My team The Bagel Bytes is a semi Inner city team stationed on the outside of Downtown Los Angeles. We need fundraising, most thread seems to have ideas and suggestion aimed and geared towards teams that are not in the big city so for those teams that are, what do you do for fundraising?
-ZERO to NO Corporate HeadQuaters
-ZeRO to NO Engineering FIRMS
-ZERO to NO UNIted Community Support
-TONS of teams that taken alot of best Sources in town
<Humor> Go into downtown LA and mug a bunch of people. Or have your bot mug people :eek: </>
However, if I am correct there are quite a few corp HQ’s in and around LA. Look at the highrise buildings with the company names on them. Go to their website or call them up. I am sure that even if they are not the HQ’s that they still have community funds to give out!
And don’t limit yourself to medium-large companies. Some of our best sponsors are hole-in-the-wall places. They like what we do and they help us!
there not corperate headquarters… one is the LA Unified School district(not our district) and the rest of a courts and a varity of beaucratic havens of the federal goverment.
the hole the wall places around here are way to hole in the wall… this town (culver city) is way to expensible to hold a business… that the main excuse i hear when it comes to helping out a school team
Can I be honest? You first need to look within before you can look outside. When I read your words, what I see is a team member who is too frustrated with their current avenues to see all the other choices before them. Who said you had to stay within engineering? Who said only HQs give out funds? Who said the community had to be united to support something? Who said your team can’t fundraise with another team and split the profits?
To start: List the companies you’ve already contacted, contact your local chamber of commerce (www.culvercitychamber.com ;)), obtain a list of companies in the area, make up a fundraising letter, and send them out.
Fundraising is a lot like trying to invent something: you try over and over again, and just when you feel that you’ve tried all the possibilities and all the doors are shut…another door opens.
Noone said fundraising was easy…some teams may look like have it easy in the fundraising area, but they’ve got other problems that you may or may not see…and in those areas where they have problems, your team may be better.
My other suggestion for you today is to take the initiative and personally contact teams in your same predicament: teams in a metro area all sharing the same resources. Manchester is the classic case for this predicament: somehow, four teams have shared that city since FIRST’s creation. I’m sure they’ve been in the same place you have and seeing as though they’re still standing, they must have found some solutions.
A few suggestions from a local (to Culver City) team:
Often it is easier to get funds from a local installation than from the Corporate Headquarters. The company I work for is a case in point. While Northrop Grumman Corporation does not sponsor any teams, individual facilities like our Palmdale, Rancho Bernardo, Redondo Beach, and New Town plants do. In large corporations, money comes in different “colors”. The trick is to find a person with the right color of money and the authority to spend it. Community Involvement funds are your best bet here.
For the past several years, we have done a Spagetti Dinner every fall. It is a lot of work, but we bring in from $1-2K depending on the size of the team that year. The more people on the team, the more people attending and the more money we raise. Other than selling tickets, most of the effort is on the day of the event.
Fundraising activities do more than put money in your bank acount. They are where your team truly becomes a team. So think of it as Team Building, and it won’t be such a drag
Get your team involved in SCRRF. Meet other teams and figure out joint fundraisers. I have at least one idea that requires multiple teams to pull it off. While we prefer that adult leaders attend the SCRRF meetings, there are several teams that always send students and they are welcome. We’ll take what we can get, it is just that students do not generally have the authority to make committments for their team.
Attend the Fundraising workshop at the SCRRF Fall workshops. For all the moaning about funding from teams, that was one of the LEAST attended workshops last year. If teams wanted money that badly it should have been packed.
Most importantly, do not have an attitude that you “deserve” sponsorship. Work your butts off to get what money you can and THEN go looking for sponsors. You are more likely to find the last 20% then the first 20% at a major donor.
Plan to be around a while. Our team doesn’t panic about fundraising at the beginning of the year. Our first finacial guy was smart enough to put a little aside every year for the first few years. Now we start the year with enough money to compete already in the bank. This year’s goal is to replace whatever money we spend, so that next year’s team will be in the same position. This removes alot of the pressure, and shows that we are responsible with our money. This can be a big factor in getting grants.
When looking for sponsors, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For example, we’d rather have 5 companies donating $1,000 each than one company donating $5,000. We lost a large sponsor like that this year and it was hard to make up the difference.
Look for local city business magazines (go to the library and ask the reference librarians for help) or look in your local newspaper’s business section and see who the top companies in the area are - who is doing well in sales - they usually have the “Top 100” list or something like that- or who is a big community sponsor and plan a tailored presentation just for them.