Team Funding

I’m just posting this thread to see if you guys have any suggestions for funding a small team. Our school has officially cut off all of our resources (we originally got by on using POE kits) so we are pretty much on our own. We managed to get ourselves a classroom kit, some extra motors, a 17 in chassis kit and a performance tool kit so far, but we have been hitting a wall as far as fundraising goes.

I thought about HEX Bugs, but I do not know if it will be the most efficient method due to our team containing two people at the moment and Hexbugs being quite expensive. Getting companies to sponsor us has become difficult because the school has declined any notion of accepting money for the team, meaning we can’t go in as a tax write-off.

If there are any tips on fundraising ideas that have worked for you in the past, I would love to hear them. Also, for any teams that have started up recently, what would you recommend to put on our purchase list? I was planning on getting the competition upgrade kit and the sensor kit first and then focusing on batteries, programming hardware, field construction and registration. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Worlds finest chocolate Co.
Everyone loves CHOCOLATE

:o I’m going to recommend that to my team next year!!! And we have sent letters for grants, and we have some ties with one of the families, who knows a famous person in California, so we usually get a $1,000 or so from them. Also, if you have a local Department of Defense office around you, I highly suggest going to them because robotics is a apart of STEM, and they like funding STEM.

Pastoral - where are you in the world?

Oh yes… that would be useful to know

Haha, yeah, our team name is rather misleading (a rather long story itself) but we are located near central Texas. As far as the US Department of Defense, what would be a way to approach them (especially knowing we have NO schools support) and how to find a location nearby to contact.

As far as conventional fundraisers (chocolate) go, what amount would I need to sell for the project to be worthwhile (A hundred or so bucks profit maybe?). How quickly have you been able to meet those goals?

Thanks for the responses so far.

hmm, I really don’t know how to find an office, around us, we have a place named CRREL, and they came to our meeting to see what we did, and then they started funding us. I can look around to see how to find a local office near you though.

Any help would be great. I’m just curious as what exactly counts as a “department of defense” office. I’m just wondering what to search for, as using that exact term is not playing well with google for finding things nearby. How do you get your payments, is it through your school administration?

We got the CRREL sponsorship because our teacher was in touch with them and they had extra money and wanted to support STEM. Someone came to a meeting, and they agreed to be our sponsor. We could just send them orders of what we wanted to buy and register for, and they would get it for us. Unfortunately they used up their annual budget and we can’t buy anything until next year.:frowning: I’m not exactly sure what you would search for to go about finding something like this.

As Owen said, our school has only paid for our Worlds Registration. Everything else have been donations or scholarships. Like we just received a $1,000 donation from Jay Leno.

what wait what

To who?
(10 char)

Can you post (or PM me) a specific city or school name?

Being on a team that does not get ANY support financially from the school, here are some pointers that might help you out:

  1. Go demonstrate your robot in local businesses / engineering firms. The businesses do not have to be engineering / technology related but that would be a plus. Hit up law firms / dentist offices since they are usually privately owned and the owners are much more generous. Be sure to take some time to prepare to do it right. Prepare as in possibly calling beforehand, dress professionally (in team t-shirts / business attire), and make sure you know what you are going to say.

  2. Pass out sponsorship letters to team member’s parents / relatives / friends.

  3. Contact local media to do a story to get the word out.

  4. Keep trying!

Good luck on your fundraising!

If you have pretty limited funding, then Yankee candle is the way to go. You don’t have to pay up front, and you get 40 percent profit. Basically they send you a catalog, then you ask your “customers” what they would like to order. (ex. a candle) You then tell Yankee candle and then get 40% profit.

You need to be a non-profit for this, right? Our team considered Yankee, but as we aren’t non-profit, we thought we didn’t qualify.


For any of you who have gotten companies to sponsor through demonstrations, how did you arrange for these? Did you have a member email them? Did you have your teacher contact them? So far we have made around $100 dollars through flyers we put up advertising small household jobs (mostly gardening). It would be nice, however, to have a company grant us a decent amount of money or organize something a little bit more lucrative, as this whole flyer business quickly died out.

My school has a team that only just recently qualified for World, so they decided to host a bake sale. They got over $500 in sales in just two days during lunch, and my school is relatively small compared to a normal-sized high school. Why not try this at your school?

We tried. The school said we can’t host fundraisers in school since we are not an official school organization. That was after they told us they will not let us be a school organization. :confused: We are working on having a bake sale at a local business though. Hopefully we make at least half as much!

Our most successful fundraiser has been car washes. One of the parents’ local bank allows us to use their water hook-up, and it’s on a pretty conspicuous corner. We get very little “foot” traffic on the day of the event – most money taken in comes from students selling tickets in advance throughout the neighborhoods (look for the dirtiest cars on the street). Some of the team parents also sell tickets to their co-workers. Because it’s off school grounds, it’s non-school affiliated, but we do advertise that the funds are for students at the robotics club at the local HS. Sometimes people who buy tickets forget to bring their car to be washed, which turns into a donation.