Crowdsourcing for Government Entities: New Solutions for Today’s Economy

Tighter budgets, decreased revenues, and citizen demands have left government entities, large and small, scrambling to adjust. Maintaining or enhancing current levels of service with dwindling dollars is a substantial challenge. What are the most innovative, cost-effective avenues available to address this dilemma?

Enter crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is a problem-solving strategy government entities at all levels are beginning to employ more regularly in a variety of facets of their work. Crowdsourcing, in its essence, involves actively soliciting input and assistance from large numbers of stakeholders, and is usually done online (e.g., using social media)., for example, describes its approach to crowdsourcing this way: “On, the government and the public work together to find submissions. Government agencies post challenges on this site and the public can post submissions to these challenges. Once a challenge is created, other people can join the challenge to propose a submission, discuss the challenge, and show support. Incentives (or prizes), which are payable only if a challenge is solved, encourage others to solve a problem and earn their rewards.”

Leveraging the power of social media, government entities can save time, save money, and radically increase the quality of services by going directly to the source that will be evaluating their effectiveness.

Citizens are more connected online now than they have ever been. Government entities can harness the power of this connectedness and use it to their advantage. Simple examples of how social media can be utilized for little or no financial investment include:

  • Facebook – establish a Facebook page for your department or agency. Include this page on printed materials you distribute. Encourage your stakeholders to “like” your page and to interact with you there. Periodically issue “challenges” whereby your followers can suggest solutions, and you can comment and interact with them in real-time.


  • Twitter – establish a Twitter account for your department or agency, and include a link to your feed on the printed materials you distribute. Encourage your stakeholders to “follow us @[your agency name here]” so you can keep them apprised of agency related news and events which may be of interest to them. Encourage stakeholders to “re-tweet” to expand your following.


  • Pinterest – establish a Pinterest board for your department or agency. Include links to your board on any printed materials you distribute. Encourage stakeholders to “pin” examples of solutions they believe would help your agency or department solve a problem.

Crowdsourcing is a powerful, inexpensive means of finding solutions to public sector challenges on a tight budget.  Contact us to explore more innovative solutions for government entities.

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