FIRST Tech Challenge Team Budget & Fundraising

The following sample budget was created for a rookie team and costs reflect one-time purchases for their robot and one event. Additional supplies, event registration, and travel will cost more. Travel costs vary due to the distance and time needed to travel to an event. Teams should anticipate some of the costs as they are planning their budget and fundraising. For team longevity, teams will want to end the season with some surplus, if possible, to help get them started in the next season.

At the start of the season, create a budget that estimates expenses. Using the template below, put anticipated expenses and the projected amount in the column named “Budgeted Amt. As money gets spent, track the line items and the actual dollar amount in the column labeled “Actual Cost”. For teams who need to report their budgets out for awarded grants, sponsors, or schools, you might need to use the “Category” and “Rationale” columns to separate out how each expense is applied and the purpose for it. You can also download a copy of this budget and use it as a template to craft your own budget.

Item

Budget Amt.

Category

Rationale/Explanation

Expenses

 

 

 

Registration

275.00

Registration

Season registration fee (required).

Kit of Parts: Competition Set

580.00

Robot Supplies

Rookie teams will need to start with either a TETRIX kit.

Kit of Parts: Control & Communication Set 2

265.00

Robot Supplies

Rookie Teams will need to the Technology used in FIRST Tech Challenge, primarily phones and adapters for events. Veteran Teams may need replacements.

Kit of Parts: Electronics Modules & Sensors Set

150.00

Robot Supplies

Teams can choose to add modules, sensors, or other supplies to their kit.

Tools

200.00

Robot Supplies

Rookie teams will likely need to invest in purchasing some basic, essential tools.

Misc Parts & Supplies

200.00

Robot Supplies

Needs arise for parts, etc., so budget accordingly so you have the money.

Team T-Shirts

150.00

Team Supplies

To promote the team and show spirit.

Team Buttons

60.00

Team Supplies

To promote the team and raise funds.

Pit Display

50.00

Team Supplies

To promote the team at events.

Printing

100.00

Team Supplies

The team will likely incur printing costs (paper, ink), so plan for it in the budget.

Tournament Registration

75.00

Registration

Event registration fees vary by region.

State Championship Fee

200.00

Registration

Station Championship fees vary by region.

Gas

100.00

Travel

Getting the team and the robot to the event often takes a bus.

Food

200.00

Travel

Feed the team at meetings and/or events.

Sub-Total

2605.00

 

Projected total expenses for the season. Actual Costs may be lower/higher, but it’s best to plan high.

 

 

 

 

Monies

 

 

 

Rollover Amount

0.00

 

Money left over from the previous season (applies only to veteran teams)

Grant

575.00

Grants

Team applied for and received a grant from an organization.

School Allocated Club Funds

500.00

Income

Some schools provide clubs and organizations with a set amount of money each year.

Pizza Fundraiser

300.00

Fundraiser

Planned team fundraiser with ideal amount raised.

Car Wash

300.00

Fundraiser

Planned team fundraiser with ideal amount raised.

Button Sales

300.00

Fundraiser

Planned team fundraiser with ideal amount raised.

Sub-Total

1975.00

 

Anticipated amount of money coming in throughout the season. Actual amount may be lower/higher, but it’s best to over-plan ways to raise money.

 

 

 

 

Bottom Line

 

 

 

Credit/Deficit

-630.00

 

Current money still left/Money owed that still needs to be raised (marked in red)

Rollover Amount

 

 

Any money that can be moved over to the next season’s budget at the end of the current season.

Ways to Reduce Expenses for Rookie Teams

The above budget is planned for a Rookie Team purchasing the maximum amount of supplies through the FIRST Tech Challenge Storefront and attending one Tournament Event. Reductions in this budget could include:

  • Borrow tools – about $200 savings
  • Reduce extra parts and supplies needs with frugal robot design – about $150 savings
  • Don’t buy Team Swag (T-shirts or Pit display) – about $200 savings
  • Parents donate gas, travel expenses, and food – about $200 savings
  • Get a local print shop to donate printing – about $100 savings

Total potential savings: about $850 if all above measures were combined. New Expense Sub-Total: $1,823.

Ways to Reduce Expenses for Veteran Teams

The above budget is planned for a Rookie Team purchasing the maximum amount of supplies through the FIRST Tech Challenge Storefront and attending one Tournament Event. Reductions in this budget could include:

  • Don’t buy a new Kit of Parts - about $600 savings
  • Use old tools – about $200 savings
  • Reduce extra parts and supplies needs with frugal robot design – about $150 savings
  • Use previous T-Shirts and Pit display – about $200 savings
  • Parents donate gas, travel expenses, and food – about $200 savings
  • Get a local print shop to donate printing – about $100 savings

Total potential savings: about $1,450 if all above measures were combined. New Expense Sub-Total: $1,223.

Optional Costs

Many Teams want to build and test their Robots using off-the-shelf materials and a real Playing Field. This is, however, totally up to the Team and what they can afford, but will increase their expenses throughout the season. Example expenses include:

  • FIRST Tech Challenge Playing Field Perimeter – approximately $700 (or you can save money by building one using the Low-Cost Field Perimeter Build Guide).
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Playing Field Tiles – approximately $360 for a full field (or you can save money by only buying a few tiles, like 6, to practice on).
  • FIRST Tech Challenge Field – a full field will cost $450, or you can save money by buying just a half field for $300, or just a few of the field elements with varying costs by part (or you can save money by building a Field using the FIRST Tech Challenge DIY Field Build Guide and Blueprints. This lives on our Season Game Page).