Most of the internet connected laptops, desktops and other devices have free computer Memory available for use by others. By pooling all the memory we can create a super computer memory. This concept is not new and is called distributed computing. It involves grabbing all the available memory of the computers to generate a super computer like abilities. This computing power is then put to use for weather forecasting and other purposes. A company called charity engine has created an app that allows you to share your computer memory for Charity purpose. What they do is rent out the memory of millions of computers connected to internet to companies for their personal use and the money collected as rent is then used for Charity purpose.
Every month, the money generated by Charity Engine is divided between partner charities such as Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders, and Amnesty international and users running the Charity Engine app. That means in approximately two weeks, a volunteer will win $10,000. More details can be obtained here http://charityengine.com/
I think this idea should be adopted for local charity work in a different ways. We have several large scale industries to medium industries who are already doing charity work by donating money/services most of the time for a cause individually. Instead they can put to use their corporate assets such as people, process expertise or equipment for generating additional revenue and use that for charity work. One simple example could be to use company resources to collect money by doing shows for Red Cross or NGO. Another example is to use Engineering expertise/ skills of the employees to fix hospital equipments that benefits the doctors to do a better service to their patients and in turn creates tremendous good will for the company and it’s employees. The above are some sample examples but sky is the limit of what we collectively can do.
One interesting project where Charity Engine is used is by Wolfram Alpha. check it out here at http://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/