Hello Forum,

I am treasurer of my school’s robotics club. We currently 8 competitive teams (2616B Black Tie Robotics, 2616C Caesar Engineering, 2616D Deus Vex, 2616E Eureka, 2616F Frightning Lightning, 2616G Galactic Gorillas, 2616H Heisenbots, and 2616J (currently unnamed) ) and quite frequently need to replenish our stock of parts. We receive one purchase order of up to $2000 from our school at the beginning of every school that must be spent all at once or we lose out on the difference. Otherwise, we must raise all of our money on our own. As I’m sure any other club of our size knows, $2000 is nothing.

In the past, we have always raised money through Krispy Kreme fundraisers at our school (we would buy the doughnuts in bulk and sell them to students and staff members at a table outside the auditorium). These have been unbelievably successful for us to this point. Unfortunately, so many other groups in our community have started to have similar fundraisers so frequently that it now costs us double to have a sale than it did a year ago. Also, due to the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, it will become impossible to hold these fundraisers anymore. Our only source of funding is gone.

I will be a senior and president of my club next year and I don’t want to start off the year on the wrong foot, unable to make any money to keep us afloat. We have a reputation as one of the strongest organizations on the east coast, and I would like to keep that up. Since robotics was brought to my school during the Clean Sweep season by 2616 Army of Two, the club has made 6 appearances at worlds. 2616 went during Clean Sweep, Round Up, and Gateway. 2616B went during Gateway and Sack Attack. 2616F went during Sack Attack. Already this year, 2616B 2616C 2616D and 2616G have been Tournament Champions, and 2616F has won a Design Award and been a Tournament Finalist. I want to keep up our reputation going into the future.

Therefore, I come to you, the VEX community, to ask how your organizations raise money. What sorts of sponsorships do your clubs have? What sorts of fundraisers do you do?


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I am alsointerested because as treasurer, I am in a similar predicament as you. However, our school does not even provide us with any money, so we rely on T shirt selling (our physics teacher sells the t-shirts for extra credit to students). We also have our club members pay $15 dollars, but we only have three teams. With more competition, pneumatics and aluminum are must-haves and are very expensive. I am hoping that our club doesn’t end up in the negative this year.

The biggest problem with bake sales is that the potential money we could be earning is being diluted by other school clubs jumping on the bandwagon and making what we sell more accessible to the student body ('snot good). What we could do is appeal to other communities, and sell at different venues to make back to money were losing. Shirts are another great idea. We could even start selling services as well (nothing too illegal). Lewis we have a lot of options, but we have to commit to one otherwise we’ll be spreading ourselves too thin

Isn’t that illegal?

Anyways, we typically get money in the form of sponsorships from kids’ parents’ companies. Engineering companies especially are usually willing to give a couple (hundred) bucks for robotics programs. Just offer to put their logo on your shirts.

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We’ve tried this in the past, but didn’t find much success with it. It’s definitely an option though

We had 2 very generous companies give us enough money (~5000$) for our 3 teams this year. This is also including some 1500$ from our school’s funds.

You should also search the forums for “Fundraising” - you will find like 50 similar threads.

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I hope not. I think it is fine because it is optional.

Agreed. My club has a one time $40 entry fee for any competitive members and this has helped over time for some extent, but many new members don’t pay it because they don’t know if they’ll stay or not, and then it ends up getting overlooked.

Yes Jeremy, we do have plenty of options, but we should look into what other clubs do and find a solid long-term option that doesn’t rely on the rest of the school to buy stuff from us. We need a permanent source of major income and it can’t continue to be donuts or t-shirts.

That is a very valid option. Are these sponsorships usually from smaller firms or larger companies?

We’ve never tried t-shirts before. Only one club at our school ever has, and they had success with it. I don’t see why we cant take that to the next level i.e. selling doughnuts and shirts outside the school

To whom? We’re not going to become the Girl Scouts and sit outside ShopRite selling doughnuts. I personally think seeking sponsorships is our best bet.

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Yes :wink:

As a rule of thumb, if you get a big company’s support, they will give you more money. However, it usually takes much more work to get a large company to want to help you in the first place. They typically have alot of red tape. Big companies also usually want more advertisement than just shirts, like plastering their logo on the back of your robot.

Large companies usually give thousands; little companies usually give hundreds.

At least this has been our experience; it is an oversimplification. This is also our first year using sponsors so our experience is not a very long one!

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Well thank you for your input!

It probably is our best bet, just not the way we’ve been going about it apparently. Also why all the stigma against Girl Scouts? They are heroes of the community

You’re welcome! Thank you for asking your questions clearly and thoughtfully :rolleyes:


Now I dont know the way your school system works, but for our robotics team our biggest fundraiser is tag day. We set a date ( saterdays are best) to get all of the team in one place. Then we go out on pre scheduled routes, and ask for donations by going door to door(in sets of 2 or 3 people per group), we simply explain who we are, what we do, and why we need fundraising. Then if they are generous enough they make a donation!, afterwards we usualy give them an information sheet about us.

The target for this day is usually to raise money for flight tickets to Worlds.

For the last 2 years, we have raised $1500+. It helps to have as much people you can get, because the more people you have the more routes you can do, the more money raised. If you have any questions about the details please feel free to ask.

Again, I dont know how your robotics system works, but hosting a competition can raise lots of money to, selling concessions, and the entry fee itself, would all go to robotics, because its a robotics competition. However this takes tons of planning and coordination with volenteers, but the profit is worth it.

These are just 2 ways we raise large amounts of money, that can be left up to the team itself without to much need of outside coordination.

Other small things we have done in the past are HEX bugs sales, Coupon books, blinking LED’s assembled by us, glowing pennents at games, and all the typical things you see around, in the long run the $200 some dollars you raise from the small ones, helps you get the parts you need in the future.

I hope I have helped you get some ideas, best of luck :smiley: !

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Love the idea, we’ll take this one into thought as well! Thanks a lot everyone! :slight_smile:

Whoa Max made an account!

Lewis, I’ve had an account…

This is a great way to get money!!

Make sure you give the company a formal letter with a letterhead. Also, try to provide the company with a tax ID number for your school, that really helps.

Also, if one of your mentors is not a teacher, talk to their company especially.

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Another great option is to get a table at a local gathering. My FRC team used to have a table at a local annual event all about old cars and planes. We would demonstrate the robot from the previous season to the people attending the event and explain that we were fundraising for the upcoming season. If you are good at talking to them and explaining that robotics is your passion you can get a pretty good stream of 10’s and 20’s into that donation jar.

School parents night/open house is another good event to be at.
Even school sports events can be good.


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