FTC-Iowa: Marketing, Fundraising, and Other Resources
FTC teams are encouraged to generate interest and support within their local communities.
FTC teams are encouraged to do outreach and marketing to their community. By having a team with the FIRST Tech Challenge program, you have the ability to use FIRST Marketing Tools. Teams can use the FIRST/FTC logos, pictures, videos, and trademarks on any printed or web based materials. Also, teams can also download and print promotional fliers, brochures and presentations. Please review the FIRST Trademark Policy before using the logos.
Fundraising is an important step for having a successful FTC team. There are many resources (community-based, state-wide, or national) which teams can investigate.
- Community Based: An example of a community-based fundraising technique is to apply for grants through Local Iowa Community Foundations. According to the Iowa Council of Foundations website, "Community Foundations seek to be a responsive and proactive community partner that works strategically to address existing and emerging community issues; therefore, Iowa Community Foundations offer grant opportunities to a broad range of nonprofit projects and programs that impact communities." In addition, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Foundations are an excellent source to seek fund raising. However, your school needs to be located in a community/region that has a gaming foundation (i.e. riverboat or casino). Each gaming facility, and their partnered foundation, are required to distribute a portion of their profits back into their communities. According to the Iowa Gaming Association website: "Since 1991, Iowa's commercial casinos have generated over $2 billion in gaming tax revenue for Iowa and its economy!"
State-Wide Resources: FTC-Iowa is fortunate to partner with Rockwell Collins to be able to offer FTC Team grants for rookie or teams entering their second year of competition. Qualified teams must be affiliated with a school or a 501(c)(3). Please review the Rockwell Collins website for more information about these grants.
- New: Governor's STEM Advisory Scale-Up Funding: FTC teams should apply for Scale-Up funding via the IowaSTEM website. The deadline is Sept. 14 and teams will be notified on or before Oct. 1.
- FIRST Resources: FIRST e-watt Saver Program! As Dean Kamen says, the Girl Scouts have the cookies, so the FIRST students will have lightbulbs! These awesome LED light bulbs have a life-expectancy of 10,000 hours! FIRST has put together a marketing package, for teams, to help sell some bulbs. For more information, check out the FIRST Website
FTC teams need to "Generate Buzz" for their communities. There are many ways for teams to "Generate Buzz", and after a simple internet search, the team will have many ideas. Please keep in mind, there are no wrong or right ways to do this. Just spead the word about FTC and its impact.
An example, would be to host a 1-day workshop for students of your community. Invite young students, maybe the middle school level, and give them an experience of building a basic robot. Participants can build the robot TETRIX Getting Started Guide or the ORTOP TETRIX Try-It Construction Set. Also, if there is a minimal registration fee, say $10 or $20, this would be a great fundraising tool for the FTC team! The possibilities are endless.