SL Charities are a joke
Read it before you think me a heartless hater. I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on this necessarily—no one seems to so far—but If you’re one of those few who think logically and not based on popular concensus in SL, maybe you will.
Let me start by saying that I definitely do support giving to a cause that I feel is deserving, but the whole idea around the idea of charities in SL rubs me the wrong way. Rumors of event planners not actually donating the money seem to fly around every time and for every event. Maybe its true. Maybe its not. Maybe it’s an empty rumor started by someone with a personal agenda against the planner? I think all three are totally legit possibilities, but really it could be anything. The fact is, you CANT prove money is being donated. There is literally no way to trace an SL avatar to a real identity.
Maybe the planner creates an account with the charity under the name of the event’s name in SL? Maybe there is already an account made and the charity is named after it as a spoof? What if the the planner really does legitimately donate the money to the said charity after the event? Is there proof of the actual TOTAL money earned? In the end, only ONE person will see the totals. From an accounting perspective, this is not a recommended way of handling money (that doesn’t belong to you). There are plenty of potential situations, infinite in fact. But none of them provide solid proof that every penny [earned by the participating designers] goes where they agreed to have it go.
If you’re like anyone I’ve gave my opinion to so far, you’re thinking “How dare you! This is a charity and you should be giving from the KINDNESS OF YOUR HEART!”
I agree. Giving to charities, especially something as relevant and needy right now as Japan, is great… selfless… but SL events put on by event planners are NOT selfless, and I refuse to essentially put my donations through a third party that can’t (despite how much I respect and trust them) prove that the money is going where it is supposed to be going. In case some of you forgot, there are legitimate ways to donate money through respected organizations in real life, such as the Red Cross.
Planners on Second Life get my full respect. They put in just as much time as me if not MORE, for almost nothing in return but the prestige for founding a successful event. Some of them even own stores on top of that which I couldn’t imagine handling myself.
However I think the motivation for running the event is where my judgement in the lack of selflessness comes in. I am asked to make unique, new products in the name of the charity of THEIR choosing—and on top of that, sometimes there is even a fee to get a spot! So I’m supposed to give up all the money I would otherwise earn on selling a product in my store AND pay, while the event planner can’t even pay the land fees and “labor” on their own. And in the end “[insert event planner name] raised [insert impressive amount of money] to the charity”. I feel like I can’t be alone in calling bullshit on this one. If you own a store and want to support a charity, raise your own money and donate it yourself in my opinion.
- Jay K.