Give the real money first

There’s alot of really admirable charity activity in Second Life; builds and events and auctions and awareness-raising and all.

In the back of my mind there’s always a worry, though, about the actual fund-raising that SL charitable activities do. With a handful of exceptions, the amount of real-world money raised in SL tends to be on the small side of middling, in RL terms.

I know that for myself, I feel pretty generous if I give 1000L to some charity donation box, whereas I’d feel sort of cheap giving US$5 in real life. But 1000L is of course less than US$5, so it’s sort of silly. And if giving 1000L inworld makes me feel subconsciously like I’ve Done That, so I never get around to giving say US$25 in real life, that’s not a net gain.

SL donation tends to be extremely convenient, of course, and if that leads to people who would normally not bother to give anything at all giving a few hundred or thousand Linden dollars, that’s great. But for people who want to, can afford to, and can remember to give real money, I think it’s a good idea to do that first. And if you (we) then dive into the SL activities, the Red Cross benefit sales, benefit concerts, and all the other things happening in and around SL, that’s terrific; every additional bit is that much more good done.

But I would recommend at least considering giving the real money first…