Crowd sourcing is usually seen for brands trying to gain exposure for various stunts they have in mind such as the T-Mobile ads in London over the last year.
I found Spacehive today and I really like this initiative where people can suggest projects in their area and get the local residents to help the funding of it. It could be a play area for kids, a flower garden, clearing up the canal or even just putting benches or bins in an area to make it look nicer for everyone who lives there.
You simply check out the projects going on and then donate or you can create your very own one, the great thing is the site helps with the planning permission side of things so can make things an easier way of getting your local area looking more spic and span.
After the London Riots we saw pockets of community spirit in the shape of the DIY clean up programmes, people genuinely care about their neighbours and the space they live in. With projects like this we might be able to get jobs done that local councils are either too strapped for cash to do or too bone idle to see the social benefits.