How is Makers Making Change funded?
Makers Making Change is a project that touches on many key funding areas:
- Building resources as well as a community of support for people with disabilities
- Narrowing the “digital divide” by teaching technology skills to people with disabilities to maintain social connection and improve job readiness
- Socially innovative technologies that improve quality of life for marginalized people
- Career exploration and technical skills development for youth
- Fostering community leadership skills in high school and university students
In 2016, Neil Squire Society successfully secured $800,000 USD from the Google Impact Challenge to develop the Lipsync, our flagship sip and puff device. Since then, Makers Making Change has continued to grow and attract financial support from multiple funders. We have many amazing donors and supporters that enable us to continue to grow our chapters across Canada and the US and deliver much needed affordable assistive technology devices to people with disabilities.
Click on the hyperlink to find out more about our major funders and our sponsorship package. We also have many local corporate funders in each of our regions.
Donations can be made online by scrolling down our website homepage and clicking the “DONATE” button. A donor can specify where they want funding to be allocated.
What industries fund, collaborate and partner with MMC?
There are many organizations and funders who will support the work of an MMC Chapter. Below are some suggestions of the types of sectors you can consider:
Medical & Disability Care
Disability professionals who work at children’s hospitals, spinal cord injury and other rehabilitation hospitals. Disability user groups, long term disability care & seniors’ homes are particularly interested in Makers Making Change. This is because our devices can help their low-income clients with daily tasks.
Telecommunication providers are particularly interested in our program because they need users to be able to access their services. If a user can’t access their services due to a disability, then they cannot become a client.
“Team Building” events where staff learn to create an access switch or a LipSync, are a great way to engage telecommunication companies as a sponsor and partner.
Video Gaming Industry
With the invention of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, gaming is starting to become more accessible. Our partnerships with Electronic Arts and Microsoft are paving the way for more systemic change in the way video games are designed to consider accessibility.
Our access switches and the Lipsync Gaming are great ideas for build events to engage potential video games and tech sponsors.
Financial institutions often have grants or funds that are created specifically to support local community initiatives and are likely to target some of the issues listed above. A great way to engage these groups is to invite them to a build event to get a sense of what we do!
Government / State / Province-run Programs
Government and state-run programs will often pay for or support training sessions for disability professionals to learn new skills and initiatives that are relevant to their line of work.
Applications to government funding can be more intensive and a longer process to apply and hear back but can provide larger funding amounts and longer-term funding.
Local Community Foundations
Community Foundations, Rotary Clubs, Kinsmen, etc., are great funders for chapters and scaling Makers Making Change locally. The “double win” of serving marginalized community members through engaging skilled volunteers often aligns with community-based funding opportunities.
Educational Programs & Institutions
Professors, instructors and teachers in trades, STEM / STEAM related careers, occupational therapy, industrial design and engineering programs can involve their students in design thinking by developing projects found in the Design Challenges category of our forum.
High school teachers can access our grade 12 British Columbia BAA approved course outline and bring a Makers Making Change course to their school.
- Connect with other chapter leaders to find out what funding they may know about that you may be eligible to apply for.
- Ask your Regional Coordinator how they may be able to help support your funding needs.