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Crowdsourcing For Your Nonprofit

Lori Halley 10 September 2012 3 comments

What exactly is crowdsourcing and how can nonprofits use it to “increase awareness, cultivate new volunteers, gather information and even get work done?”  

A new Idealware article by Soha El Borno – How Crowdsourcing Can Help Your Nonprofit – offers specific examples of the “many opportunities for nonprofits to tap the power of crowds.” The article suggests:

Since the earliest days of the internet, people have used it to solicit and organize groups of people to participate in projects in small ways. Called crowdsourcing, this process can be done by a number of ways, and for a number of goals

…Crowdsourcing can be done at an organizational or individual level, and nonprofits have used it for everything from marketing and fundraising to volunteerism and activism. It’s a great way to enlist help from a wider community knowledgebase, and to engage people in your work.  

5 Categories of Crowdsourcing 

This article – which we’ve made available through our Membership Knowledge Hub – starts by explaining the “Whys and Hows of Crowdsourcing” and outlines the 5 categories of Crowdsourcing that non-profits might employ:

    1. Pooling Collective Knowledge 
    2. Microvolunteering (Asking the Crowd to help with tiny tasks) 
    3. Crowd Creation 
    4. Crowd Voting 
    5. Crowd Funding   

Crowdsourcing Tips 

In addition, this article offers 4 “Tips for Successful Crowdsourcing” such as: "Keep it simple. Make it very clear what you want the crowd to do, and break down your strategic goals into smaller tasks people can help with." 

In wrapping up the article, Soha El Borno suggests, “Crowdsourcing is a mindset.” It “provides many opportunities for nonprofits to tap the power of crowds. If you have a task, question or idea you want to explore, there are many ways to reach and involve people. Always look for opportunities to ask questions or seek feedback from your volunteers, donors, newsletter subscribers, clients, the local community or any community.”

You can find a review and a link to the full Idealware article in our Membership Knowledge Hub here – How Crowdsourcing Can Help Your Nonprofit.  

Want more?

For more crowdsourcing ideas, you might also want to have a look at this Wild Apricot blog post – The Three C’s of Forums  – which outlines how associations and membership organizations can use member forums for crowdsourcing.


Image source:  Crowds by Bigstockphoto.com

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 10 September 2012 at 8:30 AM


  • Soha El Borno said:

    Friday, 14 September 2012 at 5:41 AM
    Thanks for writing this up, Lori!
  • Lori said:

    Friday, 14 September 2012 at 9:12 AM
    Soha: You're very welcome. It's a great article and we're pleased to include it in our Membership Knowledge Hub.
  • Sam Hawkins said:

    Friday, 14 September 2012 at 6:29 PM
    Crowd-sourcing is a nice technique, i gotta learn it, Thats a stuff i would love to share. Thanks for the post Lori
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