Crowdsourcing is an exciting concept, but it is often difficult to figure out a practical application within the everyday work of nonprofits. Organizations have always formed strategic alliances to more efficiently provide services, but truly harnessing the knowledge and resources of entire networks opens previously unimagined possibilities for smaller nonprofits.
In 2007, the Blue Planet Run Foundation (BPRF) set the themselves the lofty goal of providing 200 million people clean drinking water in 20 years. Calculating that they would have to finish 40,000 water project before 2027 to reach their goal, BPRF quickly realized they would have to come up with a creative solution. Not wanting become another mega-nonprofit that with a massive staff and fundraising apparatus, BPRF came up with the Peer Water Exchange, an online “participatory system to select, fund, manage, monitor, and share grassroots water and sanitation projects worldwide efficiently, effectively, and transparently.”