Thursday, January 15, 2009

In-World Fundraiser Events and Charities: Amazing Contributions to the Real World, or Scams and Flams?

2 comments:

Brad Reason / Doubledown Tandino said...

I was speaking with Kromus Korobase about the poll, and current thoughts in relation to the ideals of a honest fundraiser and general (potential) sketcism amongst Second Life residents

Kromus Korobase: 2 of my closest and dearest friends have been targeted in all this debate lately, and they've proven beyond a doubt they are not scams but still suffer skeptisism due to all this debate lately. Im sure you know how many Ive supported as well ... I just do what everyone should do ... research and homework on what and who you are giving your money to.

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Doubledown Tandino: I totally wanna support all legit ones, rather than try to shine light on illigetimate ones.

Kromus Korobase: a very public designer in SL and a good friend (so we thought) slammed all of us on a popular SL blog based on a simple question she could have asked any of us personally. It became a heated debate and ever since it has trickled to so many other groups and networks of people in SL. In the end it seems it has drawn alot of lines in the sand (so to speak). On the good side it raises awareness of scams but on the bad side it creates alot of skeptasism of the honest ones out there ... add's more costs and time to the people doing it for no money to begin with.

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Doubledown Tandino: I do want to and will aim towards finding a way to alleviate that skeptism. That's the main point is that these charity events are supposed to be 110% fun, and for the creators and helpers too. One schmuck at a real charity event can ruin alot.

Kromus Korobase: Indeed.

MincedMedia Clip said...

I understand the issues, and as a charity volunteer myself, the situation concerns me greatly. Yes, I have been to in-world events and wondered where the money was going. I've asked questions of event organizers, only to be given vague answers or treated like I was "nosey" or a party pooper.

But I hope the SL music community does not write off every in-world charity due to lack of "paperwork." Not every legitimate charity in SL has the presence of a Relay for Life.

Please contact Glitteractica Cookie (Susan Tenby in RL, susan@techsoup.org) or Penguin Kuhn to inquire about Nonprofits in Second Life community. Many avis have disclosed their real world names on the TechSoup Wiki and communicate through weekly meetings and an in-world group (TechSoup.org). They have given workshops on Best Practices for Non-Profits in Second Life, so they are the best resource in-world. If any live musician would like help in deciding whether to play at a charitable event, I would start with them.

Keep in mind that many legitimate in-world charities are managed by enthusiastic volunteers. Most charities do not have the staff to manage efforts in a virtual world, let alone understand it or the economy. That leaves SL efforts up to passionate individuals and their honesty; whether it is to garner funds for direct donations and/or simply to support in-world expenses (land tiers, "Show Place in Search," etc.) involved in creating awareness via this social media platform.

The only time residents can be assured that donations make it to the RL charity is when the avatar has a track record and discloses everything up front. If I were a live music performer, I would like to know an avatar's affiliation (staff or volunteer), how the Lindens will be "cashed out" and deposited, then finally an after-event receipt, accounting or posting in a visible public place (such as the charity's official Web site).

I think TechSoup