My team, 2102, is currently looking for new sponsors and grants to apply for, and I know a lot of application periods are over but I thought it would also be a good idea to have a “list” of companies/Foundations that give money to FRC teams. The hope is other teams that don’t know where to start looking for sponsors can look at them here. So if you can just drop a few down so that we have more better-funded teams.
I would be cautious with this list. The reason is that many companies give because of existing connections, which the other teams may not have.
The OTHER reason is that the last thing you want is for a company who sponsors 1 or 2 teams to be, er, “beseiged” with requests from 10 teams for funding. There’s 3 ways that could go: The funding is split among the 10+ teams evenly (oof), the funding is cut altogether (OUCH), or the company sponsors all the teams with the same level (YAY! but unlikely).
Any company in your area that you have not contacted is a potential sponsor. Bonus points if their work can be related to robotics. My philosophy for getting sponsors is you’ll never know until you reach out to the company/group.
Also any company that you “have connections with” should probs be contacted through that person/connection. This could be a parent or friend etc
There’s not really a specific type of company that sponsors FRC teams, but if you search enough you may find them in unlikely places
When I said FRC specific companies I meant that they have a specific section for FRC in their grant application website or contact, an example would be like BAE grants.
I’m more looking for companies that sponsor a multitude of teams already and that are fairly large that way we don’t bombard small companies that teams got through connections.
Unfortunately, that’s actually the type of company that WOULD pull one of the first two. There’s a large company near me that used to (back when) sponsor pretty close to registration for a medium number of teams. Now the same pool is spread over 2-3x the number of teams. That hurts ALL of those teams at least somewhat…
Tips that may / not help:
Use google maps and type in any key word that may be related to STEM. Chances are there are some nearby that you may not have heard of. (I did this, and got a sponsor- DigiFabShop right in our backyard, never heard of.
If you are trying for a sponsor, You have to want them. Meaning, you have to put in full efforts to reel them in, and maintain them. A couple years back, the team (i never heard of this) wanted to try and get Saturn Industries, also in our community, as a sponsor. I guess what happened was the team just didn’t push hard enough for it. We did not get a response.
To note, what others said above about companies pulling funding from existing teams due to excess application load is very true; we’re currently dealing with the consequences of this as one of our sponsors received an unusually high number of applicants this year and was unable to continue funding our registration cost.
Beyond that though, I’ve included a short list of teams with accessible applications or employee grant programs that regularly donate to FIRST teams; there’s a good chance you already know of most of these, and it’s by no means comprehensive – we’ve been sponsored by multiple companies that don’t commonly support FRC teams, and I’ve excluded grantmakers which have stringent requirements (e.g. IFI), are not accepting unsolicited requests (e.g. Abbot Fund), or which are no longer operational (e.g. Brin Wojcicki Foundation) – but hopefully a few may be helpful:
Department of Defense (Employee)
General Motors (Employee)
Lockheed Martin (Application)
Western Digital (Application)
BAE Systems (Application)
Dell Foundation (Application)
Intuitive Surgical (Application)
NASA (Rookies, At-Risk-Teams, Employee)
These really are just the base-level sponsors for teams in my area, so if you have questions about teams not on the list, do ask!
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