Team Finances

One-Year Team Financial Breakdown

To help with budgeting for VRC teams, the following spreadsheet and breakdown record the finances of team 94999E through the 2020-2021 season, Change Up. As team 94999E was independent from a school or organization, this financial breakdown includes the start up costs that would be applicable to a new VRC team, as well as other expenses accumulated throughout the season.

Cost Spreadsheet

Item(s) Purchased
Approximate Cost*
Percentage of Total
VEX Parts
$3,352.58
43.81%
VEX Game/Field Elements
$645.67
8.44%
Tournament Registration Fees
$745.00
9.73%
State Championship Registration Fee
$100.00
1.31%
World Championship Registration Fee
$495.00
6.47%
Transportation, Lodging, Food
$1,940.00
25.35%
Tools
$75.00
0.98%
Marketing Material
$150.00
1.96%
Team Registration
$150.00
1.96%
Total Cost
$7653.25
100%
*Costs are italicized if approximate

Financial Breakdown

VEX Parts

At 43.81% of the total cost throughout the season, purchasing VEX parts was the highest singular expense incurred when purchasing as a first year team. This high cost is mainly determined by the fact that a new team will need to purchase the total parts to build at least one full robot, rather than being able to build off of an existing supply. For teams that already have parts accumulated that are not being otherwise used, this cost should decrease by a notable amount.
Notable parts that were purchased include:
  • V5 Competition Super Kit
  • Two Additional Motors and One Extra Battery
  • Various Sensors
  • Additional Aluminum and Steel Structural Parts
  • More Wheel Types
  • Additional Gears and Sprockets
  • Misc. Other Parts
While the listed parts do not cover the full cost of VEX Parts listed on the spreadsheet, they are the most notable costs that will need to be covered for a new team.

VEX Game/Field Elements

This expenditure consists of both game element kits, as well as the field element kit for the 2020-2021 season. It should be noted that the cost reflected on the spreadsheet does not include field perimeter and control items, as team 94999E did not use the field for hosting competitions, and was able to borrow the perimeters when necessary.
These kits, while very beneficial for testing robot functions, are not strictly necessary to compete, as VEX offers a guide, DIY Field Instructions, to make custom variations of each kit. In addition, the dimensions of each game and field element are provided in the Field Specifications Appendix of the Game Manual, so a robot can be built without these kits if necessary. While this cost is a non-essential one, having the game and field element kits to practice and test with are very beneficial to a team's performance, if the budget permits.

Tournament Registrations

This cost is highly variable, as the total cost for Tournament Registrations is highly variable dependent on the team's location and the amount of tournaments attended. In the 2020-2021 season, team 94999E registered for six in-person competitions and five live remote competitions, not including the State and World Championships.
In-Person Competitions
As In-Person Competitions are the bulk of what most teams will be attending throughout the season, this portion of the total registration cost should be the larger percentage. It should be noted that average tournament registration fees will vary depending on the region, so it is worth checking a region's RobotEvents page to get a better idea of the average price to register for tournaments.
For reference, team 94999E spent $580 of the $740 total cost for Tournament Registrations on In-Person tournaments.
Live Remote Tournaments
As recorded by team 94999E, this percentage is a bit of an outlier, namely due to the prevalence of Live Remote Tournaments being hosted in favor of In-Person Competitions due to circumstances of the season. It should be noted that costs to register for Live Remote Tournaments are generally lower than that of registering for In-Person Competitions, in addition to eliminating travel costs. Out of the total 11 events, both remote and in-person, and $740 spent to register, team 94999E spent $160 to register for five Live Remote Tournaments.

Championship Registrations

The registration fees for Regional and World Championships, as noted in the Cost Breakdown Spreadsheet, are comparatively much higher than those of local tournaments. While not every team will qualify for these events, it is better to have the money allocated in the event of a qualification. As with standard local tournaments, the price of these will very from region to region, as well as between seasons. It should be noted that the World Championship registration fee noted on the spreadsheet is an outlier, as the registration fee was lowered for the Change Up season. The fee has since been increased to $1200.
Signature Events are a multi-region format of tournament that qualify teams directly to the World Championship. It should be noted that these events are typically priced in the range of Championship Events, rather than local tournaments, in addition to typically being run as multi-day events causing a raise in travel costs.

Transportation, Lodging, and Food

As listed on the spreadsheet, this was the single largest expenditure category for team 94999E in the Change Up season outside of parts, totaling to 25.35% of the total. The relatively high number presented can be attributed mainly to the majority of competitions attended being out of state, requiring overnight stays in hotels, in addition to gas spent when driving the longer distances. For reference, of the six In-Person Competitions registered for, four were out of state tournaments due to the circumstances of the season.

Tools, Marketing Material, and Team Registration

The budget allocated for tools, in 94999E's case, was largely comprised of one time costs purchasing various necessary tools. Although the price of each tool was not recorded, the tools were generally inexpensive models purchased from a local hardware store:
  • Various T15 and T10 screwdrivers
  • Vice Grip
  • Dremel
  • Heat Gun
  • Sheet Metal Sheers
  • Safety Glasses
Realistically the most inessential expenditure on this spreadsheet, marketing material consisted of printing stickers of the team logo, as well as shipping costs to mail stickers, in addition to team shirts in the case of team 94999E. While this cost is not essential and can be eliminated if necessary, having team shirts and a marketable brand is very beneficial towards growing the team.
The standard fee for registering a VRC team is $150 through RobotEvents, though this cost decreases to $50 for each subsequent team registered in an organization. For instance, team 94999E, the first team registered, would cost $150, while teams 94999X, 94999Y, and 94999Z would cost $50 each to register. This cost is annual, as team registrations need to be renewed on a season-by-season basis.

Funding your Teams

As robotics is an expensive club to run, as shown by the financial breakdown above, sources can be gathered to help fund your organization.

School or Organization Funding

The most direct way to receive funding for your team is through a parent organization, such as a school or umbrella organization. When forming your team or teams, it is important to reach out to school or organization administration, to inquire about the status of club and team funding.

Member Dues

Collecting member dues is another way to raise funds from within your team. Charging a set amount for each team member to join very likely will not cover the full cost of running a VRC team, but can provide a smaller cushion to help with various costs. Especially among larger teams, where the dues can be a smaller amount paid by more members, member dues can add up to enough to help eliminate expenses.

Sponsors

One external source of funding can be acquired by reaching out to companies and individuals90

Scholarships and Grants

Hosting Competitions