To Infinity and Beyond: Non-Profits setting up shop in Second Life
By Rose Reinert
Happy Monday and welcome back to our weekly blog series! As we dig deeper into Lon Safko’s book, “The Social Media Bible,” we explore more unique forms of social media. In chapter fifteen, “Virtual Worlds- Real Impact,” cracks open a unique and impactful way to engage supporters, volunteers and build community.
First, to understand the basics, a virtual world is an Internet-based simulated environment. Second Life, founded by Philip Rosedale, launched on June 23, 2003. This virtual world includes avatars and was designed to encourage personal, one-on-one communication. The NonProfit Commons project (NPC), managed by TechSoup Global, is a virtual community of practice for non-profits to explore the opportunities and benefits of Second Life.
This chapter was beyond challenging for me.
Virtual worlds are beyond my normal realm. Despite this challenge, in my exploration, I found some cool ways virtual worlds are being utilized by our non-profit sector.
American Cancer Society Relay for Life
Second City has hosted the American Cancer Society Relay for Life since 2005 and has raised over $650,000. Supporters can choose an avatar and complete the race. This community also has engaged more than 100 cancer survivors.
WeeWorld: Partnership for a Drug Free America
The Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) has just announced the successful completion of its WeeWorld campaign to educate young people about substance abuse prevention and the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse. With over 55 million registered users, the showpiece of this initiative was the real-life recovering teen JT whose WeeMee avatar reached 20,000 friends by the end of the campaign.
These are just a few examples! Explore more at Second City and share some of your experiences.
Here are a few additional links you may want to explore:
- NPC: Nonprofits in Second Life
- Facebook: Nonprofit Commons in Second Life
- TechSoupVideo on YouTube: NonProfit Commons in Second Life 2010
How have you seen virtual worlds utilized n the non-profit sector? How could virtual worlds be utilized to engage donors or volunteers?