Return Numbers?

Does anybody know the percentage of rookie FRC teams from 2010 that returned in 2011. I am curious because I am a mentor of a rookie team that was sponsored by JC Penney. It is my understanding that they will be looking for new group of rookies to sponsor for FRC 2012. If many of the teams do not return for year #2, I question the value of providing rookie year only sponsorships–are we really growing FIRST if teams do not return. I would like to know last years return number so that we can compare them to next year’s return numbers–this will allow us to know the real impact of the rookie grants. Also, please share your thoughts about rookie grants. We are EXTREMLY GRATEFUL for JC Penney’s role it helping us get started. However, we are really struggling to find permanent sponsors.

I personally have my thoughts that need to still be developed, however Early on in the 2nd hour (forgive me for not having specific times) the guys on FIRSTcast had a discussion about this, and it was a pretty good talk. I’d highly recommend you go take a listen.

Check out this thread, a lot of useful information.

Sponsorship is never a guaranteed thing year to year and you have to be prepared for the inevitable day when you lose a major sponsor.

There are many threads and papers here on CD about fundraising, sponsorship, sustainability. Check them out now and start working on finding funding for next year.

I know that some of the teams with a JCPenney sponsorship have developed relationships with the store that sponsored them. The relationships you build with your sponsors could determine if they continue to sponsor your team and at what level. Remember that sponsorship is more than just a company giving your team money. Work with the store, help drive business their way, talk with the employees, its a two way street.

Then find more sponsors. It’s better to have many smaller sponsors than one big sponsor so you can survive the loss of a sponsor. Now is the time to start building that base.

JCPenney has given you that boost you needed for your first year, now you have to prepare for year two and prove to JCP there money was well spent.

BTW, if JCP does sponsor you for a second year, the amount will probably be significantly less and will not cover your registration, so you are going to have to find some more sponsors regardless.

Good luck!

86.8% of the 2010 rookies returned to play again in 2011. (37 of 281 did not return)

You need to compare that to the 2011 overall return rate of 91.5% (91.2% if you discount the rookies who did return) to make a valid comparison next year.

There are some historical numbers here for how long teams last after their rookie year.
A description of the numbers is given here by the author.

If you or someone from your team, or any team that is looking for funding ideas, is attending Championships I suggest attending the conferences, there are quite a few on obtaining and sustaining sponsorships:

  • SOS - Help for raising funds and raising mind

  • Is Non-Profit Status Right For Your Team?
    Considerations and Application Tips

  • Be Sustainable! Tips and Tricks for Managing your
    Team and Growing Successfully

Information on the event is located here and includes abstracts, schedules, and information on ordering tickets.

While at the conferences you can check out other awesome presentations including some on submitting the Chairman’s award, effective FIRST strategies, and getting involved in your community.