While Second Life is a pixel world, the fundraising efforts taking place are very real, gathering real life funds and potentially having a real world impact if done right. Charity is not about giving just to give, but rather to create positive change in the world and with proper, thoughtful focus, we can be powerful agents for change. Blithe SL Magazine believes in and has seen the strength of Second Life as a fundraising tool, but is aware that, as in real life, the good will of others is often exploited and that the misinformed can often fail to use our generosity to its full potential. To protect our readership while encouraging those fundraising efforts that turn Second Life into a fundraising powerhouse, we’ve created the following fundraising sponsorship policy:
I. To be considered for Blithe SL Magazine sponsorship, a fundraiser must have a named charity that can be researched ahead of time by those being asked to donate in any form (product, time, Lindens).
II. A fundraiser must be raising funds for a charity that provides some benefit or service for indefinite, uncertain beneficiaries. Acts or services naming a specific individual or family will not be considered a charity, as such acts increase the likelihood of abuse and are not considered charities under law. For example, Blithe SL Magazine will consider sponsoring a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, but not a fundraiser raising money for Elmer Buck’s chemo and radiation.
III. The named charity must have an established online presence where we can locate information about the charity’s efficiency, transparency and accountability as well as its accomplishments and goals.
IV. The fundraiser must offer a way for individuals to donate directly to the charity rather than requiring that they donate through the fundraising event.
V. Due to the focus of our magazine, Blithe SL Magazine will prioritize sponsorship to fundraisers for charities of interest to the LGBTQ community. However, the LGBTQ community is affected by a wide range of issues and we are always willing to support worthy causes. We reserve the right to directly refuse sponsorship of any fundraiser for a charity with a history of homophobia.
Q. What does Blithe SL Magazine mean by sponsorship?
A. As press, Blithe SL Magazine offers information dissemination and promotion, a valuable resource for any fundraiser. Those with experience fundraising understand how working with press and bloggers to inform a variety of groups in Second Life about the cause is an essential part of the fundraising effort.
Q. Specifically, how do you determine which charity fundraisers to sponsor?
A. For US charities, we use the scoring system from www.charitynavigator.org. Any charity with a rating of 3 stars or higher is worthy of our sponsorship as long as the charity doesn’t have a history of homophobic behavior. Charities outside of the US will be subject to the Charity Navigator standards for scoring.
Q. How do you handle crisis fundraisers?
A. Crisis fundraisers will be handled in much the same way as our approach to fundraisers for established charities. We will expect a charity to be named to receive the funds and the charity should be benefiting indefinite, uncertain beneficiaries. Preference will be given for charities established previously for the purpose of crisis assistance, such as the Red Cross, but we will work with agencies created at the time of need that have been able to demonstrate an ability to handle funds efficiently.
Q. Do you support fundraising for inworld charities?
A. It is our belief that our efforts are better spent promoting proper fundraising for real world charities. Unfortunately, Second Life is a highly unregulated world and inworld charities lack the financial documentation, governed transparency, and accountability required for Blithe SL Magazine to analyze the stability, efficiency, and results of the charities. Additionally, inworld charities limit the real world impact that makes Second Life fundraising such a powerful tool. Second Life fundraising for real life charities not only makes real life a better place for all of us, it helps eliminate some of the stigma associated with Second Life brought on by media focus on a few bad aspects of the metaverse.
Q. What about the percentage of Lindens taken by Linden Labs when cashing out?
A. We’re perfectly fine with that. Linden Labs has provided us with this amazing platform to meet friends and lovers from around the world, create businesses, and raise funds to help a variety of great causes. Many people participate in this incredible world without spending a dime and I’d bet that the majority of us don’t have premium accounts. Supporting the business that provides us a means to express our creativity and connect without barriers is a way of guaranteeing that we continue to dance at our favorite clubs and enjoy seeing our friends. However, if you prefer to avoid seeing part of your funds support Linden Labs, we ensure that the fundraisers we sponsor offer you the means to donate directly to the cause.
Q. How can I get sponsorship for my Second Life fundraiser?
A. Send a notecard to Merrick Genesis with information about your charity (include name, country of operation, and website). Add information about your proposed fundraising ideas (fashion show, art show, club event) and your history with fundraising in Second Life. We will contact you after reviewing
Thank you for taking the time to review our Charity Fundraising Sponsorship policy. It is our desire to keep everyone safe while working together to make the world a better place using this wonderful platform to make the world a better place for everyone.