What you'll need to buy

Get donations wherever you can, but some of the things you'll need to put on a class - food, computer equipment, books - are going to cost money.

One of the first things you should do when you start planning is make a budget and decide how much you'll need.

Start by deciding how many students you want to plan for and keep that in mind when calculating the cost of each of these things:

  • Raspberry Pis and their components, such as power supplies and SD cards. Ordering these in kits will make your life easier, but may cost a bit more.
  • Computer peripherals - you'll also need a monitor, keyboard and mouse for each student. As covered in the Equipment section, these can usually be rented from a local business or office supply for a nominal cost.
  • Power strips, extension cords, and other accessories. Depending on what the classroom space provides, you may need to run power to some of the workstations.
  • Meals and snacks are not optional. Depending on what time your class starts, you may need to provide breakfast. But you definitely need to offer:
    • Lunch. You don't need to spring for fancy catering - check around for local delis or takeout restaurants that may be able to provide box lunches (bonus points if they'll deliver!)(but remember to factor a tip for delivery into your budget!). If you have allergies among your students, places like Whole Foods can accommodate most dietary restrictions.
    • Don't forget to order lunch for yourself and your teaching assistants!
    • Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. You should also have water and other drinks available throughout the day. For these items, try Costco or Sam's Club - boxes of granola bars, bulk fruit, and flats of water and juice will help keep everyone's energy up through the day.
  • Books are optional, but a nice thing to have. If you get extra sponsorship money or donations, keep these in mind.

Make a budget and stick to it.

Managing the money

Check your state's laws and consult with your bank - you may be able to open a special bank account to handle the money for your event. In some states you'll need to file DBA paperwork.

Keep copies of all of your invoices and other paperwork. If all the money you receive (from donations or sponsors) is spent on the event (or donated), you shouldn't need to pay taxes on it. However, you may have to file a Schedule C so make sure you can account for all of it.