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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.

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 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:

*Sustainable/green design
*Young Makers
*Action sports



  1. Bob Duncan says:

    am I missing something or did you say 10000 is given out and then said that 5000 goes to first, 2500 goes to second, and 1500 goes to third. That’s only 9000 dollars…

    1. They’re offering $3,500 for second place: “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.”

  2. Rashida Abdullah says:

    Can Make-a-Thon contest entries include food products?

  3. Chad says:

    Another great site that you can do the same thing is at 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. patrick says:

    what time does voting end on thursday?

  5. Aaron says:

    I am an older student, was once homeless, trying to get my education – Please look at my profile, very passionate, had a very hard life…