I came across a service that I think is pretty ingenious.
The Point(www.thepoint.com), as they describe it, “is a platform for group action, helping you make things happen that you wouldn’t accomplish alone.”
Their web site allows people to set up campaigns to get stuff done, stuff that requires a group of people to help, lend support, or donate resources. On their web site there are examples of campaigns that run the gamut from organizing a boycott to cleaning up a park, to raising money for studio time to produce an album. All you have to do is convince other people to help out or participate.
The trick is that people commit to lend their support, funds, etc. only if a certain number of people or a certain amount of funds are pledged. The moment the tipping point, or criteria for making the campaign viable is reached, the group springs into action.
If you’d donate money to a cause, but want to know there’s enough money to accomplish the goal and your money won’t go to waste, the campaign will stipulate that a certain amount of money must be pledged before anyone’s credit cards are charged.
If a boycott seems ineffectual to you, unless you know 999 other people will be participating and have a real impact, nothing happens ‘till 1,000 people sign up.
It comes complete with widgets to track progress.