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I wrote about GoFundMe back in December. The low-barrier-to-entry crowdfunding site caters to those looking to raise funds for “life needs” like medical expenses and weddings, but now the company is expanding its services to makers by offering a new “all or nothing” funding feature and the same easy terms. GoFundMe has partnered with MAKE to get the word out and today they’re announcing a potentially lucrative contest for makers with bright ideas.

download_assetHere’s the deal: GoFundMe will award a total of $10,000 for the “best maker projects” submitted on the site. The winners will be selected by the GoFundMe community. The maker project with the most votes will receive $5,000 in project funding directly from GoFundMe. Second place will receive $3,500, and third place will get $1,500. The judging begins March 19 and the winner will be announced  March 21. Winners will also be featured here on the MAKE blog. The deadline for entry is March 1. Click here for details.

What do you say, MAKE readers? Got a project you think can win? To spur your creativity, here are a couple of projects currently on GoFundMe. There’s a campaign for a steampunk workshop, a guy launching a human-powered vehicle project, and my favorite, the Kwick Gripper, a handy-looking nail pulling device.
kwick2

The idea for the contest is to help makers get things started at the early stages of their projects before they’re ready to scale up for production. GoFundMe CEO Brad Damphousse says the site is ideal for sharing prototypes with a limited audience or generating support from within social networks. Makers have a choice between our all-or-nothing or a more traditional fundraising campaign in which  makers get to keep every donation they receive in real-time. There are no penalties for not reaching your goal.

He hopes the contest will turn out great ideas and projects.

“At GoFundMe, we realize that evolving your idea doesn’t have to mean launching a huge business,” he says. “GoFundMe’s crowdfunding options are perfect for all stages of any project–from conception to launch.”

All the details for the Make-a-Thon are right here. Now go get making!

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

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


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