Posted by bessie on Thursday, July 01, 2010.

Case Foundation's Wowcrowd interview

Last week, our friends at The Case Foundation sat down with Brighter Planet’s Robbie Adler to talk about the release of our new crowdsourcing technology platform Wowcrowd:

Josh: Thanks again for speaking to us today Robbie. Just to clarify for all of those who might be a bit confused, what exactly is Wowcrowd?

Robbie: Wowcrowd is a social web application that gives organizations the tools to crowdsource the allocation of funds, which helps them engage their stakeholders and surface bright ideas.

The concept is simple. An organization with a Wowcrowd account earmarks a pool of money for a particular mission, and then opens the process to their users—their employees, members, customers, constituents, or the general public. Individual users submit proposed ideas for how the funding could be spent, and then all the users vote to decide which of the proposals will get funded and be realized.

Josh: What are the benefits of challenges and contests like the ones being run on Wowcrowd?

Robbie: A well-run crowdsourced program can provide some very important benefits for an organization. It opens a slice of the decision-making process to their stakeholders, which engages them as active participants in the organization’s mission rather than as passive donors or members—and an engaged constituent base clearly offers many advantages.

It can also be a strong PR tool, because as we’ve learned, contest participants (including proposal submitters and voters) end up devoting their own energy and effort to spreading the word in support of their cause, effectively creating brand ambassadors for the organization. Administered through an online tool like Wowcrowd, these programs can be easily integrated with other social media channels to efficiently promote the fund and the organization.

Of course, another big benefit is the crowdsourced ideas themselves. By tapping into the collective intelligence of their stakeholders, a contest administrator can efficiently surface creative ideas that are diverse and compelling—ideas they likely wouldn’t have thought of themselves.

You’ll find the full interview, conducted by Joshua Tabb, on the Case Foundation blog.

Established in 1997 by Jean and Steve Case, the Case Foundation utilizes a citizen-centered approach to encourage civic engagement in the U.S. and around the Globe. The organization focuses on the “big-swing-for-the-fences ideas” with large potential for change to achieve their mission: “invest in people and ideas that can change the world.”  Recently they conducted the America’s Giving Challenge, a one month competition to unite people around the issues they care about, increase awareness for the issues, and attract donors. The challenge was enormously successful, bringing in over 105,000 donations and raising $2.1 million for various nonprofit causes.

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