Last year we did a bunch of work with DreamBank, a collaborative giving platform aimed at reducing waste and giving people gifts that they really want. Last week I wrote about Kickstarter, a way for creators to collecting funding for projects–a kind of collaborative investment in future art.
GradeFund lets students recruit sponsorsÃ¢â‚¬â€usually friends and familyÃ¢â‚¬â€who donate money for each good grade. Participating students upload their transcripts at the end of each term and GradeFund verifies them and then collects funds from the sponsors, who can set their own criteria such as sponsoring students from their alma mater or choosing specific grade levels to sponsor. They can determine donation amounts for each grade, from as low as USD 5.
It’s a nifty, if slightly warped, idea. Though I believe I benefited from such a scheme when I was in high school, I’m not a big fan of incentivizing childrens’ scholastic performance with cash.
The other factor that’s interesting in GradeFund’s case is that surely 100% of ‘sponsors’ will be personally known to the student. That is, there’s no ‘fans’ or benevolent strangers funding the kid’s education. In this sense, the site is less essential than other collaborative funding projects I’ve seen. Surely the child’s family could just put a gradated score card up on the fridge and some money in a jar?