Student participation in a FIRST® program offers a life changing experience that inspires innovation and fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication and leadership. Starting and subsequently sustaining a FIRST team requires commitment, organization and financial support in order to be successful.
Recognizing the need for information to help new teams get started, FIRST has developed a new resource to guide teams as they learn the art of raising funds. Through a generous grant from the Argosy Foundation, FIRST Senior Mentor Renee Becker has created the FIRST Team Fundraising Toolkit to assist any FIRST team with the challenges of raising money.
Primarily geared towards older students who participate in FRC and FTC, FLL Coaches may also find valuable information in the toolkit for their teams, too. Topics covered include writing a team business and fundraising plan (a requirement to receive a rookie grant), community analyses, ‘how-tos’ on approaching a potential sponsor, recognizing and thanking sponsors, ideas for community fundraisers and much more.
The toolkit sections are presented in PDF format along with a series of informational webinars featuring successful FRC veteran teams. Additional information will be posted to the toolkit throughout the season and post Championship.
If a team has any questions, suggestions, or comments about the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit, please contact Renee Becker, the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about how to develop a team fundraising plan through the following resources and examples:
- SECTION 1 – FUNDRAISING PLAN - First step towards completing a fundraising & business plan.
- Section 1.1 - Team Fundraising Plan Overview
- Section 1.2 - Team Business Plan Overview
- SECTION 2 – COMMUNITY ANALYSIS – Helps teams gain a better understanding of their community and the opportunities available locally to them.
- SECTION 3 – TEAM DOCUMENTATION - Teams learn how to create documentation about their program with resources created to give examples of team documentation and sponsor packets.
- SECTION 4 – ORGANIZING A PRESENTATION – Helps students develop presentation skills to be prepared when speaking with sponsors for the first time.
- Organizing a Presentation Overview
- Sponsor Presentation Webinars:
- Team Resources
- Email and Phone Script Examples:
- Sponsor Letter and Handout Examples:
- FRC Team 1511 – Patron Letter
- FRC Team 1511 – Sponsor Presentation Trifold
- FRC Team 1511 – Patron Solicitation Form
- FTC Team 3550 – Fundraising Cover Letter Draft
- FTC Team 3550 – Team Trifold 2012-2013
- FTC Team 4140 – Form Letter To Sponsors – 2013
- FTC Team 4924 – Sponsor Letter - 2012
- FTC Team 4924 – Build-a-Bot Campaign
- FTC Team 4982 – Team Information Sheet
- FTC Team 5096 – Sponsor Cover Letter
- Sponsor Presentation & Media Note Examples:
- Fundraising Workshop Presentations and Tips:
- Team Training Videos - FRC Team 27
- SECTION 5 – MAINTAINING SPONSOR RELATIONS – How to build long-term partnerships with sponsors.
- Maintaining Sponsor Relations Overview
- Maintaining Sponsor Relations Webinar
- Team Resources:
- “Thank You” Examples:
- FRC 234 Team Sponsor “THANK YOUs”
- FTC 3550 Team “Thank You” Card
- FTC 4140 Team “Thank You” and Championship Update Letter
- FTC 4140 “Thank You” Letter Example
- Newsletter Examples:
- SECTION 6 – 501(c)3 PROS, CONS & ALTERNATIVES – Learn if this option is right for your team.
- 501(c) 3 Pros, Cons, and Alternatives Overview
- Presentation Slides
- Team Resources:
- FRC Team 365 – Non-Profit Status Championship Slide Presentation
- FRC Team 365 - Non-Profit Status Championship Presentation Handout
- Parent Booster Examples:
- 501(c)3 Documentation Examples:
- SECTION 7 – ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF FUNDRAISING – Highlights creative ways to fundraise through crowd sourcing websites and grant writing.
- Alternative Methods of Fundraising Overview
- Grant Webinar
- FRC Team 359 - Championship Presentation 2012
- FRC Team 359 - NASA 2011 Program Growth Grant Write-up
- FRC Team 359 - Grant Application Example
- Past Hawaii Legislative Bills – 2006
- Past Hawaii Legislative Bills – 2012
- 2012 STEM Funding Opportunity Examples
- FRC Team 1816 Grant Example - "2013 Cargill Volunteer Award"
- SECTION 8 – FUNDRAISING EXAMPLES & BEST PRACTICES – Shares examples of successful fundraising ideas created by veteran teams.
- Team Fundraising Examples & Best Practices Overview
- Team Fundraising Examples:
- FRC 291 - Mystery Dinner
- FRC 1100 - Build Your Own Robot
- FRC 1111 - Flocking Fundraiser
- FRC 1816 - House Party
- FRC 2713 - iRaiders Kitchens of Melrose Tour Cookbook
- FRC 3132 - Robocamp
- FIRSTGreen e-watts Saver:
THANK YOU to the following for their valuable contributions to this project:
The Argosy Foundation and John Abele;
Renee Becker, FIRST AmeriCorps VISTA, Indiana;
Members of the FIRST Community including Regional Directors and Committee members; and
FRC Teams 27, 68, 234, 291, 359, 540, 696, 781, 1018, 1100, 1111, 1477, 1511, 1625, 1675, 1816, 2175, 2177, 2220, 2470,2648, 2713, 3132, 3847, 4272, 4787, 4403.
FTC Teams 1937, 2753, 3550, 4140, 4220, 4924, 4982, 5096, 5466, 5972.