Funding a Makerspace
You have a vision for creating a space where students can create, learn and make. Maybe you even have met with our team and have a proposal and a 3D model. The next logical question for many educators and administrators is: How do we fund it? We understand the importance of creating maker-oriented learning environments at 1st Maker Space, but we also understand the need of financing in order to create these environments. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Private Foundation Grants
Private foundations offer a variety of grant opportunities.The first step in getting a grant is to find the right one. Look for grants that are specific to making, STEM, and project-based learning. Currently, Infosys Foundation USA, has one such grant available named the Infy Maker Awards. Infy Maker Awards is open to K-12 schools and youth-serving organizations who aim to create more opportunities for students to engage in hands-on, interdisciplinary learning through making. The deadline to participate is February 24, 2020 at 5 p.m. PT. Ten organizations will each receive a $10,000 grant. Winners may also receive Maker professional development for two staff members during the Pathfinders Summer Institute in 2020. The grant can be used for a variety of purposes including: materials and equipment, structural improvements, additional professional development, projects for students, impact and assessment research or community outreach and engagement” (Infy Maker Awards). If you would like more information on grant writing please reach out to 1st Maker Space directly and we can help you come up with a plan in order to effectively apply for grants.
Fundraisers are also a great way to fund your makerspace. There are a variety of different ways to fundraise but coming up with a plan of what you would like to do is a great first step. We can help in this process by creating a 3-D model and proposal for the makerspace or STEM Lab. This 3-D model will also include a financial break down that will outline the total “ask” to potential donors. This step is free. Just contact us and invite us to your organization and we will come in, take some pictures of where you hope to implement your makerspace, listen to your ideas, and help you develop them further. We will then go back to our own makespace and create a comprehensive plan for you. This plan can then be used to apply for grants and illustrate to donors of a fundraiser, your overall vision.
Crowdfunding and Donors Choose
One great tool to use in order to fundraise is Donors Choose. Donors Choose is a great platform for teachers to illustrate to friends, parents, and corporate donors what they can do in order to help. First, come up with a plan to illustrate to donors just what you want to do. Next, go to https://www.donorschoose.org/ and begin the simple process of setting up your account. You can then choose 1st Maker Space as a Special Request Vendor so that once you have reached your financial goal your material will be ordered and delivered to your school. To reach your goal it is important to provide as much information to donors as possible. You can choose multiple items from 1st Maker Space based on the goals of the project or makerspace. In order to use Donors Choose with 1st Maker Space a teacher must have had a previously successful project.
In conclusion, funding a makerspace can seem intimidating at first. We’re here to help each step of the way. If you are still in the beginning phase of just having the idea of creating a makerspace, that is where we will start. If you have all the financing and know exactly what you want, we will make your dream a reality and build your makerspace. If you are in the phase of financing your makerspace, start with the steps of finding a grant, or setting up a fundraiser.
Have a great idea for funding to share? Share below. #makersgonnamake