Surviving for Year #2??

I am a lead mentor for FRC Team 3601. What a season! We were lucky to recieve a jc penney rookie grant. Despite having zero engineer mentors we were able to build and program a robot that scored points in every match at our last event. We accomplished this goal with a lot of hard work and alot of help from our mentor team (Lake Orion).

I am in the process of trying to find funding for next year. JC Penney will be moving on to a new set of rookies. We are a rural farming community and we do not have ready access to the numerous sponsors that exist in more populous areas. I have discovered that cold calling is a very inefficient way to get sponsors. Today I sent a email to everyone one of our elected officials (state and federal) asking them to arrange contact with potential sponsors.

My students are hooked on FRC. I truly hope that I did not get their hope up only to be disappointed if I cannot find money for next year. We will work very hard to find the money for year number 2. We have lined up more students and we found an mechanical engineer who wants to help with design and build. Now we just need to find the money. Any advice would be appreciated.

Time to fundraise…

  1. How on-board is the local school/school district? If they’re in your corner, that can help you tremendously.
  2. Do you have any fundraising ideas? If not, see http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68044 for a very large list.
  3. For sponsorship help, try http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=68051 for another long list of ideas.

OK, while I’m at it… http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=63 is the Fundraising forum on CD. If you can’t find an idea in there that’ll work, then you may be able to modify one or more.

Also: Parents, grandparents, and other relatives can often help out.

Some links I’ve gathered:

http://frc-grants.arc.nasa.gov/frc/app/directions.php
http://penfieldrobotics.com/team/fundraising.php

Also, approaching any small companies can be useful - a local pizzeria donated a few pies every week of build - equaled about $300 or $400, which is big.

As another rural team, I can empathize. Be sure to get as much visibility as possible - any events get money. Even at our local train show, putting out a robot, a table with information, and a few team members to drive and talk can get enough to be worth doing.

Don’t just look in Webber, I am sure there are companies in Flint, Detroit, Lansing, Ann Arbor, ect. Willing to sponsor. Good luck :slight_smile:

Find yourself a Boeing employee to mentor the team and apply for a Boeing grant.

<Ignore>Apply for a NASA grant.</Ignore>

Find lots of smaller sponsors/donors.

Edit: Sorry about the NASA grant. Didn’t realize your team was from MI and not eligible.

We’re currently at our first regional of the 2011 season- our second year in FRC. I think we got a little big for our britches for this season. Some things that completely blew over our heads at the workshop: our weight, manipulator practice, driving practice, etc. We had 0 practice time (and a lot of other teams did, too) and didn’t get inspected until the pits just about closed. Buckeye has been ridiculous this year, but we’re trying to stay optimistic.

From being exactly 120 pounds in weight, and just barely able to fit in to our starting configuration, it’s been quite a ride, and we still have tomorrow to deal with. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. :ahh:

  • our weight … man, let me just say, our electronics cover and chassis is now swiss cheese!

I soulnds like you are well on your way to a successful 2nd year team. Don’t give up on JC Penney - they also funds veterans teams, with a smaller amount, so definitely approach them next year. And talk to your regional director - he or she can also seer you to sponsors and fundraising activities.

(Suggestion. If you put your state in your location line, people here could maybe steer you towards local resources better)

Our team is pretty good at business. I haven’t watched this myself, but I hear this is a pretty good series on fundraising, and I’m sure that I could help you get in contact with our marketing team.