CONTACT: Jennifer Read
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January 30, 2023



ECIA Foundation Kicks Off the 2023 FIRST Robotics Fundraising Campaign 
Expansion and growth of FIRST Demands Substantial Increase in Support from Industry 

Atlanta — ECIA Foundation is launching the 2023 fund-raising campaign for FIRST Robotics. The mission of FIRST is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based competitions that build science, engineering, and technology skills, inspire innovation, and foster well-rounded life skills including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. According to Founder Dean Kamen, a culture is defined by the qualities it celebrates. If we want more scientists to solve the challenges we face, we must transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. FIRST Robotics competitions are designed to do just that.  

There are several ways to donate to FIRST, and many ECIA members are already ongoing donors financially via their donation of cash, components, online store vouchers, event and team sponsorships, and mentorships. In the past ECIA Foundation has encouraged individual companies to donate directly to FIRST. This year ECIA is encouraging donations directly through the ECIA Foundation. 

TTI Companies have committed a matching fund from TTI for the first $100,000 of members’ FIRST gifts to the ECIA Foundation. 

A few facts about FIRST: 

  • 2.5 million+ student participants impacted in 100+ countries since 1989
  • FIRST Global programs reached 534,000+ students internationally during the 2021-2022 season
  • FIRST teams showcased their skills at over 2,900 official FIRST events during the 2021-2022 season
  • FIRST Scholarship Providers make available thousands of exclusive scholarship opportunities for FIRST participants each season
  • 81% of FIRST alumni declare a STEM major by their fourth year in college (compared to 68% of the comparison group)
  • 50% of female FIRST alumni declare a major in engineering or computer science by their fourth year of college (versus 14% of their peers in the comparison group)
  • FIRST volunteers and educators served 21 million+ hours through more than 252,000 roles during the 2021-2022 season

“ECIA and many of our members have long supported this amazing organization and seen the impact it has on young people who will be our industry’s future,” explained David Loftus, ECIA Foundation President. “With our 2023 campaign we are encouraging members to donate directly through the Foundation to increase awareness of electronic components industry careers among FIRST participants. Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, was again our keynote speaker at our annual October Executive Conference in Chicago. He shared some of the financial challenges from two years without competitions, but also inspired the audience with a strong positive vision of FIRST’s impact on motivating kids toward STEM education. Dean moved the crowd with his captivating stories of how these competitions are benefiting our industry, our country, and our planet.”   

“This donation path provides ECIA with a stronger platform to provide more compelling information to >500,000 kids per year about their opportunities to join the workforces of our electronic components manufacturers, distributors, and rep firms,” David continued. 

“We ask that the industry strongly support this effort and commit your charitable contributions to ECIA Foundation by March 15, 2023.  A select set of our largest donors by member type will be invited to attend the FIRST Worldwide Championships April 19-22 in Houston, TX as guests of Dean Kamen. 
“To prime the pump, TTI Companies have generously committed a matching fund from TTI for the first $100,000 of members’ FIRST gifts to the ECIA Foundation. Thank you, TTI! Of course, we welcome further matching donations from our members,” he concluded.  

Pledge your FIRST donation to the ECIA Foundation today.

About ECIA

The Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA) is made up of the leading electronic component manufacturers, their manufacturer representatives and authorized distributors. ECIA members share a common goal of promoting and improving the business environment for the authorized sale of electronic components. Comprised of a broad array of leaders and professionals representing all phases of the electronics components supply chain, ECIA is where business optimization, product authentication and industry advocacy come together. ECIA members develop industry guidelines and technical standards, as well as generate critical business intelligence. For more information, visit or call 678-393-9990.