I recently started a vex home team for my high school years (i am a freshmen btw), and qualified for worlds during my middle school years. A big problem I have right now is the money and ideally, I want to order parts next week or so. Do you guys have any tips and tricks on how to write grants? What companies should i email them for money, etc.
Personally, I wouldn’t go for a grant, but rather a partnership or sponsorship. Tell them the brief of your organization and why you would like THEM to be your sponsors and offer to sit down at a time and place that is convenient to them so that you can go more in-depth. As always, be respectful and polite. If they decline you, be professional and thank them for their time.
Good luck with whatever you decide!
Edit: Also, make sure you have pictures and some videos (if you have some). Show them how serious you are and how dedicated you are to robotics. Noone is going to give someone who isn’t determined free money.
how long would the thing be? would it be like a whole essay or like a couple of sentences/paragraphjs
Just like in English class, however much you need to get your point across. You could go in depth about how the grant/sponsorship will help your team and what you’ll use the money for. Really its up to you; just make sure its to the point.
Precisely. Just a couple sentences/paragraphs I’d say.
ok thanks! will do
wait should i also talk about the background like me qualfing for worlds or no
Save that info for the interview.
oh yeah right ok thanks!
I am a huge fan of grants. My sophomore year, my team wrote a $6,000 grant. In my senior year we wrote another $5,000 grant. Because grants take a while to go through, they are a great way to fund your team in the long run.
If you are looking to buy parts faster, I would recommend going to local technology companies and asking for sponsorship. Be prepared to give them your school district’s W9 (for their tax credit purposes).
Whether you apply for grants or sponsorships, write to your audience. What parts of VEX are most appealing to a business person? I have had a lot of luck explaining the STEM education benefits of VEX and how it prepares students for future careers.
In the future, I plan on creating a video explaining this in more detail.
Hope that helps,
due to coronavirus right now, should i just email companies asking them to sponsor and ill provide all of that other stuff in that emaio too?
Nah. Keep it sweet and simple. Most placces are opening back up. I’m sure they will be willing to sit down and talk. Make a short presentation for the talk though. It will show you as organized and professional.
I would include the information about qualifying for worlds. It will grab the attention of your reader. Also, it tells them that you know what you are doing and that you will put their donation to good use.
Similar to this, my org has found that explaining why you need/want money from that group specifically, helps in getting the grant. This makes your request a little more personalized and unique and will help you to appeal to people better. Just remember that for grants especially most people giving them out have read and heard dozens of the standard grant applications and interviews. Just like applying for a job or college make yourself stand out and convey why you are asking this person for their money.
Emailing is probably the best approach. Unfortunately, my email reply rates are very low. I’d recommend looking for “donation request forms” or “sponsorship request forms”. A lot of companies have website pages with a request form of some type.
COVID-19 will complicate your fundraising efforts. A lot of the places I have received funding from in the past have re-routed their donations to COVID or they don’t have enough money to give at all.