As next season slowly approaches (yes i know this one isnt over yet)…and the prices of the competition dont fall…fundraising becomes more and more important…teams often do not have enough money to get to two regionals let alone 1 and nationals…what does your team do to raise money?
** what are some good ideas for fundraising…what has been succesful for you in the past **
Great topic! I was actually gonna start the same exact thread since I’m helping write a mini manual for next year’s class…tips on management/organization/fundraising etc.
Although we were blessed with sponsorship from a few great companies, traveling, entry fees, and parts sure do add up so we have to do more than write letters to corporations.
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.
I’m sure I have more suggestions but I gotta get to school soon.
We let businesses pay for placement of their logos on our T-shirts, and we also let small businesses buy ad space in pamphets we handed out.
word to the wise: DON’T, they did’nt work that well, and having a 2 dozen logos on your shirt is’nt terribly attractive (at least for me) I felt like a piece of meat, selling ad space on myself (maybe its just me)
As for the phamplet, it was a mixed result, sure, we sold a few, but a good car wash or bake sale would have, perhaps, made more, and would have been a much more fun team-building activity, instead of the lone fundraising stuff.
I’d like to have fundraisers that also build team spirit. Bake sales, car washes, or other activities. I really liked that dinner thing, too bad we don’t get that much student support:(
well now these are all great ideas and ive heard a few of them throughout the years…our team has not tried any of these and i must say that the ad thing is unique… …
Our team did WAWA coupon sales…for hoagies(its an upper eastcoast thing…sorry to all you westerners)…and they seemed to work out well we made good profit off of each ticket but it was hard getting the team to do it and it really didnt interest the kids as much as it did the teachers…no matter what when your trying to sell something in a school environment you have to appeal to the kids…(my thoughts)…for next i think it would be cool if our team sponsored a dance…anybody do that and have feedback on it…how profitable was it…?
One of the student “veterans” on our team, Dave Laird, has some really good connections in the local NE Ohio rock music scene, and he’s put together two great fundraising concerts for Team 48 - FIRST Aid and FIRST Aid II. The first concert was staged at the local Knights of Columbus for a modest price, and security was provided at a reduced cost by a couple Trumbull County sheriff’s deputies (it pays to have a student whose uncle is a deputy). Dave arranged to have three local rock bands came and play for free. The team’s parent booster club sold food and drink, and a local business donated an electric guitar, which we raffled off. Charging $5.00 per ticket, overall, the team made around $1400 on the event.
The principal of Warren G. Harding High School, Mr. Mullane, was so impressed with FIRST Aid, that he offered the use of the school Auditorium free of charge for FIRST Aid II, and he paid for the event's security. The sound system (which was, as I recall, mind-numbingly LOUD - a thing of sonic beauty) was loaned to us for half price. Dave arranged for four rock bands to appear at that concert, we charged $6.00 per ticket, and this time, Team 48 made around $1600. For FIRST Aid III, if Dave can land some even bigger names, there's been some talk of renting out a concert hall in Cleveland and staging the next concert there. But there's some fun team business we have to take care of in Florida before we can address that.... :)
It was great to see the students, teachers, parents, school administration and other members of the Warren community come together to organize the two FIRST Aid concerts for Team 48. It goes to show you what just one motivated kid can do to help his or her team out, especially when many other people get behind that kid and take the time to support the effort. If you have students like Dave or other team members who are connected to your local music scene, I think a concert would be a great way to raise funds for your team.
If you have any questions about how FIRST Aid was organized or are looking for suggestions on how to put together a concert of your own, I'm sure Dave and the others would be happy to help you out. Just send me an email at [email]email@example.com[/email], and I'll forward your questions to them. I think the number one thing to remember when trying to raise funds is- don't be afraid to ask for help! We were amazed to see what people/businesses were willing to donate to us after we simply explained our situation to them and told them what we were trying to accomplish.
Good luck to all of you with your fundraising efforts!
Engineer and 2nd Year Member of
Team 48 - Delphi E.L.I.T.E., Warren, OH
Encouraging Learning in Technology and Engineering since 1998
Well, yeah, we also sold raffle tickets ($1 a piece) in front of supermarket and raffeled off prices that we got donated (made about $500 I believe). We sold space on our T-shirts and so on, we had a fundraising dinner (dinner brought like $800) and we wrote hundreds of letters to companies but this didn’t seem to work too well…
We got our money together for two regionals somehow (in NJ we slept at the house of a relative of a team member), I still don’t know where it came from…
–>I think this is a thing we all could work on: How about teams near the competition site hosting some space for teams that don’t have too much money, maybe a local gym or something…<–
But all this is so expensive that all that is nothing compared to what you really need…
There’s $5000 entry fee, then u need $4000 per regional and another $4000 for the nationals. The robot has to be build and shipped and the team has to stay somewhere during competitions.
That adds easily up to $25,000 -$35,000 or more for a team of 20 people for 2 regionals and the nationals…
Where do teams get that kind of money from???
I’d really like to know…
so long, Phil