FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

Build Community and Support the FIRST Mission

Oct 28, 2022 Written by Collin Fultz, FIRST® Alum & FIRST® Robotics Competition Program Director




FIRST® and many of our Program Delivery Partners are non-profits. In fact, FIRST is one of the highest rated non-profits by Charity Navigator. While much of our yearly operating revenue comes from team registration fees, a large portion also comes from both corporate and individual donors. You can find a list of our donors in our Annual Report. Our 2022 Annual Report should be released in the next few months.

There are two fun opportunities to help FIRST grow our reach and build community happening in San Francisco this November.

The first is the Inspire Gala on November 15. This event is hosted by FIRST Founder Dean Kamen and other supporters of FIRST. This is a paid event, and all proceeds go to support the FIRST Mission*.

The second event is an Alumni Mixer on November 16. This free event is an opportunity to reconnect with old FIRST friends and to make new ones. Being a FIRST alum means having a connection to a huge community of problem solvers and gracious professionals. It means having a network that can help you navigate your way through life. As a FIRST alum, I’ve leaned on members of this community several times for guidance and mentorship during life, educational, and career shifts.

FIRST alumni are also a key part of making every season a success. In 2022, one quarter of registered FIRST Robotics Competition mentors and one third of event volunteers were registered FIRST alumni.

*In the past, FIRST Mission support funds have been used for activities including helping grow and support partners in new regions, funding grants that reach underserved youth, and conducting research on the efficacy and impact of FIRST participation.

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