Garage Sale Fundraiser

4607 finished up our annual garage sale fundraiser a few weeks ago and I finally have some time to share the results! It turned out to be a great fundraising opportunity that doubled as an outreach event.

Basically the way it worked was we requested donations from parents on the team, as well as from members of the community. It was heavily advertised within the school and on social media. We coordinated with our local Legion and they allowed us to use their building.

The sale was only held on Saturday, with donation drop off/setup on Friday. This year 4607 only had 4 people help on Friday, and 8 people help on Saturday. This is a fundraiser that can easily be handled by a small team. I will say it would have been nice to have at least 6 people for the drop off day, and 10 or more for the actual sale.

The other great thing about this type of fundraiser is the outreach opportunities it provides. Not only are you raising money for your team, but you’re also making great connections and making it loud! We had a “robot museum” with each of our past robots and people to give the history behind them. We also had our 2015 robot available for people to drive. In my brief experience with FRC marketing, the easiest way to sell somebody on the value of robotics is to put a controller in their hands, have them drive the robot, and let them talk to the students who built it.

The way we handled the sale was to accept donations only. We didn’t have to price every single item out, which saved a ton of work. Generally people gave much more than items were worth because they loved the cause (and driving the robot). We also provided free slushies which were a huge hit. In my first year involved in the garage sale 4607 made over $1,000 and this year we made $700. If anybody is interested in doing their own sale and would like some more in depth tips and tricks just PM me!

Great idea. Works in with “spring cleaning” too.

Sounds like a hugely successful fundraiser, nice job!

Back in High School I was affiliated with the band program (in addition to FIRST) and every year the band program ran a gigantic garage sale fundraiser. Every year we ended up getting a local warehouse donated for 2 months beforehand to accept donations and price out all of the donation items. The sale would happen on a Saturday, so on Friday we would rent a few large semi trucks to transport everything from the warehouse to our high school. At that point we would essentially transform the entire high school to make it look like a department store. Everything would be sorted into categories from electronics to furniture to clothing. All in all I believe we made ~$20k from it yearly.