Fundraising Ideas

What are some good fundraising events to try and do?
I know some of the ones like the Applebees breakfast or Moes coupon.
I was wondering what have some teams had the most success with raising money.

You could always try some of the ideas in the Fundraising subforum.

We have team members create hand-made crafts to sell during the holiday season. Those kinds of things not only sell well at that time, but it’s also an activity that keeps the newer team members occupied before the build season begins.


The trick? Pre-sell the tickets. Sure, accept ‘drive-in’ customers the day of, but the majority of the money is collected well in advance. Oh, and have a cute little kid (6 to 8 years old) manning the “tip bucket” at the end of the line. Many students have a younger sibling you can borrow.

Check thefundraising part of the FIRST website.

Our team uses RoboCamps as a means to fundraise. Child care in Sydney is at a premium so we can make enough to registrater in one week! All our resources are available on the FIRST site or PM me for more details.

We make a lot of money during the hot summer months with Ice Cream sales. Usually the first one will bring in $200 the next few $100 and as we approach the 5th we make about $75 overall we have done this for 2 years and made around $500 just by scooping ice cream. Although, the ice cream has been donated by our mentor so you can subtract about $100 if your paying for it upfront.

We are going to try Hot chocolate sales this year during December. The trick is fliers so people remember to bring money and setting up as soon as possible after school.

If your looking for something large scale try movie night! If your school has a nice projector in the Theater It will be cool and sell some snacks. We plan on running one soon where we invite the entire school district to watch Spare Parts. We are going to charge $2 per Kid under 11 from ages 11 - 18 its going to be free and for adults its going to be $5. Most of the money is going to be from selling snacks.

In a few weeks we are going to have an outreach meeting where we will be discussing outreach that will also bring us money

Some failed fundraisers

School supplies
Hype Wipes

…do I want to know?

I’ve got a feeling not. If I HAD to guess, some poor relation of Terrible Towels.

Coin drops are always a good option. I used to do them for ice hockey and we would make atleast $500 on a Sunday afternoon.

We have done an E-Cycling and made some good money.
We also have a Robot Catalog. Instead of just asking people to donate money, we ask them to buy robot parts and such. The catalog has items from $5 (wheels) to $5000 (Regional entry fee).
The Huntington, IN Pizza Hut has a fund raiser option. Our team can sign up for a Monday evening buffet. For every buffet they sell, we get $1.00. We also get all the tips. All we have to do is supply the wait staff and bus people. In four hours we have raised over $500.

As a boy scout one of our biggest fundraisers was disposing of old Christmas trees in January. This was great because:
– we weren’t doing much camping or other events in January, so it was a pretty slow season for us
– we could do targeted door-to-door sales because homeowners typically place their trees in a front window
– we could have a huge bonfire at the end of the fundraiser (after properly disposing of the trees with tinsel)

Idea doesn’t work very well for FRC teams because the timing is bad, but maybe other types of organizations could try it.

***FIRST Team 578 ***developed a unique fund raiser called: ChalkRaiders

PDF flyer:

Starting with the school district mascot (Raider/Pirate) the robotics team created a 48" stencil of the mascot (out of plastic so they flex to fit into vehicles) along with stencils for text messages. The mascot logo and message are sprayed onto driveways using water based “marker paint” (no, it isn’t really chalk). We offer this fund raiser in the fall (for Homecoming) and in the spring (for Graduation) and can earn between $800 - $1600 each time.

A ChalkRaider can last from 6-12 months (depending on weather and location) and disappears when people seal their (asphalt) driveway.

The ChalkRaiders fund raiser requires a small capital investment (making the stencils) but it:

  • Has a large profit margin ($5 expense for 3 orders)
  • Involves students and parents (to spray in the evenings)
  • Engages the entire community (homeowners, businesses)
  • Enables recreational teams and student clubs to show their spirit
  • Raises awareness of FIRST
    (everyone knows about the robotics team) - School specific so coopetition for the market is inherent

Parents are very enthusiatic for ChalkRaiders (bragging rights for their child) and the school district even has them by the high school entry doors for graduation. Once people see these on someones driveway they want one for their student/team. We get walkup orders as well. Custom messages (e.g. “Congratulations Sharon”) are more difficult so we quote extra.

Just two weeks ago the robotics team put an extra large 30’ logo on the hillside next to the high school for the homecoming pep rally (we made the stencil using a blue tarp).

IMO this type of fundraiser should be associated with FIRST teams as a way to “MAKE IT LOUD”.

The Wired Wizards has had success with IndieGogo crowdfunding campaigns.

The key with a crowdfunding campaign is to strategize when you start it. We started one last year without properly planning how to promote it, and we didn’t reach our goal. A few months later we started another one, had a more reasonable goal, and told everyone about it, and we met our goal.

I also just posted a thread in the Fundraising section with a document I wrote from 3 years of FRC marketing experience to help a new all girls FTC team I’m mentoring - you can see it here. It might be helpful to your team.