Mission, History and Overview of the Nonprofit Commons (and TechSoup)
Nonprofit Commons: What we do
What we have realized/learned
Goals and Metrics
TechSoup is a popular, comprehensive online content and community destination for nonprofits that provides unbiased information and technical knowledge and resources to ensure that nonprofits make the best possible use of technology. TechSoup.org-The technology place for nonprofits
Through this community, we provide free office space to qualifying groups, hold meetings, create a cooperative supportive learning environment and foster outreach, education, fundraising, all in a virtual space.
Our goal is to create a learning community of practice for nonprofits to explore and learn about the virtual world, and to investigate the many ways in which nonprofits can utilize this unique environment.
Creative Potential and Implications for Nonprofits in SL
Encourage Volunteering and Leadership: There is a tremendous volunteer spirit in Second Life; learn how to tap into that.
Contests and Competitions: Friendly competitions are often good ways to get people involved in creating content and working together.
Combine Second Life with Other Outreach Channels: Second Life activities are good launching points for reaching people through other means (i.e. social networking sites, viral videos, real world events, etc.)
Go Beyond the Classroom Model: An immersive, interactive, open content environment presenting many opportunities for moving beyond the classroom lecture model of teaching with successful experiments involving peer-to-peer interaction
Sandbox Learning: Team building activities by organizing small teams of avatars to build something with minimal guidance, Rich, long-lasting lessons for students through activities that challenge them to create something on their own, using the various tools available to them in Second Life
Use Avatars to Explore Identity Issues: Create opportunities for identity play and self expression through avatar creation and manipulation.
Generate empathy: by putting people literally in the shoes of others and explore existing avatar choices to bring up issues of gender and racial representation or use nonhuman avatars to address issues of discrimination.
It costs virtually nothing to build a location in Second Life.
Nonprofits can use the tool to raise funds (for example, the American Cancer Society's virtual Relay 4 Life just raised $115,000
Second Life offers a safe and anonymous means of self-expression.
Second Life provides a space for the impossible to happen (for example, Simon Stevens, Community liaison and SL group Wheelies (disability nightclub) [June issue of Newsweek] a group of adults with disabilities use SL interact in an environment without the physical constraints they experience in the real world).
By meeting people in world you are reducing emissions and your carbon footprint
Second Life for many nonprofit groups has become an effective tool for broadening their outreach to new audiences and supporters and increasing community involvement and engagement with their work.
Real wealth, virtual philanthropy, and the birth of the Nonprofit Commons
The Commons was generously donated by Anshe Chung, the first person to become a millionaire in RL, by selling virtual goods and services.
Guntram Graef, Anshe's partner, attended the SLCC last year and saw my talk on NPOs and SL.
Following the talk, he offered me the management and ownership of the Nonprofit Commons, provided we select the groups and keep the space active.
Launched in August 2007,
32 organizations currently building out their free office spaces.
$40,000 in-kind Donation of Sim and designers
We have received financial donations from several organizations and foundations, and a donation of a second Sim
1. SLCC panel 2. Other conferences 3. SL developer network for nonprofits 4. Webinars 5. Virtual volunteer audio tour 6. Academic research on discourse analysis 7. Campaigns for actions 8. Applying for grants and awards
9. Spur innovation by providing honorariums to volunteer SL Developers