Avatar on Duty is Back!

In keeping with our mission of improving communities by the application of knowledge, which unleashes the power of nonprofits, foundation, and individuals, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (http://www.johnsoncenter.org) at Grand Valley State University (http://www.gvsu.edu) is offering Avatar on Duty service (AvOD) to the Philanthropic community in Second Life. We will have various Avatars available to answer specific questions related to effective philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.

The AvOD will be available to answer questions in regards to effective practices and research on specific topics related to philanthropy and nonprofit leadership.

Our schedule for November and December:
Monday, November 24 @ 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Wednesday, November 26 @ 7 am PST / 11 am EST
Monday, December 1 @ 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Wednesday, December 3 @ 7 am PST / 11 am EST
Monday, December 8 @ 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Wednesday, December 10 @ 7 am PST / 11 am EST
Monday, December 15 @ 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Wednesday, December 17 @ 7 am PST / 11 am EST
Monday, December 22 @ 10 am PST/1 pm EST
Tuesday, December 23 @ 7 am PST / 11 am EST

Please send a message (IM) to 2020Vision Obviate (Real Name – Ashima Saigal) or email her at saigalas@gvsu.edu if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing your questions and how we might help you to grow your organization’s mission.

Teleport to us directly at http://tinyurl.com/3mn9ya and we look forward to seeing you In World!

Written by: ashima.saigal

Avatar on Duty

Hi there… just wanted to let you all know we’re on hiatus until November. We’re taking the information we’ve gathered thus far and will share the results with you all via this blog.

Also, we are hoping to expand the hours and services we offer to nonprofits in the Commons. We’ll keep you posted.

Please, if you should have any questions, contact me at saigalas@gvsu.edu or in SL at 2020Vision Obviate. I’ll try to respond to you as quickly as possible.



Written by: ashima.saigal

Synopsis from Avatar on Duty Meeting

Host: Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University
Facilitator: 2020Vision Obviate
Attendees: Windy Schor, Fayandria Foley, Petro Bellic, Stingray9798 Raymaker, Jarhead Euler, Patt Bravin, , Sue Bazar, Reece Llewellyn, Glitteractica Cookie, Penguin Kuhn, Muse Carmona, Rez Messing, Coughran Mayo
Date: July 28, 2008

Focus of the conversation was on how nonprofits can find long-term sustainability in Second Life and better translate into real-world action towards achieving their missions. The first question asked was “What do you hope to gain by having a presence in Second Life?” Participant’s answers related to the following: reaching new audiences, collaborating, networking and raising awareness.

Next question asked was “What is the advantage of Second Life over a bulletin board or just doing IM?” Again, answers related to the following: experiential learning, greater interactivity and connection, immersive learning and greater affinity among members.

The last question related to the difference between Web 2.0 and Second Life. This was a more challenging question to tackle. Participants noted that users of Second Life can customized their experience, build stronger connections and engage in all five senses. Compared to Real Life, most participants agreed that Second Life was fun and easier to engage in conversation as complete strangers. Finally, the comment was made that Second Life and virtual worlds are a trend for the future.

Some other points that emerged in the conversation not directly related to the questions connected to challenges. Some of the challenges discussed are focused on research that need to be conducted and some are the facts of working in a virtual environment. The research challenges are finding demographics focused on social benefit and good practices for nonprofits. Challenges related to the environment are corporation’s IT constraints, Second Life learning curve and burnout.

Finally, some beginning key points or good practices for nonprofits in Second Life which emerged are that the mission of the organization should be tied to the work being done in Second Life and having clear, simple objectives for work in Second Life helps maintain focus and balance.

Written by: ashima.saigal