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Tigo Volare

Fundraising legit?

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Whenever a disaster happens, people in SL are quick to organise a fundraise to help the victims. That itself is a really nice thing to do....Is it? Maybe I'm seeing the worst in people, but often I think they're all about getting attention, and being admired for their "work" (i.a. getting some land together and organise a fundraise, which is a lot of work, but not that difficult) But what I'm REALLY wondering about.. We are talking about several thousands of american dollars here. The "proof" of the money really getting donated to the proper organisation, is a screenshot of the transaction receipts. Now as much as I really want to believe those can't be edited....they can be. Anyone can start a fundraise. You dont need skills, you dont have to be a creator or someone well known. As long as you have well known friends who have groups with a lot of members. They can send out a notice to their members, to join your group, and tada you're all set. It's that easy. Anyways, I'm just wondering if anyone knows how to find out if donated money is really going to the right organisation, instead of to greedy hands of a newly made account.

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Contact the 'right organisation' and ask if they have an agreement with the person/group in question.  If not then that person/group probably shouldn't be using their name anyway.  It's tougher, of course, if they merely "will pass the proceeds to ...".  In that case, how would you check in RL?  It's one of the reasons I don't give to street-collectors*

[*I need all my streets]

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Unfortunately this kind of thing is a day-to-day fact here in Brazil. There are fake organisations asking for help for orphans/disabled/anyelse.

For a while already, I have as rule to help one single organisation - an spititist orphanage (no, I am not an adept of spiritism, I just have confidence in their work). All help that I can give go to them. I am not saying that there are not other equaly meritory organisations, or that others need less help than this one, but that's the way I found to being certain that my little help goes to right hands.

My heart is with those in Japan who are in desperate need, but I won't change my way.

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Years ago I heard someone recommend that the best thing to do is pick one charity and stick with it.  Otherwise you could go nuts with all the solicitations.  Of course disasters do happen so I have no problem adding extra to those things.

It can be hard to document the legitimacy of those collecting for relief funds in SL.  While Linden Lab does not get involved in inter resident disputes, committing fraud is a banable offense. 

Last night while I was attending a live performance in SL someone came into the club and started bragging in open chat how a particular Merchant had raised over $80,000 US in SL for relief efforts in Japan. 

Personally, I am skeptical about this sum though I did do some math with a friend and it is remotely possible.  I'd sure like to see the proof.

While many in the club 'applauded' this announcement I was personally offended.  What they were really doing was spamming for the Merchant.  There are many in SL who actually do not like this merchants products and it has been the subject of many blogs. 

With out going into further detail ( there were web sites listed in the individuals profile with other questionable sums listed for other charitable causes), I will say that there are some clearly legitimate charities in SL such as the Relay For Life.  Stick with those who have a direct and verifiable link with the organizations that are being solicited for.

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I couldnt agree more, bragging about the amount of money raised, in a club where no one asked them to talk about it, thats just kinda sad.

But Perrie, I'm wondering how do you verify if someone has a direct link to the organisation they claim to be raising money for? I mean, you can call the organisation and ask if a donation has been made, but even IF they reveal that information, it would be too late, the fundraise would already be over. Is there any way of telling, while, or before the fundraise starts? How can you tell by just someones profile?

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Tigo Volare wrote:

I couldnt agree more, bragging about the amount of money raised, in a club where no one asked them to talk about it, thats just kinda sad.

But Perrie, I'm wondering how do you verify if someone has a direct link to the organisation they claim to be raising money for? I mean, you can call the organisation and ask if a donation has been made, but even IF they reveal that information, it would be too late, the fundraise would already be over. Is there any way of telling, while, or before the fundraise starts? How can you tell by just someones profile?

 

The simplest thing is to ask the Fundraiser if they have a direct association with the charity.  While some Fundraisers might get offended by the possible implication that they may be dishonest, most I believe would understand your concerns. 

Another tool actually is Google.  I type the name of the charity along with the words 'second life' into the search.  I have found useful info that way.

Beyond that I'd say stick with charities you trust.  I wish I knew an easier answer.

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I think any fund raiser in SL is just as if not more legit than any in RL....there is very little cost to do a fund raiser in SL unlike RL where most of the money raised only goes to advertising and other things...here in the US nonprofits only have to donate a very small % of the money they raise on the actual thing they raised the money for in the first place...most of the money you  give goes into paper work, advertising, and multi-million dollar paychecks for the CEO and other top level employees...the people in need may never see a cent.....people say give money but you can't eat or drink money...do you want to help for real or feel good because you paid some company money but did no real work?..... if you want to help buy food, bottle water, tents, blankets then mail it all to a local charity, church, temple, or mosque in the place that is in need.... or if you have family or know someone with family there mail it to them... that way you know you did some real good with your money and you didn't help fill up a greedy CEO's wallet 

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Saikiki, thanks for answering but thats not at all what my post is about. I wasnt even talking about RL fundraising, and if you insist on comparing those 2, theres one HUGE difference, people in SL are anonymous. You can't go visit them and break their nose for keeping the donations for themselves. As a figure of speech, of course. Also I didnt ask for advice about who or how to donate, or about how the money of RL fundraisers is spend.

Problem is, there are many many fundraisers in SL, and a lot of people participate blindly without even wondering if the money really is reaching the right organisation. And all I want to know, if there is a way of telling if people who organise those fundraises, are legit or not. Also, apparantly people in SL find it easier to use their Lindens online, than making RL payments to fundraisers, which explains the massive shopping at SL fundraisers, and the massive amount of creators participating, patting themselves on the shoulder about their own generosity. I'm wondering, are we really all so generous in spending our lindens to donate to charity, or are we all just sheep following the herd and wasting our lindens on scammers?

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How about you just read my post? I'm not asking for advice on wether to give money or not. If that was the case, it would be easy eh? But life isn't easy, mate. Theres thousands of US dollars going to SL fundraisers every week. Thousands of PEOPLE donating money. It's not just about little ol'me. I'm wondering, and worried, if maybe they're all getting scammed..... or not.

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This definitely is a tricky situation and a great topic to talk about. I'm always amazed at the level of compassion that our customers have when others are in need. The $$ raised for Japan has been astounding and the Relay for Life events never fail to  impress.

I would agree with the other posters about doing your homework before donating money. Research, talk to your friends, ask the forums for thoughts!

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The question is in this case, why do so many people follow blindly whatever lands on their plate (notices, blogs) They see a message about a fundraise, and they rush to "do good" which itself is awesome and sweet, but how come no one bothers to think about the possibility of all that money going to the wrong hands?

 I think that the people who are advertising for a fundraise (creators and bloggers) and encouraging it, should be the ones to know how to check if a fundraise group is legit. So why is that not happening?

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then you could`t had ask in here becuz last time i read it,,, like you was asking how you know if they getting if or not you dont know .. but if you going to be worrying about like i said it a easy fix ,, if not your money why you care gee PPL are rude .

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Blondin Linden wrote:

This definitely is a tricky situation and a great topic to talk about. I'm always amazed at the level of compassion that our customers have when others are in need. The $$ raised for Japan has been astounding and the Relay for Life events never fail to  impress.


I would agree with the other posters about doing your homework before donating money. Research, talk to your friends, ask the forums for thoughts!

 

While I know that you currently follow some if not all things in the new Lithium forums, I don't know how much you followed the old forums.  The opinions weighed heavily on the side of don't do it, even for some clearly recognized charities.

I am fortunate to be friends with some of the people who are very involved with the non-profits sector of SL so am able to get good advice.  Not everyone has access to that. 

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I just read this even though it is an older discussion i wanted to respond because it's so timely.  With the holiday season here people everywhere are wanting to do what they can to help out.  We do fundraisers for orginizations and have asked ouselves the same question.  How do we know that the orginization we are working with in second life is legit.   Certainly we do not want to work with someone or a group that is not "legit" but how do you tell.  

What we have done in the past was suggested by another poster to this thread.  We verify with the organization in rl.  we also research the organization ahead of time as in us all non profits must publish their financials and make avail to the public.  this way we know where our money is going and how it is used.  

We also have a habit of asking organizers to provide us with "verifiable proof" of their association with the particular charity.  This is not just them giving us copies of an email or a copy of a conversation.  Our preferred verification is something on letterhead with a phone number that we can verified that they have registered with the organization.  transfer documentation is all fine and good but as was stated earlier can be altered.  recipets from the organization is much better as these can be verified.  In cases where reciepts are not given it is just a matter of making a call to an organization to see if they recieved a donation from an organization, if  you explane that you are verifying that a group is legitimate they are usually pretty good about verification, while they can tell you a group is in good standing they cannot disclose how much was given.  It is a risk you take when dealing with any fundraising group.

okay i have been  wordy enough sorry.  bottom line is do your research just as y ou would in real life.

 

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if there is a real world location to make my donation..i will do that once i hear about a charity..

one less channel to deal with only means that much more of it will make it to where it is meant to go..

 

in world charities to me are for keeping sims up and running or my favorite club and putting in their donation jar..if there is an RL charity in SL dealing with an RL problem..then there is a real world version somewhere..*winks*

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