Nonprofit Participation in NPC: How a Little Strategy Goes a Long Way

In response to a special request for a BLOG post, below are some suggestions made on the WIKI for enhancing your nonprofit’s participation in the NPC community. These are some small, yet strategic ways to help your nonprofit maintain its presence and take advantage of community-wide events that promote your nonprofit in SL and IRL.

Below are some very easy and positive ways, aside from coming to weekly
meetings and your requisite 2 hrs/week, that everyone can help become
“active” as community members:

* Special Community Events:

1. Offer to help in some small way for community-wide events in
advance (e.g., Ethelred and I drafted the clues to the hunt at least
one month ahead of time, which took very little time, but was really
helpful to the organizers);

2. Take a few minutes to respond to Group Notices by submitting your
nonprofit information for community-wide events (e.g., for NPC’s stand
at the SL5B or “Second Life 5th Birthday”, NPC Awareness Night, and
the Scavenger Hunt, the organizers requested logos, notecards and LMs;
in each case, very few responded over the course of a few months, even
though this takes only a few minutes and really helps in terms of
community representation, not to mention driving visitors to your
office and real life website!);

3. Drop in at community events, even though you can’t be there the
entire time to show your nonprofit’s support and involvement.

* General/Presence on NPC 1 & 2 & Weekly Events:

1. Drop in for either of the weekly dance events: Tuesday (8SLT) NP2
at Wharf Ratz or Thursday (7SLT) NPC 1 at Common Ground.

2. Create a “dot” on the maps for a few minutes now and then by just
being there and available for visitors, whether it’s close to the
island TP point, in your office or elsewhere on the island. Ask
another nonprofit avatar to hangout with you there and talk to create
two dots. When people see a dot, they tend to drop in more (and visit your office).

3. Ask how you can know when visitors are near or entering your office
(even if you are offline but in email) using a SuperGreeter tool and/
or door entry detector, so that you can either TP over to your office
or logon to greet them. You can IM me for more information.

4. (New) – We have also just learned that submitting your nonprofit on the SL Showcase can drive a lot of visitors to your office and NPC (and over to your website as a result). Come to the 9/12 weekly meeting (or read the meeting notes) to find out how to do that. Both Garden for the Missing and Contact a Family have already done this. Showcasing your nonprofit does not take a lot of effort but can result in a dramatic increase in visitors and attention (Garden for the Missing received 600 visitors in a week’s time).

Also, remember that organizers are sometimes 100% volunteers who are
not part of TechSoup and not even nonprofit representatives, but
individuals who are giving freely of their time, expertise and money
to help us out. It is so important that we need to show our
responsiveness and appreciation, in order that they will continue to
support our community and causes.

—> Note that none of the above takes much time but will increase
your nonprofit presence, traffic and representation on the NPC islands and
during community-wide events and just in general, even when you can’t
be there a lot or at all.

Just some ideas so that your office does not become an abandoned build
or your nonprofit MIA as part of this wonderful community – Looking
forward to your participation!

Anika Pastorelli

Written by: GCN