All sorts of formal and informal organizations need to collect location-related data including nonprofits, cities, and community groups. They might use the data to enhance environmental causes, support political campaigns, map local assets, or perform fundraising. But, the data collection itself can be a challenge.
The Knight Foundation is supporting LocalData, a Code for America effort to build open source solutions to collect such data. There are two solutions: one uses smartphones with apps run in mobile browsers and the other uses good old paper and pencil along with scanners to make the results digital. Users can look at the data "live" as it comes in and then output it in csv, kml, shp, or GeoJSON for use in Google Earth, Fusion Tables, and ArcGIS.
This sounds like one of those toolkits geospatial folks should be aware of as it matures.