How does your team do fundraising?
After begging and panhandling failed us we went back to the drawing board. CiCi’s Pizza will allow you to bust tables for tips and 15% of the receipts that are collected in a bucket. I believe Sweet Frog yogurt and Chick-fil-a do the same thing.
We also got some sponsorship money in exchange for advertising on our website and pit banners. There’s a lot of ways to raise money, of the 10K we spent this year about $3500 was from bake sales, sponsors etc… You can also set up a gofundme.com page and get family and friends to share it in Facebook.
Doing a robot demonstration along with some brochures at a local mall or flea market will help a lot with not only getting donations, but also spread the word about the importance of STEM education. We won’t need to do any fund raising for ourselves this year, but we do plan on buying robot kits for the local high school and a church youth group so we will be raising money for that.
Use your imagination and you will be surprised what you can do. When people know they are investing in the future of some students they tend to reach out and give. Play the “You are investing in the future of our country” card by explaining the impact that robotics has on students interest in math and science, and you will do well.
Our state (Arizona) has a program in which people can direct their tax dollars to public schools to fund the various programs offered there. Our Robotics Team, set up through our public school, is also eligible to receive these funds. Each adult (or anyone filing taxes) can donate $200 to the team at no personal cost. With literally no effort, we raised over $3,000 in the weeks after Worlds.
For more information, here’s a link.
But I don’t think that will help very many teams. I’m having zero luck finding information about programs like this in other states.
My team is completely funded by club fees. Some tournaments have sponsored prizes, though. For example, at the British Columbia tournament last spring, the design award winner would receive a $250 certificate for vex parts. So, you could fund raise by building a good bot? Use the money from fundraising to get more money, you know what I mean.
My team has krispy kreme/smoothie king sales twice a year. There is only one Smoothie King where we live and the nearest Krispy Kreme is pretty far, so we make at least $500 per sale. It is extremely easy to do fundraisers with both of them, you just have to call your local business, and Smoothie King will give smoothies for $1.50 which you can sell for $3. Krispy Kreme’s also has a fundraising program which you can read about here http://www.krispykreme.com/fundraising/4-ways-to-raise-funds
I know that FRC has LED light bulbs they sell that are supposed to be a gold mine for teams. It would be nice to see IFI or RECF come up with something that would sell. We have had some luck selling HexBugs, but they only seem to do real well around Christmas time in our area.
Our team do fund raising at any Ayala shopping malls.
not our team but our high school team sells extra textbooks at our school, they fetch from $40-$100 for the updated ones each
For our team (because we have to raise over 20k for nationals alone) we call local tech businesses and companies and tell them about the club and the impact on the future. We tell them that if they donate a sponsor donation, $500+ they get there company printed on our banner and shirts. We also keep calling them back to remind them. We do BBQs for local companies and charge around 10$ for a tri-tip sandwich with water and chips. From the BBQ we make about $1500-$3000. We also have a boosters club at our school which help fund us, the boosters club basically does exactly what we do for fundraising except they run the student store and collect all the donations to the High School. We get around $1000-$2000 from the boosters. As students in the robotics club we have to meet a deadline of at least $500+
When you call local businesses, what do you begin with and explain to them?
“Hi my name is _______ and I am a Nipomo High school student on the Titian Robotics club. We are a self funded, non profit, after school club that meets 7 hours a week to design and build a competition robot using the fields of STEM.”
Basically just explain the club.
"we run completely based off of public donations to pay for our expensive which include… (travel, parts, field, licences…) "
“I am reaching out to you to help fund our club through a donation which will help pay for our expenses.”
You should also mention any major tournaments adn how much money you need (not from them but in general) For example we need 20k for nationals so I would say something along the lines of. “This year we got the incredible opportunity to participate in the VEX Nationals competition, but we can only do that if we raise the needed money of $20,000 so I am reaching out to you to help fund us with a donation that will go towards the $20,000.”
Thanks for the information, planning on to get sponsors this summer. I think this is the best way to fund vex, with sponsors.
My HS team actually has a team of students solely interested in business. What they do is start first with parents, find out if anybody works for any engineering-related businesses and ask them who to talk to regarding sponsorships. From there they branch out to local businesses, and then lastly is online grants.
It’s fairly easy to talk to companies, you essentially just talk about your robotics team and what you do; skittles_lover has the jist of it. You’ll find that most companies are actually really interested in STEM and are more than willing to help out in some way, you just have to ask.
Last year we talked to local businesses however most don’t know what Vex is and were unwilling to donate. If anyone has family, or friends that work for Microsoft they can donate matching funds, this gave us about $3000 towards our trip to the world championship last year. The bigger companies are harder to work with because the local chains don’t always follow through, Jamba Juice stood us up twice, but a lot of tech companies that know what you are doing are a lot more likely to donate.
What about FIRST robotics, such as ftc? I think first is better known than vex. Maybe you can say vex is similar to first and if they will know what ftc is, they will be more willing.
Mentioning FIRST might help them understand what you are doing, but VEX would be comparable to FIRST Tech Challenge, which most people don’t know about, not FRC, which is well known. It’s important to make sure that companies fully understand where their money is going, because if they think it’s going to a “big robot with dozens of people and lots of publicity” and find it’s going to a “little robot with only a few people” (some people would look at it that way) they might not be happy and not want to help again the next year. Along those lines, it’s also always a good idea to keep your sponsors informed on how you are doing and what’s happening, so that they stay excited and interested for future years.
If you want to have businesses contribute, you should become a non-profit organization. If you are a part of a school then you most likely already qualify as such.
Many larger companies want to be sure of the tax deduct-ability of their contribution and a 501c3 non-profit status helps. It also opens up many other fundraising things like Amazon Smile, restaurant fundraiser nights, and applying for grants.
Look on our website to see a few things on the right hand side.