Monday, December 17, 2012

Don't forget to vote for the funniest story of 2012

2012 Annual NP-LOL Awards opens for voting
NP Humour – the world’s only comedy website devoted to non-profits, fundraising and charity – wants your help in finding the funniest story of 2012. It’s the second annual NP-LOL People’s Choice Awards. There are 14 nominees across two categories. The winners will be chosen in January 2013.

“We’re the only place in the world where non-profits can go to have a laugh. We’ve picked some of our best material from 2012 and are asking our many subscribers and the greater non-profit, fundraising and charity community to help us pick the funniest story,” said NP Humour Editor John C. Suart.

Officially launched in Fall of 2011, NP Humour has grown from just one email subscriber to more than 500 from the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. More than 100,000 people have visited the site in the last year.

Nominees for the two categories, Best Humour Story and Best Humour Animation, were selected by the number of visits each story received at NP Humour. NP Humour’s editors also contributed two “wild card” entries – stories that didn’t get much play, but that should have.

Nominees for Best Humour Story include:
Gang violence escalates between Major Gifts and Annual Giving for control of the donation trade 

Organizational Chart changed for the 27th time this year

Advertising campaign reaches Mrs. Betty Turner, 93, and 17,678 people who don’t care

Nominees for Best Humour Animation include: 
Communications Director answers "social media" to every question 

Charity thinks cloud computing actually in a cloud

Santa unveils his fundraising strategy for North Pole capital campaign 

Other nominees are listed online. Last year’s NP-LOL award went to “God turned down on grant application to create humankind.”

Voting is free, and those who vote will be entered in a contest to win a free prize from the NP Humour Online Store. Voting closes Christmas Day. The winner will be announced in early January.

All the information about the awards program, voting and more are available online at NP Humour – 

For more information, contact NP Humour:
Phone: 866-668-2220

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Santa suspends North Pole campaign, moving to Vegas

Santa Claus has decided to suspend his $750 million capital fundraising campaign -- "North Pole is Melting". In a video statement today, Santa said the rate of thaw at the North Pole was much greater than first thought. The plan to build a 100-foot tall, nuclear powered fridge to keep the North Pole frozen won't work. Santa said he would be moving all his operations to Las Vegas after this Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What was the funniest story of 2012?

2012 Annual NP-LOL Awards opens for voting
NP Humour – the world’s only comedy website devoted to non-profits, fundraising and charity – wants your help in finding the funniest story of 2012. It’s the second annual NP-LOL People’s Choice Awards. There are 14 nominees across two categories. The winners will be chosen in January 2013.

“We’re the only place in the world where non-profits can go to have a laugh. We’ve picked some of our best material from 2012 and are asking our many subscribers and the greater non-profit, fundraising and charity community to help us pick the funniest story,” said NP Humour Editor John C. Suart.

Officially launched in Fall of 2011, NP Humour has grown from just one email subscriber to more than 500 from the US, Canada, the UK and Australia. More than 100,000 people have visited the site in the last year.

Nominees for the two categories, Best Humour Story and Best Humour Animation, were selected by the number of visits each story received at NP Humour. NP Humour’s editors also contributed two “wild card” entries – stories that didn’t get much play, but that should have.

Nominees for Best Humour Story include:
Gang violence escalates between Major Gifts and Annual Giving for control of the donation trade 

Organizational Chart changed for the 27th time this year

Advertising campaign reaches Mrs. Betty Turner, 93, and 17,678 people who don’t care

Nominees for Best Humour Animation include: 
Communications Director answers "social media" to every question 

Charity thinks cloud computing actually in a cloud

Santa unveils his fundraising strategy for North Pole capital campaign 

Other nominees are listed online. Last year’s NP-LOL award went to “God turned down on grant application to create humankind.”

Voting is free, and those who vote will be entered in a contest to win a free prize from the NP Humour Online Store. Voting closes Christmas Day. The winner will be announced in early January.

All the information about the awards program, voting and more are available online at NP Humour – 

For more information, contact NP Humour:
Phone: 866-668-2220

Sunday, December 2, 2012

“It’s a Wonderful Life’s” Old Man Potter makes donation to North Pole capital fundraising campaign

Potter, contemplating a gift for the Baileys

Henry F. Potter has become the first American to make a major donation to the North Pole capital fundraising campaign.  Potter, a respected banker from Bedford Falls, New York, made a cash donation of $8,000 to the North Pole is Melting campaign yesterday.

“I am so grateful to Old Man Potter for showing such philanthropic leadership. His offer to donate $8,000 to the campaign shows a level of generosity that most of us only aspire to. His whole town must be very proud of him,” said Santa Claus, CEO of the North Pole is Melting campaign.

The donation came about during a special celebration in Bedford Falls, which welcomed war hero Harry Bailey home from the war. Potter said he was moved by the self-sacrifice of all Bedford Falls’ soldiers, past and present.

“When Uncle Billy came into my bank going on and on about Harry Bailey and what he had done, I knew I had to act. This money was just lying around and I felt it would be better used elsewhere. So, I called the North Pole and sent them the money right away. My hands are clean and I know that George Bailey will soon be in jail. What a wonderful Christmas!” said Potter in a written statement deliver by his mute manservant.

The Christmas spirit had such a positive impact on Potter that he issued an immediate public challenge to all other financial institutions in Bedford Falls to match his donation.

“I’d like to see that Bailey Savings & Loan make an $8,000 donation, especially today! Eat that George Bailey. By the time you get home the Sheriff will be waiting for you. Ha, ha, ha. No more Baileys. No even a Zuzu petal! I think I’ll go over to Martini’s and get a drink!” he said.

The money will be used to buy presents for underprivileged “thrifty working class” families that rent homes in places like the Potter’s Fields development in Bedford Falls.

“What these families need are small, efficient Christmas presents that will allow them to spend more on rent and less on frivolities that make them a discontented, lazy rabble!” said Potter. “Someone once called me ‘a warped, frustrated old man’! Well, that person was  just a warped, frustrated young man.  A miserable little clerk... crawling in here on his hands and knees and begging for help. Now, I’m the richest man in town!”
Hey, how much did Potter give?

In a related story, George Bailey, CEO of the Savings & Loan, announced that he would match Potter’s donation.

“Well, I, I, I, got a whole lot of people together at my house to pay back the money we owed. We had a party. And even my darn fool brother flew up to Bedford Falls in a snowstorm to be here,” said Bailey. “My old friend Sam Wainwright also sent me a $25,000 line of credit. I owe it all to an angel named Clarence.”

“Now, who’s the richest man in Pottersville…I mean Bedford Falls! Eat that Potter!”

Savings & Loan CFO Uncle Billy said he was very pleased to be making the donation to the campaign.

“Hey, how much did Potter say he was giving to Santa?”


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Santa turns away Scrooge’s $30 million donation because “he was not himself”

The North Pole’s capital fundraising campaign has announced it won’t be accepting a major donation because of the donor’s suspected mental health issues. The donation, which was announced publicly by London financier Ebenezer Scrooge last week, was worth $30 million.

“We cannot accept this donation because we suspect that the donor who made it may not have been himself at the time,” said Santa, CEO of the North Pole is Melting campaign. “We follow strict guidelines on ethical fundraising, and one of them is to not take money from people whose choices may be suspect due to a physical or mental illness. I’d rather we turn this money away than take the risk of taking advantage of a donor.”

Scrooge made the pledge of $30 million to the campaign after vowing to give away his entire fortune, worth nearly a billion dollars,  to help lame children and the poor. In a bizarre ceremony, he burned the mortgages of several tenants and then ransacked a nearby toy store and gave all of its contents to passersby. Later, he led a parade of people to buy the biggest turkey in London.

The announcement caught many in Old London by surprise because of Scrooge’s right-wing, conservative political views and well-known advocacy for an end to welfare and the construction of poor houses. One newspaper editor called him a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner.”

His company, Scrooge & Marley, made a profit of nearly $150 million last year, mostly through running low-end tenement housing in London and through shrewd money-lending through their investment bank, Scrooge Marley Financial PLC.

Police were called to Scrooge’s office in Canary Wharf later that same day as the announcement after Executive Assistant Bob Cratchit reported that his boss was acting strangely. Reports say Scrooge said he had been talking to long-dead business partner Jacob Marley and had been visited by a number of “spirits”, some of who had taken him back in time to meet himself in the past. He also kept asking “what day it was” and whether he had “missed it”. After talking with Scrooge at his office for an hour, police transferred him to Maudsley Hospital, a psychiatric facility in South London, for observation. He is expected to remain there for several weeks.

“Mr. Scrooge is comfortable,” his Nephew Fred told reporters on the steps of the hospital after visiting his uncle. “A change came over him recently. He wanted to help everyone and give away all his money. He so wanted to help Santa save the North Pole with a donation to the North Pole is Melting campaign. But he’s just not himself. We can’t trust a thing he says. This sudden, massive generosity is a sure sign that he’s as crazy as a loon.”

In a statement, Santa said he wished Scrooge all the best and hoped that we would donate to the campaign “when he is feeling better”.

In a related story, a strange hooded-figure, dressed all in black, was arrested yesterday near Scrooge’s home shuffling around and pointing at people with a single, gaunt hand. 

“This whole bleeding neighbourhood is going crazy,” said one passer-by. 


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Grinch makes $50 million donation to North Pole capital campaign

Grinch saves Christmas

The North Pole’s capital fundraising campaign has announced its first major donation – a $50 million gift from the Grinch, a strange, green hermit who lives near Whoville, 500 miles north of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

The gift to the North Pole is Melting, the capital campaign to keep Santa’s workshop and castle from melting, was announced at the Grinch’s home on the side of Mount Crumpet.

The in-kind donation includes an assortment of goods including toys, such as jingtinglers, floofloovers, tartookas and whohoopers, and a variety of food products, including roast beast and whopudding. It also included one extremely large Christmas tree that folds up like an umbrella. The total package of items was valued at more than $50 million.

“I’m so very pleased to have Mr. Grinch be the first major donor to the campaign. His collection of pop guns, pampoogas, pantookas, and drums, checkerboards, bizilbigs, popcorn, and plums will help offset some of our costs for Christmas. He really is most generous and kind to be helping save the North Pole from melting like this,” said Santa Claus, CEO of the North Pole is Melting capital campaign. 

The Grinch said he made the donation because he wanted help Santa Claus and ensure that the North Pole remains frozen.

“I know all the good boys and girls will hanging their stockings,” he snarled with a sneer.
"December 25th is Christmas! It's practically here!

“I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming…uhm…to an end. Yes, end. Heh.”

The inspiration for the gift came to him when he and his dog Max were sledding in the woods of Mount Crumpet carrying a huge sack toys, food, gifts and other things. Ten thousand feet up, up the side of Mount Crumpet, the Grinch rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it. And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say that the Grinch realized the tax receipt he could get for a donation that day.

“The phone rang just as I was losing my grip on things. It was my accountant and he had a suggestion about what I could do with the stuff I stole…I mean collected. We talked about how it would impact my taxes and we made the phone call to the North Pole,” said the Grinch.

“It is this kind of philanthropic leadership that will make this campaign a success,” said Santa. “The Grinch has saved Christmas.”

The mega-donation to the campaign comes in the midst of one of the worst economic downturns in the Whoville area. The local town has been stripped bare of food, clothes, toys and almost everything else. It has become so bad that the Who’s who live in the area have each
Had their mouths hang open a minute or two and then begun to all cry boo-hoo.

“My heart goes out to the Who’s down in Whoville. But their terrible situation makes this gift all the more special. Out of all these economic woes, some people can still think of others this Christmas,” said Santa.

See more at the NorthPoleisMelting.Com

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Santa gets 33,567 sales calls from consultants, suppliers for North Pole capital campaign

Answering some of his million emails

The North Pole’s telephone and Internet service crashed yesterday under the weight of more than 33,000 calls and nearly one million emails from consultants and suppliers looking to get a piece of Santa Claus’ new, $750 million capital fundraising campaign – The North Pole is Melting.

The calls, emails, flowers and couriered packages from fundraising consultants the world over started arriving within hours of the announcement of the campaign earlier this month. The volume increased steadily until the telephone system and Internet went down for three hours late yesterday. At its peak, Santa received 470 voicemails alone and 3,500 emails in a 24 hour period.

“Ho, ho, hold the phone!” said Santa Claus in a statement at “I don’t mind getting calls from good girls and boys who want to chat about whether they’ve been bad or good, but this is ridiculous. These people are making it impossible for us to get ready for Christmas!”

Two consultants who got through
Santa received most of the calls from fundraising consultants. Each left an average 15 minute rambling voicemail, sent four emails, two offers to connect on Linkedin, one offer to play golf sometime/go for drinks the next time Santa is in town and one couriered portfolio of their current client roster. The Social Media consultants only sent emails, Tweets and offers to connect on Facebook since most of them don’t know how to talk to humans on the phone. More than two dozen ad agencies tried to send staff members to the North Pole on unsolicited sales calls with flowers and chocolates. Since no one told them that the North Pole’s airport is now partially underwater because of melting, half of them drown. Database experts sent emails with an average of 10 attachments each and then had at least three of their database consultants send follow-up emails explaining what the attachments meant.

The consultants didn’t just target Santa. Mrs. Claus received 100 free make-over offers and 450 dozen flowers, most of which wilted in the harsh Artic climate. Rudolph, as the chair of the campaign planning committee, was invited to address ten different fundraising associations. Others at the North Pole received pens, cooler bags, wreaths (as if they don’t have them at the North Pole), golf club sets and watches.

Turned away
“I am very pleased that so many people out there are interested in our campaign. But we don’t need more fundraising consultants, social media consultants, database consultants and consultants who know how to manage other consultants – we need donations,” said Santa.

The campaign has re-directed all incoming calls, emails, gifts, letters, UFO sightings, tweets or other social media messages to the Old Elf Home where it is hoped they will stimulate and excite the aging elves who otherwise lead dreary, lonely lives.

“I want to thank everyone who contact us about the campaign, but unless you have some money to give please bug off,” concluded Santa.

The campaign also announced that Santa would not be accepting the 567 awards for Philanthropist of the Year from various worldwide fundraising associations. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Santa Claus launches fundraising campaign to stop North Pole from melting

Santa Claus has announced the start of a new $750 million capital campaign to keep the North Pole from melting. Called “North Pole is Melting”, the campaign will fund the construction of a new 100-foot tall, nuclear-powered refrigerator that will keep Santa’s home and toy factory from sinking.

“Things are not so ho ho ho here at the North Pole,” said Santa. “The North Pole is melting. Thanks to global warming there’s a giant hole in the Ozone Layer above the Arctic Circle. Because of that the ice sheet that covers the North Pole is melting. So, we either raise enough money to buy this Big Fridge or we start handing out life jackets.”

The North Pole is home to Santa’s Christmas operation. It employs several thousand elves, dozens of reindeer and several humans, including Mrs. Claus. Already, Santa’s operation has felt the impact of melting ice. Some buildings have become unstable. A few elves have disappeared. If things continue, Santa says they will have to leave the North Pole and Christmas will be cancelled.

“I believe in the power of philanthropy. That’s why I thought of this campaign. I know the good boys and girls of the world will help,” said the jolly old elf.

Santa hired two sets of fundraising consultants to conduct a feasibility study for a capital campaign. The first set, Turner, Zhen and Snidely, disappeared when the building they were using for a focus group with potential donors sank. The second consultants, Big Invoice, completed the review, despite several cases of frostbite. Both consultants recommended a $750 million capital campaign.

The campaign will see a direct marketing campaign launched on Christmas Eve. All of Santa’s presents, stockings and other things will feature a QR code that links back to the NorthPoleisMelting.Com website. Santa will also ask the UN for a “donation” of 10 cents per Christmas card on behalf of the people of the world. Lead sponsors will be able to make named donations for everything from the bibs reindeers wear to Santa’s toy factory. An affinity program will also see Santa endorse a line of cookies and several large dairies. rAs well, a team of major gift officers will begin travelling the world calling on donor prospects using Santa’s sleigh the day after Christmas.

Santa will head up the campaign. Mrs. Claus will be in charge of annual giving and Dennis the Fat Elf will lead the major gifts team. Santa says they plan to make maximum use of their Christmas database.

“We’re lucky in that we have more than 1.5 billion names in our database. It keeps track of everything from their name and address to whether they have been bad or good. That’ll give us a leg up on fundraising,” he said.

“Our plan is simple. Our new 100-foot tall, nuclear-powered refrigerator will blast out cold air 24 hours a day, ensuring that the North Pole remains frozen and Santa’s toy factory remains in operation. Its tried and true legacy technology for a new age of climate change. The Big Fridge will give scientists, researchers, elves and reindeer time to figure out how to slow down Global Warming and find alternatives.”


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Number of annual charity-themed “days” now more than 17,000

If it's 9:00 AM, it must be World Chicken Leg Day!

The International Themed-Day Authority says there are now more than 17,000 annual charity “days”. In a new study, the Authority says each day of the year now has an average of 46 different fundraising or engagement days.

The study, called “The Days Challenge”, found that there were more than 3,000 days to fight cancer, 1,500 days to help the environment, 900 days to support animal welfare and 12 days devoted to whether Elvis is alive or dead.

“Every year, the world has about half-a-century worth of charity-themed days. That’s too much,” said Gottfried Von Snidely, Secretary-General of the Authority, at a news conference in Geneva. “And the trouble is that that more and more days are being introduced all the time. We’re heading for real trouble if we don’t bring in international regulation.”

The study found that the entire 365-day calendar was actually filled by charity themed-days back in 1978. Every day since then has added multiple days, making some dates completely unmanageable.

“Take January 3rd for example. It has one of the fewest charity themed-days, but it’s still the day the world celebrates ‘Be Nice to Trout Day’, ‘Kiss for Oral Health Day’, ‘Alaskan Social Work Day’, ‘Chicken Leg Day’ and five others,” said Von Snidely.

The day of the year with the most charity themed-days is June 1st, with a record 327 “days”. This includes International Children's Day, Mothers and Children’s Day (Mongolia), Fei Fei Day (Vancouver), Madaraka Day (Kenya), Marine's Day (Mexico), National Day Against Homophobia (Canada) and National Tree Planting Day (Cambodia). It is also the “Alumni Day” for 39 US universities, the “birthday” for 41 North American hospitals and the annual day for more than 100 disease-based charities.

The study found that North American charities owned more than 88 per cent of all charity themed-days. Developing world charities have had considerable trouble getting international recognition for their themed-days. More than once, charities from Africa have appealed directly to the United Nations to get their days recognized only to be vetoed by the United States at the Security Council. Later this month, one East Asian charity will launch a legal action at the World Trade Court claiming that the US is monopolizing themed-days to protect its charitable sector.

The Authority is recommending a moratorium on new theme-days until new regulations can be introduced. The new rules would see each day carved up into hourly periods and allocated to various charities based on importance and geography.
“Under the regulations, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination would get the 9:00AM slot on March 21st and World Poetry Day would get 10:00AM. World Puppetry Day would only get the period between 11:00 and 11:20AM since it’s not very important,” explained Snidely.

The report is making waves in Washington where Congress is debating whether to follow the new rules or to create a US-system.

“We don’t want any foreign charities taking our themed-days,” said Republican Senator Possum Brewer, chairman of the powerful Senate Miscellaneous Things Committee. “We created these days and we’re gonna keep ‘em.”

Friday, November 9, 2012

500th Subscriber wins a mug!

The gang at the Calgary Food Bank with our MUG

Congratulations to our 500th subscriber -- the Calgary Food Bank. We sent them one of the mugs from our NP Humour Store. CEO James awarded it to DD, fundraiser extraordinaire, who is being presented a "big cheque" and the NPH mug by Christina and Jeremy. Good work!

"DD was actually the person who put me on to this great blog/site/material and I love it. We all subscribe around here now actually. I presented the cup you have me for being the 500th signer-upper since she did all the prospect work for you," says CEO James.

Of course, we agree!

Sign-up to be an email subscriber and you, too, can enter our contests!

Don't forget to visit our store

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dan Pallotta to be burned at stake for witchcraft

What awaits the heretic Dan Pallotta

The Charity Inquisition has announced that author and charity advocate Dan Pallotta has been found guilty heresy and witchcraft and will be burned at the stake next Wednesday at an annual conference of top US charities in Chicago.

Grand Inquisitor Juan Snidely said that Pallotta’s heretical works, including Uncharitable and Charity Case both cast doubt on existing dogma and must be purged from society.

“This heretic shows all the signs of blasphemy in his written works. He questions why we remain voiceless, defenseless, and unorganized in the face of broad public misunderstanding of how social change really happens. For this, he must burn,” said Snidely.

In a trial held in secret the Charity Inquisition read through Pallotta’s two books, collected blogs, essays for the Harvard Review and the siftings of his trash looking for “proofs” of witchcraft, according to standard rules of charity inquisition. The inquisitors said they found several proofs of his “pact with Satan”. These usually include a mole or a birthmark, having a “witch’s nose”, causing harm by means of sorcery, to be afraid during the interrogatories and to not to cry under torment (because of the Devil's aid).

Under interrogation, Pallotta refused to renounce his diabolical works such as his idea of an
charity anti-defamation league and the enactment of a National Civil Rights Act for Charity & Social Enterprise.

“This blasphemer was as guilty as guilty can be, but then we introduced even more evidence at the trial to prove beyond a doubt his pact with Satan,” said Snidely.

At the trial, the beaten and bruised leadership of Charity Navigator were made to testify about Pallotta’s witchcraft. The Inquisition had arrested and tortured them for days to extract the truth, making them read their reports line-by-line until they went mad.

“The law of witch burning is very clear. When one witch condemns another it is proof positive of Satan’s works!” said Snidely.

Found guilty of heresy, witchcraft and having “diabolical good looks”, Pallotta was condemned to be burned at the stake. Unfamiliar with the process, Pallotta thought at first that he was going to be given overcooked steak until he was taken to the courtyard of the conference centre where next Wednesday charity leaders from across the US will gather to see him burn during a coffee break between keynote speakers. Inquisition officials bought out local supplies of his books in order to make the bonfire that will eventually burn him alive.

“Even now at this last hour he can still escape his fate if he will only repent!” said Snidely. “All he has to do is admit that charities should be second-class organizations that accept the unreasonable demands of the public upon them and he will be saved.”

Under Inquisition law, if Pallotta repents he will only be drowned instead of burned.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Charity calls off “Quiet phase” of campaign because staff can’t handle not talking for months, years

Office poster at the Trust

Metro’s largest charity is throwing in the towel on the “Quiet phase” of its new $65 million capital campaign because of a rebellion by staff and volunteers about not talking.

The Metro University Trust started the new so-called “Quiet phase” of the Big Vision Campaign last month. The plan was to have the first phase of the campaign last for at least  a year, possibly two.  But after less than 30 days, staff and senior campaign volunteers started pressuring the Trust’s leaders to start talking again.

“We followed the plan that our consultant laid out for us,” said Trust Executive Director Bif Snidely said. “And so we outlawed all talking at our office. On the plus side, we had much lower long-distance phone calls and that saved us money. But the staff couldn’t take it. We had to stop it.”

Under the plan, no talking was allowed during Trust business. Staff couldn’t talk at the office or when attending outside events. Phone calls were not answered and donors who paid a call to the Trust’s building were greeted with huge signs that read “We can’t talk to you. Please write down what you want on this piece of paper.”

“We tried our very best. Many of us were skeptical when we heard about this quiet phase stuff, but we thought that our consultant knew what he was doing, so we put our heart and soul into it. But not talking for a month is really, really hard,” said Snidely.

“I don’t know how the Ivey League schools do it. They must hire all mutes or something.”

Initially, not talking actually led to more productivity. Meetings which used to last hours were done in just a few minutes. Idle chitchat, the bane of all time wasting in modern offices, was eliminated. The lengthy consultations that were the norm before the change were radically reduced to just a few emails.

“Things went well at first,” said Snidely. “It was strangely refreshing to have complete silence in our offices. But then things started happening.”

A staff member injured themselves carrying paper to the photocopier a week after the new policy was implemented.

“When you hurt yourself you want to say something like ‘ouch’. But Jill couldn’t. Do you know how difficult it is to text profanity to your co-workers?”

Returning phone calls became a major issue, especially for major gift officers. Their initial plans to learn American Sign Language took too long. And carrying bulky computers to turn text into automated-speech often didn’t work, mainly because of typos.

Snidely says he will be in touch next week with their fundraising consultant to help them navigate a re-start to their campaign without a ban on talking.

“We also want to talk to him about this idea that we have to get half our campaign goal ‘in the can’ before we start. We’ve tried to fit the money we’ve raised to date into a variety of different sized cans and none of it will fit.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lost passage from Old Testament shows the 11th Plague of Egypt was “Fundraisers”

Fundraisers will set my people free

Research on the newly found fragments of the what is thought to be a lost portion of the Old Testament show that God brought down 11 plagues on Egypt to force Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, not 10. The new version says that after death of the first-born of all Egyptian humans and animals, God brought down a “Host of fundraisers” as the 11th plague.

“This is a significant discovery. If true, it is the first time fundraisers have been mentioned in the Bible,” said Dr. O’Grady Snidely, the scientist heading up the investigation into the new fragments of the Old testament discovered underneath a fast food restaurant in the Dead Sea.

Historians had thought fundraising was invented by the Ancient Greeks. The idea that it existed during the time of the Old Testament is a radical departure from accepted theoretical underpinnings of fundraising.

“If this interpretation of fundraising is correct, we are going to have to rewrite the history books,” said Snidely. “We won’t be able to say that fundraising was thought up by the Greek Philosopher Archimedes in his bathtub when he lost his soap, now we’ll have to say it was one of the terrible calamities that Israel's God, Yahweh, inflicted upon Egypt to persuade Pharaoh to release the Israelites from slavery. It changes things a bit.”

The new numbering of the Plagues of Egypt show a different appreciation about what the Almighty himself thinks of fundraising, said Snidely.

“If a host of fundraisers are in fact the 11th and final plague that changed Pharaoh’s mind then we can assume that it is perhaps the most terrible disaster – worse than the Nile turning red, frogs, incurable boils and locusts. It gives us a new understanding of the value of this profession.”

While translation of the fragments is not complete, scientists say it appears that Pharaoh did in fact survive the death all of Egypt’s first-borns, reportedly including his own son, but not the fundraisers who “brought fear and papyrus pledge forms to the land and made much sorrow.”

Snidely says it appears the fundraisers were intent of starting a capital campaign for one of Pharaoh’s pyramids. The campaign for 40,000 deben of silver had not even finished it’s “quiet phase” when Pharaoh capitulated. They canvassed all of the Royal Court about the potential for donations and generally made a nuisance of themselves.

“We’re not sure what happened to the fundraisers after the Israelites were set free,” said Snidely. “Like the flies, lice and diseases of livestock, this plague just seemed to vanish into thin air. No more was mentioned of them in Old or New Testament and Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs are silent about them. But like any pestilence, they are still with us today.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fundraising report says last campaign sucked Metro completely dry

A report by a national fundraising consultant says Metro’s largest charity has sucked all the donations that can possibly be sucked out of the city. According to the new report the Snidely Metro Hospital Foundation has done such a thorough job during their last campaign that there are no new donors left in Metro.

The report, done by New York fundraising consultants Big Invoice, found that every man, woman, child and pet in Metro gave to the Foundation’s last capital campaign. The campaign was so successful that every available donor in the entire city is on a pledge to the Foundation or has no money left except to pay for basic food and housing.

“The last capital campaign reduced Metro to a subsistence level economy. It so  completely fleeced every single penny from the people of the city that most can’t afford to make another donation in the foreseeable future,” the report concluded.

The $150 million campaign, called Until We Get Enough, was launched five years ago to pay for a new wing of the hospital. The Foundation let loose more than 50 major gift officers on the city. The ravenous fundraisers were sent back again and again to get every single person on their lists. The Foundation threw out its database and instead used the yellow pages telephone book to ensure the maximum number of potential donors. Roadblocks were set up at all city entrances and exits so that no donors could escape. More than 3,500 direct mail appeals were sent and nearly 300 donor recognition events were held.

Last month, Metro banks reported that there was limited cash in the city. Most of the loose change had been put into the Foundation’s 13,000 “Please Give” boxes at area stores and offices. Personal bankruptcies skyrocketed nearly 400 per cent.

Some 37 local charities closed their doors during the campaign, including the Metro United Way. They ran out of donations the first year after the Until We Get Enough started.

The campaign went through nearly 30,000 volunteers, changed over staff four times and had three different campaign chairs. The Snidely Metro hospital had a 67 per cent upswing in cases of nervous breakdowns and PTSD during the campaign, including all three campaign chairs.

“I just can’t believe this,” said Foundation CEO Dibble Brewer. “There’s surely got to be more money out there somewhere. I mean there was this guy at the grocery store the other day who paid with cash. Cash! I mean he could be spending that on our campaign.”

City officials have asked the Foundation to delay or cancel their planned new capital campaign, Never Say Never, due to launch next month. The $300 million campaign has Metro’s Mayor Vince Mayonnaise worried.

“I don’t think Metro could take another Foundation campaign,” he said. “The last mayor died after his 120th straight campaign event for the hospital, and he was a few years younger than me. I’m not throwing my life away like that.”

But Brewer said the new campaign will be launched right on schedule. “Nothing can stop this. Metro gave last time, so I know it can give again this time. Last time, we went after the cash and the stocks and the wills. This time, we’ll be going after the houses and  cars and first-borns,” she laughed maniacally.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Small business asks Federal Government to designate them “Not-that-much Profits”

America’s hard hit small businesses have petitioned Congress to change their designation from “for-profits” to “not-that-much profits” and allow them to collect donations and issue tax receipts.

“Our small businesses have been so battered by the economy that they actually make less than many of the charities in their communities. So, we want government to allow us to act like not-for-profits,” said Hollis Snidely, CEO of Americans Who Love Small Businesses, at a press conference in the nation’s capital.

Small businesses want to be allowed to ask customers and even employees to give them donations to keep them afloat. The plan would see gigantic money jars appear next to cash registers across the country. Many want to hire full time fundraisers. Some small businesses also want to use direct mail campaigns and launch full-fledged capital campaigns to repair their buildings.

“We need charitable donations even more than most US charities,” said Snidely. “Without fundraising support we estimate that tens of thousands of small businesses will close in the next year.”

In a study, the group found that even a modest fundraising campaign would save tens of thousands of small business jobs and create 10,000 new fundraising jobs. A survey found that Americans were sympathetic to the plight of small business and would likely give generously to local “mom and pop” stores and manufacturers. However, the survey found that Americans would only give a limited amount to larger businesses like Kmart and Walmart, and only during sales.

The group plans to launch a public advertising campaign featuring stories of small business owners who ask for donations to keep their stores open.

US charities are welcoming the initiative, hailing it as proof that non-profits must be doing something right for a change.

“The fact that small business want to be like us is a major acknowledgement that perhaps we’re not the inefficient, ineffective organizations people think we are,” said Dibble Brewer, CEO of the League of Big Honking Charities. “We heard about this and thought, hmmm, maybe we’re not losers after all.”

The new designation, if granted, would label all US small businesses as “not-that-much profits”. An alternative being proposed by some in Congress is “small business charity cases.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Non-Profit/For-Profit leaders agree to keep US charities only “Two Generations” behind

Leaders at the US Non-Profit/For-Profit Summit have agreed on a formula to keep the nation’s charities only two generations behind small business and medium-sized manufacturers.

The agreement, hammered out after an all-night bargaining session, will see the level of progress at non-profit organizations capped at a fixed rate based on the average of similar-sized for-profit companies. The formula of “two generations” represents a major increase for US charities.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of these talks with the for-profits,” said Maurice Snidely, CEO of the League of Big Honking Charities and chair of the US Non-Profit negotiating team. “Our members have been using a formula of at least three generations behind for the last decade. This new agreement will see some of our members actually be as effective as for-profits were perhaps as little as five years ago on some key issues. That’s major progress.”

The stumbling block in the negotiations was over social media, which was not part of the last set of negotiations in 2002. Many US charities have been actively trying to use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, which caused friction with for-profit leaders. According to the last agreement, charities weren’t allowed to introduce new technologies until the for-profit world had them mastered. With social media still an unknown force to both the for-profit and non-profit, critics complained that charities could not use social media under the agreement.

“Our position was that non-profits should be restricted from introducing social media or at least prevented from making it even remotely interesting or exciting, but because it wasn’t covered in our last agreement we couldn’t do anything about it,” said Dibble Brewer, CEO of For-Profit America.

Non-profit leaders say the inclusion of social media was a major coup, that ranks with the 1999 decision that saw for-profits agree to charities could use accounting software.

“It was a very hard point to make because small business has had a hard time with social media,” said Snidely. “We finally were able to convince them to let us have it only after we pledged to make half of all of our content out-of-date and out-of-touch with our stakeholders. It’s a great first step towards our eventual goal – to be just one generation behind.”

For-profit leaders say that a one generation behind world will have to wait for better economic times.

“Now’s not the time to start introducing radical ideas like making charities as efficient as small business. Americans are just not ready for that. They still expect their local charities to be backwards and behind the times,” said Brewer.

Immediately after the agreement was signed in Washington, DC, several major US charities began to stop daily posting to Twitter and started using last year’s content on their Facebook pages. In a statement on its website, the US National Cancer Trust said it would be introducing 20% “boring” material to its Facebook page because of the agreement and only allow its most immature junior staff to use Linkedin.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Two Major Gifts Officers to have High Noon showdown over McCurdy ask

Kansas Pete

Two cowboy fundraisers are expected to have a showdown near Boot Hill at High Noon today over which one will ask the Sid and Svetlana McCurdy for $250,000 for the Metro Hospital Foundation’s capital campaign. Only one is expected to walk away with the ask.

“Tex” Snidely, the Foundation’s senior fundraiser has had dibs on every ask since he gunned down Elisabeth “Whiskey” Wannamaker in a gunfight over the ask to the Moneybags Foundation five years ago. Since then, he’s been the undisputed cowpoke among the Foundations ten major gift officers. That was until “Kansas Pete” Towers came to town. The young, singing fundraiser who does horse riding tricks and brands cattle with one hand challenged Snidely to a showdown over the coveted McCurdy ask.

“Tex was the undisputed king of the fundraisers in this town, before Kansas Pete came along,” said Foundation CEO Hairdoo Malone. “Nobody ever tried to mess with Tex. He buried three young major gifts officers who crossed him on asks just last year. None of them had a chance. He just gunned ‘em down, and laughed. But Kansas Pete is different, and Tex aint a laughing now.”

Towers, who hails from Dodge City, is known as the fastest fundraiser in the West. He has made more asks for more money than most fundraisers half his age. At the Dodge City Community Trust, he took down all the major gifts officers and the Executive Director by raising twice as much as they did. He also sings cowboy tunes, plays guitar, drinks twice as much as any man, woman or animal and gets “duded up right purdy” like no other man who is comfortable with his own masculinity.

Snidely is known for his tough, gruff demeanor. He is said to have been more meaner than any fundraiser alive or dead. It was no surprise to many when the two men clashed.

Things came to a head in the Foundation’s lunch room when Snidely came in and found Towers singing and doing cow-roping tricks for the staff. The two had sparred only minutes earlier over the McCurdy ask – a lucrative donation solicitation.

Mean Tex Snidely
“Tex, he saw Kansas Pete a singing and a laughing and making like he was the king. And that didn’t sit well with him,” said Malone. “So, he says to Kansas Pete ‘I don’t likes your singing – you sing like a young gifts processing assistant at tax time – all squeaky.’”

Towers reportedly put down his guitar and said Snidely was “full of wind as a corn-eating horse”. Snidely then said that Towers could put his donor meeting notes in the oven, “but that don't make ‘em biscuits”. A short scuffle followed before Towers called Snidely out to a duel near Boot Hill at High Noon.

“This foundation ain’t big enough for the both of us,” Snidely reportedly said.

The two fundraisers then separated to prepare. Snidely sat drinking strong coffee in the lunchroom surrounded by his admirers and supporters from gift processing and IT. Towers calmly sat singing his guitar to the girls at the events department.

The Foundation is split over who will prevail. Many think Snidely has had his day.

“I gots my money on Kansas Pete,” said Juney Simpleton, an events coordinator. “He’s younger and smarter and faster than that smelly old Tex. Why Tex is tighter than bark on a tree, he is. Kansas Pete will air him out some!”

“Tex has been doing fundraising longer than Kansas Pete has been alive, and in a fight like this, with the sun in your eyes and your hand on young smart phone, experience always counts,” said Cynthia Twotimer, finance director. “The Kansas Pete has sung his last fundraising ballad.”

The two men are scheduled to meet at 12:30 right before the meeting of the staff decorating committee.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Strange little man threatens to take donors babies away unless they renew their pledge…or guess his name

Metro’s largest charity has been getting complaints about their latest fundraising program which features visits from a strange little man who threatens to take away donors’ babies if they don’t renew their pledge.

“We’ve had a few calls,” admits Metro Community Trust CEO Dibble Snidely. “But that’s sometimes the price you pay when you introduce something new and successful. This new program has tripled our monthly fundraising. Donors are obviously giving to it. How wrong can it be?”

The program began last spring when a strange, elf-like creature approached the Trust with an offer to increase fundraising revenues. At first, Snidely says they were skeptical, but then they heard how successful the program has been in New York and Chicago.

“This strange little man, whose name we can’t reveal, we call him Bob, had an equally strange presentation. He just appeared out of thin air and started talking in his creepy little voice about spinning straw into gold and we were mesmerized,” said Snidely.

“Bob” said that he had created a total pledge engagement solution that would yield almost 99 percent renewals. This was welcome news to the Trust, which has seen pledge renewals drop 50 percent over the last three years. Last year, a quarter of the Trust’s donor pledges were not renewed or fulfilled.

The program involved personal face-to-face renewal meetings between “Bob” and key donors. In the past, the Trust found these were counter-productive, but “Bob” promised his approach would be different.

“We found that when we went to talk to people about renewal they hemmed and hawed and didn’t really appreciate us reminding them of their promise,” said Snidely. “But Bob said his approach of threatening to take their babies away, and in some cases doing so, would be much more effective. And darn it, that smelly, creepy little guy was right.”

The only catch was that for some reason which “Bob” couldn’t explain if donors could correctly guess his real name he would be forced to disappear. Snidely didn’t think that was a problem since no one at the Trust knew his name, which supposedly sounds something like “Pumpernickel”. Snidely said “Bob” seldom talked about himself, although many people reported seeing him late at night dancing around a fire and singing a strange song in the wooded area outside the Trust’s office building.

“Bob” started by visiting some of the most notoriously unreliable donors, including Mildred and Sid Moneybags, who haven’t met a single pledge target in the past decade. He came back with a series of cheques to cover off past renewals and a further pledge of $100,000 over ten years. Instead of asking for major recognition as they had the past, the Moneybags only requested that “Bob” not ever visit them again and stop sending them “presents” to their 1 year old daughter Kate.

Other visits followed and more renewals came in. Soon, most major donors had renewed.

“It was amazing to see Bob work. His message got through to them. And no one ever guessed his real name,” said Snidely. “The only thing that really bothers me is what he wanted to do with those babies. But I’ve come to learn that one should never question the logical of fairy tale creatures. And besides, we’re ahead of our revenue projections. So, who cares?”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Charity makes typo, asks for $1 Billion instead of $1 Million

Could this be Metro's fate?

Donors and funders across Metro are reeling from an urgent request by the Community Trust for $1 Billion in donations to keep local social service programs operating.

The Trust launched an emergency fundraising campaign last Tuesday when it sent a letter to government and foundation funders as well as key donors for an urgent infusion of $1 Billion to continue urgently needed social programs. “The demand for our programs is such that we need an immediate increase in our program spending by $1 Billion,” the letter said.

The Metro United Way immediately announced that it would be seeking bankruptcy protection and laid off half or its staff. The United Way has an emergency funding agreement with the Trust that would match any emergency funding requests made to government. United Way CEO Spooley Snidely said they had no choice but to pull the plug on their entire operation once they got the letter asking for $1 Billion.

“We took one look at their letter and one look at our bank account and we realized that our $25 million operation would take decades to make that happen. Most of us are near retirement and we wanted to spend the golden years of our careers golfing. So most of the senior managers retired and we closed up shop,” she said.

The City government followed the United Way announcement by declaring Metro a disaster area and asking for Federal funds. Mayor Dibble Brewer held a news conference on the steps of City Hall shortly after receiving the letter.

“Citizens should not panic. We realize that a billion dollar shortfall in key services is a major challenge, but the City is ready to respond. The police and fire departments are on alert to protect against looting and the Governor has promised to send National Guard troops. A FEMA task force has been formed and has already bought up all the mobile home trailers in the Metro area,” he said.

“Wherever you are, go home, lock the door, load your gun and await further instructions,” said the Mayor. In a few short minutes, Metro’s entire business district was empty of people.

Meantime, major Trust donors have pledged their support to the urgent billion dollar campaign. Noted philanthropists Henry and Judith Moneybags pledged more than $1 million to the Trust last year.

“When we got the letter from the Trust that they needed $1 Billion, we were moved. I immediately said to Henry that we should do something,” said Judith. “So we cashed in our stock portfolio, all our possessions and our entire life savings. We came up with roughly $7 million. It’s not much, but it’s the best we can do.”

The Trust offices were flooded by children bringing in spare change to help. Many businesses turned in cash they had collected from customers and employees. Metro’s ten banks said they would be donating as much as they could to meet the crisis and sent over 27 armored cars full of money. Metro hospital reported that one patient had placed one of his healthy kidneys up for auction on eBay in order to raise money for the Trust. The Kidney eventually sold for $576,000 and was removed an hour later by doctors and sent to the winner.

Trust officials were shocked by the outpouring of generosity. By mid-afternoon, they had so much cash laying around their offices they couldn’t see over the top off the reception desk. CEO Shelia Hairdoo told the crowd of donors, citizens, police and National Guardsmen they are grateful.

“Uh, I think we…uhm. Well, to tell the truth, we sort of uh… Well, Chris, our proposal writer has a bad habit of not checking her work. And I usually don’t read the stuff we put into proposals, you know? There’s a big difference between $1 million and $1 Billion, but on a keyboard it’s just one different key. I mean, the ‘M’ is just two keys away from the ‘B’. So, while we’re very grateful, we don’t really need all this….well, we do need it, actually, but what I’m trying to say is…” Hairdoo began before police evacuated the building and locked down the entire area. Martial law was declared a few minutes later. A dusk to dawn curfew is in place.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Supreme Court outlaws capital campaigns as “cruel and unusual punishment”

Cruel and usual?

The highest court in the land has struck down capital campaigns across the US for being “cruel and unusual punishment”.

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the capital fundraising campaigns violated the US Constitution’s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts said capital campaigns promote “needless suffering and pain that are out of proportion to the need” and “unlawfully deprived persons, namely alumni members, of life, liberty and property without due process”.

In its ruling, the court rejected arguments from the nation’s universities and hospitals that capital campaigns were necessary to ensure public order. “The law must balance the needs of the social organs of society, such as universities, with the rights of individuals to not suffer punishment that is degrading to human dignity,” the judgement said.

The case, Jones vs. The Bad Fundraisers, involved a disgruntled alumni member from an Ivey League university who objected to being asked for a donation 20 years in a row. Jones’ university and others who intervened in the case argued that the university had an unqualified right to send Jones solicitations for donations until the day he died and perhaps even after that if it could be made to work. It also argued that Jones was in fact an asshole. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Jones should not receive any further donation appeals from the university and outlawed the institution any additional capital campaigns.

Writing for the minority, Justice Scalia said that while capital campaigns were “major pains in the neck” and he gets “calls and letters from my alma maters all the damn time” that they were “mostly harmless and seldom cause any physical or emotional harm.”

Supreme Court watchers say the case hinged on whether receiving 250 donation solicitation  pieces a year from a university you attended 40 years ago was appropriate.

“The Court has concluded that charities who ask people for money actually have to have a shred of an excuse to do so, otherwise it is excessive,” said Dr. Dibble Brewer, a professor of fundraising law at the University of Southern North Dakota.

The reaction from the university and hospital fundraising sector was mixed. Many universities say that the decision will create a major hardship for them.

“The main reason we have graduates from our universities is so we can ask them for donations,” said Spooley Snidely, spokesman for the League of Big Honking Universities. “We’ll have to make changes in light of this decision, perhaps not allowing people to graduate until ten or twenty years after they finish their exams.”

For his part, lawyers for Jones say the litigant grew to miss the continual communications from his alma mater during the lengthy court case and wound up giving them a major donation. He will be featured on the cover of next month’s alumni magazine

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dead business woman named chair of local Zombie United Way campaign

Zombie Campaign Cabinet

The Metro United Way has named a popular dead woman to be the chair of their first ever local Zombie campaign, which hopes to raise $1 million.

Liesel Snidely, who in life was a small business owner and now walks the Earth neither dead nor alive, becomes the first monster to join the United Way’s board of directors. United Way CEO Dibble Brewer said Snidely is the perfect un-person for the job.

“We’re very pleased to have Liesel Snidely heading up this new campaign aimed at Metro’s Zombie community,” said Brewer. “This community is so vibrant and alive, so we picked someone who was both dead and animated to lead it. That’s Liesel to a tee. Nothing stops her when she puts her mind to something…even though part of her brain is protruding from her skull. We expect great things from Liesel and her team this fall.”

Snidely owned the operated her own woman’s fashion store before becoming a Zombie two years ago after a retro-virus was mistakenly released from the US Army bio-weapons research lab in Metro’s east end. Since then she has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Zombie community, organizing food kitchens and advocating for Zombies with the secret Zombie-inducing corporate cabal that is seeking the overthrow of society as we know it.

Attempts to engage the Zombie community for last year’s United Way campaign were not very successful. In fact, Brewer says all of the staff and volunteers assigned to reach out to the Zombie community never came back. Those that did came back in pieces.

The United Way says expanding their annual campaign to the local Zombie community fits with their strategy of engaging different parts of Metro society. Zombies are one of the largest group of users for United Way funded programs and represent a new untapped source of fundraising.

“When we looked at our programs we saw Zombies. A year ago, there were only a few of them, but in the last few months they’re everywhere. This is obviously a community in need,” said Brewer. “We’re hoping that the Zombies will be able to help us fund our important community programs through payroll giving and our event fundraising programs.”

Brewer says they arre already planning their first ever Zombie event – a Downtown Zombie Food Festival. Next month, local chefs from downtown Metro restaurants will be serving up an array of delicacies for local Zombies at the Main Street Hotel. A local children’s choir will be providing entertainment.

“We’re expecting to attract several hundred Zombies from all across Metro to this event. There’ll be plenty of nice things to eat and things to see, like the Metro Children’s Choir – they’ll just eat them up. We will have extended hours for the event because some Zombies take a long time to walk anywhere and others only come out at night,” said Brewer.

Snidely will be joined on the Zombie campaign cabinet by a number of other community leaders, including the dead bald man with half his stomach missing who looks like Ralph Zwitze the insurance salesman who will be co-chair.

Local businesses are being asked to get Zombie customers to fill out “sunshine” stickers, which will be displayed in shop windows. Each sticker will retail for $2.00.

A Zombie campaign thermometer was to have been erected at the entrance to Main Street Park last week, but the crew putting it up strangely went missing. Once dusk has fallen and a light fog rolls in another crew will be dispatched to finish the job. They include a grizzled old construction foreman, a young teenager who will likely be the first to be eaten and a strong male lead who will eventually be the only human left in Metro.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Only 17 of charity’s 9,000 Facebook “Likes” are real

Most of the 9,000 people who “Like” the Facebook page of Metro’s largest charity are not real. 

The Metro Foundation for Community Trust conducted a research project last month on their 9,000 “Likes” only to find that most of them were made by mistake, involve imaginary or dead people or are criminals or animals. They could only find 17 “Likes” who were from actual donors.

“We’re a bit disappointed to say the least,” said Foundation CEO Hairdoo Snidely. “We spent almost a year and more than $50,000 trying to improve the number of Likes at our Facebook page only to find that many of them are elves from the World of Warcraft.”

The Foundation launched a new social media campaign a year ago. Based on a consultant’s report, the Foundation devoted extra resources, time and money to make Facebook a priority. Most other forms of communications were shut down or ignored. The research project was the final stage of the first year of the program and was expected to show tremendous progress. Instead, Snidely says a review of their “Likes” found that most people going to their Facebook page weren’t the people they were going after.

“We found that 47 of our ‘Likes’ were in fact cats and 30 were cute puppies. And there was one pot-bellied pig and one budgie. They were all so cute. Some of them had the most amazing videos. It was wonderful to watch them. But none of them will ever be donors. Ever,” she said. 

The Foundation found that many of their donors who did “Like” them on Facebook had died but still had their social media pages up and running. Others were novices who had created a second or third Facebook profile of themselves by mistake and kept hitting the “Like” button. Foundation staff also failed to notice that many of the posts to the Facebook page were in other languages than English.

“We didn’t understand the references to the Bollywood film star. It turns our campaign chair shares the same last name as this Indian actor. We just thought the requests for autographed pictures and locks of hair were normal during a capital campaign,” said Snidely. 

Snidely said they didn’t find out until after the research study was completed that an international forgery ring was using the chat functions of their Facebook page to communicate in code about credit card scams in Europe and Asia. It also turned out that several of their Facebook “Likes” were members of the infamous Cannelloni mob family and others were former members of the KKK.

The Foundation plans to re-start their Facebook page next month. It will delete the 8,983 fake “Likes” and will begin a new campaign to attract new Facebook fans. 

Word about the Foundation’s plans have already leaked out to social media circles. Snidely says that as many as 200 real “Likes” have stepped forward to connect with them on Facebook.  

“We want to thank these new, real people for liking us on Facebook,” said Snidely. “I know that with the help of new fans like Fluffy the Cat and Pee-in Pants we will able to forge a new, solid social media machine that will be the envy of all other charities in Metro.”

“This has been a real eye-opening experience. We’ve learned a lot about social media through this process. We still can’t figure out where we went wrong on Facebook,” said Snidely. 

“Thank God our 150,000 followers on Twitter are still solid,” she added. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Only way CEO thinks she can implement best practices is to burn down building, start again

The CEO of Metro’s largest charity has concluded the only way to implement best practices in her organization is to burn down their building and start again.

Spooley Snidely, CEO of the Community Trust Foundation of Metro, came to the conclusion while attending a national charity best practices conference in New York. The two day event convinced her that her charity was hopelessly inadequate on almost every major task and that the only solution was to destroy everything and start from scratch.

“As I sat through each session on everything from finance and HR to marketing and fundraising I realized that we sucked in every possible way,” Snidely said. “On a few things we just were very, very bad. But on most we were truly hopeless. The only way I could see us improving would be to blow up the building.”

The Foundation’s board had asked Snidely to put the organization on a course of renewal based on benchmarks from the charity sector. But when she got to the two day conference she realized that no amount of minor change could fix their problems. That’s when she got the idea about taking change management to a whole new level.

“I decided to look at what others have done when faced with an unmovable situation,” she said.

Snidely says she took inspiration from other walks of life. When doctors can’t save an infected finger they amputate it. When customers in a fast-food restaurant in a major US urban center realize they didn’t get the right order they open fire with their handguns. When Vikings couldn’t get money from communities they visited on their journeys they just burned down the village, slaughtered all the cattle and sold all the people into slavery. She said these examples showed her the only solution was to start over.

The Foundation faces a number of challenges that simply cannot be solved. The charity’s finances are connected like a bunch of Christmas tree lights and Snidely says their finance manager is so hated and despised that nothing can get done. Their fundraisers try very hard, but they can’t seem to meet the ever-increasing targets that Snidely has set for them. The administrative staff ask too many questions and demand to be treated in a transparent fashion. The Foundations’ website doesn’t look as nice as the foundation across the street and their social media is boring. Snidely says everywhere she looks she finds impossible barriers to doing what she knows to be right.

“I tried really hard to think of another way,” she said. “I thought maybe we could just do another organizational chart change or maybe fire some more staff or maybe just charge more money for the miserable coffee we sell in the lunch room or something. But we’ve done all of those things before and we haven’t improved. We needed to do something drastic.”

Burning down their building and starting again, perhaps under a new name, will have a number of advantages, Snidely said. The Foundation would be able to jettison all the old ways of doing things that the organization has been unable to change. They would also be able to replace many of the workers, some of whom have been unable to embrace change. They could also replace their clunky fundraising database with new, state-of-the-art one. Under a new name, they wouldn’t have to carry the weight of the bad reputation they have created. And Snidely could get a bigger office, with perhaps her own coffee machine.

“It’s going to be a sad day when I pour all that fertilizer and gasoline over everything, light a match and go for a nice, long lunch, but I know that when I return we will be much better off,” said Snidely.

“We want to be the best charity we can be and if that means we have to break a few eggs to do it, so be it,” she said as she removed the batteries from the smoke detectors in her office.