Share bar

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Robotics Team Fundraising

by Andrea Lo (CEO, Piggybackr)

Are you a robotics team looking to fundraise online?  Do you need help with FRC fundraising? Here are some tips to help you crowdfund. I recently gave a webinar for robotics teams as a part of FIRST fundraising toolkit because their teams needed some robotics fundraising ideas.

Below are 4 questions I'm most often asked about fundraising for robotics.  I hope they can help your team!

I.  What do robotics teams use Piggybackr to raise money for? 
FIRST teams (FRC, FLL) have used Piggybackr to raise money to cover costs of:
  • Robot Parts
  • Build Season
  • Robotics Competition Costs
  • Registration Fees
  • Travel Expenses
  • Capital to Start a New Team
  • Off-season projects
  • Capital Equipment 
  • Robotics Tournament Cost
  • and one of our buy a 3D printer!
II.  What makes Piggybackr great for robotics team fundraising?

1.  We're designed for team fundraising.
Team leader?  Team member?  We help you get organized.

2.  We help you put sponsorship packages together with a few clicks.
You don't sell anything.   We even have an option for offering sponsors a logo on your robot.

3.  We motivate member's and measure members' progress in more ways than one.
It's not just about how much someone has raised.  It includes effort, # of emails sent, and even badge level.

4.  We're safe for users of ALL ages and for use in schools. 
Rest assured.  We're officially compliant with the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which protects young people under 13. 

5.  We give you tips, tricks, and features.
We're here to help you engage your friends, family and business sponsors. We have email templates, TO-DO lists, sample phone scripts, allow businesses to upload their logos onto your pages, and even track how many views and clicks they get!

III.  What are some examples of successful robotics teams?

Team 980 in Southern California raised over $7,500!

Northside Robotics in Chicago raised over $4,400!

Shockwave Robotics from New Hampshire got specific and raised $651 for a 3D printer.

IV.   How to get started?

1.  Create your account.   Create your page on by clicking on the orange "Get Started Free" button and filling in the neccessary fields.

2.   Fill out your page.   Upload a picture of your team or robot and tell your donors about yourself and what your team is fundraising for. Set your sponsorship packages for your donors to show them your appreciation.

3.   Invite your team.   Invite your team to join the fundraiser and raise money together. The more team members you have to help, the more money you'll raise.

4.   Promote your page.   Let all your supporters know about your fundraiser. Send everyone an email telling them about your robot and ask them for their help.

V.   Tips for robotics fundraising online?

1.  Leadership.   Designate one person to be the team leader.  Whether it's an adult mentor, your fundraiser chair, or a motivated student member, there needs to be a leader keeping it all together.

2.  Teamwork.  You have the team working together to build a robot, you should have the team working together to fund things too.  Make sure each member has their own goal and pulls their weight.  One person can't do it alone.  Fundraising is about reaching as many people as possible.

3.  Ask for help.  You won't get donations by just making a page and posting it on Facebook.  You have to ask people (your friends, family, your parent's friends, your parent's friend's friend's) personally to help.  Do that via email, social media, and plenty of blog updates.

4.  Spread the word repeatedly.  Don't quit.  Studies show that people need to see something 7 times before they act.  Don't be the person that quits on try #3.

People want to help!  Here's a quote from a donor to prove it.