Friday, April 16, 2010

Second Life and Nonprofits

How many of you are aware of Second Life? If you are aware of this virtual world, do you know that many nonprofits are making use of it to raise awareness of what their organizations do and raise funds for their causes? In fact, many nonprofits can be found on a virtual island called the Nonprofit Commons (you can read more about this here).

Within this virtual world, people make use of avatars to interact with other SL residents. Nonprofits in SL connect with visitors by creating virtual representations of their organizations to inform visitors of their cause and sometimes seek contributions in the form of Linden Dollars (read more here and here). Linden Dollars have remained relatively stable at the exchange rate of L$ 250 to $1 U.S. Those organizations that collect donations in Second Life can cash out their L$ for U.S. dollars when they are ready.

So how have some philanthropic organizations taken the leap into this virtual world? Well, the MacArthur Foundation has led the charge by creating MacArthur Island. They have also held public forums to educate others of their experiences with the virtual world (read more here).

Has your organization thought about creating a virtual presence in Second Life?

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