Whats the best way to fund raise? Our team have went with selling chocolates and having samosa sales yummmm . What are you guys doing?
With passion, desire, and determination.
just contact local businesses. Talk to other groups in your area. We usually contact local businesses and then present them with various sponsorship packages.
There are a lot of threads in CD that talk about/address fundraising. If you are interested, you can do a search. There is also information in the FIRST website and NEMO as good sources for ideas.
Our team fundraises year round and we continue to work on/adjust/tweak our efforts. We have a Parents’ Association which acts like a booster club. It is also a non-profit organization which helps when soliciting/asking for donations. To raise funds to support the team and help it develop into one of consistency and sustainability - takes a lot of work, effort, commitment, and thought. How much time do you want to give to make a little money vs. how much time do you want to give to develop a plan to make a larger amount of money that has potential for positive impact? Those are questions that the team/leaders need to be asking. What resources are there in your community? What preparations has your team made towards identifying and accessing those resources/tapping into them? How is your team presenting itself and its program, showing the need for funding in order to support the team commitment to the competition year and beyond? How is the team branding/marketing itself and its robotics program?
Looking into and finding/developing answers to these questions are part of the best way to fundraise. Without that effort, there is no power behind the machine that is the team and the team’s program.
There’s definitely not an easy answer to this question. I’d highly recommend reading any documents that other successful teams have on the topic for pointers and ideas.
I do have one small piece of advice though. You should plan lots of smaller fundraisers, i.e. <$1000, instead of going exclusively for the big money. I can almost guarantee you’ll be more successful if you take that route.
In today’s uncertain economic times, having a diverse sponsorship base of smaller donors can potentially be more sustainable than one or two major sponsors.
Good luck raising that money!
One effective method of gathering funds is a $100X100 program. Basically you solicit family, friends and neighbors for $100 towards your team, or whatever they can afford. If you have 10 students each get 10 people to give $100, there’s $10,000. A good idea is for students to give potential donors a handout of some sort with information on their team, and to be prepared to answer questions.
You might not reach $10,000, but I know first hand that this program works, but only works with dedicated students.
Last year we raised a significant amount this way.
Team 228 is located in a primarily working- and middle-class inner city, so all our past efforts at having fundraisers by selling things have barely broke even. So instead we focus on two main arms of fundraising: getting donations/sponsorships/grants from companies and organizations, and raising money through selling barbeque food (pulled pork, beef brisket, mac and cheese) at state fairs and other public events.
The returns from these fairs vary depending on weather and other factors, but sometimes we earn enough in a single weekend to register for a second FRC event or entirely fund our build season expenses (competition and practice robots). At our most recent fair, we used part of the proceeds to buy a 12’ enclosed trailer for our team.
It also takes a fairly significant amount of money and labor capital to get involved in fundraising by selling food at fairs, but we’ve found it to be an effective means of raising funds for our team.
Another good idea for the teams that are in states with can/bottle deposit programs, is can and bottle drives. Team 228 has been doing them for several years now, but this year when the state of Connecticut expanded the program to include water bottles, our revenues from this fundraiser practically doubled. All we do is tell our friends, family, neighbors, etc to save their cans and bottles and donate them to our team. We bring them back to a redemption facility, stuff them into the machines, and get five cents for each.