Crowdsourcing covers a number of activities. It could be used to engage people in action like in micro-tasking as you do on Amazon’s MechanicalTurk. It could be used to share knowledge as you do on Quora or Wikipedia. Obviously, you can collect ideas and collaborate on their development using a tool like IdeaScale, but crowdsourcing can also be used to gather funds from the public and when that happens, it’s called crowdfunding. Sort of like fundraising on a mass scale. And it’s become more and more common to see compassionate crowdfunding campaigns arise after a dramatic incident like some of the super storms that we’ve been seeing. Because after an event like this there are tons of problems to solve, here are just a few ways that crowdfunding has been used to help in disaster recovery.
After the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, some small business owners were able to start rebuilding their brands and businesses with the help of the crowd. They reached out to friends and family and that helped them recover their materials, open new stores, and get started again.
After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, lots of neighborhoods turned to crowdfunding to help them replace materials that they lost in the storm: clothes, household goods, and damaged streets and basements. Of course, many who donated were friends and relations, but some were total strangers.
After the 2014 mudslides in Washington, crowdfunding was even used to help individuals recover the things they had lost, with donations totaling more than $300,000 in just four weeks.
Luckily, IdeaScale also partners with the United Way and we’re proud to promote their efforts to contribute to the recovery following Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the earthquake. They have separate funds for each of the disasters, but IdeaScale decided to donate to each of them as we have clients in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, Mexico and we wanted to find a way to help all of them even from afar and now we want to take the opportunity to invite you to join us and do the same. The United Way is actively responding to each of the different incidents and is looking for both short and long-term assistance. Thanks for doing that work! And thanks for giving us the opportunity to support our customer family everywhere.