|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.