Monday, April 30, 2012

Backstabber major gifts director Virginia booted off Survivor Fundraising Island

It’s down to seven on Survivor Fundraising Island. Last night the annual gifts tribe won a key immunity challenge, forcing the major gifts team to jettison leader and all-star backstabber Virginia. She was asked to leave the island in a dramatic finish to the planned giving story arc that has included the last three episodes of the award-winning reality TV show.

“We were all thinking that Virginia would be one of the last people standing. Her backstabbing by trying to claim soft credit on Jack, Fiona and Lucy’s planned gift sweep came back to haunt her as her team just gave her up,” says Survivor Fundraising Island Host Jeff Snidely. “The look on her face when she got the news was just amazing.”

The episode opened with both tribes trying to complete the last of ten planned giving challenges – a visit to a retirement home representing various health care charities. The annual gifts team, led by Lisa, drew the lucky card and went as cancer charities, while the major gifts team drew mostly unknown of charities, such as the Double Belly-Button Syndrome Foundation and Botox Injection Rash Research Trust.

Lisa, together, with Joe and Anna, were able to secure four planned gifts at the retirement home, including three wills and a gift of life insurance. Virginia, Jack, Fiona and Lucy were only able to secure one will between them and one gift of stocks. But in a shocker twist, the retiree giving the stock donation turned out to be a fake – a plant by the show’s producers to test the team’s paperwork skills. In a key moment, Virginia forgot to get the fake retiree’s signature on a specific document and the judges disallowed the donation, worth about $65,000.

“I was so sure that Virginia had won,” said Lisa after Virginia had left the island. “She can sell refrigerators to people who live in the high artic. Her perfect hair and dazzling smile. She turns charm on and off like a tap. I thought we were cooked.”

Instead, the tables were turned on Virginia, a major gifts director for a larger hospital foundation. Her amazing coup suddenly vanished. At that very moment, Jack planted a knife in the noted backstabber’s back by teaming up with nature-loving Fiona and wild-woman Lucy to dump their leader. Virginia never saw it coming until it was too late.

“I thought we had agreed that we would select people for sacrifice by how much their donations were. I had the biggest donations. I should have stayed. I have the biggest rolodex. I do the most boot-sucking. It just wasn’t fair,” said a defeated Virginia, who’s incessant crying turned her eye shadow into a racoon look.

“This was the time to move. Virginia had muscled her way in on every major donation we had and claimed it for her own. Every time we had a top prospect, she said she knew them and should be the one to ask them for a donation. We knew she was lying. I reminded the others about this and when we had Virginia in our sites we didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger,” said Jack, the new leader of the major gifts tribe.

“Virginia taught me that showing empathy is the sign of a great fundraiser,” said Lucy, who has a hairdo like Medusa. “That’s why I feel so sorry for her. I plan to send her a thank you card full of empty-sounding phrases of false praise to make her feel better. It’s what she training me to do.”

The original group of 12 fundraisers was reduced to seven after four episodes. Both database experts – Jimmy and Diane – were the first to  go because no one liked their constant nagging. They were followed by Jackie, the communications expert, who constantly wanted to write a press release about each major donation. Tina, the youngest fundraiser, and Turner, the finance director were both eliminated when they were eaten by a roaming alligator who inhabits one side of the island. Evidence showed that Turner had tricked the sappy, stupid Tina to the clearing where the alligator lived in order to bump her off, but mistakenly strayed too close to the action and got eaten, too.

Overall, the two tribes have so far raised $3.2 million in donations, however half is in pledges that may or may not be honoured once the final episode runs in a month’s time. As well, many of the planned gifts will not be realized until the retirees die. Despite Virginia’s plans to invite some of them on a field trip to the alligator side of the island, to date, none of these gifts have been realized. In cash terms, only $100,000 is actually in the bank, or only about on tenth of Virginia’s actual salary.

Next week, Survivor Fundraising Island starts a new competition challenge – asking patients to make donations to their doctors and nurses just before they die.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Charity selects person who did the same shitty job the longest

The Metro Foundation Trust, the City’s largest charity, has just hired a new communications manager. After a month-long hiring selection process involving more than ten staff members and 57 candidates, the charity decided to hire the person who had done the same similar shitty job the longest.

“We had a major decision on our hands. We had a lot of very qualified people apply. We finally decided that the only real way to pick our new communications manager was to pick the one who had done the same mediocre job the longest in a similar organization. That made it easy,” said Trust CEO Dani Snidely.

When the previous communications manager was terminated because of a nervous breakdown, the Trust began a three month long national search to find a replacement. This included national advertising in major newspapers, hiring a firm of head-hunters and posting the job on more than 27 job placement sites. More than 117 people applied, of which 57 were shortlisted.

“We should never have listened to Jessica in HR. She always wanted to do a national search for a new hire. Little did we know that it would flood our emails with resumes,” said Snidely. “Our staff committee identified 57 of people who were qualified. It was madness!”

Snidely says she rarely reads any resumes or cover letters that people send in for job competitions because that takes too much time.

“Some of these people actually want us to do some thinking about who we want to hire and stuff. I don’t think. I’m a charity CEO. Who’s got time to think?” she said.

Finally, after a 45 minute meeting, Snidely told her staff to just pick the idiot who had been doing a similar job the longest, no matter how shitty they were. The selection process took 17 minutes and everybody got to have a 120 minute lunch.

“All of these guys are the same. Yes, some of them have done new things, even written books and been successful consultants, but I needed extra time to go to the dry cleaners at lunch. What was I supposed to do? The easiest thing was to pick the longest-serving idiot out of the bunch and hope they aren’t too shitty. If they are, we’ll just axe them and start again. No biggie.”

The winning candidate, Dibble Brewer, is a burned-out communications director from a local hospital who has done a somewhat shitty job during her 20 year career.

“She’s never done anything new or original in her life. She just puppets what other communications gurus say. Can’t think her way out of a box. She has nice teeth and I think she plays golf. Hey, I’m sold on this shitty one. Let’s get back to work and take the day off I say,” said Snidely.

Snidely had a moment of panic when she thought how they would tell the other 56 candidates how they selected Brewer for the position until she realized that the Trust never replies to any job applicant.

“I got to hand it to Jessica. She came up with the policy to never, like never, ever respond to the whining that these people do about who got the job and why they weren’t selected and stuff. We just treat them like they never existed. It’s so much simpler. And there’s more time for coffee,” said Snidely.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New contract employees sentenced to five years’ probation

The Snidely Hospital Foundation’s three new employees have been sentenced to five years’ probation by their new boss. The three will have to work at least five years on probation before they are considered “real” employees.

“We’ve got those people just where we want them – close to indentured servitude,” said Foundation Executive Director Dibble Brewer. “They’re anxious, scared and know we can easily replace all of them in a heartbeat. That’s just how I like my foundation to operate.”

Most employers usually put their new employees on probation for six months or a year. However, a new trend is seeing employers extend probation periods for up to two years. The move saves money because employers don’t have to pay full benefits. It also lets employers jettison new workers quickly and easily if funding for their salaries changes.

“Our donors want us to have the lowest overhead administrative costs as possible. They don’t want us to spend money on things we don’t need like treating our new hires as real people. They want us to enslave them,” said Brewer. “They also want me to drive a Lexus as my leased vehicle.”

The three new employees, a finance clerk, a major gifts officer and the manager of direct mail, will all start work next Monday dressed in rags, chained to their desks with only two minutes for breaks and 15 minutes to eat lunch. They will receive their regular salaries, but only after they “donate” at least 20% of their wages to the Foundation. Benefits for probationary employees includes free rags and chains and a significant amount of weekly overtime, including hand washing and polishing the Foundation’s new Lexus.

“Probation was created as a kind of purgatory between Heaven and Hell for criminals and new hires alike,” says employment expert Susan Dewey, of the HR consulting firm Dewy, Screwum and Howe. “It was first brought into the workplace back in the early 19th century when employers were worried that new hires would run away with the keys to the safe. Now, it’s just a permissible form of abuse.”

The new hires say they appreciate the chance to work at the Foundation under the guidance of Ms. Brewer, whom they call “The Master”.

“I am grateful to be have given this opportunity to be treated like a second-class person by this great institution,” said new direct mail manager Lorraine Devouno. “I am not worthy of more than the lot I have been given by my masters. Please abuse me more. ”

For her part, Brewer has so far been pleased with her new probationary employers.

“I hired them because of all the semi-qualified people who applied these were the ones who were the biggest bootlickers. So far, they have not disappointed me.”

Funding for the three new employees is not set in stone. In fact, the finances of the Foundation have been in doubt since they ended their $25 million “Give Something!” capital campaign last month. The Foundation already had to lay off several people.

“We got rid of those employees who made too much and brought in these folks who make just a fraction. And the best thing about them is that they are expendable. I can get rid of them any time I want. In fact, I might just fire one of them tomorrow to show my evil power. And that’s what philanthropy is all about,” said Brewer.

The Foundation is hoping to expand its probationary program in the near future to include new hires who are permanently on probation and then extend the program to board members.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Supercollider makes breakthrough on donation tax receipting that will change all the laws of physics.

Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) say they have made a major breakthrough that could rewrite all the laws of physics. Using CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, they were able to prove that donations made with certain types of mining stocks are tax deductible.

“This is could be one of the most historic moments in physics since Einstein came up with his theory of general relativity,” said lead scientist Dr. Johan Snidely. “According to everything we know about stock donations this shouldn’t be possible, but we made it happen. We couldn’t believe it.”

Scientists placed a standard planned giving stock donations form in the  LHC, which runs through a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 miles) in circumference 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. The form particles were then blasted through the LHC to collide with tax law protons at the other end of the LHC at a speed of 2.76 TeV per nucleon. The positive results were a surprise.

Einstein’s theory says that gravity influences the atomic level of most donations. For simple donations, the effect is minimal because of the small amounts of mass involved. He theorized that larger, more complex donations that involved bizarre and complicated stock transfers would be impossible without blueshifting light and altering the space-time continuum. Collectively, this effect is known as the gravitational fundraising shift. The law would seem to rule out the use of mining stocks as a method of donation that would result in a tax deduction for the donor.

“We assumed that our experiment would follow the gravitational fundraising shift. When it didn’t, we couldn’t believe it. So, we went back and re-checked all our equipment and tried again with the same result. Then we had a nice lunch, went out to play a few rounds of golf and then tried again and it was the same result once more,” said Snidely.

Snidely says it is too soon to say what the result means. Scientists from around the world and the IRS will now try to duplicate the experiment using other supercolliders.

“This result could mean many things,” said Dr. Eroll Denial, a physicist from the University of Southern North Dakota. “It could possibly mean’s Einstein’s theory is wrong. Or it could be that their detection equipment is faulty. Or it could mean the Armageddon. It’s really hard to say.”

Other scientists say the finding has opened up new possibilities.

“Everything we knew about tax receipting yesterday is wrong. Now, it’s a whole new world. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It’s a whole new world,” said Dr. Turner Funrer, a physicist at the Center for  Mining Stock Fundraising at the University of East Westland.

Snidely and the team at CERN caution that the findings need to be studied. Answers will have to wait until science can come to grips with the results of the test.

“Fundraisers should not attempt to build their own $1 billion, 17 mile underground supercollider to try and take advantage of mining stock donations until we have had a chance to really study this. They might be playing with fire and destroy the Earth by mistake,” he warned. “And you can’t issue a tax receipt if there’s nothing left of the universe.”

In their next experiment, due to start next week, the same science team will use the LHC to test what portion of a dinner gala ticket can be claimed as donation.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Old people design hip fundraising appeal aimed at young people

A bunch of well-meaning Baby Boomers at Metro’s largest charity have come up with a new fundraising program aimed at attracting young donors. The new program, called “Wicked Sick”, hopes to attract a whole new generation to the Metro Hospital Foundation.

“We realized that most of our donors are over the age of 50. That’s really good news for planned giving, but bad for everything else. We needed to infuse our donor base with some young people so I turned to the youngest people on our staff – they’re only in their late 50s,” said Foundation Executive Director Melvin Snidely.

Dibble Brewer, a 59 year old fundraiser with two high school kids, led the team that developed “Wicked Sick”. She said their starting point was that today’s young generation are self-centered bums who don’t take out the garbage at the Brewer house unless they are told several times.

“I used my own children to help formulate the fundraising plan. We quickly realized that young people today are so brain-damaged that they likely don’t even know what a hospital is, let alone why they should make a donation. They just talk on the phone and eat pizza. So, we decided to speak to them in their own language,” said Brewer.

The “Wicked Sick” campaign features pictures of young people with cell phones wearing gangsta-type clothes and making strange hand signals. In each ad, one of the young people speaks out about health care.

“Yo, it iz really important ta support our local hopsitals wif fundraising. Don't make me shank ya! Yo Raising money fo' hospitals iz our responsibility. Da young generation needs ta do its part in supporting public institutions wif they money an' tyme just like mammy,” said one of the ads.

Brewer said she had to hire a special translation house operated by the Cripps Gang in Los Angeles to help write the ads, which no one but a young person understand.

“We know that young people can’t read, so we pumped up the imagery of men wearing lots of gold chains, hot cars and scantily clad women,” said Brewer.

The TV version of the ad features several dancing and giggling women who shake their hips wildly every time someone mentions fundraising. The protagonists in the ads wear chains and carry 9mm handguns along with donation forms and pledge sheets.

Snidely said he was very pleased that the whole hospital got into the campaign. The Chairman of the Board started wearing a bandanna and sported a huge gold ring while the Chief of Staff learned to break dance, until he broke his foot. The entire fundraising staff started to use street language in an attempt to be more appealing to young people.

“We were all going around calling each other home fries and asking our donors, young and old, to be in our possum. It was really meaningful,” said Snidely.

Brewer has begun an outreach program aimed at local high schools, where she appears in rapper clothes holding a huge boom box saying “We's really need yo' he`p, muther f’ckers!”.

For their part, young people say the campaign has been very moving. Jane Beacon, 19, said she saw the hospital foundation in a new light after hearing one pitch for “Wicked Sick”.

“I don’t know what the heck they were doing. I couldn’t understand a word they said. I think it’s like a Borat thing, like clowns. Kind of funny,” said Beacon. “Geez, I hope the hospital doesn’t find out the shit they’re doing.”

Tony Devouno, 22, said he was moved to make a major donation because of the program.

“They were like all over me saying rude words. I had to give them five bucks to make them go away. They’re like street people on steroids. I don’t know what they wanted but I found it offensive,” he said.

“The reaction for Metro’s young people has been overwhelming,” said Snidely. Already, since the program started last week donations by people under the age of 25 has grown 10 times from two to twenty. Snidely is hoping as many as 37 young people make a donation this year.

“We’ve invested more than $50,000 on videos, gold chains and dancing skanks, but I know it will all be worth it when all of our current donors are dead and these donors take their place,” said Snidely. “And that’s what philanthropy is all about.”