Looking Back & Looking Forward

As we tip forward into a new year and #TSDIGS Digital Storytelling Event it’s a great time to celebrate what’s working in our virtual community, learn a few lessons and set intention for the coming year together. What were some of the highlights of our time together at NPC this past year?

1.Preferred Family Healthcare receives a grant for $865,000 for virtual addiction therapy services and PopSci features Coughran and Brena this month. Lesson learned: dream big and have metrics to back yourself up!

2.Virtual Haiti Relief teams raise thousands through virtual events in partnership with NPC and other charitable avatars. Lesson: build partnerships early, before disaster strikes, so you’re ready to leap into action together.

3.TechSoup trainings, webinars and events draw thousands of nonprofit leaders to learn about new platforms, tools and opportunities to grow. Lesson: keep providing easy opportunities to learn new tools and the community grows in appreciation.

4.NPCGames, a special working group for nonprofits interested in developing games, grew to include dozens of specialists working across sectors to grow causebuilding options for play. Lesson: Nonprofit leaders can be gamers too and we need both mindsets to develop meaningful play experiences.

5.GreenTech initiatives take hold in many organizations, reducing energy and resource costs while encouraging use of cloud and virtual platforms as an alternative to travel. Lesson: promoting efficient virtual teamwork helps reduce operation cost for some nonprofits.

6.Stories of Impact machinima videos joined our YouTube page featuring some of the best NPC leaders in action. Lesson: Telling stories through interactive media helps our community grow outside of the virtual world.

7.After four years of @techsoup weekly Friday meetings in Second Life we maxed out our sim with 99 guests to hear Lindens talk about bringing teens and adults together in the new mixed grid. Lesson: never underestimate how many people will appear when the right guest shows up!

Looking forward, how can we take our best assets and build stronger virtual communities for nonprofits?

1.Integrating youth and adults in one virtual place will allow for many new educational and volunteer opportunities along with a potential infusion of young energy

2.ReactionGrid, OSGrid and various open sims are available at low cost to nonprofits, making it accessible for organizations to own their own servers or create larger simulation experiences

3.Building bridges between worlds, hypergrid tours and cross-sector partnerships will be even more important as we connect beyond Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

4.Educational experiences, museums and nonprofits that create immersion experiences in virtual space will find participation growing, especially as user content is featured in galleries and exhibition halls around the world

5.Embracing young, saavy programmers who are excited to help their favorite causes will be the tipping point for many organizations looking to grow and try new endeavors

6.Invite more gamechangers and respected leaders from various sectors to help us open new doors, dream big and make new connections across the grids

7.Playfulness and fun storytelling elements connect people over time and grow a sticky network of engaged leaders. Be intentional about designing play that offers various ways to plug in and random people will find you and get involved!

So on this 1/11/11 it is our hope as the avatars of Nonprofit Commons that you are taking time to do something new, build a bridge and be the best you can be. Never settle for the status quo when you can be extraordinary – every avatar at NPC embodies this in some way and together we create a community that is unique in its resilience, a pillar in the ever-shifting 3D web world. Being that pillar requires all of us to live out the commitments we’ve made to our people, to volunteerism within NPC and to continually reach out beyond ourselves and represent alteratives to the rigidness of our real world. Each of us has learned to craft our own experience, choose our own adventure and share some piece of that through photos, machinima, blogs and tweets. Keep sharing and remember that we create this experience every day together and we choose how to make the most of it!

Special thanks to the leaders at Nonprofit Commons for their hard work along with Rik Riel, Rhiannon Chatnoir and Pathfinder for their amazing blog writing looking ahead to 2011 in virtual engagement.

Written by: InKenzo

Last day to vote for NTC2011 Panel Events!

For those in the nonprofit technology community who love the yearly Nonprofit Technology Conference, we have a few treats in store for 2011 and we hope to see you in DC next March. Take a moment TODAY and vote for two panels to be presented by the @npsl team led by Glitteractica Cookie with Kali Izdiak.

Do you ever work remotely with others? This leadership panel is for you:

Working with a Distributed Team


Wonder how we are able to produce events across four or more online channels at once and listen to everyone?

Multiple Channels of Engagement: The next generation of live online (Hyper-real) events


Take a minute to give us extra stars and we will do our best to give you a great series of workshop panels at NTC2011.

Written by: InKenzo

Weekly Update from NPC: August 17, 2010

Weekly Update from the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

Events this week: 8:30AM Friday meeting at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheatre http://bit.ly/nonprofitcommons will give you a direct teleport to our main gathering area!

August 19th at 11AM: WEBINAR TechSoup for Faith-Based Organizations http://bit.ly/tsfaith

Last week at the NPC: Steven Toussaint is our newest resident on Health Commons with the new Alzheimers Association of NYC: Visit their site at http://www.alz.org/nyc/ or check out their new hilltop office on Health Commons!

In Kenzo and Ninlil Xentiltat (Evonne and Layal) gave a detailed Flickr tutorial on how to use the #NPSL tag on uploaded photos along with how to create groups, sets, printed goods, badges for your website and inworld Flickr applications.

Ninlil shared progress on the Community Gateway that will be installed soon on Aloft Nonprofit Commons with the help of Parhelion Parou and Brena Benoir, thank you all for your ideas and contributions.

A special note that the new NPChelp@nonprofitcommons.org alias is now operational for SL-related mentor questions, there are also 6 mailboxes on the four NPC sims that will allow you to drop a request directly to our mentors.

Glitteractica Cookie will be away for the next two weeks but Kali, InK, Ninlil and Penguin will be around to assist any tenants by emailing nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org

Classes: August 20th at 3PM with Builders Brewery: 3:00 PM SLT SCRIPTING: Reading Notecards: The Truth Game Instructor: Auryn Beorn Builders Brewery, Dockside I’m sure that, at least once in your life, you all have played “truth or dare”. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were able of setting an object for playing the first part, “truth”, with our friends? Wouldn’t it be nice, too, if we could learn the basics of working with notecards at the same time?

In case you missed:
Boost your fundraising: On August 17 and 18, get GrantStation for only $99. Identify private and government grantmakers with GrantStation’s online database and use the tutorials to secure funding. Already have a GrantStation membership? Add another year during this two-day offer. http://www.techsoup.org/stock/promo/?cg=sp Have more questions about GrantStation? Post them here: http://bit.ly/gstation

Thank you for your contributions to the Nonprofit Commons! For questions contact nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org for fastest response.

Written by: InKenzo

Weekly Update from the Nonprofit Commons: August 3rd Edition

Weekly Update from the Nonprofit Commons

Events this week:
8:30AM Friday meeting at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheatre
http://bit.ly/nonprofitcommons will give you a direct teleport to our main gathering area!

Wharf Ratz every Tuesday at 8PM on Aloft Nonprofit Commons

New Residents:
Welcome the Topia Arts Center and CarynTopia Silvercloud to NPC! Topia has moved into Aloft Nonprofit Commons and is looking for mentorship so please reach out, say hi and help out as you are available!

Last week at the NPC:
Anna (Sage Qvetcher in Second Life) joined us from the TechSoup Global offices to share the redesign of TechSoup Stock for easier usability and language that more closely matches nonprofit grant terminology. We hope this will make the TSG Stock program easier to use for everyone.
Cheryl and Henry (RevCheryl Swansen and Jaywick Forcella inSL) shared a new event update system including a notecard submission form that will help the events team craft a press release with you prior to your event and share it with all relevant media. Please plan to submit event listings four weeks in advance for best results.
Evonne (In Kenzo inSL) shared a new mailbox HELP system that allows residents and potential tenants an easy way to reach mentors at NPC. You will find mailboxes in the public areas on each sim where you can click, write your message and it will automatically send an email to our mentor team at NPChelp@techsoup.org.

Classes and Webinars:
Webinar on Grant Station with Cynthia Adams on August 11th at 11AM at the Plush Amphitheatre.
For a direct teleport click to http://bit.ly/nonprofitcommons

Class at Builders’ Brewery: 3:00 PM SLT LET’S PUT IT TOGETHER BUILDING A HOUSE (or office!) with avatar instructor Auryn Beorn at Builders Brewery, Dockside
When we build a house, it’s common to want to add some nice features – doors that open/close remaining linked to the main build, having a controller that allows us to tint the windows or set lights on or off. In this class you will build a fully featured building.

In case you missed:
The Online Community Managers Meetup is hosted monthly at TechSoup Global in San Francisco and at the Plush Nonprofit Commons Amphitheatre on the fourth wednesday of the month and the next live event will take place September 22nd. From last week’s event here are two quick links—
The first link to Ben Rigby’s presentation on SlideShare: http://www.slideshare.net/benrigby/ocm-presi
The second link is to the follow-up discussion with The Extraordinaries, prompted by our in-person discussion: http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/forums/t/30701.aspx

Thank you for your contributions to the Nonprofit Commons! For questions, comments and ideas please contact nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org for fastest feedback response.

Written by: InKenzo

Weekly Update from the Nonprofit Commons

Weekly Roundup from the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

Upcoming events @NPSL
Friday meeting 8:30AM every week at the Plush Nonprofit Commons (NPC) Amphitheatre
Weekly Tuesday night social meetups are happening on Aloft NPC at Wharf Ratz, 8PM
Grace Culbertson is hosting a discussion and prayer group at the National Day of Prayer/Tennessee office on Aloft on Tuesday at 7PM.

Events streaming at the Plush NPC Amphitheatre:

July 27th at 11AM: Microsoft 2010 Assistance, learn more about Office 2010: http://bit.ly/Microsoftwebinar

July 28th at 7PM: Online Community Managers Meetup with Ben Rigby from the Extraordinaries live @TechSoup in San Francisco: http://www.meetup.com/octribe/calendar/13319849/

Self-Guided Tour Text Needed!
If you have not submitted your tour text please email nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org

Sim Name (Aloft, Plush, Health or Eco) 

Office Number (if you don’t know it please leave blank and we’ll find it for you) 

Avatar Contact information (in world name and possibly email address) 

NPO Name 

Website URL 

Purpose or Mission of your org
Please keep text to three sentences and send this in by Tuesday July 27th for this update!

Last Friday’s meeting:
Amy Sample Ward (Amytron Helendale inSL) came to share about the Netsquared network connected to TechSoup, including local meetups in many cities and innovation challenges for social benefit organizations. To find a local meetup visit http://netsquared.org/local
Jori Clarke (Mali Sunflower inSL) who met Susan Tenby (Glitteractica Cookie inSL) at Games for Change, shared her work providing safe online spaces for kids with KidsCom.com across game worlds and virtual spaces, her slides are available online at http://bit.ly/KidsCom.
Sapna Cheryan (Marie Dirval inSL) led us through her research on stareotypes in Second Life as we looked at ways in which race, gender, age and other distinctions affect our inworld relationships: her slides can be viewed at http://bit.ly/DebunkTypes.
Volunteer questions and ideas please email nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org or find Layal Rabat (Ninlil Xentiltat) inworld. For mentorship needs please find Sandra Andrews (Ozma Malibu inSL) at the NPC.

Featured Org of the Week:
Steven Toussaint of the Alzheimer’s Association of New York has been building a new office on the Health Commons sim where he will be focusing on Alzheimers education. Please welcome him to the hilltop! For more info visit http://www.alznyc.org

Community Gateway:
Brena Benoir and Ninlil Xentiltat are working with our amazing volunteers at NPC to redo our community gateway, updating lessons for Viewer 2 and streamlining the orientation process for new avatars. Please contact Brena or Ninlil to assist in this endeavor on Aloft.

Event Listings:
Avatars RevCheryl Swansen and Jaywick Forcella will be sharing more with us on event listings in our upcoming meeting. Visit the NPSL event calendar at http://nonprofitcommons.org/content/event-calendar

Learn to do more in Second Life!
There are many classes every week inworld that can help you improve your skills at scripting, building, hosting events and creating unique interactive experiences.

Builders Brewery – Seamless Textures
Jul 28, 2010 6PM: www.buildersbrewery.com
Instructor: Avatar Robin Sojourner at Builders Brewery, Dockside
This class shows how to make seamless textures in Photoshop. Examples are given in PS, but the theory is good for any graphics application.

It is always good to see you at NPC for events, collaboration and common causes! If you have specific questions for our team or would like to be added to the agenda for an upcoming meeting please email nonprofitcommons@techsoup.org. Thanks for your volunteer service!

Written by: InKenzo

SL Celebration of Human Rights – Dec. 10

As you may have heard there is going to be a Festival in SL celebrating Human Rights starting 10 December. It´s 60 years since the UN launched the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We have started now to organize the festival. How big it will be depends on how many events, concerts & exhibitions YOU send us.

We hope that you all think this is important and will help us to make this Festival a successful one.

A travel HUD will take people to different locations in SL with exhibitions, concerts and events promoting human rights issues. There will also be a website.

It’s easy to participate:

1. We need a title and brief info about your planned exhibition/concert/event
2. A photo in the format 4×3 (e.g. 200×150)
3. The sim name and coordinates

SL Human Rights Festival Organizing Committee

Please send info to:
Any1 Gynoid (Music events)
Bibi Book, junivers Stockholm or Geni Figaro (other events and exhibitions)

Also contact us if you would like to help in the organizing. We meet every Thursday 2pm at Xanadu West.

We still need people taking care of PR, web and graphics. So far we have info here:

Written by: Beth J. Bates

Columbus Day from a Native American Perspective – Oct. 12

Many thanks to Nany Kayo for this great information…

Virtual Native Lands will host an observation of the significance of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas from a Native American perspective on Sunday, October 12, 2008, on the beach at Commonwealth.

Columbus arrived in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492 setting off a chain of events that changed the world. The first Columbus Day celebration was held in 1792, in New York City. In 1892. Columbus Day has been celebrated as a federal holiday in the United States on the second Monday of October since 1934, and is also celebrated as a state holiday in all but 17 US states, at taxpayer expense.

For Native Americans, the celebration of Columbus Day is a celebration of a holocaust. People react to this observation in different ways ranging from pride, to defiance, to sadness, or to indifference. Many Native choose to protest the holiday as an insult with varying degrees of irreverent humor or rage. Others feel that the observation of a holocaust is beyond protest. Each person is invited to observe the Columbus Day holiday in their own way at the Commonwealth gathering.

There will be a memorial and celebration of the lives of the Tiano people, who were almost entirely exterminated by Columbus and his crew within a few years of Columbus’ arrival, on the beach. Other meeting facilities on the Commonwealth sims are also available for use for pretty much anything anyone can dream up within legal and prim limits.

Please contact Nany Kayo if you would like to arrange an event.

Written by: Beth J. Bates

New Events sign/calendar at NPC landing point

I just discovered that the new events committee of the Nonprofits in SL group, also known as the Nonprofit Commons community has created a calendar/sign post. This was very exciting to me since this is something that I have wanted to have in-world for a while now. While I was having lunch in RL with SLebrity, Jani Myriam, of Transgender Resource Center fame, on Friday, she and I were discussing how if you want something to happen in a community in SL, you mostly have to do it yourself, or it takes long to never to happen. It was a commons frustration we shared. Until recently…I am lucky to have Coughran Mayo, Kosmik Guru and PCOSGurl Infinity on the new events team.

While I was there, I was talking to Movies1963 Beck who has a MySpace page dedicated to SL Live events. He was looking at the new NPC events calendar, and I told him that I was interested in having the events tagged NPSL in eventful. “Tagging?, What’s that?”, he asked. “Uh oh”, my reply. I then barraged him with TechSoup articles on tagging and forum threads on feeds and tagging 101. Then, fortunately, Faust (Nick Hernandez) came to my rescue. While I flew away, I over heard him uttering, “There are sites like del.icio.us that you can…”

So, thankfully, I had achieved a few positive things in world tonight. I got friendly with an avatar who has a myspace page for SL live events, I learned about a new events calendar that our group has put together and I helped introduce a couple members of our community and one learned about Web 2.0.

You see! SL is more than just a game! On the note of the calendar/sign. Do any of you know how to make the events on that thing get tagged with NPSL for eventful, so it can be fed into this site?


Written by: Glitteractica_Cookie

Four Quick Tips to Publicize Your Non-profit Event

A key strategy for raising the visibility of your non-profit in Second Life is organizing in-world events. There are hundreds and hundreds of events occurring on a given day competing for avatars’ attention and attendance. So learning how to publicize your non-profits events is an important skill to develop.

1. Use the SL Calendar

The first action to consider is publishing your event on the official SL events calendar. This listing is available both in-world under “search” and on the web at http://www.secondlife.com/events . While there is a lot of crap in there, the official event listings are still the easiest way for all SL residents to find out about what events are happening on a given day. Be as clear and concise and eye-catching as you can possibly be — without resorting to “FREE LINDENS” and other annoying gimmicks.

2. Draw on Your Own Community

Your promotion activities only begin with the official SL calendar. Obviously if you have your own website and land, post notices about the event well ahead of time. Use your group’s (you do have an in-world group set up for your non-profit, don’t you?) announcement feature to inform your own constituents and supporters about the event. Make sure each of your supporters and members is encouraged to invite their friends and colleagues. That’s the power of social networking and the “Kevin Bacon” effect.

3. The SL Media / Blogosphere

Beyond that, get the word out to as many different news sources as you can. The SL blogosphere is huge and expanding, as are the number of SL media outlets. The biggies include the SL Herald, the SL Insider, New World Notes, Avastar, the Reuters SL bureau, and the Metaverse Messenger. See the awesome SL blog aggregator created by Tao Takashi, http://planet.worldofsl.com, for other news sources to reach out to.

4. Real World Press

And don’t forget real world press. If your event has a unique angle to it that might be of interest to a specialized news source, draft up a press release and send it out to them. If you can get some advance press, you can drive new people to register for SL just to attend it. SL is still quite a powerful media-magnet, so take advantage while you can.

While we are talking about events, let me point out the sweet social calendaring website http://Eventful.com, which takes the official SL events feed and repackages it in a really cool and useful way.

Using Eventful.com you can set “Second Life” as one of your home locations, search for events by keyword, tick-off the events that you want to track or attend, create custom calendars and groups, and export those calendars to Outlook, iCal or Google Calendar. You can see the feed from the Eventful group as a widget on the right side of this post. You can add a similar widget to your own website or blog super-easily. Check it out!

With a bit of effort and creativity, you can go from “preaching to the converted” to maxing out your sim. Good luck.

Written by: rikomatic

Second Life Walks the World – Fight Hunger

This year FightHunger: Walk the World will be walking in Second Life too. They’ve already started spreading the word about Fight Hunger in-life – see the above picture of the recent U2 concert. The Second Life walk will be one that people everywhere in the world – no mattter their time zone – will be able to join in. Sign up below now to walk or if you’d like to join our group of volunteers who are organising the in-life walk then send an email to secondlife [ at] fighthunger.org

Contact Fight Hunchke (pronounced Hunger) in Second Life for more details.

If you can’t walk in the real world then walk in Second Life! (We couldn’t decide where to put the dot on the map for Second Life so put it near the North Pole!)
Start: 13 May 2007 – 00:00
End: 13 May 2007 – 23:55

Pooley Auditorum
Pooley Auditorum
Second Life

Written by: kanter