Funding Problems, any ideas . help ! ?

Hi everyone, since we have just had a new head teacher, all our funding has been restricted from £1000 per year, to £200, which is stupid obviously … has anyone out there got any ideas for getting funds for our VRC team,

any ideas at all …


I know where your coming from, for my team has had problems with funding in the past as well.

My opinion would be to try and get some funding from local businesses and promise to give them some form of publicity when you go to competitions.

An example would be to charge businesses money to get their names on banners and T-shirts that you will then wear and show off at competitions. It’s what we’ve been doing.

I hope this helps!


hint: have them pay a certain amount for names, and then have them pay more for logos!:slight_smile:

Look for local engineering-related sponsors.

I know your pain dude… we only have about $150 for vex

What my team does is club fees, about $20 per person. We also do multiple carwashes (make about $250 per event). In addition to that, we do the grants. However, unlike most people, we aim for small businesses (such as mom and pop restaurants, mechanics shops, clothes stores). if you target big companies, try not to ask for money, but rather things you will use, such as tools, paint, computers(programming), food(for competition), and paper(for advertising, ergo more members=more club fees). In addition to that, take advantage of free tools such as cad(which you can get on the FIRST website). Proper planning means you cut less metal and determine which pieces you need (saves you more money). Also, try the online challenges, they provide small boosts of money

Ok thanks guys … need to find local company’s that might sponsor us then …
been a great help !

also , with advertising for businesses … roughly how much should you expect from each business ? … dont want to come across as greedy when i do contact them …

also with car washes … we tried to organize one of these in the past, but the music department always seem to do it, and when we tried to do it there was a big “too do” about it, so we had 2 back off !

And Great ! … will look into the online challenges ! …

thanks everyone … if you guys have any other suggestions, please post them !

Our club has been using 3 different methods for getting extra funds. Here they are:

Business Sponsors:
Local businesses and engineering firms are happy to donate sponsorship to robotics teams. To get sponsorship from the more intimidating engineering firms, your club should draft a professional-sounding letter about how enriching and valuable the VRC experience is, and then explain that your club needs help to be able to participate. You’d be surprised with the responses you can get! If they do sponsor you, put their logo on your robot and the back of your T-shirts, and stay in touch with them! It’s a good idea to send your sponsors newsletters about your team and its experiences at competition.
Last year, our team received $2,500+ from business sponsors.

Educational Grants:
Our club applied for a local educational grant to start a second VEX team at our school. It’s also good to sound professional, and in your application you should include information about how educational the VRC is. It teaches principles of engineering, teamwork, technology, and more (mention STEM Education- this helps).
The RECF also offers some grants and assistance to teams. Don’t be afraid to ask them!
This year our club received $2,000 in grant money to start up our second team.

Fundraisers and Demonstrations:
There are local events that would be happy to let your team set up a table and demonstrate your robot. We did this several times this spring, and we had a donation jar with us. People made small donations, but little things add up, and from each event we collected about $100.
We also had a car wash this summer, which was more successful than we thought it would be.
Our team collected ~$700 from fundraisers and demonstrations this spring and summer.

Hope this helps!

I have been apart of VEX for 2 years now running on my 3rd year. The first year in VEX was hard to raise money, just because people didn’t really know what they were giving money for. I think I raised about $100. The next year was better, I raised about $300.

If you can create a PDF package to give to future donors, that really helps. Here is the package that I created for my new team this year:

So far this year I have raised $1,000. All of this money has come from Family and Friends.

I would suggest telling all your family about what you do. Give them a package on what you do, what you learn, and how this can apply in the future. Family and Friends are VERY willing to give money to you!

The next step is to go to Family Owned Business’. You will most likely now get corporate business’ to sponsor you. I have been very succesfull with many Family Owned Business’. Remember to tell them all about what you do, and leave them something to read over and consider.

That is my 2 cents worth :smiley:

Hope it helps!

Also, try doing some bake sales, we did a few where members brought food from home and made around 50-75$, but the real money comes from Krispy Kreme sales. Krispy Kreme has a fundraising deal where you can get boxes of donuts for about 5 dollars. You can then sell them at your school for 1$ each or 10$ for a dozen. We usually do it for an entire school day, and not only do we make money from sales, but when teachers see what we do, they’ll give donations if they don’t want donuts. Additionally, you can implement the robot into the sale to show it off, i.e. on our NZ style gateway bot, we put a box inside the ramp and drove it over to people offering them a donut. We usually get 75-125 boxes for a day and make a lot of money

Last year our team had a pasta dinner which we invited our town to and it turned out to be a wild success! We had our robots demonstrating gateway, we had lots of food donated, and we had our parents make desserts. It was by donation and we made over a $1000 that night. Also we had a segment in the local news about our team going to worlds and from that we got thousands of dollars from local companies. We have just sent out tons of letters, and asked so many people, and its finally payed off. And our first year was hard too, we still don’t get funding from our school. :confused:

I was in a situation similar to yours while on my middle school team. We had to find all of the money to fly to Florida (world championship at the time) and pay for the hotel rooms.

We sold concessions at our school’s basketball games. The cheerleaders usually had that job but after some negotiation we were able to sell food for four of the games. This made up almost all of the cost.

When St. Patrick’s day came around we held a stand at our school where students could pay to send a card (and optional flower) to another person at the school. This can be done for almost any holiday during the year.

Both of those ideas require multiple team members and your school’s permission, but they both have huge potential.

Although I think we are in a slightly luckier position regarding VEX, we will also start running a few fundraisers:

During lunches, we will sell slushies. $1/8oz or something like that. The company that sold us the equipment + mix estimated about $2k per month profit. We have about 1.5k students spread across 4 lunch periods of 30m each.

Also, because we are a high school in Georgia, we have about 400-500 students who drive to and from school. We are going to start targeting them with a slice of pizza and a small bottle of water for $2 or something.

oh cool, our school because it is a “healthy school” says we are not allowed to do bakesales, sell food / drink … only the school cafe can !

This could be a great opportunity to learn some skills outside of building a robot.

I would encourage your team to come up with a “business plan.” There are many examples of “business plans” out there.

This does not need to be complicated, but as a team you need to decide:
-What is your team about? What do you want to accomplish this year and next?
-How much will it take for you to achieve this goal?

Come up with a nice cover letter and practice the “elevator pitch” (the 2-3 minute version of what you “selling”). This skill will be useful when you look at internships, jobs, and university.

Research some local organizations who might be interested in funding you. Local businesses, local education, local tech. Offer to come in and do a 15 minute presentation. Show off your robot and your team.

Don’t forget to write lots of thank you’s, even if they do not fund you. But I think they will.

Visit for some ideas. [

Many of these papers were written for FIRST, but can be used for VRC.

Good luck.](

for some ideas. [

Many of these papers were written for FIRST, but can be used for VRC.

Good luck.](

Ok thanks, we have sourced 5 local engineering companys, we have a rough idea for a business plan, the only thing is all the companys we have send letters/emails to, have said, send us an information pack for us to look over, so that is what i am doing now, making a professional looking booklet and yes, will look at fristnemo

thanks ! ! !

It sounds like you are on the right track with what you have already done!

On the site there are some suggestions on “creating a killer team packet” and “branding, PR and sponsorship.” Lots of great suggestions here.

Sounds like you are on the right track. Have you considered building a website instead of a paper “information pack?” You can quickly direct your prospective donors to your website and more people may find it on their own. Using modern web content management tools (like Wordpress) you can quickly build a pretty good site. You can also enter your website in the EMC Website Online Challenge. Good luck, and let us know how it goes.

i already have a site …
we were planning on doing a pdf version on the site … and send a papercopy … if they have a papercopy there is a physical presence to the entire thing

Hi Just tried to look at your web site and my anti-virus Nod32 reported the following. "Access to the web page was blocked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus. The web page is on the list of websites with potentially dangerous content.

For what it’s worth, I use Avast for security and it thought your website was just fine.

Also, I like your website. Add a section on “how to donate to our team” and I think you are right on track.

ah the reason for that is the real url is … the is a diversion which some internet security do not like …just 2 let u know … there is no viruses, spyware etc on it, it is the diversion url …