But as organizations have discovered, crowdsourced philanthropy is notwithout risk. Companies considering this approach should ask themselves several questions.Are we willing to give up that control?Can we live with whatever choices consumers make?
How can we ensure we don’t put additional strain on already
stretched non-profits?How do we guarantee the selection process is fair and free of fraud?Will we have an impact?Is crowdsourced philanthropy a short-lived trend, and has theenthusiasm worn off?By learning from past programs and sticking to a core set of principles,companies can minimize risk and maximize impact. The following set of principles can help put a crowdsourced philanthropic program on thepath to success.
Provide as much flexibility as possible to encourage creativity andinnovation.
When you’re talking about local communities, local citizens
and non-profits are the experts. Take advantage of that expertise bylistening and remaining open.
Transparency is key.
The official rules must be clear, concise andreadily available. And the company needs to be prepared to monitor andenforce the rules to ensure the program is fraud-free and does not simplyfavor size or a vocal majority.
The submission process should be easy to understand,user-friendly and available to a very broad audience.