The Drax Files: World Makers [Episode 37: Non Profit Commons
"The barrier to entry in Second Life is very low and for people in the non-profit sector who want to reach a global audience we can make it even simpler!" says Rhiannon Chatnoir aka Joyce Bettencourt in RL, community manager at Nonprofit Commons.
Over 60 international non-profit organizations with causes ranging from environmental awareness to LGBTQ activism, AIDS education and Parkinson's support, groups that fight to end homelessness or promote emotional healing with the help of horses, are gathered in the virtual world of Second Life to do everything from training to fundraising.
For over 10 years this global community has been successfully showcasing the powerful force of SL to facilitate social good: at NPC in SL office space is given away free, agency over identity through avatars is a powerful facilitator and ideas for outreach and networking can easily be implemented in the digital realm before committing to them in physical reality.
Joyce adds that despite lack of media coverage "virtual worlds are very much alive because they let people connect and feel immersed in a way that is not available anywhere else, even with current virtual reality technologies. VR at this point is very solitary and frankly not very sophisticated in terms of empowering regular people on a small budget!"
Susan Tenby, founder of NPC in SL and Director of Social Community & Strategic Partnerships at Caravan Studios,, which sponsors NPC, agrees: "We have an ongoing community and that is key: technology in and of itself is not the answer and the reason why Second Life is so successful is because it brings people together. It just works!"
For more information on Nonprofit Commons go to http://nonprofitcommons.org/
NPC organizations & other SL sims seen in this episode in order of appearance:
- 1920s Berlin http://secondlife.com/destination/1828
- Strawberryland by Cica Ghost http://secondlife.com/destinations
- Transgender American Veterans Association http://transveteran.org/
- Bridges for Women http://bridgesforwomen.ca/
- The G.I.R.L.S. Project http://thegirlproject.com/
- Protect Yourself 1 http://www.protectyourself1.org/
- Caravan Studios http://www.caravanstudios.org/
- 1 Billion Rising http://www.onebillionrising.org/
- Team Fox https://www.michaeljfox.org/
- HumanBe http://www.humanbe.com/
- Preferred Family Healthcare https://pfh.org/
- Peninsula College http://www.pencol.edu/
Thanks to Marianne McCann for fabulous production design, especially our proof-of-concept non-profit "Got Empathy" - perhaps someone finds the concept inspiring & makes that approach to a great cause a reality!
Thanks so much to everyone who submitted RL footage for this video and a big special thanks to Ashley Lance who reportedly had great fun working with her grandfather all the while exploring SL for the first time.