As you are aware, FIRST is very expensive. We apply for grants and have been fortunate enough to receive grants to cover our registration costs in the past; however, we are also currently seeking ways to increase our sponsorships. Previously the mentors have been the primary ones to secure sponsors; however, we are trying to transition that to our student-led marketing team.
With that said, how does your team get sponsors? Do the mentors primarily handle it? Students? Do you e-mail businesses? Mail letters? Call? Smoke signals? Skywriting?
We have a list of businesses that we plan to reach out to, but not sure what is the most effective way to go about doing so. Help us not be poor! ha
We have our fundraising handled mostly by students, with the mentors dealing the actual monetary transactions for legal reasons. Our modus operandi is to email businesses about sponsorship, and if they don’t respond within a week, give them a call to their business number. It helps a lot to have a ‘sponsorship package’ that details the benefits of sponsorship including stuff like being name-dropped at comps, having the sponsor name on the robot and anything else you may think of. All you need to remember is that both people and businesses will be happy to support you, all you need to do is ask!
In the off season, my team does “fundraising blitzes.” We go to multiple businesses and talk about our team and what FIRST is. We hand them a sponsorship packet that includes a brochure with contact information, sponsorship form, and monthly sponsor newsletter.