How to manage financials of a new team

Hey all, I’m going to be starting a new FRC team in WI, and I’m trying to sort out how to manage the financials of the new team. I have no experience leading anything of this nature, and would greatly appreciate any guidance one would be able to give in this matter.

How did you manage your financials during start up?
What things do I need to do to accept money?
Do I need a new bank account for the team?

I’m looking for the basics to get things going really.
Thank you in advance

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Is this a community team, or a school team? If it’s related to a school, the school’s rules might come into play. An then you might want to start another organization to help raise money and pay for stuff that the school has trouble with.

There are a lot of ways to do it…

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I think this will be based off the school, but I have not confirmed that yet. The main reason I ask is because I’ve been requested to send a potential sponsor a W9, and I have no clue what that’s for or what I need to do that.

From my understanding, the W9 is used on the sponsors end for tax reasons, but I have no clue how it affects me or the team

Talk to someone at the school’s financial office, and see what is involved with setting up a club and how funds are handled for clubs, and what it takes to get a W9 form.

I think every school district has their own specific policies, so what works for us, might not work for you.


Where in Wisconsin were you looking at? The state has lots of well established teams that would love to help you out, most of them are competing right now otherwise I’m sure they would jump in as well.

In terms of your question, our team operates out of the high school as an official activity. All checks are made to the school, and then put into our “account”. This also allows us access to the school’s non profit status as well.

Looking to form in Stevens Point & I’ve talked to a few of them, and I know they are all super busy right now, so I’m trying no to bother them. But knowing that the school might be able to handle all of this would be super useful!

Good to see you are reaching out to teams. Not much in that area currently, but you have some very well established teams about an hour away in Appleton or Oshkosh, and I might be forgetting some other ones closer to you.

If you are also interested in securing funds, I’d highly recommend the DPI grant, due 6.30.2020. It has helped a lot of teams in the past few years, including ours.

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I’m actually a former student of 2826 (WAVE - Oshkosh), so I am in tight communication with them!

I’m looking for all grants possible as well!

Go ahead and shoot me a DM. I’ve mentored/assisted 19 FRC teams through their rookie year, plus founding mine and running it for it’s first 2-3 seasons. I’ve got some tips and ideas :slight_smile:

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First, I would like to say thank you for expanding the FIRST community. In order to gain funds, there are many approaches to take. In terms of organizing these funds, having a shared Google Drive between people who are assisting you is one way to keep things organized and in the same place. Having a spreadsheet is a good way to keep track of who you have reached out to try and receive funds from, if they donated, and their contribution.

If you are affiliated with a school, there may be some rules for accepting money. If this applies, contact school administration for more information.

Having a bank account for your team will be a very good way to keep funds organized. I would contact local banks in order to see what is needed to set up an account, but in my opinion it is essential to have an account. As someone in the banking industry, these accounts are not hard to set up and they will allow you to expand your horizons exponentially.

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Welcome to the FIRST community!
If you are school based, you should also investigate if the school or district has 501c3 status. Being attached to a non-profit will help you with receive certain support/material free of charge.
If you are a community team, becoming a 501c3 should be a top priority. We’ve discovered that companies and individuals are more willing to donate to a non-profit.
Assuming you are a teacher, and if you haven’t already done so, create a Donors Choose account. It is another way for companies/individuals to donate to your team via a non-profit organization.
We are a school based team. There are advantages and disadvantages of being a school based team. Biggest disadvantage - Our district controls our funds; they accept donations and provide POs for purchases. There isn’t a quick turn around for an emergency purchase. The best we can do is a two day turn around (from the moment we submit the request until it is approved and purchase made).
Talk to your admin/financial secretary/DO. They will be your biggest help with working through the maze of district finances.
Good Luck!!

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