Newbie team needs $$$$$

Hey guys I am starting a robotics team over here in Navarre, FL and I am frankly broke what are some of the best ways to get money fast for comp season in dec???

P.S. i am not new to the vex program i have gone to worlds the last two years and was in the science div champ alliance (you would probably recognize Moose Man) yup that was me and i hope to return so any help is appreciated

Uh, that depends. I don’t know anything about Florida state law, but here we have the option of “tax credits.” Basically, anyone who has a job can donate $200 if they are unmarried or $400 for a couple if they are married to any charity/cause/school program.

We raise most of our money that way. If that’s not an option, I recommend talking to local businesses and corporations and seeking sponsorship.

Possibly a stupid idea, but maybe NASA, seeing as you’re near their launch site?

We have raised money doing fund raisers at CiCi’s Pizza, and Culver’s restaurant. a 4 hour fund raiser at Culver’s got us a total of $547.00 which will cover most of the entry fee’s for at least 2 of our teams.

Definitely fundraising at local restaurants or even local chain fast food places are great ways to raise funds. Making friends with local businesses in the area can also go a long way.

The local restaurant thing is one of the best and easiest options if you can get the word out effectively. I have seen chains offer it up more readily than local independent restaurants. It seems to be quite popular to fill seats on the slow nights.

I caution on overloading folks with too many nights as you will get less and less repsonse over time. One big one can be better than multiple events. Some events force you into a voucher (and no canvasing outside to strangers) while others is a percent of the night’s take.

We had a really successful one at Uno’s Chicago Gill where the per-check is relatively high and a less successful one at a local deli/restaurant. Alcohol is typically excluded (not sure if that is local laws or just policy)

The percantage give back needs to be weighed against the total check size and pain to redeem. Texas Roadhouse seems really good with a good payback but peanut allergies steered us away from there as well as a few vegetarians.

Chick-Fil-A is a good option for a total take type of haul that is popular with elementary school PTA’s around here. The take on those is lower per check though.

Other restaurant fundraisers locally tried near us have been at Applebees on a Sunday morning. They let you do a pancake breakfast there and the take is pretty good on those too. Not sure if that is a local Applebees thing or national. You could do one of those at a local fire hall too.

Outside of food, golf outings can rake in the bucks but that is a lot of arm twisting to get 18 holes covered with 4 players from a small team at $100-$150 a person depending upon the course. You can get a few thousand dollars that way but you tend to really earn your money getting the place filled.

Tying one of these events with a silent auction also increases revenue but you should guage your ability to execute before attempting it. Level of effort can be high on these. To use a company that does these you would probably have to be a 501c3 or directly associated with the school’s non-profit status. Otherwise you may run into problems of the items being counted as donated. Not sure if the Pensacola area has some of these things already that service various other organizations in the north FL area. Gators tickets would probably be a hot property in those baskets I would think.

Get creative in your fundraising.

Here’s another idea we just ran where some of our mentors work. Run an ice cream fundraiser! The local Mister Softee franchise runs a promotion to come by and sell ice cream at a slight discount to garner additional sales. Ours runs a per item discount or an all in cost per hour. Price the tickets slightly higher than your cost and earn out the difference. A beach town like yours has to have at least one ice cream truck.

Not sure if you can park it at the school during lunch or not. Pre-selling tickets helps the line flow smoother and work out what people can and can not order (banana splits were too much).

We netted about $600 doing this which our company matches “pound for pound” (we’re the US arm of a British company). We had 160 takers and some people donated money that got matched. So we raised some much needed money for a few hours of work and playing the annoying Mr Softee truck music when we sold tickets.

Come up with a cool shtick when selling too. We were asked a bunch of times “What’s ice cream have to do with robotics?” Answer: They’re both cool!

Mr Softee ice cream truck right at the end of lunch time:

Pre-selling tickets in the work lobby three mornings before the event: (sorry for my thumb)

Ok those sound like some good ideas ill try them out and see which one works best.

Wish me luck and feel free to donate:D

Hey, maybe not the best help, but I am selling one of the new cortex’s, a remote, and two wireless keys all for 150-200$. It’s all worth close to 500, so it would at least save you money that way.

I’m in at $200