Non-Profit Crowdsourcing: Going Beyond Crowdfunding

Non-Profit Crowdsourcing: Going Beyond CrowdfundingWhen you think about using crowdsourcing for your non-profit, what do you think of? If you’re like many program managers and directors, you think about fundraising. While crowdfunding – the money side of crowdsourcing – can certainly be effective, it’s important to expand your vision. Non-profit crowdsourcing goes well beyond crowdfunding.

Non-profit volunteers and your surrounding community are often passionate about the mission and purpose of your organization. They’ll often contribute to and share crowdsourcing activities with friends and family. This can help expand the reach of your non-profit and gain you additional supporters – both financially and otherwise.

Types of Non-Profit Crowdsourcing

When thinking about how the community and the larger crowd can benefit your organization, it’s important to be aware of the variety of crowdsourcing projects. Here are five specific types of non-profit crowdsourcing that can help:

  • Pooling collective knowledge to help solve problems. Do you wonder how to maximize space in your building but don’t have resources to hire a planner or architect? There are many in your community who would volunteer ideas.
  • Micro-volunteering. Some people in your area would love to volunteer but are afraid of the time commitment. By creating small tasks that take only a few minutes, you can harness these volunteers and benefit your organization.
  • Crowd Creation. If you need a new idea for outreach or impact, your community can help you come up with ideas.
  • Crowd Voting. Have some options but can’t decide? Put it to a public vote. This will also help you get support and funding for the chosen project since you’ve built awareness up front.
  • Crowdfunding. A traditional form of non-profit crowdsourcing, it involves raising money by asking donors to contribute to a single online site. This is often done for a focused project or initiative, and may involve bonuses for the donors.


The Impact of Using Non-Profit Crowdsourcing 

As you can see, non-profit crowdsourcing goes far beyond funding. In fact, using crowdsourcing can help your organization gain a variety of benefits far beyond money. When you use the other four types of non-profit crowdsourcing, you can gain:

  • Trust and Loyalty. People feel a bond to projects they contribute to, and that can help your organization succeed long-term. You also build trust when you ask for community input beyond finances.
  • Reach and Engagement. Because non-financial crowdsourcing goes beyond asking for money, it will be more widely shared and may gain much more participation than other initiatives. Because your mission and purpose are being shared with so many people, you’ll gain new supporters.
  • Brand Awareness. Are you tired of people not knowing what your organization is or what it stands for? Crowdsourcing will help get your name out to the public in new ways.
  • Volunteerism. People love to give back. In fact, altruism is one of the core reasons crowd workers participate in crowdsourcing. Beyond a specific project, crowdsourcing can also help you gain more long-term volunteers.
  • Donations. Of course, the more people who know your organization, trust you, and are loyal to you, the more likely they are to donate. A non-financial crowdsourcing program can result in financial benefits down the line.

Interested in more? We have specific case studies of how other non-profits are using IdeaScale for non-profit crowdsourcing. Learn more by looking at the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Making All Voices Count. You can also download our free Crowdsourcing for Non-profits e-book.


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