7000 (net)
Murder Mystery Dinner $1000/show minimum
Working concert venue concession stands during the summer (8 shows) ~$11000

The raffle idea we leveraged from another team. We purchase a used laptop, digital camera and PDA and make that our top three prizes with many additional donated prizes (this info is printed on the ticket). We sell tickets from print time until the open house on the saturday before ship when we draw the winners. Last year we sold raffle tickets for about a month and we netted ~$7000 (after ~$1700 for main prizes) This is a must do. It sells itself. $3/ticket or 4 for $10. I recommend this fund-raiser to all teams! Just be sure to get a raffle license/permit (usually costs ~$70) and then you are totally legal. Our team ended up raising enough so that each student only had to pay $50 each to go to the National Competition! Try it, you’ll like it! -Joe

For a little quick cash, I would suggest In-N-Out Burgers. We sold around 300 in about an hour. And this was while competing against all the other clubs on Club Day at our school! We were able to buy them at half off and make a good profit (but only a couple hundred dollars).

~Alex Wiser~

our team is famous for its** mid-winter car washes**. We have many connections through parents and obtain the use of a huge heated garage. We usually wash 6-8 cars at a time. Typically an all day car wash (9-4) will rake in some cash. We also **organized a dance at our school **which worked well too. A total cost per student comes to about 150 to go to all events.

Hey, just thought we’d let you know what we do for fundraising:
-See’s candy bar sales (although it sounds lame, our MESA club at school has about 30 people and we sold about $800 worth in about 2 weeks, and our robotics team is still selling). Also, we’ve found it’s easier to sell the kind that come in boxes, ready to sell (24 per box, $1 each, $.50 profit per bar), rather than the kind that people need to order.

-Raffles. We have made about $2000 in two raffles, selling tickets at school and outside of school, and at school sporting events. If you need prizes and don’t feel like buying them, ask around at local stores and see if people will donate items. Also, in order to excite more people about the raffle, we’ve found that drawing for little items throughout the course of the raffle (and announcing the winners to the school, i.e. over the intercom) helps to draw interest.

-Silent Auctions. We made a few hundred dollars in one silent auction which occured during the run of our school’s production of Rumors (people bid before the show, during intermission, and after the show). If you don’t know what a silent auction is, you get prizes for people to bid on and have sign up sheets that allow people to place bids on items (don’t forget to set a minimum bid) and, eventually, you close the biddding and the highest bidders pay what they bid.

-Refreshments at sporting events. Although we have not done this yet, many other teams at our school have done this. Basically, we volunteer (only people 18 or over, i.e. seniors and parents) to serve refreshments at local events (in our case, it’s at the San Jose Arena), and we get a share of the profits. This may be unique to our city, but I suggest that you check around to see if anything like this is available.

-Looking for sponsors. Yes, it’s true that the NASA grants have already been awarded (and we got one, luckily), but there are many other corporations out there looking to sponsor teams, so ask around. Also, local stores may also give you donations (e.g. food, supplies, etc.), so ask them too. But, also remember, if a business sponsors you, RECOGNIZE THEM. So, put their names on t-shirts, on banners, or on your web-site.

I think that’s all we do for fundraising, but it is getting us money. We know that the hope that no one will have to pay full price for nationals is an impossible one, but we are trying to cut down the cost for our members as much as possible, so everyone can go who wants to.[/quote]


What is a Bussiness Plan?

That is an important question.
You should find this thread helpful.


Wow! This thread is awesome. Nowadays, people everywhere are looking to raise funds. I never try to have fundraising project but because of these successful stories I think I can be successful too. Before, I read others fundraising stories but not much convinced. With just 2 cents you can be doing well! Nowadays, people everywhere are looking to raise funds. But I would choose the right one for me.

Our team hasn’t really been that great with fundraising, we had many ideas but the only successful one was the bake sale we had. We sold pizza as well for about two weeks in a row and that was it. We made roughly around 200 dollars at most and that was it. Our school has restrictions on what foods we can sell at bake sales and when we can do it. does anyone have any other ideas that could help us out for future reference?

Wow these are really great suggestions! One thing my team is trying out this year is applying for funding from the pepsi refresh project. I believe there are multiple application and voting periods, so your team may be able to sign on. This time around though, we need some help to get the grant. Readers, please vote so the robodragons can compete this year on Thanks!!!

  1. bumping for this year (and next)
  2. this is awesome! Thank you so much for putting the time into compiling this list!

Thank you for putting this together! I am a senior this year, and every single year I am pushing fundraising efforts, but our team has a sever lack of enthusiasm for doing fundraising. We did our first ever spirit wear sale, and we are slowly making headway!

what are good ideas for indoor Fundraising?::rtm::

Wow! This is a fabulous list of ideas… thanks so much for putting this together. Fundraising is a never ending task, and it’s always tough to come up with new ideas. These are terrific!

Our team does App Camps; camps where we teach children how to make basic apps through MIT App Inventor. We have two identical sessions in two consecutive weeks, Monday-Thursday, for students going into 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. Ours just recently ended, and we got around 26 the first week and 15 the second. Tickets were 150$ ish a piece, with all money going to the team, and it makes for good fundraising. We run out of a district building, so we have access to rooms and computers unlike some other teams may have. They are pretty easy and fun to run, and reap a lot of profits.

Sounds like a good setup Aadi. Thanks for the ideas SpaceOsc.