Crowdsourcing for Non-Profits: A Look at the Benefits

Volunteers cleaning up a park.

Non-profit engagement is about more than volunteering.

Non-profits are driven by passion. Just like other organizations, however, they can struggle with innovation and change, especially when all ideas come from the inside. Crowdsourcing can be a powerful tool for helping non-profits generate innovative ideas in the long term.

Better Transparency

Non-profit initiatives need to be transparent, and crowdsourcing is, by its very nature, crystal clear. Involving donors transparently in the creation of ideas helps spur greater creativity and innovation for the non-profit. The proper crowdsourcing platform allows non-profit contributors to generate ideas and other donors and volunteers to vote on them and refine them with comments and additional ideas. The non-profit can then provide the tools and organization to draw funding directly from donors. This is especially powerful for small, focused “micro-projects” such as remodeling a building.

Greater Inclusion

The drive to hear every voice is fundamental to non-profit work, but it can be difficult to give everyone inside and outside an organization the tools to be heard. Furthermore, some might not have the confidence to speak up, especially when surrounded by more self-possessed voices. Crowdsourcing offers the power to everyone to suggest an idea, weigh in on other ideas, and vote at their level of comfort, whether they want to openly discuss ideas or simply quietly offer feedback anonymously. While there’s no perfect method of inclusion, crowdsourcing ensures that more voices in the community are heard.

Person writing in a notebook with a calculator close by.

Donors, volunteers, and the communities you serve can all help with crowdsourcing.

Stronger Employee Engagement

One of the values of non-profits is to make a difference, and crowdsourcing allows employees to help drive the conversation at their organization. Profit or non-profit, bringing an idea from an employee’s mind to execution can be a frustrating process. Crowdsourcing streamlines it by introducing tools for employees to take ideas straight to stakeholders, to craft rough ideas into something more effective that fits the organization, and to see an “express lane” for their approaches. Even if the employees don’t have their idea selected by the crowd, they’ll get valuable feedback and learn different perspectives within an organization. Going forward, they can apply that to their concepts and create ideas that are more likely to be accepted.

More Imaginative Innovative Strategies

There are only so many ideas you can draw from any given well. Non-profits often generate ideas internally, but beyond a certain point, even the most creative employee can feel like they’re recycling concepts and approaches. Crowdsourcing digs new creative wells from which to draw. Even better, it pulls those ideas from your stakeholders and allows the entire community to refine ideas. Participants can even offer fresh perspectives on past approaches. Longer term, crowdsourcing yields creative ore that can be refined and turned into valuable new concepts. Further, crowdsourcing strengthens engagement as communities see their ideas put into practice.

Crowdsourcing is uniquely suited to the needs of non-profits. It offers the entire community transparency, accessibility, engagement, and the ability to discuss with each other the ideas and approaches that are most needed. To see how crowdsourcing can help your organization, join our newsletter!

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