You don’t have to simply wish this existed when you were younger. You can make sure it’s a choice for the future. 

We’re ditching the higher education funding model that leaves admissions departments scrambling to meet quotas and college graduates in heavy debt. We’ve replaced it with a community-supported model that doesn’t ask students to shoulder the whole cost of education.

That’s because we believe education is an investment we share--after all, education affects all of us, not just the ones in the classroom. 

There are 3 ways you can donate:

1. & 2. RECURRING or one-time DONATION

The best way to support higher education revolution is with a monthly sustaining donation. They average $32 per month. You can also opt for a one-time donation.

3. All fired up and want to do more? Become a Luminary! 

Luminaries are core supporters who share wisdom, pledge 1 penny out of every dollar they make, and spread the word. In return, they get special access, sweet swag, and engage directly with full-time students (who LOVE interacting with Luminaries!).

We would be honored if you joined as a Luminary. You will support the movement directly as one of its earliest members. You will have the opportunity to teach, learn, serve, and explore with us. You will be a part of something greater than yourself.

We have a creed. We have a team. We have a few successes under our belts. If you believe what we believe, and think that together we might just do something amazing, come join the movement.

This is so FREAKING COOL! I’m so honored to be a part of this school.
— Sean Harry, Luminary


As a Luminary, you will join and support the movement in at least 3 ways:

Sharing wisdom
You’d help us think through tough questions as we build our college. Luminaries will form an important body of knowledge our students will tap into through Q&A sessions, professional resource sharing, networking, mentorship, and fun hangouts. Both local and far-flung Luminaries are invited to share wisdom through a blend of in-person and online platforms.

Supporting with donations
Many colleges rely on student tuition for most of their revenue, making students shoulder the heaviest burden of the cost of education. We believe it should be different. When a student learns to live life on purpose, we are all better off. Your donation will make it possible for the Wayfinding Academy to provide an accessible life changing experience to a broader range of students and community members.

Spreading the word
Our Luminaries prepare the world for our students before they graduate through advocating in their networks. Our students should know any employer, university, mentor, or potential new friend will definitely want to take the time to meet them. Our entire community will prosper together if we work together.

As a Luminary, you will join a community working to re-imagine higher education. You will be a a part of the core group that we’ll reach out to in shaping our students’ experiences. When students need a mentor, or assistance exploring a question, we will reach to you first.

Here are some of the ways we thank Luminaries:

  • The Facebook group is a place for Luminaries from all around the world to share wisdom and resources and engage with the Wayfinding Academy directly.

  • Invitations to quarterly Lunch-and-Learns with students (lunchtime teaching and info sessions at the Wayfinding HQ) and dinners with student groups.

  • Special early invites and access to Wayfinding events like Labs, Wayfinder Weekend, and the other events in our calendar.

  • Invitations to student ‘Term Talks’ and final portfolio exhibitions.

  • Luminaries will light the path for students, sometimes literally. You will be invited to hang symbolic lanterns at important milestones in the Wayfinding student experience.

  • Special recognition on the Wayfinding Academy website.

  • Finally, Luminaries will receive a sticker, a window decal, and a special copper pin showing the year they joined.

We ask that our Luminaries make a real commitment, but one that is different and appropriate for each individual. Luminaries pledge 1 penny out of every dollar they make (1%) to support Wayfinding.

If you’re interested in joining as a Luminary, enter your approximate yearly earnings below to see what 1 penny of every dollar would like like on a monthly or yearly basis.


This has been one of the most beautiful, most important things I have ever been a part of in my life. So grateful / happy / excited / heart-warmed!
— Gina Lorubbio, Luminary


A higher degree of commitment and engagement. You can donate the equivalent of one percent of your income and give extra thanks and involvement within the Wayfinding community such as:

  • A copper Luminaries pin showing the year you joined.

  • Special recognition on the Wayfinding Academy website.

  • First priority on purchasing lab tickets and other ticketed events we host.

  • Invitation to Guide group meals with Wayfinding students.

Here’s a calculator to help you figure out what that would be. Enter how much you make in a year. If you’re not sure or don’t have a clear income, consider something above $25 per month, or $300 yearly.

$ .00

Note: this calculator is for your purposes only, this information does not get sent to the Wayfinding Academy. If you prefer, you can use your own calculator, of course.

If you’re not into the idea of joining the Luminaries, we will still gladly accept your donation. Either way your contribution will go towards helping students and reimagining higher education. Thank you!


Wayfinding Academy is a not for profit, charitable organization formed under Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Donations to Wayfinding Academy are tax-deductible as charitable contributions for US federal income tax purposes. There are no donation limits or restrictions on contributions to Wayfinding Academy. Our nonprofit tax ID is 47-2943786.

The Wayfinding Academy
8010 N Charleston Ave. Portland, OR, 97203

I wake up excited every day - I already feel like I’m growing, which feels awesome and motivates me to try even harder.
— Annie, Wayfinding Student