Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Big fundraising gala raises $1 million gross, $22.67 net

Organizers of Metro Hospital Trust’s annual gala dinner say last night’s event broke two records. First, it raised a record $1 million – nearly double last year’s take. And second, it netted the health care charity nearly $23.00 – up 50 per cent from last year’s net total.

More than 500 people bought tickets for the Vegas-themed gala at the Metro Convention centre, which always involves elaborate meals, entertainment and fun.

“This was one for the history books,” said Trust Chair Wayne Gluteon. “I can’t believe the generosity of the people of Metro. We asked them to give and they gave. We raised a million bucks!”

“And best of all, at the end of the day, we came away with enough money to buy a couple of nurses some coffee or something. This is what philanthropy is all about,” he said.

The gala’s Vegas theme involved charity blackjack and slot machine games as well as a Vegas-style dance show. The five course meal was made using the menu from top Vegas hotels. The accompanying silent auction involved more than 100 prizes of various kinds, including a hand carved canoe, a miniature goat, a trip for four to Vegas and free plumbing services for a year. Tickets cost $175 a person. Several large businesses bought whole tables for their clients and staff.

Ticket sales and donations raised $500,000. The silent auction raised almost as much. After expenses, the Trust netted $22.67.

“The people of Metro are so kind hearted. When we told them we needed to raise money for a new children’s wing at the hospital they lined up to help. They bought tickets. They put in bids at the silent auction,” said Gluteon. “But of course a huge gala like this costs money. You can’t get something from nothing.”

The event took almost six months to plan. The Trust had three people working full-time on the project. The elaborate meal, with imported Zebra meat and Peruvian Potatoes, cost nearly the entire ticket price. Gluteon said the entertainment was particularly expensive.

“We had several local artists and choirs volunteer their services, but we rejected them because it was too boring. We wanted something more exciting. Something that would draw a crowd. That’s when we hit on the idea of hiring a dance show from a real Vega hotel. At $97,000, it was a real steel,” he said.

The Trust says it will invest the $22.67 wisely, just as they did the more than $57.12 raised in the past three annual galas.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Donors demand government action to force charities to stop thanking them so damn much

Governments across North America are considering taking legislative action to stop charities from thanking donors so damn much.

Donors of all stripes have been asking lawmakers in Canada and the US to stop the deluge of thank you cards, thank emails, thank you phone calls and thank you face-to-face meetings. That has led several government agencies in both countries to think about mandatory limits on how much one donor can be thanked, acknowledged, recognized or otherwise shown gratitude.  

“Some donors are being thanked dozens of times, maybe even hundreds. These calls, letters and emails come at all times of the day and night and no matter what the donor does they can’t stop these charities from expressing how grateful they are. That’s totally unacceptable. Only government legislation can put an end to this,” said Curly Dibble, a spokesperson for the US Department of Justice.

Across the border, the Canadian Department of Justice has found similar trends and is considering similar legislative action.

“The Government of Canada is very concerned about the predatory gratitude actions by some charities here and the US and will be moving shortly to introduce legislation to stop donors being thanked too often or in a way that’s embarrassing or in a manner that involves flowery messages from some chair of a board or something,” the Department said in a statement.

The moves come one week after the US-Canada Cross-Border Trade Agency (USCANCBTA) held hearings in Ottawa and Washington on the donor thanking crisis. Donors from both countries testified that charities had repeatedly and unashamedly thanked them time and time again without any remorse.

“I just gave $50.00 to the local animal shelter,” testified Mrs. Annie Swurmfurster of Plano, Texas. “I got an email thank you within a few minutes. A note from the Executive Director followed a few days later in the mail. Then I got a call from the chair of the board. A few days after that three staff members came to my door and told me how wonderful I was. Then, they took out an ad in the local paper praising my generosity.”

“It was a living nightmare,” she said.

“I told them I didn’t want any thanks for my $100.00 donation to help save the environment,” said donor Tony Verhagen of Windsor, Ontario. “But that didn’t stop them from sending me an email from some bleeding heart 16 year old thanking me for preserving the forests for future generations. I told them to bug off in an email back to them. But then the chairman of the charity emailed and thanked me for my comments. These guys have no morals, no shame. They just have to thank everybody.”

Currently US legislation is stalled in Congress. Democrats in the US Congress have vowed to cap the number of thank you’s any one donor can get at three, but Republicans are sticking to their plan for no thank you’s. The debate over legislation has also boiled over to the campaign trail where two Republican presidential hopefuls have introduced so-called “Zero-Zero-Zero” thank you caps that will force charities to accept donations in an arrogant fashion and never express any gratitude. Under one plan, all donors could expect would be a slight three inch nod of a charity worker’s head upon receiving a cash donation. Touring through the mid-west, President Obama said he would bring down his own cap in a few weeks which would effectively replace the words “Thank you” with a nonsense word like “Obamaforprez”. Republicans are calling the President’s plan “Obama Thanks” and are vowing to stop it.

In Canada, similar legislation is also bogged down over whether thank you caps come under federal or provincial jurisdiction. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority Conservative government says it will base its new thank you restriction laws on Harper himself, who almost never says thank you, and if he does, has some MP do it for him.

National charities meantime are calling for a thank you summit in Denver next year called “The Big Hug”.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lawmakers question why charities can’t be all volunteers and work out of someone’s kitchen like Aunt Thelma’s church women’s group

Canada’s largest charities went before the country’s top lawmakers yesterday to ask for more help from government. But Members of Parliament instead asked them why they can’t be more like their Aunt Thelma, who runs a successful church women’s charity out of her kitchen with no paid staff, office space or anything.

“We need more help from government with some of our infrastructure challenges – more IT, better HR, improved education and help attracting and retaining volunteers,” Jason Snidely, the Chair of the National League of Big Charities told the House Commons Committee for Finance, Banking, Securities, Mortgages, Nuclear Safety, Equal Opportunity and Charities in Ottawa. “These are issues that all 165,000 non-profits in Canada face and government can play a pivotal role in coordinating the effort to solve them.”

However, the members of the Conservative-dominated committee were uninterested in the League’s presentation or their six month research project with 10 other charity umbrella groups to analyze the sector’s long-term needs. They wanted to know why charities have any paid staff at all.

“I understand that some leaders of Canada’s top charities are actually paid a salary and that it involves money. This is the kind of abuse of Canadian donors and taxpayers that we were all afraid of,” said MP Dibble Brewer once the presentation was over.

“Until today, I thought all charities were run by volunteers. I’m shocked to find out that some of charity people are actually demanding to be have an income. And not just any income, but one that actually employs them, in some extreme cases, full-time,” added MP Turner Creamer. “No wonder the charity sector is in so much trouble. It’s unacceptable.”

In her questioning, MP Georgina Smollet presented a report based on tax data that found that the charity sector employs “like more than a hundred people or something” across Canada and that some of their salaries were even more than minimum wage. “I had no idea that this abuse of the public trust was going on. We need to get to the bottom of it.”

Committee Chair MP Vegen Sprout demand to know from the assembled charities why they couldn’t be more like Aunt Thelma, who’s North Simcoe United Church Women’s Club run a successful charity out of her kitchen.

“Aunt Thelma isn’t paid one red cent and yet all of you CEOs and President’s sitting here make as much as say a server at a fast food restaurant. How come you need a salary and she doesn’t? You both run a charity. You both do whatever a charity leader does. There’s no difference, except that perhaps you are more greedy than Aunt Thelma, and she bakes wonderful cookies,” Sprout said.

Aunt Thelma’s charity raised $1,400 last year. She is reported to be one of the nicest older ladies the MPs have ever known and has done many innovative fundraising things such as hold 50-50 draws and raffled off baked goods, such as her famous date squares.

League Chair Snidely told the Committee that charities are in fact a multi-billion dollar sector in Canada and are run as businesses, complete with paid staff, a payroll, and even benefits. However, MPs question whether than was true.

“I have at least three charities in my riding in Southern Ontario,” said MP Brewer. “And as far as I know none of them have any paid staff or offices. One’s a shelter for women or something. One helps with sick people. And one raises money for research for some kind of really bad disease that I can’t remember. I don’t know what they do for employment, but I’m sure they aren’t paid by these charities. Perhaps they sell insurance or something.”

MP Smollet wanted to know if donors were aware that these charities were actually paying their staff. “I’m sure most donors have no idea that you big charities actually use their money to pay for things like offices with chairs and desks and stuff like a real business. If they were, they wouldn’t give you anything. They’d give it all to Aunt Thelma,” she said. “She just uses her kitchen table.”

“I thought you guys were the non-profit sector. And here you are coming to us asking for help and telling us that you actually are acting like businesses,” said MP Ferly Swanson. “Don’t you guys get it? It’s NON-Profit. It’s right in the name for Heaven’s sake. Geez.”

Liberal and NDP members of the committee were more understanding in their questions, asking the top charities why they couldn’t just pass a collection plate during community events or have a charity dunk tank instead of paying salaries to their leaders.

“I’m sure if you ask your leaders to just volunteer their time that would save you a lot of money so you could spend it on whatever charities in fact spend things on…like bingo supplies or whatever,” said MP Yodle Nurwiner.

Calling the League of Big Charity’s case confusing and contradictory, Committee Chair Sprout called on them to return in a year with more details.

“You say you pay your CEOs, but at the same time we know that Aunt Thelma isn’t paid. You say you have offices, but we know Aunt Thelma doesn’t have one. She makes sandwiches with the crusts cut off and you don’t. How can we trust anything you say when it is so incorrect? We know more about the charity sector than you do!” she said.

The League told reporters after the meeting that it plans to hire Aunt Thelma as a lobbyist.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

UN agency says Iran developing nuclear Donor Wall

Can Iran create a nuclear donor wall?
A United Nations watchdog agency says Iran has likely developed a nuclear-power donor wall.

In a new report, the International Atomic Recognition Agency (IARA) said it had enough evidence to conclude that Iran had at least one, maybe two nuclear donor recognition walls. The findings were  released at the Agency’s Geneva headquarters yesterday.

“We have been watching the donor recognition program in Iran for several years now. Recently, all of our evidence has been pointing to one thing – the development of nuclear powered donor recognition walls,” concluded Dr. Gerful Snidely, head of the IARA.

In announcing the findings, the IARA let journalists see key evidence first hand. This included satellite photos of large, shiny rectangular-shaped structures being moved from a truck into a building. In a close-up, the name “Zerfeeze Paydar, President’s level donor” could be clearly seen on one name plaque on the structure. Other evidence included a translated invitation from the Iranian government to their “Nuclear Giving Circle” and blueprints for a “recognition system” installation for a key government building. Perhaps the most damning evidence came from donor recognition suppliers in Canada and the US.

“US authorities intercepted an illegal shipment of donor recognition wall parts to Iran last month in New York. It included several wooden panels and more than one thousand blank name plaques,” said Snidley. “It was enough material to make an entire donor wall, maybe two or three.”

Seven people were arrested in the sting operation, including one man with dual Iranian-US citizenship who used to work at the development arm of a major Ivey League university.

Also intercepted was a defective name plaque that was sent back to a US supplier. FBI tests found it was slightly radioactive. The radioactive signature matched that of an atomic donor wall system sold by the US military to Iran just before the fall of the Shah in 1980. In previous years, US government officials had said the donor wall would be impossible to use without up-to-date parts and continued servicing. They predicted there would be “gaps” in several of the giving categories, especially among top donors, unless new plaques could be made. Snidely says it appears that Iran has developed its own ability to use the donor wall and maintain it.

“They have obviously figured out by themselves how to add new names to the donor wall with nuclear power,” said Snidely.

The IARA says Iran is in violation of the International Treaty on the Proliferation of Nuclear-Powered Donor Recognition Systems, which was signed by most major countries in 1985. The treaty bans countries from developing donor wall systems if they are “bad countries” or run by “bad people”. The IARA is now calling for economic sanctions.

The Iranian delegate to the IARA, Dr. Zoomi Ostovar, issued a statement saying that the report was incorrect and that Iran only wanted to develop nuclear-powered donor walls for “Peaceful purposes”. Journalists who received the note noticed it glowed in the dark when all the lights were turned off in the news room.

The reaction by world powers to the IARA report has been mixed. The White House promised more economic sanctions. China and Russia, who have both sold donor recognition systems to Iran in the recent past, were calling for more international discussion. The Israeli government had little to say, but Israeli media have been speculating that the Mossad spy agency was working on a plan to attack the donor wall by removing the screws holding the large sections to the wall.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Local charities download all the crap they are doing back to government

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Saying they were “tired of this shit”, the nation’s charities have announced that they have decided to download all the community services they deliver back to local, regional and national governments.

“For years, we’ve been carrying the ball for government. We did all the hard work and came up with all the good ideas and they just kept underfunding us. We’ve had it,” said Ferrel Snidely, President of the National Charities League. “And when they told us recently that they were going to download even more crap on us, we decided to download on them first. We’re finished with them.”

The charities plan to turn over all the community services they do across the country to government starting next Tuesday. This includes health, human services, education and anti-poverty services, work to save animals and the environment and more. In all, more than 20,734 programs will be handed back to government. Most of them have been operated by charities with some sort of government funding for years.

“We’re sorry it had to come to this,” said Turner Hu, the CEO of the Council of Mental Health Charities. “But they’ve been messing with us for years. Now, we’re messing with them. It’s that simple.”
The last straw, say insiders, was when the government started to talk about a UK-style “Big Society” agenda that would “give more power to local community agencies”.

“When we heard that we realized they were going to screw us big-time,” said Snidely. “At the same time they were talking about giving us all this power they we’re telling us we’d have to do more with less.”

Snidely says the leaders of the National Charities League simply had had enough. So, they requested a meeting with government and told them the nation’s charities would be downloading all their services back.

“The government guys were all smirking and giggling when they told us about their new imposed arrangement. But when we told them we were downloading everything back on them they were mortified. It was worth it just to see the look on their faces.”

People who use charity-delivered services are being asked to call their local government offices next week and ask for information on how to access the downloaded services they need. Snidely says he’s not very confident that the government will be able to do as good a job as League members do.

“They’re idiots. God alone knows how they will screw this up, too.”

Government leaders are at an emergency meeting trying to figure out the next steps. Reports in the media say the government is considering “double downloading” back on charities, but worry that charities will, again, download right back at them.

Another alternative being considered is to download every community service program in the country on Grace Vorhees, 72, a retired school teacher who lives alone in Metro’s Sunnyside Retirement Center and who was said to be a “tireless go-getter”.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Department of Homeland Fundraising says it has raised at least $357.12 after two weeks of massive trillion dollar campaign to prevent US default

The fundraising campaign to save the US government from default says it has raised a record $357.12 after two weeks.

The Department of Homeland Fundraising’s “Give or Else” campaign, the largest fundraising campaign on Earth, has a goal of raising $1 Trillion  by the end of the year. Department Secretary Dibble Snidely says they have been thrilled with the kind of success they have been getting.

“I’m really excited by the work we have done to date. We’ve increased our total raised by nearly 20 times. That’s quite an achievement,” she said.

When the campaign started in late October it had collected $17.95. That leaves just $999,999,999,642.88 that the Department must collect before December 31st, or roughly $15 million every second between now and December 31st.

“I especially want to thank the NRA Ladies Club of Paso, Texas for making a $300.00 donation last week. That was really great. We couldn’t actually read the letter that it came with because at 200 pages of handwriting it just took too long,” said Snidely.

The Department’s more than 5,000 major gift officers have been knocking on doors across the country and even overseas for two weeks. More than 200 million direct mail pieces were also sent out. The President even called the heads of foreign governments directly and asked them to make a personal donation.

“Only the Greek prime minister said he would give, but then he lost his job and said he couldn’t pay,” said Snidely.

The President issued a statement from the White House thanking the 13 donors who have made gifts so far and called on all Americans to do the same.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Board Governance structure would work if only members would show up once in a while and stop demanding more sweets when they do for crying out loud…

Good news!
Metro’s largest charity has become only the third non-profit organization

in the world to adopt a new international standard for board governance. The new framework would make the Snidely Community Foundation of Hope one of the most advanced charity board of directors on Earth if it wasn’t for the fact that many of the board members never show up for meetings and those that do keep on asking for date squares instead of healthy snacks.

“The ISO298761571 Standard for non-profit board governance is the new international standard. We’re only the third Board in the whole planet to adopt it,” said Executive Director Densel Commintz. “Now, if only some of our board members would actually show up instead of making the same lame ass excuses they usually do.”

“At least some do call in and say they aren’t coming,” Cummintz continued. “Two of them just never show up. Like, never. One of them came one time, and it was like I didn’t even recognize him.”

The ISO298761571 standard includes a series of measures that call for better reporting throughout an organization. The standard includes more open board meetings and accountability. Under the new framework, board members take a more active role in setting the strategic direction for the organization and act as a second set of eyes for management to help guide future action.

“We have set a new standard for what it means to be a volunteer board member. From now on, people will turn to the Snidely Community Foundation of Hope to find out what it means to be a truly open, honest and forthright organization,” said Cummintz. “But if Leslie or Jim bring up their concerns that there aren’t enough date squares at the food table during board meetings ever again I think I will blow a gasket.”

The Foundation of Hope implemented the new standard last month when it held an open house for all stakeholders to come and talk about what governance means. It was followed by a series of workshops led by the Swiss governance experts who developed the ISO standard in Geneva only last year. More than 150 people attended the sessions. A further 300 sent in written comments online. A summary document and video were also produced and distributed.

Cummintz called the implementation of the new standard was “transformative”.

“Everyone in our organization has been consulted and they are all behind these changes. Never before has there been such consensus, such an agreement, such a harmony,” Cummintz said. “I just hope that at the next board meeting we don’t have to hear Leslie talk on and on about the problems with her kids and the sex problems she’s having with her husband. That’s just yech. It makes me dirty thinking about it. Ugh.”

The Foundation of Hope will be sharing the new model with other local charities at a governance summit next month at Metro Hall. Cummintz said she hopes other charities will also embrace the new standard.

“I hate the board. I just hate them. Things would be soooo much better if we just got rid of them all in some kind of freakish farming accident or something,” Cummintz said.

Next month’s board meeting of the Foundation of Hope will include a tour of local agricultural plants and a meat-packing plant. Everyone is invited.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Obama administration creates Department of Homeland Fundraising to raise $1 Trillion to pay for budget deficit

Making a donation
The Obama Administration is turning to fundraisers to help pay off the U.S. national budget deficit.

President Obama made the announcement at the White House this morning that he would be creating a new Department of Homeland Fundraising to oversee a $1 Trillion fundraising campaign to pay off the deficit by the end of the year. The new organization will start work immediately soliciting donations from both Americans and citizens of foreign countries.

“With the new Department of Homeland Fundraising, we will be able to bring together under one roof all the nation’s greatest fundraisers to help solve our budget deficit challenge and stop the federal government from defaulting on its debts,” Obama said.

The new head of the agency will be Ms. Dibble Snidely, a long-time fundraiser for several Ivey League universities and who has some of the whitest teeth in the country. She says she is optimistic the Department will reach its goal. 

“This is a big challenge, but we fundraisers never say no to a challenge. I know that with a lot of hard work, direct mail, some star-studded fundraising galas and some branded sportswear, we will prevail,” said Snidely.

The new agency will cost $250 million to start-up and use the latest fundraising techniques and technology, said Snidely. The agency’s first task to start a major fundraising campaign called “Give or Else”. Obama promised that the entire weight of the U.S. government would be put at Campaign’s disposal.

“Information technology, satellites, SWAT teams, chemical weapons, enhanced interrogation facilities – whatever you need Secretary Snidely, I will give you,” said Obama during the announcement. “There is nothing more important than this fundraising campaign.”

The President and Vice-President Joe Biden then went to the White House cafeteria to make a cash donation into the donation box by the cash register. Obama put in $10.00. Biden made a pledge of $100.00 to be paid out over the next 50 years.

“With the leadership of the President and Vice-President Biden we will make our goal,” said Snidely.

The Campaign will feature a direct mail campaign that will see all 300 million Americans receive a letter from the President next Tuesday asking for a donation of $5 a month. Seniors will receive an additional letter asking that they put a $1,000 donation to the U.S. national deficit in their will. Businesses around the country will be contacted by IRS agents asking for donations for a gigantic silent auction near the Washington Monument in the capitol next month.

An army of some 13,789 fundraisers will be hired between now and Friday to ask the 27 million already identified major gift prospects for donations of more than $1 million each. Members of Congress and some of the more likeable members of the Supreme Court will personally solicit the more than one million donors who have been identified as “top prospects”.

215 current, former and “has been” stars from the motion picture, recording, TV, theatre and fashion industries will be the faces of the Campaign, which will include 37 different poster children and 99 patrons.

Earlier this month, the Campaign met with a major setback when its new fundraising database software blew up after being fed too much information. Several programmers and prospect researchers were injured. A new super-computer under NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain complex in Colorado has been installed to take over the database function using the latest artificial intelligence and alien technology procured from Area 51.

So far the Campaign has raised $17.50.

“We’re a little behind schedule, but I’m optimistic that the campaign will meet with great success,” said Snidely.

Click here to go to the Department of Homeland Fundraising website.

NOTE: This is in fact NOT TRUE. It is designed to be a humorous. Do NOT try and make a donation!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Using ninjas as fundraisers increases donations by a factor of 100

The symbol of the Fundraising Ninja
One of Metro’s largest charities has significantly increased its donations this year. The Metro Social Services Foundation reported at yesterday’s annual general meeting that fundraising revenues have risen from $14,000 last year to $1.4 million this year. Foundation leaders credit the huge increase to the ninjas they have been employing as fundraisers.

“We had a very good year,” said Foundation CEO Darrel Snidely during the AGM. “We owe a lot to our generous donors, and, of course, to the ninjas. I don’t know where we would be without them.”

The Foundation was in financial trouble last year because of the downturn in fundraising revenue and mismanagement by the previous CEO, Snidely said. They had to lay off seven staff members and rent out part of their office to another organization. Things looked bleak until Snidely was contacted by a mysterious figure dressed in black.

“It was night time and I was in bed. I heard something near the window. I saw a brief figure of a man and then a small curved blade was held to my neck. I thought I was a gonner, but then the man introduced himself as Donation Sensei Po from the Clan of the Dark Fundraising Ninjas from Japan. It was a most unusual sales call,” said Snidely.

The ninjas offered to contract out all fundraising activities for the Foundation for a modest fee and the right to recruit new members into their dojo from among the organization’s many volunteers. Always vague about their methods, the ninjas promised to deliver significantly improved fundraising revenues or die trying.

“I was hooked. I mean these guys were very impressive. I would go into our Board Room for a meeting with them and find it empty. Then I’d turn around to go and ten ninjas would be sitting there drinking tea,” recalled Snidely.

Initially, some board members objected to turning over all fundraising to the Clan of the Dark Fundraising Ninjas because of their shadowy past and methods.

“Eventually, they all came around and saw what an opportunity this was for the Foundation,” said Snidely. “Especially after one of the Board Members was found mysteriously dead of a rare poison at one of our Board retreats. Funny, that.”

The Clan of the Dark Fundraising Ninjas started their “Campaign of the Wind and Sky” four months ago. An unknown number of ninjas visited all 500 of the Foundations major donors.

“They were very persuasive. I asked them if they needed business cards or brochures and Sensei Po  just laughed. They were going to do all 500 solicitations face-to-face using their own charm and logic.”

Donors reported that the ninjas approached them in a variety of cunning and mysterious ways. One donor reported that when she looked in her rear-view mirror when driving to work she saw three ninjas there  asking her for a planned gift.  Another said a ninja popped out of the garbage can that he just put out on the curb for pick-up with a short killing sword in one hand a five year pledge form in another. Several dozen donors said that a ninja dart carrying the URL for a credit card donation site was shot into their office chair when they were at work, but they could not tell where it came from or who had fired it.

“I came home from shopping the other day to find my housekeeper and my dog and two cats all tied up and gagged on my couch surrounded by two dozen black-clad ninjas with swords,” said Foundation patron Cecilia Moneybags, who is also the head of the Moneybags Giving Trust. “They told me that nothing could stop them from making a fundraising call on me. Anywhere I went, they would be there as my shadow. Then they threw a flash bomb on the floor and disappeared. All I could find of them was a donation form that was already filled out with my name, address and donation amount.”

In a mysterious twist several long-time donors died during the campaign, but were able to make large and generous gifts to the Foundation in their newly written wills.

Snidely says the ninjas were able to raise the money they promised in half the time allotted. One ninja fundraiser who was slightly under the sales quota set by Donation Sensei Po had his left pinky finger cut off and presented to the Foundation in atonement.

“I can’t help but thank Clan of the Dark Fundraising Ninjas for all their hard work on this campaign. However, Donation Sensei Po said none of his ninjas could be visibly present at our annual general meeting today so I was to leave our appreciation plaque on the podium and they would collect it later after everyone was gone.”

Then Snidely read out a poem from Donation Sensei Po thanking the Foundation for opportunity to serve.

“To the Emperor Snidely and his minions, greetings. We, the warriors of the Clan of the Dark Fundraising Ninjas say thank you,” the poem began.

“I visit the grave of our ancestors in my mind daily. I will never find solace in any other way but the ninja way, the way of the sword and blood. No matter how many donors I kill or maim, I will always be true to the campaign. I hope the flowers on my grave will grow when I am gone. Death has little meaning to me. All that I am and will be is a fundraising ninja.”

Later, during the reception after the AGM Snidely noticed the plaque had been taken and replaced by a beautiful Japanese Chrysanthemum.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Metro charity’s donors too busy being Facebook friends to eat, sleep, pee

New Facebook page "driving the city mad"
Public health authorities are warning the public to be careful not to become addicted to the new Facebook page created last week by the Metro Community Trust, one of the largest charities in the City. The Facebook page is so powerful and addictive that some of the charity’s donors have begun to stop eating, sleeping or going to the bathroom.

“Local hospitals and 911 emergency services have been flooded by calls from donors to the Metro Community Trust,” said Dr. Toney Snidely, Director of Metro Public Health. “In all cases, they have become fixated on the Trust’s new Facebook page and withdraw from the rest of the world. They stop eating, drinking, washing and even going to the bathroom. It’s terrible.”

More than 113 people have so far been hospitalized by the mesmerizing Facebook page which was unveiled in an email to the Trust’s 12,000 donors last week. Authorities are worried that many more donors will succumb to the hypnotizing power of the Facebook page and its content.

“We have police officers, fireman and volunteers going door-to-door this morning in neighbourhoods where many of the donors live. Already, they have saved at least 17 people. We won’t stop until all the donors are safe,” said Metro Mayor Dibble Turdle during a news conference at City Hall.

Authorities noticed something was amiss when the daughter of one donor came home to find her mother at the computer reading the two dozen odd posts from the Trust’s Facebook page again and again. According to police, the woman kept sharing the Trust’s seven pictures on her own social media sites and then slumped over the computer unconscious. The woman hadn’t eaten, slept or washed for nearly 24 hours. She did make a $17.00 donation.

“Whatever content the Trust put up on the Facebook page is obviously too much. The stories about their upcoming fundraising dinner, the note from the CEO about gift planning and the out of focus pictures of the donation by the Rotary Club just made people go crazy,” said Police Chief Turney Vorhees. “People need to stop going to that Facebook site right now. It’s too dangerous.”

Experts agree that the use of Facebook by non-profit organizations can create powerful forces that interfere with normal cognition. “Research shows that non-profit Facebook pages act like cocaine on the brain. They shut down the centres that control all the higher functions and instantly addict them to the non-profit’s message, no matter how boring or out of date it is,” said Dr. Snidely.

One victim, Frewer Anick, 67, a donor who lives on East Street, said the effect of opening the Trust’s Facebook page was overwhelming. “Suddenly, I found myself completely connected to everything they were saying. Nothing else mattered. I had to read those tepid, badly written posts over and over. I was totally hooked. I only stopped because there was a power outage in my neighbourhood. That’s what saved me,” he said.

Mayor Turdle is urging all non-profits to use extreme caution on their Facebook pages until the emergency passes. “These charities need to realize that their social media is driving the City mad. They’re playing with dynamite and they have to stop.”

Trust spokesperson Cybil Dribble said they were unaware of the disaster since the charity doesn’t allow their own employees to access social media at work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Police turn to charity world’s Prospect Researchers to help fight terrorism

Foiled by Prospect Research
Police forces across the globe are turning to a new source for information to battle terrorism – prospect researchers at large charities. The new strategy on the War Against Terrorism has already yielded a number of arrests in Washington, London and Toronto.

“Because of the cooperation of prospect researchers at one large, Ivy League university, we were able to crack one international terrorist cell wide open,” said George Fuentes, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security in charge of the special prospect research project codenamed “Operation Bookworm”.

“We arrested 17 people in three countries as they were all sitting down to the same alumni chapter event. It was brilliant. We want to thank Kevin, Marilyn and that student intern who’s name no one can remember for their help,” he said.

Operation Bookworm started nine months ago when members of Interpol were at an anti-terrorism conference in Boston. During one luncheon, the discussion somehow veered into the role of university fundraising. Soon after, said Fuentes, the power of prospect research as a tool against terrorism became abundantly clear.

“I was joking about how my alma mater had found me with their direct mail campaign even after I moved into a new home and didn’t send them an address update,” he recalled. “Sure enough, that had happened to several other people. That’s when we thought ‘Hey, these guys are good. We need them on our team’.”

At first, prospect researchers were reluctant to help. The request for assistance eventually made it up all the way to the Secret Society of Prospect Researchers in Geneva. “When we received this request by the world’s police forces for help we hesitated,” explained Society President Jacque Deloute. “In our calling we must each take a solemn blood oath to use the power of prospect research for good, not for evil. Many of our members rightly asked our ethical council to rule on whether fighting terrorism fit the bill. The council ruled that it did, and now we’re helping authorities in 21 countries.”

In fact, many prospect researchers had already been quietly identifying terrorists for years, ever since 9/11. “We’ve suspected that many of our alumni are in factor terrorists for some time,” said Marilyn Smith, head of prospect research at an un-named university in the Boston area whom police will not identify for security reasons. “They would come to alumni events and ask people if they knew how to obtain large amounts of fertilizer. Sometimes they would be at booster events for one of our sports teams and they would be making maps of the nearby military facilities. And even once, we had one alumni member wanting to make a large donation to the Faculty of Science to fund research into ‘dirty bomb manufacturing’. All these little signs added up.”

With the power of the databases of more than 150 world leading charities, police say they have been able to make significant gains in tracking and foiling terrorism plots across the globe. They have also been able to identify more than 120,000 lost alumni and lapsed donors who were not in fact terrorists.

“With these new weapons, I think we’ve turned the corner on the War Against Terror,” said President Obama in a short statement released by the White House yesterday. “Together, we will show the world what the power of democracy and fundraising can do to stop the forces of hate.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New strategic plan lasts only 20 minutes

The Metro Community Foundation’s new five-year strategic plan was unveiled yesterday at a special ceremony at the charity’s downtown offices. Called Reaching for the Stars, the plan lasted a record 20 minutes before becoming totally irrelevant and meaningless.
Time's up!

“I want to thank all the staff, volunteers and board members who worked on this strategic plan for six months,” said Derfel Snidely, CEO of the Metro Community Foundation. “This is a great plan, and because of it this Foundation has a great future for the next 20 minutes or so until circumstances change and the plan disintegrates before our eyes like a fireball in the sky. Please stay and have some sandwiches.”

Reaching for the Stars was created after multiple rounds of consultations earlier this year. Headed up by Snidely and a committee of 12 people drawn from the entire organization, the plan was the product of 27 workshops, one plenary session, a voodoo ritual involving live chickens and a Vegetarian barbeque. In all, more than 150 people from inside and outside the organization contributed in some way to the plan, which was published in a 300-page booklet with accompanying appendixes and manuals.

The plan came up with three themes for the next five years. The first, called People First, involved 13 recommendations for improving the human capital of the Foundation. The second, called Empowering our Donors called for the Foundation to create stronger ties with its many supporters. The third theme, called Whatever, included all the other stuff nobody ever cares about like finance, administration and such.

“This is the finest strategic plan I’ve ever seen and I’m not just saying that because I’m the CEO and I led the strategic planning process,” said Snidely who later told friends that the plan was one of the dumbest he’d ever worked on and that it while it was too lame to work he’d have to put on a brave face for his staff.

Just 20 minutes after the plan was unveiled the Foundation received news that their core government funding had been cut. The Director of Finance also used the strategic plan meeting to announce that annual donations had taken a nose-dive in the past six months. The Director of Human Resources then announced that she was leaving to take up a position with another Metro charity and that before she left she’d lay off half the staff.

“That five-year plan gave me 20 minutes of hope and optimism,” said Snidely, who decided to retire 21 minutes after the unveiling of Reaching for the Stars. “We captured in this one totally over-the-top document all the dreams of our community and made them real for a very, very short period of time.”

“I wish the new CEO well in creating a new five-year plan,” he said while leaving to go play a quick round of golf. “I know that the next plan will be even better than this one.”

Staff members said despite the demise of the plan they were pleased with how things turned out. “We got free sandwiches at the meeting,” said Community Manager June Fowl.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Agency going to "Top 11 Social Media Tips" to compete with "Top 10" lists from competitors

Jason Snidely is "One More"
Jason Snidely is considering creating a new social media “top ten” list that is one better than his competitors. Snidley’s company, Snidely Media Workz, may soon be coming out with a “top eleven” list.

“All of our competition has top ten lists. The guys down the street have a social media top ten tips. Those two young teenagers who sound like their going through puberty from across town have one. Even the big guru at the local college who teaches this stuff because he’s too ornery to work with has one,” concluded Snidely.

“We need something better. We need to stand out in the crowd. Having a top eleven list would do that,” he added.

Snidley says “top ten” lists are fast becoming too common. “Everyone has one. If you’re a client and you want to look up social media top ten lists there will be like more than a hundred lists. A hundred times ten tips makes like a thousand tips. That’s like more than enough to give our clients a PHD in social media and who wants that?” he said.

The idea of making a “top eleven” list came to Snidely after reading one of his competitor’s lists.

“This list had all the same ideas that we have in our top ten list,” explained Snidely. “They had the bit about ‘getting the message right’, which we call ‘finding the right message’. They had an item called ‘keeping content up-to-date’ which we call ‘up-to-date content’. Like it was different and yet it felt like it was the same.”

“Then it came to me. What could be better than ten? That’s when I came up with the idea of eleven. It’s like one more than ten. Brilliant!”
The new “top eleven” social media tips list will be unveiled next week at the social media conference in downtown Metro. Snidely won’t say what the eleventh tip will be, but he says it will befitting of its prestigious position in social media tips list history.

“We’re keeping number eleven under wraps until the conference. During our workshop called ‘One better on Social Media’ we plan to unveil the whole thing and, like, blow the whole audience away,” said Snidely.

Social media watchers are excited by the new innovation. “This is going to be a pivotal moment in the history of social media tips lists,” said Bardley Stubbings, Executive Director of the Social Media List Authority, the North American governing body of social media tip list-making. Stubbings says the top eleven list will put Canada and the US ahead of the rest of the world. “The European Union only has 8 social media tips lists. China has 6, but it’s growing fast.”

Competitors are already preparing a counter-attack. Lisa Turnip, Chief Marketing Officer and Partner at Turnip Social Media House, says she will consider going to a “top twelve” list if Snidely Media Workz is successful. B

However, some others are calling the “top eleven” a PR stunt. “The top eleven thing will never last,” said Peter Rutabaga of Cabbage Street Social Media Dimensions, a bitter rival of Snidely Media Workz. “Besides, our tips are worth more than theirs pound for pound. We could have a top nine list that would equal theirs, no problem.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Every position at Metro charity downgraded to "coordinator" or "specialist"

Down is the new up
All the jobs at Metro Social Services have been changed. Yesterday, the charity announced to staff that almost all of its employees would be downgraded from manager and officer levels to coordinator and specialist levels. Those who are already coordinators or specialists will now become volunteers. The plan, created by the Human Resources and Finance specialists (formerly, the directors of those departments), will save the charity nearly half-a-million dollars in payroll costs.

"This is really going to make up for our recent government funding cutbacks," said Leadership Specialist and former Executive Director Sue Snidely. "By reclassifying each person's job at the lowest paid level possible we'll be getting much more bang for the buck."

Under the new system, the manager of community services will become the community services coordinator and the manager of client education will come the learning specialist. The fundraising officer will become a fundraising coordinator and the ten community services officers will become the services specialists.

Snidely says the charity will save at least $47,000 and a free parking space by downgrading her to a specialist classification. Under the new system, she will be expected to do the same work at roughly half the salary and two weeks less vacation.

"I'm really excited about this change, especially about getting new business cards," said Snidely. "I'm sure I can do an even better job with less compensation."

Ten employees will now be full-time volunteers. Snidely says reclassifying them was a bit more tricky. "After we downgraded everyone to the lowest possible level we had a very strange organizational chart. Something had to give. Then I had a brainwave and we came up with the idea of downgrading the existing coordinators and specialists all the way to volunteer status. That way, they'll still be beneath me in the hierarchy."

The one student placement position was handled by changing their classification to that of indentured servant. "They pretty much are slaves anyway," noted Snidely.

Snidely said the impact on morale has been very positive. "The staff have all been worried about what impact the government cutbacks would have on us. Now, they can rest assured that they all will be able to keep their jobs," she said. "When I told them at a big staff meeting they were all silent. That's the kind of determined spirit I was expecting from them."

Another part of the new system will involve adding more administrative tasks to the new coordinators and specialists. Each person will now be expected to clean their own part of the office, empty their own garbage and scrub their part of the floor with the charity's polisher once a week.

A second part of the plan, which begins next month, will see the charity's clients downgraded to "people seeking information instead of services". That is expected to save the charity another half-million dollars.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Communications manager at public institution proud of not communicating

No one knows who this person is
Jana Snidely is very happy with the results of her first five years as Metro Health Sciences Centre's Director of Communications. Under her direction the hospital has done hardly any communicating at all.

"I'm so pleased that our strategy of basically shutting up and not saying anything to anyone has proven to be widely successful," said Snidely in her annual report to the Board of Directors. "The public don't know who we are or what we do. If it wasn't for the big "H" sign at the front door, they would drive right by and think we were a big, drab office building or something."

When she took over five years ago the hospital was trying to do too much communicating, including a community outreach program, an external newsletter, ads  in the local newspaper and self-help articles published on its website. All those were shut down in the first five months after Snidely took over.

"We took all of those things and threw them in the garbage. We were talking way too much to regular people about what goes on in here. The public was actually beginning to understand their health care system instead of looking at it in dumbfounded amazement and awe. We'd lost control of our message," said Snidely.

The new program Snidely put in place reduced the entire communications program to press releases that reacted to bad news and an internal newsletter that few of the staff at the hospital actually read. In the process she cut the communications budget by half.

"We couldn't just ignore the outside world totally. So, we did issues press releases when something really bad happened. Terrible accidents, hospital viruses and stuff -- they couldn't be helped. But we tried to cover them up as much as possible," said Snidely.

"Our award-winning internal newsletter was tweaked so that most of the stories were about individual departments without any regard to the big issues of the work place. By and large, most people now just look at the pictures and throw it away," she said.

The hospital's website was also changed to make navigation more difficult and make key files and services hard to find.

The results were overwhelmingly successful. According to Snidely, negative letters to the editor in the newspaper dropped 75%, with most now complaining about bad service at other hospitals by mistake. Patient complaints fell 60% and web traffic fell 35%.

"We are in total control of our message and our image. No one is saying anything negative about us like they used to because they practically don't even know we exist," said Snidely.

One recent letter to the editor shows the power of Snidely's communications strategy. "I had to wait nearly two days in the ER because they were no beds in a local hospital that I can't remember the name of," said a recent letter to the Metro Morning newspaper by Mrs. Dibble Brewer. "Whenever I find out who they are, I plan to complain about it."

More important, recent government reports on the hospital’s performance have been not been negative at all. Before the strategy was created, the hospital used to get lots of government attention about its huge deficit, labour problems and poor service. Now, the reports often forget to mention the hospital at all. Snidely calls that a great victory.

"The credit has to go to the people of this hospital. It took them a while to understand our strategy of not communicating. Initially, they would keep coming to me with ideas about social media or new content for our websites or even school demonstrations and I would have to turn them down. Now, they don’t even bother. In fact, many of them now believe that the hospital doesn’t even have a communications staff at all. That’s exactly the result I was looking for,” said Snidely.

Snidely is now working on a new communications strategy that takes not communicating to new heights. Called “Just send the money”, the integrated campaign will feature a number of initiatives that will make the hospital harder to find on a map and will promote the idea that Metro is not in fact served by any hospital at all and that people need to go to another city for service.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New direct mail technology allows letter to plead "Don't throw me out"

The system in action
A new breakthrough in direct mail technology is giving fundraisiers the ability to stop recipients throwing away charity appeals. Called the Snidely Fundraiser Talkback, the new system from Snidely Direct Marketing can actually tell recipients not to throw it away.

"We've brought together a host of existing technologies to revolutionize direct mail. Basically, we've married a talking greeting card to a tiny audio sensor and powerful mini-computer that actually talks to direct mail recipients and pleads with them to open it," said Snidely Direct Marketing CEO Larry Snidely.

The system, demonstrated last week in Metro to top national fundraisers, looks like a normal direct mail piece from a charity hungry for donations. The only difference is a one inch sensor on the front of the envelope which listens for sounds and also acts as a stereo speaker. When the recipient picks it up, looks at it and begins to throw it away the Snidely Fundraiser Talkback system begins to plead with them.

"Our system is very smart. It can figure out when someone has picked it up and not opened it. That's when it starts talking. But the real beauty of the system is not that it can talk, but what it says," said Snidely.

In the demonstration, the test scientist who began to put the letter back down after initially picking it up received a "Please don't throw me out -- I'm important!" audio message.

Most direct mail pieces from fundraising charities usually wind up in the garbage can, said Snidely. Fundraisers have been looking for a way to get more "opens" without success. Other methods, such as letters that smell like freshly baked bread or ones that include naked models cavorting on the back of the envelope haven't worked. Even strapping loose change to the outside of the envelope has not been that effective, except to enterprising postal workers. Snidely said that their new system is much more effective.

"As soon as the first message is played, the computer takes over and begins to interact with the potential donor. Initially, it just answers questions about being a computer and assures the donor that there is really no one inside the letter and that they aren't having a hallucination caused by drinking or drug use," said Snidely.

The system gives the recipient a predetermined series of points about why the letter should be opened and acted upon. These include a short overview on the charity and why supporting it is necessary.

"Please support Metro children's school lunch programs -- our children can't learn when they are hungry," the system said in the recent demo.

If, after several minutes, the recipient does not move to immediately open the letter the Snidely Fundraiser Talkback system switches to a second series of responses. These include stressing the need for the charity's work and also mocking the recipient.

"Hunger in our schools is a major problem in Metro," said the letter during the demonstration. "What's the matter with you? Do you want our children to be hungry?"

"We've given it the responses similar to that of a new major gifts officer who has a quota to fill and plenty of donors to see. We've determined that's the best tone to use in interactive direct mail like this," said Snidely.

"You getting this? Hunger in our schools! H-U-N-G-E-R!" the letter said in its mocking response during the demo.

If the recipient has still not opened the mailer at this point the system switches to a last ditch attempt to motivate them. This involves incentives, such as offering to send them a photo of the person who will be helped by their donation. It also involves "consequence" statements designed to cow the recipient into opening the letter.

"If you don't open the letter and make a donation I'm going to tell everyone," the letter said in the demo. "Everyone will know how hard-hearted you are. Do you really want that?"

"If at this point the recipient hasn't opened the letter we realize they never will, so the system shuts down and terminates after calling them 'bastards who don't give a damn about anything'. We feel that that is sufficient," said Snidely.

Under laboratory testing the Snidely Fundraiser Talkback letter achieved an astonishing 47% open rate and a doubling in actual donations. Snidely says there are still however a few bugs to be worked out in the system.

"Several of our test letters mistakenly activated during mailing. In one instance, it caused the Post Office to look through a pile of mail to see if someone was underneath it. We've fixed that."

The system was created from an extensive study of the verbal utterances of more than 50 hospital fundraisers. The voice was synthesized using one of the most shrill female fundraisers available.

"Research shows that most people respond better to women's automated voices because it reminds us of our mothers. Our research showed that the best voice to use with this letter system is a female voice that sounds like your mother scolding you for not doing something you should have," said Snidely.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Gift Planning Officer secretly hopes more donors will die

Peter Snidely
Gift Planning Officer Peter Snidely works very hard to give Metro University's donors a chance to leave a legacy for the students of tomorrow in their Wills. He also sometimes wishes more of those donors that leave a gift for the University after they pass on would in fact die. And sometimes in the most gruesome ways.

"I feel like I'm really empowering donors. They want to leave behind the best part of themselves after they leave this world in order to help others. I help them achieve that by placing a bequest in their Will or by using their insurance policies in such a way that gives them real tax savings now," said Snidely. "I also dream that I kill them after we sign the paperwork."

Snidely has been in gift planning for more than seven years after leaving a career in the investment industry. Known for his warm and charming personality, Snidely has talked to more than 300 University donors about gift planning opportunities.

"I meet all types of people. Many are graduates from the 40s and 50s who are in their golden years. Their own children are grown and have children of their own. They're in the twilight of their lives and looking to find some meaning. Giving them a chance to help young people get a great education at Metro University really appeals to them," he said. "I sometimes feel these strange urges to smother them. It usually passes very quickly."

Snidely has won two awards from the University for his work. He received the University Medal for doubling the gift planning portfolio. Last year, he was voted the most popular development officer by a group of alumni.

"We all love Peter," said Mary Brandenburg, Class of '47. "He's so very friendly and kind. I just love talking to him. We chat about our families and how we want to be buried. He makes the most wonderful jokes about passing on. He's such a kidder!"

"Peter is like a son to me. We get along that well. I've never in my life met a person so intensely focussed on talking to me. Sometimes, when I turn around suddenly I see him staring at me with this strange, angelic look on his face. I know he's always thinking about me," said George Smith, Class of '52.

Snidely says in his job the most important thing is create a sense of rapport with the donor. He sometimes spends hours at donor's homes talking to them about their lives and their time at Metro University. "You have to be a good listener," said Snidely. "They have a whole lifetime worth of stories they want to tell and I think it's part of my job to listen to them. I also sometimes imagine how best they should die."

Director of Development Diane Yawl says she's lucky to have Snidely on her staff. "He has a special way about him. He takes his job very seriously. He's a great planner. He'll plan out the entire ask from the moment he calls a donor to the time they are expected to pass on, and he has this uncanny way of always being right. I've never seen it before."

"Sometimes it's hard to work with someone and get to know them only to have them pass away," said Snidely. "But in a sense, I'm keeping their memory alive and that's comforting to me, especially after one of those episodes when I'm filled with a murderous rage."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Critics say Super Villain Foundation spending twice as much on fundraising as evil works

The charitable organization that supports the forces of evil on planet Earth spent millions more on fundraising costs than on actually helping do bad things last year. According to the study by the Snidely Charity Watch Centre, the Super Villain Foundation spent $500 million on supporting works of evil, but spent $657 million on raising donations.

"The donors to this charity wanted their money to go to the evil, nasty, terrible and in-human things that this Foundation does, not to pay for more fundraisers. But that's exactly what happened last year," said Snidely Charity Watch Centre CEO Dibble Snidely. "The Super Villain Foundation has their priorities all wrong."

The Foundation, created during the 1960s, is one of the world's largest charities with branches in every country in the world, except the Vatican. It employs more than 5,000 people worldwide, including 1,500 in its secret underground location in an extinct volcano on a Pacific island near Hawaii. The Foundation raises money for a variety of programs, including seed money for new evil projects, academic research into death rays and other evil weapons and education projects aimed at creating a new generation of evil leaders, such as the US-based Tea Party movement.

It is also the largest fundraising organization in the world, raising on average nearly $1 billion every year. However, an analysis of the Foundation's annual reports by the Snidely Charity Watch Centre show that fundraising costs have been steadily rising every year. Last year, it spent twice as much on fundraising costs as it did just four years ago.

"The Foundation's fundraising costs have gone through the roof. Partly, this is due to the new fundraising software they implemented this year based on Raiser's Edge. But most of the increased fundraising cost was spent on advertising and salaries," said Snidely.

According to research by the Snidely Charity Watch Centre, the Foundation has some of the highest paid fundraisers on Earth, good or bad. Chuck Armageddon, the CEO of the Foundation and Chief Development Officer, reported a salary of more than $27 million in tax filings last year. The Foundation's four top executives each made more than $20 million except one who was paid in human sacrifices and chicken blood.

The Foundation also spent millions on advertising, including a surprising $150 million on online fraud schemes involving a lawyer who has a client in Nigeria who wants to give you tens of thousands of dollars if you will only share your banking information with them. It also invested $45 million in publishing, including several tabloid newspapers such as the now defunct News of the World in London.

A spokesman for the Foundation, Johnny Deathshead, said that the increasings costs were a symptom of the increasing competition the charity faces.

"Are donors are busy. They have many things on their mind. Sometimes they don't have time to think about enslaving the world and such. We understand that," Deathshead said. "At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of evil charities vying for attention. They all do great work and we welcome their presence, even if we sent a few of them a time bomb disguised as a cake a few months ago. It just means that we're all having to have smaller slices of the evil fundraising pie."

Despite the numbers, Foundation donors seem to be willing to give the charity a chance. The Rich Industrialists Trust is a giving foundation that gave the Super Villain Foundation a $45 million grant to help develop women's evil projects in Third World countries. CEO Fat Cat Jones said they understand the situation the Foundation is in.

"Donors are sometimes unfair in the way they judge charities. If the Super Villain Foundation was a for-profit business we wouldn't be having this discussion. People would just accept this as the price of doing business. So, we're going to be giving the Foundation the benefit of the doubt. They do good work. I mean evil work. Sorry," he said.

In a related story, someone stole the entire Snidely Charity Watch Centre building from downtown Metro yesterday. Bystanders saw a strange blue light appear from the clouds and minutes later the building and all the people who worked in it had disappeared. No one has seen or heard from them since. Authorities suspect it was vaporized in a gas leak explosion.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Executive Director talks in buzz words, cliches

Metro's biggest charity has a new leader. Alice Snidely, a long-time fundraiser, becomes Metro Hospital Foundation's latest Executive Director next month. She only speaks in buzz words and cliches.

"I'm so very pleased to have this great honour of representing this wonderful organization and helping all the people of Metro be the best that they can be so that we can make this world a better place and give our children a better chance than we had growing up, and stuff," said Snidely, who employs a full-time PR writer to write all of her verbal utterances.

Snidely has worked for 20 years in fundraising at other hospitals and universities charming and then squeezing thousands of major donors out of more than $12 million. Her first job at the Metro Hospital Foundation will be launching the new capital campaign expected to start next year.

"We need synergies. We need to be simpatico with each other and our community. We need a deep brand to help deliver the main message that Metro Hospital is top-of-mind by using word of mouth strategies with key stakeholders. I know that we can do this, whatever this means," Snidely said.

Foundation Chair and Hospital CEO Eileen Burns said they hired Snidely because of her vast experience and her ability to say things that sound very important.

"I honestly can't understand her sometimes, but that's OK. I'm sure that whatever it is she is saying, it will be really good for Metro Hospital," said Burns. "Meetings are a lot longer now, but I feel more optimistic than ever."

Metro Hospital has struggled with cutbacks and poor donor retention over the year. The Foundation had to lay off a number of people. The 2007 "We Can Make It!" capital campaign failed to make its target. Snidely says the new fundraising campaign, "We Can Make It Again!" will be different.

"There comes a time when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the hospital room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a community's love for its children. This is that time. We are those people. Now, let's go out and kill the bad guys," said Snidely, using a quote from the 1982 movie "Conan The Barbarian".

Snidely's new staff are already at work on the new campaign, which is to be unveiled next Spring. Those staff left after the layoffs and recent firings say they feel better motivated than ever to help Metro Hospital make the campaign a success.

"Oh, she's great," said fundraiser Chett Jones. "After listening to her I feel like I've seen every buddy film or action movie where the good guys don't have a chance against the bad guys. She's quite a motivator."

"My message to the people of Metro is that together we will able to make our hospital the best hospital that Metro could ever hope to have under these economic conditions and considering that people don't give enough. I know if they all reach down inside themselves they will be able to find a piece of them that they will able to share with the community. Hopefully, it will be a pledge of $100.00 or more," said Snidely.