Best Practices for Non-profits in Second Life – Fall 2007


Well-heeled patrons sip martinis while bidding on shimmering gowns to raise funds for cancer research. A humanitarian aid worker just back from Sudan talks about the plight of Sudanese refugees to an international audience. Regulars at a weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meeting sit in a loose circle, helping each other through another day of sobriety. Teenagers are creating sets, costumes and lighting to shoot an educational video about child soldiers in Uganda. Pretty normal non-profit activities – if not for the fact that all of these events took place in the virtual world of Second Life.

This report is a preliminary examination of some of the best practices of non-profits active in Second Life, inspired by a series of discussions that took place during the “nonprofit track” at the Second Life Community Convention in August 2007 in Chicago. This past year Second Life has become a testing ground for exploring the possibilities of using virtual worlds for the social good. Given the fairly recent entry of many non-profits into Second Life – many non-profit offices are under one year old – these findings and recommendations are very much subject to revision. Indeed, we consider this just the beginning of a much longer conversation about what is the role of civil society, philanthropy, and the public sector writ large in the virtual world. After reading this brief report, we invite you to join the conversation at the website of Global Kids at Global Kids’ Online Leadership Program.

Rik Panganiban
Publication Date
Thursday, April 15, 2010