KISS Institute for Practical Robotics understands that raising funds for Botball registration fees is a challenge for many of our teams. Following are some suggestions and resources that our Botball® teams might find helpful in planning their fundraising efforts.
Botball® Fundraising Cycle
Below is a summary of fundraising for your Botball® team.
- Register for Botball®
- Contact Local Businesses for Sponsorship
- Plan and Complete Fundraisers
- Apply for Botball® Scholarship if Needed
- Finalize Registration Payments
- Attend Regional Workshop
- Build & Program Robots - Take Pictures!
- Invite Constituents to Tournament
- Contact Media for Story/Article
- Attend Botball® Tournament - Take Pictures!
- Write Sponsor Thank You Notes & Send Pictures
- Submit Next Season's Fundraising Plan to School
- Attend the Global Conference on Educational Robotics
- Organize a summer robotics camp as a fundraiser
Snap is a social donation platform that helps your Botball® team raise money to support your participation. The average student raises $335.00 for their effort with no selling of any products. Everything is fully tracked and automated to make your team leaders lives easier. Each Botball® team that works with Snap helps to build a custom Botball® Snap page! Each team leader will have full time support and a dedicated account manager. You will also have access to real time tracking of fundraiser analytics, options for team based incentive gear, and an automated thank you with the tax ID number attached to a tax deductible receipt sent to each supporter on your behalf.
This fundraiser takes less than 10 minutes worth of effort per student and no effort on behalf of the team leader. You are busy enough! Your dedicated account manager will help you set up a strategic plan for your group to maximize dollars raised and minimize effort put out. Pages are secure and only viewable by those who you reach out to. All of your contacts are strictly private and protected. Snap does NOT sell your information or the information of your supporters.
Remember that some districts require teachers to submit fundraising plans in the spring for the next school year! Your team should begin raising funds at a time that is appropriate, keeping in mind the competition you will have from other school clubs.
There are many advantages to finding one or more local sponsors for your Botball® team. These sponsors may donate an amount of money to your team, assist you in carrying out other fundraising efforts, and/or possibly serve as mentors for the team.
When deciding which businesses to approach, consider local businesses that have a strong community presence. Utilize any relationships you or parents in your school might have in an effort to contact the appropriate decision maker.
Some possible businesses to consider include:
- Local banks
- Area restaurants
- Adopt-a-School partner
- Local engineering companies
- Local real estate companies
- School vendors (office supplies, publications, etc.)
- Local newspaper
- Local technology or telecommunications companies
There are many benefits you can offer to local sponsors. The number one benefit you should always point out is that the contributing organization is helping support education. You can also provide promotional benefits:
- Place the business's name or logo on your team's own club t-shirt
- Place their logo on your robot!
- Place the company logo and/or web link on your club or school's website
- Display the company's banner at your school
- Mention the company's sponsorship in a news release to the media about your team
If the business offers to give supplies for a fundraising activity make sure you recognize the sponsor during the event by placing banners or signs around the event or announcing it during the event.
Once you have sponsorship, be sure to have your team members send the business a thank you card. You may consider including pictures in the card so that the business can see what the students have accomplished. (Sending pictures with the initial sponsorship request may also help you in your efforts.) You may also send personal invitations for the tournament to each sponsor or give them the opportunity to travel with your team to the tournament.
Many local businesses are willing to help with community causes. Make sure that your request takes place early in the school year so that you will not be turned down because the business has already allocated money to other school causes.
- Promotions 101
Media coverage can boost the impact of your Botball® activities. Before you contact the media, do some research and find out which news outlets and reporters to contact and have a plan!
You may have parents of team members who are willing to help gather resources and prepare some of the publicity materials you need. You may even have parents with personal contacts at local media outlets so be sure to ask! Hopefully these tips will help you put together a media contact list that earns your Botball® team great media coverage.
- Make a List
Call local newspapers, television, and radio stations. Ask for the reporter’s name that covers your issue, (most likely education or technology). Also make sure to confirm contact information. Once you know whom to contact in the media, make a list with their names, phone and fax numbers, and snail and email addresses. That way you can contact and send them information when you are ready.
- Come up with a Story
Think about what you would like to see about your team on television or in the newspaper. For example: Did your team do any unique fundraising for the project? Have your students enjoyed learning the practical applications of math, science, engineering, and technology? Did your team achieve their goals or strategy?
- Get the Word Out
Now it is time to put the media list to work! Prioritize your list and relax. You should have no problems conveying your team’s Botball® story to the media if you have enthusiasm about your pitch. And remember, excitement is contagious; get excited and the journalist will too.
- Interview and Invite
There are two options for your pitch: you can ask the reporter to interview you and the team over the phone or you can invite the reporter to come and see the team in action (during practice, a meeting, or at the tournament). Offer both and let them choose.
- Send Information and a Press Release
After you call, send your contacts materials about the Botball® Program, your team, and your school. You can also send them a press release about your pitch. To download a sample press release, click here. To request Botball® publicity materials, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.