Fundraising Blitz

I know there are rookie teams who do this every year. They hear about robotics, raise just a little better than enough for the kit, then register to compete for next season all in about two-three months time. What I’m wondering is how do they do it?!

Current List of Sponsors:
Lockheed Martin Owego - $2,000
BAE System - said no
Universal Instruments - said no
SUNY Binghamton - said no

Applied Sponsors:
NYS Tech Grant
Best Buy Grant (when available)
NASA Grant (when available)

Current plan of attack: $8,000 in 8 Weeks
Week 1: Kickoff Meeting
Week2/3: School Assembly then team meeting
begin talking to EVERY business in Owego, Vestal, Endicott.
plan fundrasing activities.

Honestly, I’ve been trying to avoid being in this situation for the last year but here we are. I think we can pull it off. If anything, it will be a test to see how well we come together under pressure like a true FIRST team.

Any and all advice is welcomed.

Our team (1885) applied to Lockheed Martin (who we are officially sponsered by), Micron, and TKCC among others.

Our team manager, Gail Drake, is an amazing woman and spent 20 hr days for weeks upon weeks working with corporations, advising them in exchange for funding.

We were able to pull off a 100k+$ in funds for our robotics team after we won the WC Rookie team of the Year award.

The best I can tell you is that to get any kind of major funding for a rookie team, you have to show your enthusiasm and bust your butt to get out there and work for those funds. :slight_smile:


wow… that is really impressive for rookie for the year…

maybe my team should dig out the championship banner and hit some local buisnesses.

EDIT: just checked your team’s stats. Two regional and the championship rookie all star award? that is amazing. I’ll have to keep an eye on you guys next year because with the same group of people and a 100k bank you could do some great things.

Our team has great support from our many corporate sponsors (Allison Transmission, Rolls Royce, Aviall, LHTEC, and Indiana Department of Workforce Development) and school board. Our team also has a few team car washes during the summer to create a little money in the off season, but our big fundraiser is our community sponsors. Every team member is required to get a $250 sponsorship from a business not just for the support, but so they know about FIRST and our team as well. $250 doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up really fast, and more businesses are willing to give $250 instead of, say, $1000 (and the sponsorship can be either money or supplies). You can see a list of our community sponsors here. Our team also has our 74 Proud Grandmas. Each of our team members is asked for a small sponsorship from their grandmas. That way, our grandmas are a part of our team and know about FIRST as well. At the end of the season, we make a sponsorship poster (with all our sponsors on it) and give it to all our sponsors as a thank you.

I hope this helps and good luck!!!

Also keep in mind that it is not always $$$ that companies can give. Many of our sponsors give items that they produce to save us from having to spend the money. Like food for events, Printing costs and many others.
Not all businesses can give money so approach them all with the idea that anything they can give will help reach your goal.

We work at sporting events in consessions and make a % of the sales at each event. We are also looking into selling local discount cards ( get local businesses to agree to a year long discount for the card) then sell them to the students and parents in the community. The information that we have could bring in $9 per card if you buy 1000 cards and you can have as many as twenty discounts.

Just a couple of ideas

The 100k is pledged and divided for future years, but we shouldn’t be hurting to accomplish some great engineering feats this next year around.

If your location is good, you could try getting funding from government contractors (who love to fund robotics). Lockheed was a good choice to go to. SAIC, Boeing, Micron, and any of the NANA corporations are all great places to draw funding from.

Yeah, here in socal you can’t throw a rock without hitting an aerospace company. Our team is sponsored by Northrop Grumman: Space Technology mainly, but we have mentors from boeing and raytheon as well (there is Hughes, JPL and Lockheed Martin in the area aswell). We have to stick to small buisness sponsorships because big aerospace companies don’t like giving money to teams already sponsored by a competitor :frowning: .

How about a flamingo fundraiser.

You take a hundred or so pink flamingoes and set them up on somebody’s lawn.

With a paper that says:

To have these removed for free call…
To have them put on a lawn of your choice (ex. neighbor’s) costs $10

To have them put on someone else’s lawn and know who requested they be put on yours $15.

I know a group of swimmers who are doing this. I think it’s funny. Just be careful they aren’t extremely protective of their lawn.

Why only talk to large companies/corporations?

Since my team’s school is a charter school they get a fraction of the state funding a normal school would get. To make up for this they have to do fundraising of their own just to continue operating. Because the school’s fundraising efforts we are not allowed to talk to large or well know companies that have offices in San Diego (Qualcomm, Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, WD-40, Northop Grumman and SPAWAR, just to name a few).

So instead of talking to a few large companies, we talk to a bunch of smaller companies that the school thinks won’t donate any significant amount of money to the school. This year we talked to smaller machine shops, banks, engineering firms, metal supply companies, restaurants and parents/relatives/friends of the team. In total we raised about $25,000 through grants and sponsorship and had another $2,000-$5,000 in materials and services donated.

One thing I will point out is that many banks have policies where they have to put X amount of money back into the community…

We got a 1/3 of all of our needed funding from a power coop ( small one too), and warehouse owner who gives us warehouse space and candy for pardes 3

River City Robots is currently not affiliated with a school. We have students from private and public schools, as well as home schooled students. Our funding comes from writing grants, corporate sponsors, corporate matching programs and fundraisers. Our fundraisers are conducted in order to increase community awareness.

Our next fundraiser will be done in conjunction with the Humane Society. They are having a “Trails for Tails” fun/run and pet show and asked us to bring our bots and act as crowd control

We plan to make and sell buttons of adopted animals. A percentage of our profits will be donated to the Humane Society and we will cross advertise. So in just a few hours, we are a)promoting FIRST and our team b) volunteering c)raising funds.

This sounds like a total blast. Along with helping with crowd control, your team and the robots will definitely be crowd pleasers. Please post pictures in CD. Good luck!

Wells…you always need to buy something for the robot, like zip ties or zip screws or bigger stuffs so try a hardware store. Also, a sponsor that we have is a pizza restaurant so we don’t worry about the food budget as much cause that money isn’t used as much so we can put it to the actual robotics fund.