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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Why not kickstart school and nonprofit building projects?





Architizer has a fantastic article about how new facilities are raising funds on Kickstarter. (Kickstarter is a funding platform for 'creative projects.')

In "How Kickstarter is Changing Architecture," they profile several instances of kickstarter being used to fund and implement needed buildings and projects:

  • A "Peace and Quite Booth" in Times square"
  • The Lowline project - an underground park built in Manhattan's Lower East Side (they met their goal in 8 days!)
  • A New York public pool gets a new Splash House when grad students from Parsons decided they wanted to build it.


OK, let's take your mind and blow it with this one here. Two people wanted to create a special feature in a park, so they didn't take the typical route and propose to city leaders, etc. They created a Kickstarter campaign. Of course, you still have to get approval for things, but often it comes down to money, doesn't it? No one wants to be on the hook to raise more money for a dog of a project that the public doesn't support.

James Ramsey used Kickstarter to raise money for the
Lowline Project underground park project in Manhattan.


Now, imagine this - what if you had several potential projects at your school. You really needed some classroom space as well as a sports facility. Which do you build?

Well, why not kickstarter them? Raise the money using kickstarter or some sort of kickstarter-type program to see where the most support is. The school can match the project to raise the first X amount and it is done!

So many great projects lie dormant because the powers that be are disconnected from the moneys that be. ;-) (forgive my grammar error, but you get my point)

I think this sort of thing can transform so many things we do and it is right here in front of us. We should start using kickstarter principles in our schools or to add the enhancements that so many people need. The nice thing about kickstarter, is that different levels of support include t-shirts and other goodies, so it helps you design the campaign as part of the process - these are things that we should do anyway, but often don't.

Social media has many ideas that we can use to help cash-strapped schools. We don't have to sit on our hands and do nothing, maybe some of our projects just need a kickstart! ;-)

Oh, and if any of you are already doing this, or know of schools who are, please leave a message in the comments, I'd like to know more about successful school fundraising projects using this model and I think others would too.



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