Often, educators that are excited and ready to bring making into their learning environment get stuck when thinking about how they will fund the new endeavor. One route that has become increasingly popular and successful in raising money for making is crowdfunding!

Crowdfunding is a process of collecting small amounts of money for a single project from a large number of people. Often, crowdfunding is done through a website such as Kickstarter, Donors Choose, and IOBY, to name a few. Since crowdfunding uses the Internet to spread and rally support for a project, it has also been shown to be a great way to build community understanding and interest about an initiative.

In 2015, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP) collaborated with Kickstarter, the online crowdfunding platform, to develop and pilot a model that uses crowdfunding as a way to raise community awareness, support, and funding to sustainably integrate making as a learning innovation into schools. Funds raised through crowdfunding have gone to things like professional development, makerspace design services, equipment, materials and furniture.

CMP, in partnership with Maker Ed, has developed a suite of resources and tools that schools can use to support fundraising efforts and the integration of making into schools and educational spaces across the country.

  1. Visioning & Goal Alignment Tools: These tools can be used to guide conversations about the intensions, expectations, and funding goals for integrating making into the school environment before the campaign development process begins.

  2. Campaign Development Tools: These tools can be used to guide the crowdfunding campaign development process for schools

  3. Program Planning & Promotional Tools: These tools can be used for reference and to help structure expectation and communications about the project and partnership