Friday, May 09, 2008

Prepare for the Worst - Christian Aid week Machinima

Last year I've written a number of blogentries on NGO's getting into Second Life, such as the Red Cross, Disabled Sports, Flying Doctors, the MacArthur Foundation , Dance 4 Life and a few others. It's fundraising 2.0 time again, as I noticed a nice machinima produced by an organisation called Christian Aid.

At their blog the machinima is introduced:

This year’s Christian Aid Week advert highlights the work we do in helping people prepare for the worst. You can’t stop a hurricane, but you can help save lives by funding stronger buildings and installing early warning alarms. It’s just one of the ways Christian Aid makes a real difference to the lives of millions of vulnerable people across the world. Help us continue our work by supporting us this Christian Aid Week: please donate what you can.
I'm not sure in which virtual world this machinima is shot, but I like the way they've used a virtual world to show the impact of a hurricane, although right now one would probably use shots from Birma / Myanmar suffering from last week's disaster.

To find out more, visit the Christian Aid website / blog.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

2007 sees multibillion dollar investments in 3D environments

Triggered by the 3PointD article Conduit Social Gaming World Gets $5.5m Round on another capital venture investment in 3D initiatives I've made a quick survey of 2007 investment news on the aforementioned 3PointD blog and the Metaversed blog.

Just coming from these blog is 1.651 Million in investments in the year 2007 to date. Surely, they've missed out on many private investments, startups and corporate investments.

Reports on BBC, MTV and Disney investing in new startups and others virtual startups like Stagespace, Metaversum's Twinity, 3D City (ABKsoft), VastPark (Worlds Collide), Ogoglio, Sony's PS3 Home and Mattel's Barbieworld come without figures.

Awomo (a world of my own) is, said to be worth 1 billion euro according to Virgin Records mogul Sir Richard Branson.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Fundraising 2.0

In the past few months I've seen quite a few NGO's enter Second Life, such as the Red Cross, Disabled Sports, Flying Doctors, the MacArthur Foundation , Dance 4 Life and a few others. This sudden onrush kept nagging me.

The Current Blogoshpere

When it comes to the Blogosphere there's two blogs that stick out when it comes to keeping track of these things: First of all there's Beth's Blog that has a keen eye on everything Non Profit and secondly the fabulous Ugotrade blog where Tara5 Oh (left) regularly posts real works of love and labour on Mixed Reality and with a good heart to the poor and needy of this world.

This post will probably be a work of labour and very Ugotradish in size and subject as well...

This past week I got spammed by the ElfenCircle for a Relay For Life building entry and that nagged me again. After rereading some of the entries on both the aforementioned blogs I started thinking on this post. When Al 'superscooper' Kronos blogged Virtuool and The Fight Against Cancer I knew this was a post I had to make.

Traditional Fundraising & The 21st Century Philantropist

It's actually a while since I've been giving NGO's much of a thought. We, the Dutch, have always been generous givers when it comes to relief aid and mission workers in Africa and Asia. In the past years this culture is slowly changing. It's not that people are getting greedy, but the way they want to spend their money has changed.

In the 20th century it was a natural thing to pick 2 or 3 (or more) non profit organisations and sponsor them annually. Many organisations organised themselves accordingly: You knew how much sponsors you'd have, so you know what next years'budget will look like.

The 21st century do-gooder has a different mindset though. No longer long-term commitments, long term sponsorship, but occasional, dedicated sponsorship, sort of hit-and-run style philantrophy.

This is causing traditional NGO's a severe headache since they see shaky budgets and worry about keeping all their relief aid workers at work. This isn't about 'huge disasters' those are incendent based by definition and a TV rally for Live Aid (1985) is no different than the Tsunami Fundraising a few years back; on both occasions dedicated sponsorship without long term commitment.

In short, generally speaking, NGO's need to find new ways of attracting long term sponsors: the 21st century calls for Fundraising 2.0. The question is: Is Second Life a good platform to expirment with.

Philantrophic Worlds

When it comes to actual fundraising, Second Life is surely a no-no. Tip jars containing L$ 1.600 dollars barely make up for a weeks rent. Virtual World Campaigns are not about raising enough money to fund a relief aid mission to Timbuktu.

As I mentioned in my blogpost on the Red Cross entry at Second Life, depicting a disaster zone, one way is to create awareness, convey a mood or show people the challenges in such areas. This awareness is much more valuable than the lousy linden bucks it brings in tips.

There is a thin line though; It is great to raise awareness but the cost is a consideration. The presence should be sponsored, not funded with sponsorship money.

A Bridge too far?

In search of awareness and commitment I think NGO's overstepped themselves a little. Virtual Worlds such as Second Life are to small to make a difference - yet. It's still a niche thing.

In my opinion the focuspoint of NGO's and Philantrophy should be at the heart of Web 2.0. Relief Aid in most cases is all about commitment. Commitment in small circles of sponsors that want to be informed. Web 2.0's social bookmarking and tagging is offering the ideal tools to create close range awareness. Think of Fair Trade and Relief Aid widgets for Facebook. Mission based YouTube or Flickr streams...

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dutch NGO Island

Yesterday saw the opening of a Dutch NGO island, called "Goede Doelen eiland" (good causes island). The island is a presentation of the Dutch Red Cross and the Dutch Fund for Disability Sports. The island is sponsored by Dutch bankers ABN Amro and the Free University of Amsterdam (VUA) and was build by students of the VUA.

The island has 2 elements, a disaster zone build for the Red Cross and an athletics stadium to raise awareness for disability sports.

The intent of the Red Cross venue is to give visitors a taste of the atmoshpere in disaster areas, how hard it can be to reach a relieve post and thus try to raise commitment to the organisations work.

The 'fun' part of the island is the Stadium for the Dutch Fund for Disability Sports. In the stadium it is possible to go for a wheelchair race. Both organisations are looking for new ways of fundraising and are looking into the possibilities in Virtual Worlds.


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Saturday, June 30, 2007

AMREF Flying Doctors

The coming weeks will see another Dutch NGO event. The Dutch Service Apotheek organises a sponsor event for AMREF Flying Doctors from saturday june 30 to august 12 at the "Zakelijk Nederland" sim.

There's a hangar with freebee t-shirts to promote the event, large paper-planes to fly with and a building contest. There are some things you will need to pay for, but the revenues will benefit the Flying Doctors.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Topmodel fundraising in SL for Red Cross

Last week we saw the MacArthur foundation and Philip Rosedale, Linden Labs' CEO talk on philantrophy in virtual worlds. Instead of talking, the Dutch are doing ;)
The Dutch Red Cross will start fundraising in Second Life today. Yfke Sturm, 0ne of the many Dutch Topmodels and Red Cross ambassador will be giving a pressconference today to launch the campaign.

A short press statement at SecondLife Blogo (in Dutch) says the Red Cross is an organisation which is very aware of the developments in the Real Life community and therefor is convinced that a precense in Second Life has to be established as well. Researchers and students at the University of Amsterdam have helped the Red Cross to establish themselves.

This week (june 24 to 30) will see door to door fundraising activities in the Netherlands.

From: Secondlife Blogo

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