Yeah, I asked my accountant, who replied promptly:
The team would actually have to be part of FIRST and file a combined income tax return to be covered by the exemption that FIRST already has.
An alternate way I have seen this done is for contributions to be made to FIRST, for example, and then they give them to the local organization. That way the contributions are deductible since they were actually made through FIRST and then FIRST makes a grant to the local organization.
Since FIRST isn’t going to do that for several thousand teams, that’s not an option. O well, it was a good thought, Anastasia!
You cannot use FIRST because funds are not going directly to FIRST. You can have them filtered through an account at your child's school. They set up an account for robotics. You will have to have a PO issued prior to spending any money. FIRST will accept POs as payment as it is a contract.
Otherwise, you would have to have a group such as Ruritans, Scouts, 4-H, Rotary, or the like filter your funds for you. PTA could filter it, but they have the right to say "no".