Infinite Recharge Coach Email Volume 12 – 11/25/20 Invoices have been sent
If you are new to this email this is the place where you will find all of the Washington specific FIRST Robotics Competition information. Coaches in the FIRST system for the INFINITE RECHARGE season will be added once teams are able to register for events. Every email from me will be numbered and that number lets you know which update it is, if you miss an update you can find it on our website.
Here is what I have for you today:
- FRC invoices went out yesterday
- Coaches Chat Tuesday Dec 1, 7:00 pm
FRC Invoices went out yesterday – what to know about your invoice
Yesterday you should have received your FIRST Washington invoice. We realize that not everyone attended our FRC team briefing when we discussed the invoice for this year. Allow us to catch everyone up on the details.
FIRST Washington has a unique funding model compared to other parts of the FIRST world. Many of the funders in the Pacific Northwest give very generously to FIRST through their employee matching programs. In addition, the Washington State legislature funds FIRST Washington by providing registration fee support for schools to participate in our FIRST programs. Those funds are distributed via iGrants directly to schools. To make all of this work out, we changed our funding model to raise funds for teams rather than raising funds to directly support FIRST Washington. Nearly all of our fundraising is allocated to support teams paying our $12,000 registration fee.
The majority of our expenses do not come from running the events, it comes from the infrastructure we provide to support and grow FIRST in Washington and the PNW. Even during this challenging year, we still have a small staff and our other overhead that needs to be covered. Costs have been cut, some of our staff have been let go, so we are about as lean as can be without losing our ability to support the 1500 volunteers who implement the FIRST in our area.
We collect money from teams and from sponsors to cover the costs of maintaining the FIRST programs in Washington plus the costs for managing the PNW FRC District which includes teams from Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Money that we have raised from corporate sponsors is held in special restricted accounts until November when we send out the invoices to all FIRST teams. Washington State Legislature support for FIRST Washington is held by OSPI and issued as iGrants. For FIRST Washington to survive, we need your help to unlock the funding from our sponsors. In order to do this, our invoice needs to show $12,000 as the initial registration amount so we can apply grants to that amount.
Many of our Washington State public school teams are receiving invoices that include a payment due to FIRST Washington. We work pretty hard and invest resources in maintaining and increasing the funding from Washington state. The legislature intended for FIRST Washington to be supported thru registration fees and provided the funding for the iGrants for that purpose. We are asking teams to continue to participate and help keep FIRST Washington in business. Other corporate sponsors have allowed us to release funds and we are still giving them credit on your invoices to show their support of FIRST Washington.
FIRST in New Hampshire also administers a number of the grants that appear on your invoice. You can see those grants when you log into your firstinspires dashboard. Boeing, NASA, Dept of Defense, and a handful of others. Those are funds that are kept in New Hampshire and we show them on your invoices as credits. Some grants are restricted to FIRST QH registration only. This year Boeing grants, as well as other FIRST registration restricted grants, are in excess of the $2,000 FIRST registration fee. If you check your firstinspires.org dashboard, you will see you have excess credits on your account. You can apply for the excess to be sent to your team through a Re-Grant application. That is handled by FIRST and is automated once you send them a W-9 form for your school. We don’t know if FIRST will be able to re-grant any registration restricted funds, that is up to the donor. We have been advocating that those funds either be allowed to be re-granted to teams OR be left on the teams account through next season to apply to registration.
We hope this note clears up any confusion being generated by our invoice for this year!
Next coaches chat Tuesday, Dec 1, 7:00 pm
I can’t believe it is already December! During our next coaches chat, we will take a few minutes at the beginning to explain the Invoice for anyone who still has questions. Here is the link to the zoom meeting:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 876 3317 5434
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Meeting ID: 876 3317 5434
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I hope everyone has a happy, relaxing and safe Thanksgiving!
FIRST Washington Founding Chairman
PNW District Chair
Director of Programs