Fundraising 2nd Chances

Pamela L. Gay, Ph.D.
6 min readOct 18, 2023

TL:DR; As inflation has gone up, donations have gone down faster. We get it. We totally get it. But now we have medical bills and really need donations so we can work and pay those bills.

Not all experiments are successful.

In our modern era, unfortunately, failure is rarely allowed. I’ve written about this before, and how NASA really codified this idea in their “Failure is not an option” catch phrase.

The thing is, innovation only happens if you take risks and accept that failures are going to happen. In space science and related fields, we are watching SpaceX and RocketLab both blaze (very different) paths forward as they practice iterative design and expect some parts to fail as they test the effectiveness of new ideas and new technologies.

Back in 2013, the Mars Curiosity Rover pioneered a new way of landing that no one was entirely sure would work. This led to the slogan, “Dare mighty things”.

Here at CosmoQuest, we try to dare mighty things as we pioneer new ways to engage people in learning and doing science using internet technologies.

And sometimes, while iterating on what we do, we fail mightily.

The tale of 2 Hangout-a-thons

Last July we tried something new. For our yearly fundraiser, our Hangout-a-thon, we decided to spend 36 hours asking for money while building moon bases in both Lego and Minecraft. We’d all seen fellow streamers raise gobs and gobs of money just doing long streams of joy and games. From early July 15 to late July 16, we streamed joy and Lego and Minecraft… and we learned we are not other streamers as we failed spectacularly to raise needed funds.

So… we’re trying again. Space is hard. Funding space science / education / communications is also hard. It may actually be harder, to be honest.

November 3–5, we’re going to stream for 32 hours (not straight through — we will sleep). We are going back to the standards; we’re going to talk to you, have on guests, play games in the background, and celebrate learning new things for 32 hours. We need to raise $30,000. This is our second chance to make our budgets right.

Want to help us get ahead of the curve? Donate here:



Pamela L. Gay, Ph.D.

Astronomer, technologist, & creative focused on using new media to engage people in learning and doing science. Opinions & typos my own.