Recent Press on 2009: Virtual Charity, Virtual Socializing & Giving Circles

Hi, NPC & TechSoup Members – Happy New Year!

Here are some articles I found on things to watch out for in 2009, including virtual charity, virtual socialzing/therapy and Giving Circles…enjoy!

SmartMoney (December 24, 2008)
The New Way to Give: Virtual Charity by Reshma Kapadia…

SmartMoney (December 24, 2008)
The New Way to Give: Be Your Own Charity (become a Giving Circle)…

Ninety Things to Watch in 2009 (including Giving Circles, virtual reality therapy and virtual socializing), Fri. December 26, 2008; Posted: 09:25 AM Recap: Top Trends Shaping Social Entrepreneurship in 2009 by Nathaniel Whittemore, Published January 02, 2009 @ 10:02AM PST
…including Online Action Platforms:…

Look forward to seeing you all around Nonprofit Commons 1, 2 & 3 in 2009!

Anika 🙂

Written by: GCN

New Report! Nonprofits in Second Life: Promoting Causes Inside Second Life for Real World Impact has just published the latest study on the benefits, impact, challenges and opportunities of nonprofits in Second Life at:

Written by Anika Pastorelli (Sandy Bettger) of GCN, this report represents a collaborative effort among 12 nonprofits, TechSoup and NPC volunteers in capturing, analyzing and presenting the benefits and impact of nonprofits in a virtual world. We hope the study will help all nonprofits in SL to strengthen their rationale and strategy, promote their causes and achieve greater impact.

Below is the abstract:

Nonprofits across the globe have successfully established a virtual community in Second Life (SL) via Nonprofit Commons (NPC), a two-island community managed by TechSoup and populated with almost 80 nonprofits. While NPC is but one of 11 identified “nodes” or centers of nonprofits operating in SL, it is the largest and most prominent in SL, so it is the focus of this study. A recurring concern of nonprofit boards, members and other stakeholders is to determine the benefit of participating in a virtual community environment and the ultimate impact of that participation on their real-world missions and causes. Based on interviews with NPC nonprofit representatives, this study examines the benefits and impact of operating in just such a virtual nonprofit community. The findings are that benefits exist for nonprofits, and that the impact of participation spans more than 10 areas of relevance to nonprofit real-world missions. The results include quantitative data that ranks the relative value of different impact areas on real-life missions and that captures fundraising achievements to date as well as qualitative outcomes and anecdotal examples of impact. The author takes one step beyond the study findings and explores the challenges and future opportunities for nonprofits in SL positioning themselves with respect to technological trends and their new audience (the younger “digital” generations), cost savings and environmental benefits. These research results and future considerations provide a strong rationale for the participation of nonprofits in a virtual community.

Comments/Questions: IM Anika Pastorelli in-world or email

Written by: GCN

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

NPC2 (Aloft) Grand Opening a Success!

Congratulations to all on the resounding success of the NPC2 May 28th Grand Opening, including the Net Squared mixed reality event in the morning in CA and the superb musical events and activities that followed well into the night (with as many as 75 avatars at one time), capped by an impromptu midnight dance celebration and fireworks! Led by TechSoup, many NPC non profits, volunteers, musicians and others contibuted to the planning, setup and delivery of the launch, celebrating the Aloft island opening, which took place after more than three months of development and buildout of the island and offices — a true community collaboration across NPs supported by expert volunteers. Special thanks goes to all those who organized and presented at the mixed reality event in the morning (which was both educational and inspiring), including Glitteractica Cookie (TechSoup), In Kenzo (IHC), Ozama Malibu (Floaters), Jani Myriam (Transgender Resource Center), Kali Izdiak (Community Voicemail), Coughran Mayo (Preferred Family Healthcare) and Rik Riel (Global Kids). Also special thanks to Any1 Gynoid and the NPC 2 team that organized the musical activities and events (and automated tours) the remainder of the day on Aloft, including Manifold Destiny (PGSPCA), Ronnie Rhode (Garden for the Missing), Coughran Mayo (PFH), Parhelion Palou (NPC Volunteer), Skeeboo Tammas (, Mercedes Ochs (Volunteer), Anika Pastorelli (Giving Circles Network), Veri OddFellow (Great Strides), and Dave Radio (Boomer Esiason Foundation). The launch was by several accounts one of the best events ever in SL, with stellar performances by Cylindrian Rutabaga, Lonnie Nightfire, Noma Falta, Thumper Boucher, MichelleD Ecksol, Freestar Tammas, Louis Volare and Vienna James! Lastly, we thank all the individuals who came to enjoy in the celebration and support our newest NPC island!

Written by: GCN

Griefers: How to File Abuse Reports

Having been “griefed” now myself, I learned only after the fact how to file an Abuse Report. I wish I had known beforehand how to do this, as you can capture more about the perpetrator if you know in advance how to do it. Also, if you have a plan, you don’t stress about what to do in that situation, you do not lose time or information, and you may be able to ensure the griefing is as short-lived as possible.

Here are a few recommendations that I’d like to share, so others can benefit and be prepared (if ever needed) to respond and file complete abuse reports in real time (with photos).


– Record your chat logs so you can copy and paste information afterwards into the abuse report. Go to Edit, then Preferences. Click “Communication” tab and check the “Log Chat” and “Log IM”. Click Apply and OK.

– Have a “safe place” to escape to. This should be your “Home” location, which you can immediately get to by pressing CTRL SHIFT H. Otherwise, just be prepared with LMs to which the griefers can’t follow you. When I was griefed, a friend teleported me elsewhere on the island, but the greifer followed us and the griefing continued, so a “safe place” (like another island) is preferable.

– Know in advance about who has the power to ban griefers in your area. For example, there are the Dreamland Angels who can help ban residents in areas like NPC1. Since NPC2 is not part of Dreamland, make sure that Megan and Susan know immediately of any abuse (whether for NPC1 or 2). Therefore setting up a community protocol for responding to griefers is recommended.


Notify area residents immediately via the common channel (e.g., Non Profit Commons group channel). Everyone can read what’s happening and respond appropriately.

Immediately file an Abuse Report (Do not wait), even if the situation is stressful. Go to Help and “Report Abuse”. The minute you click on this, the abuse report registers an instant photo of the griefing taking place (so worth doing asap). Make sure you check the box that says “Include Snapshot”.

– Pick the Category of Abuse
– Select the Resident (Important). It lets you input the name and shows you a list of possible names, which you then pick. (Note only one resident abuser or griefer name per report, so do multiple reports if multiple griefers).
– Make sure the Location of Abuse is correct (e.g., if you escaped Home it will automatically enter the LM of your present location, so make sure it’s the location of the actual abuse).
– Enter Summary
– Enter Details. Make sure you include relevant IM/text as well as describe any audio (voice chat) you heard or visuals.

Make sure everyone who was greifed files a report for each griefer and greifing. The more reports the better.

Contact those in charge of the area being griefed to initiate banning and protection from continued greifing.

AFTER THE ABUSE: Make sure community residents are aware of the greifing, the perpetrator(s) and follow up, in terms of banning, etc. Check that abuse report log status to see what was done to follow up on the part of Second Life.

Anika Pastorelli

Written by: GCN