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I am hoping that someone can tell me which independent agency audits the frequent SL "charity events".  In particular, what guarantee is made, and verified, that moneys donated reach the intended charity, who vets the charity itself (what % of money raised is actually spent on the cause, including the legal status of the charity), and where SecondLife posts this information prior to adding a "charity event to its message of the day?  All of these are just very basic due diligence, and SL owes us no less, in a very transparent manor.

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2 hours ago, EclecticJohn Niven said:

I am hoping that someone can tell me which independent agency audits the frequent SL "charity events".  In particular, what guarantee is made, and verified, that moneys donated reach the intended charity, who vets the charity itself (what % of money raised is actually spent on the cause, including the legal status of the charity), and where SecondLife posts this information prior to adding a "charity event to its message of the day?  All of these are just very basic due diligence, and SL owes us no less, in a very transparent manor.

shortly: nobody, nothing, it's all based on trust and confidence on the one that creates the event. Most are ok .. but even the most trustable today can be a scam tomorrow.

you'll be only a bit more sure when a accredited, confirmed real charity posts it on their own events or website, chances to that?.. nearly zero.

Edited by Alwin Alcott

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2 hours ago, EclecticJohn Niven said:

I am hoping that someone can tell me which independent agency audits the frequent SL "charity events".  In particular, what guarantee is made, and verified, that moneys donated reach the intended charity, who vets the charity itself (what % of money raised is actually spent on the cause, including the legal status of the charity), and where SecondLife posts this information prior to adding a "charity event to its message of the day?  All of these are just very basic due diligence, and SL owes us no less, in a very transparent manor.

There are few, and by that I mean very, very few, actual charity events that an individual can truly "vet". Those that can be vetted are ones that have a very real, rl presence, websites, information which can be verified with simple searches, phone calls, emails, etc.. real human beings, real contact information, real accounting can all be found.  Relay for Life is one such charity...and information on that can be easily garnered with your own leg work rather simply and swiftly (this can actually be done both inworld and through simple searches, those in charge of the SL presence can even guide you to the information you seek)

LL (you called it SL, but it's really LL, the platform itself isn't a sentient being, lol) owes us absolutely zilch on this matter, even if they put an event in their "message of the day"-it's not necessarily because they are sponsoring it-simply advertising it. It is up to us, as individuals, to make our own informed choices, just like in rl. If you want to participate in an event, I highly recommend looking for that information on your own before doing so. It is you (us?) that owes yourself (ourselves) this information, and any charity worth a lick will be quite easily vetted (though, as with the same in rl, one should still use caution). LL would only "owe" us this information you seek if participation in a particular charity event was required of us, however that has never been, nor will it ever be, the case. 

LL wouldn't even likely HAVE all the information you're seeking anyway lol, but those running the events should-so it's best to ask them. If they cannot satisfy your curiosity, odds are pretty good they aren't above board. :) 

 

 

 

Edited by Tari Landar
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Even in RL making a charitable $100 donation and then the entity sends only $1 to the charity is legal. Donating to a charity is a noble cause, but if you really want all your money to go to that charity, go to their official website and donate directly. Donating to any charity by any third party guarantees that a 5% to 99% chunk of that will be used for "handling" fees. In SL trust is something way too many people through too easily at completely anonymous strangers. I never donate to charity via SL. Ever.

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Eg: Superannuation/retirement funds in my country are similar. They spend 110% of your contributions on printed information, telling you what they are doing with your money and how hard they work for you. Get the picture ^^? xD

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John,

The rule in Second Life is very much "caveat emptor" and charities are no exception.  Linden Lab does not vet resident-run businesses or fundraisers.  Only contribute to charitable events that you know (or are pretty sure) are run honestly.  The annual Relay for Life (RFL) fund drive is one that I contribute to, partly because it's easy to go to the actual Real Life web site and find the link to the Second Life fundraiser.

That said, every charitable fundraiser I have personally encountered in SL has been genuine (or at least, they convinced me that they were!)  By and large, the residents of SL are honest people, and eager to do things to help those in need.  I've contributed to several drives for disaster relief, for example.

@Alonya Su,

While I agree with you that it is important to find out how much of your gift actually goes to the people who need it, donating directly to a charity is no guarantee of that.  For example, see some of the many expose's on charities like March of Dimes, Red Cross, and ASPCA, where even if you donate directly, most of your gift goes to pay the salaries of the executives and other expenses.  Moreover, donating through a third party can sometimes help avoid this.  For many years, my major charity giving was via the Combined Federal Campaign (sort of a United Way, but for government workers).  This had two benefits.  First, the CFC published the "overhead" of each charity; you could see at a glance how much of your gift went to overhead.  Second, participating in the CFC drive cost the charities themselves far less than conducting their own advertising campaigns (mailers, telethons, radio ads, etc.) and that helped them spend less on fundraising and left more money for the actual charitable work. 

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14 hours ago, EclecticJohn Niven said:

I am hoping that someone can tell me which independent agency audits the frequent SL "charity events".  In particular, what guarantee is made, and verified, that moneys donated reach the intended charity, who vets the charity itself (what % of money raised is actually spent on the cause, including the legal status of the charity), and where SecondLife posts this information prior to adding a "charity event to its message of the day?  All of these are just very basic due diligence, and SL owes us no less, in a very transparent manor.

None, none, nobody and nowhere.

There is absolutely no regulation or accreditation system for charities in SL.  However, some such charities, such as Relay For Life and Virtual Ability, have an online presence outside of SL and are independently verifiable (real names of officers, physical addresses etc). Relay For Life in particular is a huge RL charity; it's SL presence is a very tiny proportion of the total fundraising it does.

You just have to be VERY careful before donating to any charity in SL, and do your own research. 

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The charity events featured in the "message of the day" are really big RL ones. So far I think I only saw three of them announced: RFL, MSF, and the MJ Fox Parkinson foundation. I heared about two of them but not about RFL before I joined SL. But having never heared about RFL doesn't surprise me a bit as it is a just a national thingie... 

Edited by Fionalein
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7 hours ago, Fionalein said:

The charity events featured in the "message of the day" are really big RL ones. So far I think I only saw three of them announced: RFL, MSF, and the MJ Fox Parkinson foundation. I heared about two of them but not about RFL before I joined SL. But having never heared about RFL doesn't surprise me a bit as it is a just a national thingie... 

Actually RFL(Relay for Life) is international (has been since '96), present in at least 26 countries now :D

I'm gonna share the link here, since it's a safe link to share (and then people can find things more local to them if they'd prefer to go that route before participating in an sl RFL event) :D 

http://relay.acsevents.org/site/PageServer/?pagename=relay_learn_global_relay 

 

 

 

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Yes, RFL is an American thing. Their presence outside Trump's walled in garden is minimal.

 

OP, I would strongly advise not to donate to *any* charity in SL. They can all be taken as a scam.

Edited by Callum Meriman
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1 hour ago, Callum Meriman said:

Yes, RFL is an American thing. Their presence outside Trump's walled in garden is minimal.

Points to above link....no it's not, lol

Edited by Tari Landar

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19 hours ago, Lindal Kidd said:

By and large, the residents of SL are honest people

By and large, the residents of the real world are honest people too. But it's not those people who are the problem. It's the minority who are dishonest and more than happy to take advantages anywhere they can (including pretending to raise relief funds for recent disasters). The population of SL is no different in that respect.

Edited by Phil Deakins
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The worst thing about SL charities is their lack of discretion...

The donation boxes proudly display "last donation by" and the amount sayed person payed, I cannot donate unnoticed... 

There is some kind of peer pressure for creators to participate in events...

And that competition thing really drives me away - if it is true that every penny counts and the good cause is all that matters - why is there a competition going on who raises the most money?

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I'm glad that this thread was created. I've known for years that Relay For Life existed, but I never knew exactly what it is. I followed Tari's link, and now I know.

For long enough, I've disliked that sometimes quite a low percentage of donations actually reach the donators' target, and I often wonder how much the TV adverts cost, although I realise that they do need to get the message out. But I found that Relay For Life is different, because donations are not intended to go to 'those in need', such as disaster and drought sufferers. They are to pay the wages of those doing cancer research, and the costs of it, so nobody (I think) is taking out large chunks of 'handling costs'.

There's a charity in the UK called Christians Against Poverty (CAP) that's exactly the same in that donations pay wages and costs, and is not intended for anyone in need of money, so all of it goes to that. The wage earners, who donations pay for, successfully help people in bad debt to get out of debt, but without putting up any financial assistance.

I'm observing that there's a difference between charities that collect money to go to people in need, where not all of the donations go to those in need, and charities that receive donations in order to do something, such as cancer research.

Getting back to the OP's topic... I wouldn't donate anything to anyone in SL who is collecting for a charity. Not because the charity isn't worthy, but because the collector may not be genuine. At least, people on the street with collection boxes, have a box with the charity's name on it. A name on a box doesn't guarantee that it's genuine, but there's a high chance that it is.

Edited by Phil Deakins

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5 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

At least, people on the street with collection boxes, have a box with the charity's name on it. A name on a box doesn't guarantee that it's genuine, but there's a high chance that it is.

I have done that in the past. Genuine collectors usually have sealed boxes and will gladly show you certificates issued by the charity organisation they are collecting for. We usually also always had information flyers with the banking details so you could donate directly if you didn't trust us youngsters with our boxes ;).

Edited by Fionalein

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5 hours ago, Fionalein said:

And that competition thing really drives me away - if it is true that every penny counts and the good cause is all that matters - why is there a competition going on who raises the most money?

I've been involved in the past with Relay for Life in RL, and it's competitive in RL as well.  When you look up a relay on their web site, there is a leaderboard of the teams that have raised the most money and the individuals that have raised the most money.  

One thing I liked about RLF in SL, is that it's listed on the Relay for Life site just like any of their RL relays - Relay for Life of Second Life  and you can see how much has been raised by the SL teams. I've always been amazed by the amounts raised for RLF by the SL teams.  I just looked up the Relay closest to my RL location, and the SL Relay raised $50K more than the local Relay raised.

 

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5 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

people on the street with collection boxes, have a box with the charity's name on it. A name on a box doesn't guarantee that it's genuine, but there's a high chance that it is.

Not in the US where we seem to have scammers on every corner.  Anyone can stand around with a box with a logo on it.  Heck the scammers would likely even create fake documents to show people that asked.  Though I will say that if said person is standing at the entrance to a store then they likely have the store's permission and would have had to show valid documents to get that - thus those folks are probably genuine.

I do almost all of my donations directly through the charities' websites, after doing a lot of research about how the money is spent (using sites like Charity Navigator and such).  

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2 hours ago, moirakathleen said:

I've been involved in the past with Relay for Life in RL, and it's competitive in RL as well. 

It definitely can be competitive, but really, that's the human element, lol.

I've had my own issues with RFL over the years, both here in sl and in rl, though I have participated in rl since I was a child, and in sl for years as well. I have my own issues with the competitive nature of some people which pours over into most everything they do. It wouldn't matter if it was RFL or something else, some people are just super., super competitive. I took a bit of a break from participating in RFL in sl for a bit because of it, not so much choosing not to donate, but rather choosing not to donate my time/pour myself into participation in events. But then I decided my efforts were important, so I chose a slightly different path than I'd previously taken with RFL in sl, and I've been all the better for it. 

For MOST people in RFL, in sl and in rl, the competitiveness is really just a way to boost morale, to help push them towards getting as many donations as they can, and they  make it a lot of fun..honestly. There are very few that take it to an extreme, even less now than previously, in sl anyway, in rl, probably more lol. Of course every penny, every linden, counts, but the little side competitions of "which team can earn more" is really not stressed by anyone other than the few that need to be the best at absolutely everything. For everyone else, it's just a way to motivate themselves, to give back to a cause that touched their lives in some way, a way to have fun surrounding a topic that is otherwise quite serious and most often fatal, a way to connect with others for whom the cause is also near and dear, a way to set aside the somber side of cancer and what it does even for a mere moment...generally, it's a good thing, not seen as negative.(again, except for those who take things to an extreme or who are uber competitive and lose sight of what's actually important...but they exist in every facet of life). 

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7 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

I'm observing that there's a difference between charities that collect money to go to people in need, where not all of the donations go to those in need, and charities that receive donations in order to do something, such as cancer research.

2

Exactly. And it has always been this way.

If you want to help people directly who are actually in need then donate to the Red Cross, and even then, the Red Cross usually says "send money, not food and clothes" because it's easier, faster, and less expensive to use that money where it's needed in a way that best-helps those people directly.

Most other charities are specifically for doing some other thing and when you donate, you are donating to the charity itself, not the people they help (perfect example: cancer or other types of research). My father worked for the United Way a few years back and it was explained to me that the way United Way works is pretty simple: 25% of a donation goes into the United Way itself (salaries, and methods to take-in and redistribute non-monetary donations) and the other 75% goes directly to support *programs*, specifically meaning that they do not send money or materials to people or organizations, but rather an organization creates a program that helps people, then the United Way grants money to that program specifically.

This is why it's always best to 1) donate *directly* to a charity and 2) Understand how your money will be used by that charity. And this is why I firmly recommend *against* making any donation inside SL that is proclaimed to be for charity, even the legitimate ones like Relay for Life (who have their own kiosks, etc.) - if you really want to help then give directly. Remember, LL takes a cut when they convert L$ to legal tender, too.

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In RL, limited to MSF (nqa), Red Cross/Crescent for certain campaigns (directly to area reps where possible) but not for 'general' things, the Sally Ann at Yule and the odd local one. In SL, have done work for a couple of fund raisers run directly by people I know for their very local causes (animal shelters). Apart from that, in SL - no. Lack of accountability is one reason. Their are other reasons. Not even if they are running a dream house raffle.

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I just always give outside of SL in my RL..I don't do major charities Because the money gets so watered down by the time it reaches where it was meant  to go..

I do a lot of direct and local helping where the people in need get all or most of the money..

I just think that by the time the amount I give reaches those people in big charities and is watered down to a tiny bit of what I gave,it would do much more good with most or all of it reaching someone in need.

People need help all over ,but at the same time they need it close by as well..

I just really have a hard time giving so much and so little makes it there is all I guess..

 

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The reason some people donate to certain charities in sl, versus their local rl chapter/whatever, is because some people may have lindens, but may not have rl currency to donate. Someone may have $5k in lindens they can donate to a cause, but not have $1 in their rl currency(whatever it may be) to donate. THIS is why I don't believe all charities, and charity donations, done via platforms like sl, ought to be looked down upon in the way that they are.  It is *because* every penny dollar, every linden, every(insert whatever currency you want here) counts, that we shouldn't look down upon or encourage people NOT to donate to causes. "if you really want to help", makes it sound like people donating to causes in sl aren't helping. You can't possibly say that with any amount of certainty and expect to be taken seriously. Sure Joe may only have a few cents to give, but combine that with Sally's few cents, Jane's few dollars, Bob's company donation of a few hundred, the old man on the corner's cup of change....need I keep going? It all makes a difference. 

Yes, people should, absolutely, donate to causes with a bit of caution, always do their own research, always with the knowledge that their own donation may not necessarily go directly to an individual or a family...but firm on the belief that their donation will help in some way. If you can't find that belief after doing your own research, odds are pretty good that charity, that cause, may not be a good fit for your donation. You should never feel bad about not wanting to help a charity or a cause because you have an uneasy feeling-it's wise to listen to those feelings. That said, the flip side of it is, you should never feel bad because you cannot do more, you cannot do in rl what you can do in sl, or that your sl donations are somehow less....whether it is because someone said so, implied so, or you simply feel that way. When you do good deeds, with good intentions, it helps, whether anyone else can directly see it or not.

When I was getting ready for treatment(I was a young teen, not even a little kid), and my family was being helped by The American Cancer Society(and yes donations do actually go to more than just salaries, but, I digress, that's a different discussion for another day), a little kid came into my room and handed me his coloring book and box of crayons. He told me "I already colored some of the pages, it's kinda used, but I thought you might need it". He was right, half the book was colored, some of the crayons were broken, all of them rather dull too. But that coloring book and crayons stayed with me, for months on end. It wasn't much, but it was *something*. Something beats out nothing, nearly every day of the week. I liken donations people make in sl to something along those lines. Sure they may add up to only pennies, it may not be much, and by the time the charity gets the money it will, of course, be less. But it is still *something*...and while it shouldn't bother me, it often does bother me, tremendously, to have people look down upon that. I liken that kind of behavior to the other teens around me when I would go in for treatment that looked at me as if I was an idiot, because I had a coloring book and broken crayons...and they had gameboy. It's not cool folks..it's just not cool.

And now I'm going to shut up about charities after reiterating some very important things....Do your research, know who and what you're donating to, if you're not comfy-don't do it, if you are comfy-do it, but know..your pennies matter too :D

 

Edited by Tari Landar

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All my profits in SL go to charity.

Honest. Just buy my stuff and you'll see.

I can even write it in my profile if you don't believe me, right next to "voice verified".

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16 hours ago, Tari Landar said:

The reason some people donate to certain charities in sl, versus their local rl chapter/whatever, is because some people may have lindens, but may not have rl currency to donate. Someone may have $5k in lindens they can donate to a cause, but not have $1 in their rl currency(whatever it may be) to donate. THIS is why I don't believe all charities, and charity donations, done via platforms like sl, ought to be looked down upon in the way that they are.  It is *because* every penny dollar, every linden, every(insert whatever currency you want here) counts, that we shouldn't look down upon or encourage people NOT to donate to causes. "if you really want to help", makes it sound like people donating to causes in sl aren't helping. You can't possibly say that with any amount of certainty and expect to be taken seriously. Sure Joe may only have a few cents to give, but combine that with Sally's few cents, Jane's few dollars, Bob's company donation of a few hundred, the old man on the corner's cup of change....need I keep going? It all makes a difference. 

Yes, people should, absolutely, donate to causes with a bit of caution, always do their own research, always with the knowledge that their own donation may not necessarily go directly to an individual or a family...but firm on the belief that their donation will help in some way. If you can't find that belief after doing your own research, odds are pretty good that charity, that cause, may not be a good fit for your donation. You should never feel bad about not wanting to help a charity or a cause because you have an uneasy feeling-it's wise to listen to those feelings. That said, the flip side of it is, you should never feel bad because you cannot do more, you cannot do in rl what you can do in sl, or that your sl donations are somehow less....whether it is because someone said so, implied so, or you simply feel that way. When you do good deeds, with good intentions, it helps, whether anyone else can directly see it or not.

When I was getting ready for treatment(I was a young teen, not even a little kid), and my family was being helped by The American Cancer Society(and yes donations do actually go to more than just salaries, but, I digress, that's a different discussion for another day), a little kid came into my room and handed me his coloring book and box of crayons. He told me "I already colored some of the pages, it's kinda used, but I thought you might need it". He was right, half the book was colored, some of the crayons were broken, all of them rather dull too. But that coloring book and crayons stayed with me, for months on end. It wasn't much, but it was *something*. Something beats out nothing, nearly every day of the week. I liken donations people make in sl to something along those lines. Sure they may add up to only pennies, it may not be much, and by the time the charity gets the money it will, of course, be less. But it is still *something*...and while it shouldn't bother me, it often does bother me, tremendously, to have people look down upon that. I liken that kind of behavior to the other teens around me when I would go in for treatment that looked at me as if I was an idiot, because I had a coloring book and broken crayons...and they had gameboy. It's not cool folks..it's just not cool.

And now I'm going to shut up about charities after reiterating some very important things....Do your research, know who and what you're donating to, if you're not comfy-don't do it, if you are comfy-do it, but know..your pennies matter too :D

 

I'm not knocking what anyone else does with their money..And I'm not calling anyone a fool for donating to big charities...I just need to know I'm really helping,I guess..

I just want all or most of mine to go where I am aiming for it to go...Not be put into a pool of other peoples that ends up equaling the amount I gave after you add  so many other peoples money in there..

Rather than it going to a lot of overhead that comes with large charities,Doing things locally I know that  those that need it end up getting most of what is given from all those that gave.

There is always someone in need an operation or with a child that is sick or someone getting injured or needing help with funeral services..The list goes on of people in need of help just around here..That's just where I feel I can help the most..

Just this past month and a half ago, someone from work had gotten all burnt up from trying to put out a fire in his home..

His son had left the cooker on and the oil in the cooker started the kitchen on fire..The father woke up smelling the smoke and ran into the kitchen,grabbed the cooker with his bare hands..As he was running it out of the house the hot oil was spilling over both of his hands and legs and what all it splashed on..

I won't go into detail of how bad he was finally burnt once he got it outside..It's too much to say in here..but it was really bad..He still went back into the house to put the rest of the fire out.. I just don't know how he did it..It just amazes me that he withstood all the pain the whole way without passing out..

He was in ICU for over a week..His wife has been suffering from cancer for years..They are always back and forth with her going into the hospital..They have him on a no call out policy at work because,  he just never knows when he has to take her there..So he doesn't need to call out for the night or the week or however long it takes..

Anyways,He is their main support..

We sent a big manila envelope around work..Before the night shift was over,that thing was the size of a pillow, and we still had two shifts to go..

Everyone signs a card and then we take them the money..

I think the big charities do a lot of good..But so does  local support as well..

Those peoples faces light up when they see how much support they have gotten in their time of need.

 

I just think,If people want to help, and find a way to help whatever it is they feel like supporting..That's all that really matters..

 

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On 8/8/2018 at 2:27 AM, Tari Landar said:

Actually RFL(Relay for Life) is international (has been since '96), present in at least 26 countries now :D

I'm gonna share the link here, since it's a safe link to share (and then people can find things more local to them if they'd prefer to go that route before participating in an sl RFL event) :D 

http://relay.acsevents.org/site/PageServer/?pagename=relay_learn_global_relay 

 And exactly how much of in world donations does RFL get?

On 8/8/2018 at 2:27 AM, Tari Landar said:

 

 

 

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