Power to the People

Feb 6, 2012 11:03 AM ET

What Do You Stand For?

There's no question social media has become the great equalizer of our time – amplifying the messages of individuals, small organizations, grassroots movements and activist minorities that otherwise may not have had a voice. Through social media, people have banded together to create calls to action, solve for tough social problems and help direct corporate philanthropy. Yet even in today's wired world, sometimes there is still no replacement for the power of advertising – crowdsourced, of course.

LoudSauce is the first crowdsourced media buying platform, which helps small social ventures, nonprofits or individuals amplify their messages in a way that was once reserved for bigger brands with even bigger budgets. By rallying supporters through an online crowd funding platform, LoudSauce raises enough funds to purchase TV, billboard, radio, print or online ads that were originally out of reach for smaller organizations. In one case, 259 individuals joined forces to help a local nonprofit, Uniting NC, fund three digital billboards in North Carolina to promote religious and cultural tolerance across the state. In another example, censored Canadian environmental artist Franke James found support in just 55 funders, who raised funds to line bus shelters with ads, seen by over 1 million Ottawans, to raise awareness for her plight.

With this innovative fusion of social media crowdsourcing and traditional media advertising, no longer are Facebook and Twitter the only marketing channels at the disposal of smaller causes. These groups too can put a "CMO" to work for their cause – a crowdsourced marketing opportunity.