Crowdsourcing means involving a lot of people in small pieces of a project. In educational and nonprofit outreach, crowdsourcing is a form of engagement, such as participating in an online course, collecting photos of butterflies for a citizen-science project, uploading old photos for a community history project, deciphering sentences from old scanned manuscripts, playing protein folding games to help scientists discover new ways to fight diseases, or participating in online discussions.
Now, how about a project! One that I have been aware of for at least three years, is the World Memory Project that seeks to
allow anyone, anywhere to help build the largest free online resource for information about victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution during World War II. Even a few minutes of your time can help families discover what happened to their loved ones and restore the identities of people the Nazis tried to erase from history.
If you're involved in a genealogy project of your own, you may find that crowdsourcing is a way of getting some help. Look for Advanced Genealogy Research Techniques by George G. Morgan [929.1 MOR] in our collection, for more information.
A very successful project is ongoing at the New York Public Library. The "crowd" is transcribing menus from a century ago, and making the information available to to the world (thinks chefs, food historians, foodies, etc.).
There's lots of information available online for those who are interested in crowdsourcing. Go to Wikipedia, the most familiar crowdsourced project of all, for a listing of projects.
Have fun and do some good!