Member Profile:
MincedMedia Clip of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids


kimbayne-icon.jpgMincedMedia.jpg

Real Name/SL Name: Kim M. Bayne/MincedMedia Clip
Organization: Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA)
165 W 46th St., Suite 1300
New York, NY 10036

Position: Volunteer

Is your work here in Second Life as an individual or are you representing a foundation?
I represent Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS as an individual volunteer. I registered as a member of the SL online fundraising team through the BC/EFA’s Team Raisers program.
I came across Broadway Cares through a Facebook application created by enthusiastic volunteers, mostly college students. The cause got my attention because my RL daughter will major in theater arts in the fall 0f 08 and because it provided grants to an organization in the RL city where I live. I wanted to get involved, but adding the app to my Facebook profile seemed so passive and I do not have a lot of time to volunteer in person.
I was already very active in Second Life, but looking for a way to put some meaning into my SL activities. I was attending events on Broadway Live Island, which is a community of theater professionals, amateurs and fans. I soon connected with residents who expressed a similar interest in creating a volunteer presence for BC/EFA in SL. One of those individuals has close friends affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. Another is a RL Broadway producer who had already connected with BC/EFA in RL. He donated land and a building for our in-world office immediately. He also supports our efforts in other ways, like making donations and posting event notices.

Brief Summary of your organization:
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BC/EFA) is the nation's leading industry-based, not-for-profit AIDS fundraising and grant making organization. BC/EFA is the on-going, committed response from the American Theatre community to an urgent worldwide health crisis. By drawing upon the talents, resources, and generosity of this community, BC/EFA raises funds for AIDS-related causes across the United States. Since its founding in 1988, BC/EFA has raised over $140 million for critically needed services for people with AIDS, HIV or HIV-related illnesses.

How did you find out about NPC and why did you get involved?
I connected with Susan Tenby through the Online Community Unconference in Mountain View, CA, which I attended in June 2007. I remembered Susan’s background in library work, because working in an academic library was my first job in college. By the time I decided to start volunteering for a charity in SL, I noticed TechSoup.org then connected with Susan on Twitter. That led me to the NPC. In general, I think non-profits have some of the best resources in SL and on the Web, because they have to be so resourceful. I have learned and continue to learn a lot from NPC members.

Some say the professional networking opportunities in SL have been extraordinary. Have you found this to be true? If so, what advice would you give someone for effective networking in SL?
My advice:
1. Target the right community for your cause. Our team members were already active in the perfect SL region for a theater-related charity so we did not have to do much to “sell” our idea. It is also much easier to tie in our fundraising activities with existing events and get the cooperation of organizers. We are able to join in the promotional activities of programs and groups that are already in place.
2. Leverage the resources of other similar groups. Just prior to our first fundraising event, BC/EFA in SL connected with other HIV/AIDS organizations in SL. We now have a second office in the SL HIV/AIDS Support Headquarters building, are working on a Wiki (http://sl-hiv-support.wetpaint.com ), and are planning future events together.
3. Find someone who can write and knows the media. Your ability to communicate with your donors and volunteers will be limited if you can’t share your ideas clearly and professionally. Fortunately, I am a writer, so I help the team with news releases and notices. I’ve also enlisted the help of fellow journalists who have covered BC/EFA in SL and featured our team in their publications.
4. Ask for help. Ask for help Ask for help. You’d be amazed at how many SL residents are just looking for an opportunity to get involved. We are starting to attract generous individuals who are donating their special talents to support our efforts.

Why do you think virtual worlds such as Second Life are valuable for nonprofits?
Second Life enables me to volunteer my time without the constraints of a regular in-person schedule. It has also made it possible for me to connect with other like-minded people and non-profits from all over the world.

Do you think every nonprofit should have a presence within SL or is it only appropriate for particular types of organizations?
In the early days of the Web, some people thought that only certain businesses should have a Web presence. Now we know that assumption to be false. Wherever there is a community of people, non-profits have a place.

More than likely you are fairly new to SL. Since there is a learning curve, what advice would you give to make being in SL easier?
1. Pick the brain of a friend or colleague who has already been in SL for more than a few months. They can get you started more quickly than if you go it alone.
2. Join all the right groups in SL as soon as you can to connect with people who will listen to your needs.
3. Read everything you can get your hands on, including posts in online community forums, blogs and Wiki pages about Second Life.
4. Jump right in and just do it! If you can, pick a time each week that you dedicate to logging on and catching up with in-world contacts.

Upcoming projects/events?
Grand Opening for the HIV/AIDS Support Center coming up in July.

Current/On-going needs (RL or SL)?
We need more BC/EFA volunteers in Second Life. We are slowly building a core group of contributors but it’s tough to spread the word and get things done effectively without the bodies. The top three volunteers all have RL jobs so this limits their ability to help.
Needs:
1. Volunteers who can publicize our activities in Web-based online communities that have Second Life residents.
2. Volunteers who can connect with in-world businesses who will support our events.
3. Volunteers who can plan events, recruit other volunteers and follow an event through to its completion.

Back to Community Member Profiles