Your one-stop source for blog posts and news from the world of non-profit organizations making a difference in Second Life

Project Jason Founder Wins U.S. Department of Justice 2010 Volunteer for Victims Award

We believe this is the first time in the history of this event that this award has gone to someone from the cause of missing persons, so it's a huge deal to our cause! It also signifies a shift in this cause now deemed in the "crime" category by the Department of Justice.

I (with some fantastic help of a few special people) submitted this award nomination. So I am almost as jazzed as Kelly about the award :)

This article is from AOL News writer David Lohr, who is very special to the cause of missing persons.

Congratulations, Kelly!

-- Ronnie Rhode

Her Mission for the Missing Earns Mom National Kudos

By David Lohr

(April 20) -- A Nebraska woman who emerged from the "nightmare" of her son's disappearance to bring hope to other families of missing people has received unprecedented national recognition for her efforts.

The U.S. Justice Department's Office for Victims of Crime last week named Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of the Omaha, Neb.-based nonprofit Project Jason, as its 2010 Volunteer for Victims Honoree.

The announcement came at the National Crime Victims' Service Awards, which paid tribute to Jolkowski and eight other people for "outstanding work on behalf of crime victims." The awards, which were held Friday in Washington, D.C., are part of the OVC's National Crime Victims Rights Week, April 18-24.

What makes Jolkowski's award especially significant is that it's the first one in memory to be given to an advocate of missing people.

"I'm honored to accept this award on behalf of all missing persons, the families who miss them and in my son's name," Jolkowski said upon receiving the award. "The secondary victims, the families, deserve a voice and to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect as they go through what is undoubtedly the most difficult time in their lives."

One Mother's Story

Jolkowski's own family ordeal began almost nine years ago, as she recalled in a recent interview with AOL News.

"It was June 13, 2001, and Jason was 19 at the time," Jolkowski said. "My husband and I were at work when the restaurant he worked at called and asked him to come in early. To our knowledge, Jason said he would be glad to, but told them he would need a ride -- his car was in the shop. They said they would have a girl that works there pick him up at a high school that is about seven blocks away from our house."

Events at Nonprofit Commons: Webinars, Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day from the green fairy of NPC! Over the past few months it has been a great honor and pleasure to host events at the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life, from informational webinars to celebrations of great organizations and emerging new success stories. We have some of this ready for you now at NPC in Second Life:

WEBINAR TODAY at 10AM: Listening Stations!
Join us at the Plush Nonprofit Commons amphitheatre to participate virtually in this event.

EARTH DAY: Friday April 23rd Celebration at ECO Commons

Tracking Praise and Addressing Concerns

We're always tracking what people are saying about us on the web, tracking praise, and learning from criticism, and letting people know we're watching and listening.
I thought it would be good for the community to see how these things are addressed, so here is a recent response that I wrote to this blog:
New Political Documentary

My response:

Where we are on the web

We often get asked where people can find us, so here is an almost exhaustive list of the various places where we can be found. If you have any other suggestions, please add them as a comment and I will edit this blog.

Relevant Links:

TechSoup Global:

Presentations from the NPSL community about our work:

Flickr photostream:

NPSL tag on (blog articles, news, relevant links):

Nonprofit Commons:

Save the Date: April 12 Global Kids Roundtable on Nonprofits & Virtual Worlds

You are cordially invited to Global Kids' Winter 2010 Roundtable on Virtual Worlds and Nonprofits on Monday April 12, from 12-1pm PST on MacArthur Island in Second Life (teleport link). Representatives of six nonprofit organizations will give brief presentations on their initial explorations of Second Life and other virtual worlds, and how they are thinking of integrating these virtual tools into their organizations' respective missions. Afterwards, there will be an open discussion about the applications of virtual worlds for various public good purposes.

The event is open to the public, with a special welcome to nonprofits, activists, educators, and developers.

Representatives of the following organizations will be presenting:

  • Child Welfare League of America
  • Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia
  • Hip-Hop Education Center
  • Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health
  • United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland, Inc
  • V.O.I.C.E. Community Development Corp

Each of these organizations has just completed the Global Kids' Virtual World Capacity Building Program, a four-week intensive exposure to virtual worlds for public good institutions. The event will be moderated by Global Kids and take place at the MacArthur Island Amphitheater (click here to teleport.) For more information about the Virtual World Capacity Building Program join the program's group on the or Contact Amira Fouad at The VWCBP is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

TechSoup Wins Financial Times 2010 Social Innovation Awards

NPC is happy to share that TechSoup Global won the open-vote portion of the Justmeans/Financial Times 2010 Social Innovation Awards . There were 88 other contenders for this Citizen's Choice Award, but because your participation, we went from 116 to 1,545 votes . Great work everybody, and we deeply appreciate the help from the entire virtual community.

Susan Tenby on Game Changing Radio

Our very own Susan Tenby @suzboop was recently interviewed by Jim Love @therealjimlove , Allan Hoving @ahoving and Janet Fouts @jfouts as the featured guest of Game Changing.

#gamechanging #npsl were the Twitter hashtags.

Haiti Relief in Second Life: A View from the Nonprofit Commons Collaboration

The Virtual Haiti Relief campaign in Second Life has become a fascinating experiment in engagement here for us at Nonprofit Commons -- I hope we can learn from this endeavor for future work. Over a dozen avatars actively shared their skills by creating interactive experiences, events, fundraisers and outreach campaigns to help raise support for the people of Haiti over 6 weeks this winter. Many hundreds of avatars visited campaign spaces, from the Benefit Music Festival to the Help Haiti Hub aid distribution center.

Haiti Benefit Festival at Nonprofit Commons

This campaign took off when Rhiannon Chatnoir and the Virtual Haiti Relief group was able to take the scripted code from the Relay for Life kiosks and create a specialized Haiti relief kiosk that was spread throughout Second Life. Let's look at the fundraising numbers and rank of monies raised by this community on our four sims:

Vote for TechSoup in the Financial Times Social Innovation Awards

I am currently an about to graduate student completing my Masters in Social Justice and Human Rights degree. It has been almost a year since I joined the TechSoup community. I started as a student looking for an interesting internship in the area of nonprofits and technology, and ended up joining a strong community of amazing people. 

Facebook Webinar 10am Pacific time Thurs 03/11

I'm excited to tell you about this Facebook Webinar as I love joining the fan pages of NGOs to keep tabs on their news and how I can help them. If you're a part of the Nonprofit Commons community, we have many upcoming opportunities for you to help us with greeting at one of these webinars, so let me know if you are interested by contacting nonprofitcommons(at)techsoup(dot)org! If you aren't yet, then feel free to join the group in Second Life.


Many thanks to Brownrice Internet for hosting the NPSL site.

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