Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Ways to Fundraise for Your FIRST® Team (or any school program!)

Being sponsored by a big name corporation like Apple, Google or Boeing can be an awesome achievement for your FIRST team, but sponsorships like these are difficult to obtain. Unless you know someone within the company who can point you to the right people, you may get the run around which can waste your time and cause unnecessary frustration. While persistence is key, what happens when you still can’t through to these companies? You may be asking yourself are sponsorships the only way to raise money for my team?

The simple answer is no. There are other ways to raise money for your school program besides fishing for well-known companies. Here are 5 ways to fundraise for your FIRST team:
  1. Research Crowdsourcing Opportunities: You can crowdsource through various websites like crowdtilt or kickstarter. These websites were created to help collect, fundraise or pool money. It’s easy to start these webpages and you can easily share these through social channels like Facebook, Twitter and email. While there is a small fee that you have to pay to the websites, which usually is 2.5-5% of the funds raised, the physical work required to raise money is minimal.
  2. Host an Event: Whether it’s a carwash, talent show, dance show; the sky is the limit on what type of event you want to host to raise money! Invite your family, friends and neighbors to attend, reminding them that the proceeds are to help your school program. You can also maximize the funds collected by selling water, snacks and other goodies at your event!  
  3. Coordinate an Electronic Recycling Drive: There are recycling facilities that are willing to buy your e-waste. Invite your community to donate their electronics to your school. Not only are you funding your program but you’re helping out the earth!
  4. Partner with Local Companies: Eat for a cause. Team up with your local restaurant that can host a fundraising event on your school program’s behalf. Some chain restaurants that offer school fundraising opportunities are: Panda Express, Chipotle, Chili’s and more!
  5. Have a Garage Sale: Ask family and friends to donate goods they no longer need or want. In-kind donations (physical items) are just as good as monetary donations!

Lastly, don’t lose hope or give up on your fundraising efforts. It’s not an easy task especially if it’s your first time! What successful fundraising ideas are you using to raise money? Please share by commenting below!

Bishop-Wisecarver Group (BWG) embraces and promotes initiatives focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).  These programs are vital for increasing the vibrancy of the American economy and our industrial manufacturing base. Organizations such as FIRST help to bridge the gap between education and the business world by engaging participants in hands-on learning challenges. BWG provides consistent and increasing support of FIRST since 2007 through support of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and we are proud to continue our support of FIRST future seasons!

If you're interested in being sponsored by Bishop-Wisecarver, please check out our corporate sponsorship page!