Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Crowdsourcing philanthropy -- do the masses know best?

Philanthropic efforts, when combined with the possibilities of the Internet, are producing interesting hybrids, and crowdsourcing ideas for development is one of them. The Peace Corps is testing such an approach with Africa Rural Connect (ARC), an online community where creativity and global collaboration are the goals, and the best ideas can win $20,000 in funding. See the current top 10 ideas here. Oct. 15 is the deadline for submitting projects for the current contest. Molly Mattessich now manages an online site to take global ideas and apply them to problems she saw firsthand as a volunteer. Anyone can submit an idea, endorse existing ideas and suggest improvements to them. Hosted by the National Peace Corps Association, the site connects over 200,000 current and returned Peace Corps volunteers, African Diaspora, non-profit leaders, technology buffs and anyone else who has a solution for Africa's development challenges.
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