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GoFundMe co-founders Brad Damphousse and Andy Ballester show off their 3D printers.

download_assetWhen Brad Damphousse and Andy  Ballester launched GoFundMe in 2010, they sought to create a crowdfunding site “for the rest of us,” one that made the process as easy as possible.

“We want to make it really easy to put money in your pocket,” says Brad. “GoFundMe doesn’t make users jump through a lot of hoops.”

He said most users can set up an account in 60 seconds or less and funds are available as they come in.

The company has been growing about 20 percent a month for the past year  and so far has attracted users raising funds for “life needs” such as weddings, medical expenses, and education. But now GoFundMe is looking to attract makers to their site with a new “all or nothing” funding option. They’ve partnered with MAKE to help spread the word.  Look for more details on this in January.

“It’s about empowering the nighttime and weekend makers and allowing them to develop their passion,” explains Brad.

It’s also about developing Brad and Andy’s passion, both of whom call themselves makers.

“I just received my Makerbot Replicator 2 less than a month ago,” says Brad. “Since then I’ve been re-learning Sketchup in hopes of producing some household safety products for kids. The car is my next frontier. So far, I’m on my 20th fully functioning iteration of a product I actually plan to bring to market through a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign in early 2013. Until then, it’s under wraps.”

Andy has been building Arduino projects for the past two years including a “water buddy,” a ring that fits around the neck of a water bottle neck and chimes when you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day; an automated cat feeder with web cam, and an automatic plant watering device.

Andy is also a big fan of 3D printing. He’s going to 3D print a bust of his father’s head for Christmas on his Solidoodle 2, sand it down, and spray paint it to look like marble. He also makes soap, beer, and pickles.

As makers, they’re excited to see more projects for physical objects on GoFundMe, says Brad

“‘The next big thing’ is actually going to be a thing,” he says. “The rapid iteration and innovation we’ve seen contribute to the explosion of internet start-ups and mobile apps is making its way to tangible products thanks to 3D printers, desktop CNC machines and Arduino boards. Crowdfunding is helping makers bring their projects to life and their products to market.”

Stett Holbrook

Stett is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Food
*Sustainable/green design
*Science
*Young Makers
*Action sports


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Comments

  1. Nathaniel says:

    Great article but why is it that the links at the bottom of the post in the “Maker Shed” box. they never work, always get a 404 page?

    1. Strange. They all work for me. Try again?

    2. All working for me too…

    3. Nathaniel says:

      Ok so its working now… this was the third time i was unable to browse those links on three separate posts. Maybe they fixed it… anyway thanks.

  2. [...] wrote about GoFundMe back in December. The low-barrier-to-entry crowdfunding site caters to those looking to raise funds [...]

  3. Chad says:

    Another great site that you can do the same thing is at http://www.fundsforyourlife.com. They don’t take the 5% from the people that need it most. The donars pay the fee so the people that need it will get it. They were rated the best new crowdfunding online personal donation site to come out.

  4. GoFundMe has helped a lot of people who really needed help. I say that we should really pay attention to what these two gentleman see coming next for the future of crowdfunding, and I’m thinking about grabbing some of those products in the Maker Shed too. See about learning this Arduino.
    -Robert
    http://www.squidoo.com/online-fundraising-with-gofundme

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