Top 5 Local Crowd-Sourced Fundraisers


Kickstarter got it going, indiegogo picked up the ball, and now “crowdfunding” is well on its way to becoming the world’s most efficient fundraising tool for startups, artists, do-gooders, and folks just in need of a helping hand. Here are five of our favorite past and present campaigns that are straight out of Cincinnati:

1. Fly Up Fitness
It’s easy to talk yourself out of a gym visit when schedules, family, or the flu start getting in the way. So local accountant Brent Kruithof invented Fly Up Fitness, a portable exercise device that allows you to improvise at-home body weight resistance training. Watch his cute video (emphasis on cute) and just try not to feel inspired to get fit.

2. GRCD DAAPworks 2013
Want to see the best of DAAP’s Graphic Design program? Kids in the program have set up a Kickstarter campaign to help you do just that. They want to hold a final project show featuring 62 original works, “each designed with a better future in mind.” Adorable. Backers who pledge $100 or more will get a VIP pass and “a special snack” at the show. Double adorable.

3. The Spifork
We know all about the spork, but the spifork? This “all-in-one” utensil adds a new twist: It’s one piece that snaps apart to create a fork, spoon, and knife. The product isn’t just a gimmick; it’s designed with minimum environmental impact in mind. Folks behind the Spifork hope that it will replace the standard three-piece utensil set still common in many eateries and shops.

 4. Cincinnati Chamber Opera presents: Acis and Galatea
Cincinnati Chamber Opera was founded by UC College-Conservatory of Music alums Shawn Mlynek and Autumn West to provide opera in uniquely small, “chamber-style” settings. Their goal is to raise $3,000 to produce Handel’s Acis and Galatea, an 18th-century pastoral opera.

5. MYCincinnati (Music for Youth in Cincinnati)
This free youth orchestra program is an indiegogo success story. MYCincinnati was founded to provide free violin, viola, and cello lessons to area kids who want to participate in an orchestra. The group set out to raise $10,000 for building utilities, healthy snacks (for the kids), and for teacher support. In January of this year, they exceeded that goal by $1,158. The indiegogo campaign might be over, but you can still contribute time or money (or enroll your own mini violin virtuoso) at

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