Tim Grove of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum examines the phenomenon of crowdfunding and its applications for museums and historic sites in his latest column.

His museum recently launched their first Kickstarter campaign, “Reboot the Suit,” to help raise $500,000 to conserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit and put it on display in time for Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary in 2019. They witnessed a hugely positive response and met their goal within a week. This incredible success can help others understand the pros and cons of crowdfunding, and how organizations can reach out to a worldwide network of history lovers to help make incredible things possible.

Tim also discusses examples from the Autry National Center of the American West, the Pickle Project, and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts to explore how groups around the country are utilizing crowdfunding.