I think I like the Pepsi Refresh Project, Pepsi's new consumer generated marketing (CGM) campaign. If you check out the website, you'll see that the collection of ideas in the running for grants (currently 241) are pretty nifty.
Yesterday, Rohit Bhargava posted an article on different types of CGM campaigns on his Influential Marketing Blog. He sees this "share your idea to get a grant" approach as one of five big CGM marketing trends, mentioning other similar campaigns such as the American Express Members Project and DonorsChoose.org.
A shout-out to our client AtlasCare, who has initiated a similar campaign to give back to their community in the GTA. This program is called Care to Share and works like this: They accept nominations for charities within their service area (Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville, and the surrounding areas) and donate $1,000 to one selected local worthy cause each month. They really do put the "care" in AtlasCare.