Team Budget Per Season

I can do a much larger breakdown when I have some time, but 1923 hits about $130k.

That includes the FRC team (hotel & travel costs, build materials, tools, apparel, you name it), as well as registrations for two FTC teams, a large handful of FLL and Jr. FLL teams (who also raise their own money beyond what the Inventors allocate to them), and running an FRC, and FTC, and 2 FLL events in our schools during the year. Also coming down the road, a scholarship in memory of one of our students as well, details still being worked out.

We raise that money through team member fees, support from parents & friends of the team, sponsorships & grants, as well as fundraisers at the events we host.

If I remember right 1058 was around $20k-$25k last year.

Wow, what a great infographic and your team and sponsor growth is awesome!

WOW! I am honestly amazed by how much you guys spend.

Our team spends about $8,000 annually including registration fee’s for one regional.

$5,000 - Registration
$2,000 - Robot Parts
$1,000 - New tools, and shirts.

Are you saying that the entire cost of travel is paid for out of pocket by those who travel to the competition or are you one of the lucky few who have a comp in town and kids can sleep at home?

Everyone who has posted so far is including all the logistics that goes to running a team as well.

At 423 our annual projected budget is usually around $15k, but has recently fallen to below $7000 (our would be budget last year had we not rushed to raise money for MARCMP). $7000 would be $5000 for FIRST registration, $500 for robot parts (we have a lot of stock in shop), and $500 for other stuff. We have had this low of a budget for a year at a time, using a lot of materials stockpiled from previous years, but we couldn’t survive for years on this small budget. We carpool to our events and never stay in hotels (our farthest events within MAR are about an hour drive). Our members pay out of pocket for food. Previously we have not had a membership fee and have gotten our income from our school(s) and small business sponsors, but this year we will be instating a membership fee (amount TBD).

If we are going to the SBPLI regional we take Buses with wheelchair lifts supplied by the school district for free and for the NYC Regional we take the LIRR which each student pays for themselves.

Whichever regional we do we sleep at home, pay for our own meals ect.

If we make worlds then each student will pay for themselves unless the school district wants to pay(they most likely will).

Our school district is really supportive giving us $7,500 a year and a room to work out of. We own all of our tools as our school as no shop of any kind.

That 8k is actually everything.

5188 has a fundraising target of about $40,000 this year.


$10,000 for St. Louis registration, travel, lodging
$10,000 for a travel regional registration, travel, lodging
$5000 in district registration feeds
$4000 in DCMP registration fees
$1000 in district/DCMP lodging. We do many creative things to keep this cost down, such as renting out cabins at empty girl scout camps, using family members of mentors to house kids, etc.
$10,000 in yearly expenses. This includes robot parts, non-engineering consumable materials, any additional captial goods we need, etc. We generally try to have a small offseason drivetrain and two identical robots during build season.

All of this is meant to keep the team cost neutral to the students. We don’t have a registration fee to join the team, but do set strict requirements that students must meet in order to travel on the team’s money.

Including Championships, I would estimate my team to use $150,000. This varies by how much you want to cover for your students and parents/mentors. We typically try to cover all expenses for our students and mentors.

First Regional - San Antonio($21,964)
Second Event Registration $5,000
Food $5,798 48 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver
Travel $1,250 Yellow bus and mileage to trans. Robot
Lodging (11 Rooms) $9,916 48 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver

Second Regional - Lubbock ($12,699)
First Event Registration $4,000
Food $2,829 24 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver
Travel $2,727 Yellow bus and mileage to trans. Robot
Lodging (11 Rooms) $3,143 24 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver

Third Regional - Dallas ($13,177)
Third Event Registration $4,000 Materials can change from year to year, based on the competition. These were the totals for the 2013 competition and does not include components purchased in 2012.
Food $2,829 24 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver
Travel $3,205 Yellow bus and mileage to trans. Robot
Lodging (11 Rooms) $3,143 24 Team members - 2 Sponsors -Bus Driver

Materials ($10,700)
Motors $950 Banebots 775 & 550, Vex Robotics Cim & Bag
Speed Controllers $1,200 Jaguar, victor, spike relays
Metal, etc. $1,000
Sprockets, chains, bearings, etc. $450
Wheels $720 Banebot shooter wheels, 8" mecanum set
Gearboxes $1,300 Vex Robotics veraplanetary (varios ratios)
Chassis $1,100 Cbase and 20" nanotube
Polycarbonate $150 Lexan
Hardware $2,000 Crio, PDB, etc.
Signs $200
Practice field components $1,000 Need large practice carpet

Coaching Stipend These numbers were taken from the SFDRCISD Athletic Stipend sheet for 2012-2013. The robotics team has an offseason which includes all the training, recruitment, paperwork, build practice and meetings prior to the spring season. Our build/competition season starts during, New Years vacation, we have a regional competition during Spring Break and one during summer vacation. The robotics program has turned into a year-round program.
Coach 1
Coach 2

Asst Coach ($2880 x 4) $11,520 Only 2 actually applied

Miscellaneous ($16,990) These numbers include uniforms, promotional, give aways and spirit items for the regional competitions. There are several large tools that need to be purchased, the welder and plasma cutter are 2 of the most important. The $10,000 would be an annual expense to purchase other large, but different tools.
Tools (large) $10,000 Welder, plasma cutter, etc.
Tools (small) $650 hand tools, etc.
Robot Cart $250
T-Shirts, trinkets & marketing materials $1,100 Frisbees, buttons, hard hats, bunny ears
Off-season event $2,500 T-Shirt Launcher Parts, Chassis, etc.
Team Uniform $4,500 Polo and T-shirt
TOTAL: $102,289
Travel Total not including registration $34,839
These totals do not include Champs which was another ~$45000
**Hotel and travel arrangements for Mentors was not added to this budget.

Very happy to say we’re bringing 3 companies with us to the NYC regional. So they can see an FRC regional up close etc.
Most sponsors are material sponsors. I think 1/4th sponsors money besides materials.

Most of the money is generated by students… They pay ± 1700 dollar (excluding food for 10 days) to come with the team to the states…
So the bar is raised quite high for our students and a regional + worlds is $$$ sadly…

I like the thread, seeing the diversity between teams!

A thorough budget would include both of these expenses with the contributions paying for them provided by the school district and students. Very few things are actually “free” even if the team isn’t the one carrying the burden.

As I believed before, and see from above, budgets range widely. Except as indicated specifically at the end, these numbers are valid for a team located within CONUS (lower 48 states), or in southeastern Canada; outside of that range, all the dollar requirements are much higher.

I seem to recall from a social studies class that several decades ago there was an observation that poor people spent 1/3 of their income on food and 1/3 on housing, so the “poverty line” was drawn at 3x the cost of feeding a family properly. Similarly, I’d have to place the “very low resource” (aka poverty) line at 2x the regional entry fee (that is, $10,000), excluding “housing” (that is, build space), or $15k if that included build space rental. Even assuming that they’re within day-trip range of a regional or two district events, a team living below this line cannot build a second robot, cannot do much in the way of off season projects, and is at the mercy of UPS and FedEx to deliver essentially every part that is not in the KoP within a useful time frame.

Moving up a bit, teams in the $10k to $20k range (over and above works space) are capable of competing in a single “drive range” regional or two “drive range” district games, and will build a bit of inventory of various parts as seasons go by. This is where we were for our first two seasons. If we had managed to win a trip to CMP (or even a division championship if we had been in a division), we probably would have had to take a pass, unless we had an angel to bankroll us through a fundraising process. Unless supplemented by some non-monetary resources (such as a machining sponsor who will do lots of work for free, or allow access to a real machine shop) I would consider these “low resource” teams.

Teams in the $20k to $30k range (again, excluding work space) have to trade off between competing in a remote (that is, hotels required) regional and building a second robot; they are unlikely to be able to do both. (Us, last year, before winning a trip to CMP.)

Teams in the $30k to $50k range (once again, excluding work space), can probably fund two of these three activities: second robot, remote regional/district event, and district champs/CMP. After winning a trip to CMP last year, we brought ourselves up to this rank.

Teams with more than $50k in regular annual income, located in CONUS or southeastern Canada, are probably able to compete as they wish. I would imagine (not having been there) that their big budget decisions resolve what shall be funded beyond the team’s FRC competition.

Beyond the lower 48 and southeastern Canada, the cost of competing in a single regional, much less beyond that regional to championships, is at least an order of magnitude above the costs incurred by a CONUS/SE Canada team. Never having competed as such, I leave this as a question for others.

If you’re at an event with 4481 and don’t run into them, you’re making a big mistake. It would be hard to make that mistake because:

  1. Most of them are ~2m tall and dressed out in bright orange
  2. They’ll probably come talk to you

Large disparities in team expenses come from the difference between team-paid travel, team-subsidized travel, and individual travel. Consequently, you can also see a sizable disparity between teams that charge fees that are all inclusive (all travel and apparel) teams that charge fees that cover certain expenses (our team fee in the past went to apparel and our local event only, for example) and teams that do not have a team fee (one major team I can think of is 696, IIRC).

We budget for the cash we have on hand during transitions between operating years. For example, we have ~$55k cash on hand right now so we have a budget that is lower than that. Any money we raise during the 2015-2016 Operational Year will go to the 2016-2017 Operational Year unless the sponsor wishes otherwise (ie a sponsor gives us $3000 to go buy a trailer and put their name on it RIGHT NOW). Since we have… difficulties… arranging direct funding of the team through the Governor’s School Foundation, we have students pay their own way through lightly subsidized travel and students who have earned their way but can’t afford it are fully subsidized individually through the foundation.

It’s important to understand that a majority of the teams who will give the information you are requesting probably are what I would call tier 2 or tier 3 teams.

Tier 1 - Low Resource Team
Tier 2 - Sustainable Team
Tier 3 - Competitive Team
Tier 4 - High Volume Competitive Team
Tier 4+ - Powerhouse

Low resource teams go through <$10k /year, Sustainable Teams go through less than <30k/year, competitive teams <50k, and HVCTs and powerhouses eat up more than 50k in a year.

Being unfamiliar your membership level, potential burden for travel, workshop availability, general geography and demographics of Eastern Ontario, and most importantly, your goals puts me in a tough spot as to any direct advice. While teams can get by on less, I think getting above the $10k hump is something all teams should go for if they can.

Also stretching your dollar is something you should always do, no matter what kind of team you have. Re-use that COTS part, save your stock, etc. Look for in-kind donations that can enhance team capabilities like a dedicated location for robot practice. Look at presentations and other resources online on how to develop a winning formula at any level through the gospel of FRC Strategic Design. And feel free to come here or shoot off PMs any time (but avoid the political and CJ threads if you value your soul; it’s too late for me)

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On the LigerBots, we spent $46k in 2014, while last year we spent almost $47k. However, both years we went to Worlds, which gets expensive when driving from just outside Boston to St. Louis. Without counting Worlds, we spent approximately 12.5k and 18.5k respectively. We would have spent more, but we didn’t have the money.Money for Worlds tends to come mostly from parents paying travel costs, and additional sponsorship money.

We are currently reusing stock, primarily from the RR bot. One of the reasons is something you might want to think about doing, which is demonstrations. Let’s face it, 2015 was not an exciting game. Nobody wants to look at things stacking crates (unless it’s like the Scorpion from 246). We are using the stock we used for RR to fix our 2014 bot, for outreach events, because catapult bots are way cooler than stacker bots. Try hooking up with local stores to set up a demonstration in a parking lot and have a donation box. Do fundraisers, make a website with a donation button. If all else fails, try going to other towns to find sponsors.

If you want more specific help, I’d like more specifications on your current budget. I’m the LigerBots (student) treasurer, so if your sponsors would like an example of what other teams finances can look like, feel free to ask. :wink:

On my old team students were expected to pay their own ticket and hotel if we made it to Champs. That being said each year our school gave us 7500, which was the cost of one regional and Champs every other year. Later on we acquired a grant that would also pay for the NYC regional.
As for transportation to the events, our school would give us a bus. Some students would provide their own transportation if they liked. Going to NYC one year our drive team and a few others took the train, which saved us when the bus got delayed and we were still able to compete in out first match.

On my new team we have sponsors help donate to offset the cost of regionals and tool. Our rookie year we spent about $22k. That was the cost of materials for the robot, regional and champs entrance fee, travel expenses covered for the whole team, and tools. Our team got a buss and hotels for champs for a pretty fair price.

We spend between $25-40k a year, the majority of that goes for travel with a team about ~15 to an away regional/Championship.

The school district has been generous and has paid for the first two regional registrations, with a promise for Championship registration if we earn an invite, and given us between $1000-1500 of money to spend at AndyMark (via a bulk PO for all the district teams). The rest has been raised mostly through corporate donors, with traveling students usually paying in the neighbourhood of $150 to help offset travel costs.


We too are a rural Ontario team located relatively close to you. Our annual team budget has grown from about $18K when we were based in a school and attended one regional to roughly $70K now. We attend 3 regional events and cover student’s travel and accommodation costs which includes flights to Calgary and travel to St. Louis.

We are a small team (18) so fundraising is always a struggle, but we have worked on our approach and materials so now manage to raise close to $45K each year from industry sponsors.

Students pay roughly $400 in registration fees but must fulfill certain commitments to the team (ie build hours, sponsorship, etc.)

Dan, we would be happy to share some of our fundraising materials with you guys and talk more about how we raise our funds (who and how we tend to approach businesses).

Send me a PM or contact us on our website Good luck and we will see you in North Bay.

Depending on whether we go to the local KC regional or travel, our budget varies. When we stay local, our budget is around 19k. However, when we travel that number bumps up to 31k. We lost our two biggest fundraisers this year and we travel…we need more fundraising ideas to be able to attend our regional this year…and our CFO last year let the team spend over 50k on many long-term events.