Keep them busy! Over the off-season, we tinkered with a car project (yes, an actual car), built a trebuchet for the local punkin’ chunkin’ contest, held a silent auction, and sold programs at USC’s (that’s “South Carolina” for you ESPN-watchers) home football games. Interest meetings and piddling are a good way to scare them off when the real work hits.
I don’t think fundraising is really something you can have a group for, its an overall group effort. Putting some kids aside to work solely on fundraising during meetings, especially in your case where everyone wants a part in the robot, is probably not a good idea.
What I’ve found that works in the offseason (we tried some new things over the summer), split your meetings in half and start of with fundraising that everyone works on. Write a letter to get sent to businesses together, plan some fundraisers, maybe give each person homework such as come in the next meeting with a list of 10 potential sponsors and a mailing address. After you wrap up that portion of the meeting, all hands on deck for robot-related activities.
That’s certainly one way to do it, but not the only way. During the off-season, we do have a committee that works specifically on funding (grants, fundraisers, preparing flyers/publications, writing letters, calling, giving presentations, etc.). Those students might also be part of other committees, but there is a “group” specifically for funding. This may not work better on smaller teams, and during the build season, we do expect most of these students to be active on robot-related tasks.
Based on suggestions in this thread, This is the list I have come up for in improvements specific to my team.
- Bring Robot to every school event possible
- specially target underclassmen
- Emphasize no experience needed
- Coordinate fliers / announcements about informational meeting in *]homeroom with an exhibition day
- Collaborate as a whole on funding / fundraising materials (prepare fundraising letter)
- Brainstorm as a group, divide based on interest
- get the administration on board
- More pizza
- Make cool videos
- Team Manual / Agreement on commitment / minimum meeting requirement to attend competition
- Parent Meeting
Thanks for all the advice! Anything major I may be missing?
Looks good, I think you’re on the right track! Nothing major missing, except, I would privately (or with a few key team leaders and/or parents) meet with your teacher/advisor to more clearly define her role in terms of team function, logistics, and holding students accountable. All of that stuff doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t have to) fall on you.
I agree, that it should not have to, although I am finding this to be an absolutely amazing experience in practicing leadership, organization and reliability!
One of the most important skills you can learn as a leader is delegating. And you may be surprised that you can delegate to those both “above” and “below” you