Thursday, March 29, 2012

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

The Metro Community Trust Foundation’s new $250,000 advertising campaign has been able to reach Mrs. Betty Turner, 93, a potential planned giving donor, and 17,678 other people who really wouldn’t care if the Foundation was destroyed in a tornado, burned in a firestorm or attacked by aliens.

“Our ad campaign has been an amazing success,” said Foundation Executive Director Barbie Snidely, a long-time fundraiser who actually knows next to nothing about marketing, but pretends to.

The product of six months’ work, the ad campaign featured stock images of happy people laughing, singing and dancing with the words “Poverty. Bad.” Developed by Big Honking Ad Works, the campaign was made up of really cool images that the ad agency assured the Foundation would win them a number of cool graphics advertising awards.

The ads were part of a massive campaign that included both of Metros local newspapers, three different lifestyle magazines, seven local radio stations and two TV stations as well as four large billboards. The media outlets were chosen by the ad agency and were selected to reach as many people and to cost as much money as possible.

“Our ads were great. They looked fantastic. We did have a problem in that we could only afford one ad per media outlet – one in each newspaper, one in each magazine and two days each on radio and TV. But, God, they looked great!” said Snidely.

The campaign, which lasted an entire week, was seen by an estimated 17,679 people and many hundreds of cats and dogs. Since the Foundation’s website doesn’t have web metrics Snidely says they couldn’t actually tell whether the ad campaign had any impact, but she’s optimistic that the ads made a big impression on the public.

“In terms of impressions, we had a huge impact. I talked to our various media ad sales people and they all said the ads were really effective. The one from the TV station actually made a donation of $5.00,” said Snidely. "In terms of thew website, I'm sure we had lots of people going there because of the ads...even though we can't tell if they went there...and we also kind of forgot to put our URL in the ads."

But Snidely says the biggest impact of the campaign was on Mrs. Turner, who lives in a nursing home on Main Street in East Metro. Turner and a family member were walking outside her nursing home when a piece of one of the campaign’s billboards fell off the roof of an adjacent building and hit her in the nose.

“I talked to Mrs. Turner’s daughter and she said neither of them will ever forget the campaign,” said Snidely. “And that’s what philanthropy is all about.”

She said she hopes the 17,000 people who saw the ads and really don’t care about the Foundation will change their minds when they begin a new series of ads costing tens of thousands more in a few weeks.

“I really hope they get the message.”

Monday, March 26, 2012

Communications Director answers "social media" to every question

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unmanned Fundraiser Drone strike nets $50,000 for Metro University

Officials at Metro University are reporting success with their new unmanned aerial fundraising drone. The Mark V Charity Hawk made its first successful donation strike at an alumni target in an upscale neighbourhood in Metro last night.

“Our new surveillance technology is working better than expected. We netted $50,000 from an engineering alum in our first strike with a minimum of collateral damage,” said Josiah Snidely, Project Leader of the University’s UAV program.

Measuring 18 feet long, with a wingspan of 24 feet and driven by a single propeller, the Mark V Charity Hawk is the world’s first remotely piloted aerial fundraising platform. The plane takes off and lands by itself. The actual drone is operated by a pilot at a ground station in the basement of the University’s advancement building. Upon launching, it flies to an altitude of 30,000 feet where it uses its special radar system to detect potential donors. Once identified, the drone then drops down to tree-top level to fire its fundraising appeal missiles at unsuspecting donors.

“Last night, the Charity Hawk spotted one of our graduates leaving a bank with a smile on his face. We then used the internal censors to listen in on his cell phone conversation as he stood in the bank’s parking lot where he talked about the million dollar business deal he just signed,” said Snidely.

The drone then tracked the graduate’s car for several blocks before swooping down to fire two fundraising appeals from its wing-mounted weapons pod. One appeal missed and struck a laundry delivery truck, but the other landed a customized fundraising pitch, complete with presidential letter and brochure, in the passenger seat of the graduate’s car.

The wired-guided fundraising missiles are accurate to within one foot. In this case, the missile was able to fly right through the open window of the moving car and lodge itself on the front dashboard. It then played the University’s football fight song and a recording message from the University President announcing “We need your help to make Metro University the best it can be”.

“The drone came and went without anyone knowing it was there. The graduate was so surprised that be ran over several garbage cans and a chipmunk before regaining control of the vehicle. That’s what philanthropy is all about,” boasted Snidely.

The graduate made an instant five year pledge of $50,000 through the missile’s onboard donations system. This was then uploaded to the drone some 10,000 feet above which then sent it to its control centre for processing.

Experts say the new technology proves that fundraising can be done without loss of life.

“The whole idea of unmanned fundraising vehicles was to take the risk to human life out of the equation. Too many of our best fundraisers have been lost through donation combat or accidents. Now, we have a system that can do all that a human fundraiser used to do and more. And no one has to die,” said Dr. Dibble Brewer, the inventor of the Charity Hawk.

However, critics have charged that drone fundraising technology is far from perfect. Last month, ground controllers lost control of a Charity Hawk. The drone attacked a large group of dairy cows in a field outside of Metro, believing them to be lapsed donors. It fired off all 20 fundraising missiles injuring two of the cows and making the others give more cream than usual. The makers of Charity Hawk settled out of court with the farmer.

Others say the fundraising drones are unstable. Three Charity Hawks have crashed in the past three months, including one that landed in the swimming pool of the University’s largest residence. One mistakenly landed in a cemetery during a funeral and began blaring a planned giving message.

Still, officials at Metro University say they will expand the Charity Hawk program. They predict that unmanned aerial platforms will soon take over major gifts portfolios in most universities.

“This is the way of the future,” said Snidely. “With this technology, we can reach out and touch any potential donor anywhere at any time. They can run, but they can’t hide.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Case for Support turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie

Metro University’s Case For Support is being turned into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. The 200-page blueprint for the University’s upcoming capital campaign was sold to Snidely Film Studios last month for $2 million. Producers say the movie version of the Case will begin filming on campus next year and should be released in movie theatres the following Christmas.

“We always thought that our Case For Support was something special. It told the entire story about the fundraising campaign we’re planning. It was so beautiful and moving that we just had to share it. And that’s how we landed this movie deal,” said Metro University President Dr. Simon Semple, who will likely play himself in the movie.

The Case was “discovered” six months ago during a conference on fundraising in Los Angeles. Movie producer Dibble Brewer walked into a presentation of the Case by the University’s Director of Development. He immediately saw the Case’s movie potential.

“I was totally floored by the majesty of the Case. It was such a great story: a university trying to change the world by building a larger gym. It had amazing characters, like the irascible University president, the lonely, professional female fundraising Director and the big Daddy Warbucks donor who taught her what love is all about,” said Brewer.

Brewer says the move will be true to the Case in every way, including being filmed on campus. However, the famous scene where the campaign team figures out the soft-credit policy for major donors will instead be turned into a running gun battle with evil terrorists bent on destroying the University. Some of the names of donors will also be changed to protect their privacy. “But everyone will know who they are!” said Brewer.

Casting for the movie has already begun. Brewer says they will use a combination of big Hollywood stars and local people. Rumours say Harrison Ford and Brad Pitt are both in competition to play the main male lead, while Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga have been calling Brewer’s office non-stop to talk about the film’s female protagonist.

For the Bollywood dance scene at the end of the book, Brewer says they will going direct to India to recruit authentic dancers and singers.

“I’m also talking to the guys who made Star Wars about using their special effects team for the scene in the book where the President fights the ghosts of past presidents about renaming the gym,” said Brewer.

Snidely Film Studios have already cut a deal to produce movie spin-offs, such as a line of children’s sleep wear and toys, beach towels, a carving knife set and jewellery.  

The reported budget for the movie will be $150 million, or about twice the size of the capital campaign itself.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Organizational Chart changed for the 27th time this year

The Executive Director of Metro’s largest charity has just released her 27th organizational chart this year. Joanna Snidely says she is somewhat certain this latest version of the Metro Community Foundation’s corporate structure is the right one.

“I’ve finally got this thing licked. I knew I shouldn’t have put Sybil in charge of annual giving and events last time. That’s where I went wrong last week. This time, I’ve accounted for everything,” said Snidely. “At least, I think I have.”

Earlier this year, Snidely decided that the Foundation wasn’t performing as well as it should. She made a major organizational change and shifted events from communications to annual giving and spun major giving into its own department. That’s when the trouble started.

“I thought it was perfect. I mean, Judy in communications is really quite disorganized and events was suffering. So, I gave the two event people to Sybil in annual giving where they could make more money,” she said. “But then, the communications for our events took a nose dive.”

What made the decision worse was that Snidely had to select a new manager of major gifts to run the department. She tried to solve the problem with a new organizational chart.

“I asked all six fundraisers that I had to promote one of them. But no one wanted the job. I heard that they met and selected among themselves who was going to apply. That was pretty dumb of me.”

Snidely then made another organizational chart where she was the manager of major giving and brought in a new manager to run annual giving.

“Steve was terrible. He never did anything. I had to do his job and mine. So I made another chart.”

This time, Steve was sacked and Sybil was made head of all development – annual giving, events and major giving.

“But when I made Sybil director of development Horace in finance demanded that he be made a director, too. So, I had to change the chart again.”

The changes went smoothly until Snidely fired Judy the communications manager and replaced her with a communications coordinator, Mary-Kate, who was paid half as much but did three times less work as Judy.

“I kind of forgot what Judy did. So, I made a plan to get rid of Mary-Kate after one year and hire a new manager of communications. I changed the chart again.”

In the course of the year, the Foundation underwent 27 organizational changes, let go one-quarter of its staff and hired several new people to replace them. Hemmings solved the problem of keeping staff current by printing labels that tells each staff member which department they are in and who they report to. Labels are printed every day and stuck on each staff person’s clothing or forehead for easy reference. The problem of staff reviews was handled with equal ingenuity. The staff members who have not been terminated have sometimes worked for five or six supervisors over the review period. Now, Snidely does all the reviews herself. She uses a pre-determined formula of “finding at least 20% bad things” in each review.

The new chart, which has been operating for a week, seems to be holding. Snidely is confident it will be a real game changer.

“I just don’t know why we aren’t productive enough. I’ve changed the organization 27 times and there still doesn’t seem to be any improvement. It’s a mystery,” she said.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Zombies meets Star Trek meets AFP Vancouver Conference

Science Fiction, Zombies, Sex, Drama, Horror and FUNDRAISING.
See more at

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spy Foundation secretly surpasses campaign goal

The Mission Impossible super-secret fundraising foundation for spies says it has met its target for the “IMF Ghost Campaign”.

In a statement from their secret location in an underground bunker beneath CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia the IMF Secret Foundation issued a coded statement saying that the three year campaign had met all its “mission objectives” with a minimum of casualties and no additional threats to homeland security.

“The Ghost Campaign mission is completed. All agents and strike teams stand down. Set Condition Green. Message ends. Thanks for your ongoing support” was all that the statement said.

Purported to be the most secret fundraising project ever created, the Ghost Campaign was aimed at all IMF agents across the globe, their allies and even some members of evil agencies who recognized the tax advantages of making a planned gift of their life insurance policy before the IMF assassinated them. All the details of the campaign, including the fundraising target, the identities of the fundraisers and case for support were all kept on a need-to-know basis. Not even the head of the agency, Ted [NAME WITHHELD] was not given all the information when he officially launched the campaign from a secure computer room inside the IMF lair that was air tight, had heat-seeking lasers, a pressure-sensitive floor and only one small ventilation grate at the top of the room that no one could ever access because it would be virtually impossible to do so.

Reportedly, the agency used a team of disavowed agents led by super-spy Ethan [NAME WITHHELD] to lead the campaign. The rogue team operated below the IMF radar collecting data on potential major gift prospects and then executing impossible missions to solicit them for donations. If at any time, any member of the team was killed or captured during a fundraising mission, the agency would deny any knowledge of them. 

In series of incredibly sneaky and action-packed missions the team struck across the world at donors. In one case, they used a helicopter inside a tunnel to jump on to a high-speed to make an $20 million ask. In another, the team used life-like masks to impersonate other people to break into a secret facility to deliver a pledge notice. And in yet another, the team was sprung from a maximum security Russian prison inside the Kremlin after securing pledges from most of the top leadership of the KGB and a few henchmen who were surprisingly easy to kill. The team, which includes a svelte, terribly beautiful female agent, a funny, high-tech wizard and a mastermind who can think his way out of any situation, has an amazingly successful fundraising track record. No one has ever turned them down for a donation…and lived.

The campaign used the agency’s advanced technology to reach donors. This included the ability to impersonate any human and some dogs and cats, a special computerized, thumb-print-activated online donation machine which is no bigger than a credit card and a brochure which dissolves after it’s read. The donation database created for the campaign was made by the same scientists who made the agency’s NOC list and kept under even tighter security.

Thanking donors is important in any fundraising project, but the Ghost Campaign was different. It took special pains to build a secret donor wall which used specially created 30-bit decryption code names that ten super-computers worked on for more than six months and can’t be broken by any normal human being, except the evil genius expected to be introduced in the next movie series.

It is not known what the money raised will be used for, but sources say it might include several new buildings and special benevolent funds. One capital item on the menu supposedly is a new [NAME WITHHELD] Memorial Gymnasium at the IMF Centre. Another possible use is a fund to provide death benefits to the hundreds of people killed during the campaign. And yet another supposedly under consideration is a new wing at the IMF Home for Retired Agents to house the most dangerous and insane members of the agency who cannot be trusted to regular retirement facilities because of what they know.

Like a blockbuster movie, another fundraising campaign is being readied even now. Sources say it will be even more visually stunning, contain less plot, more love scenes and have more funny and beautiful characters.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Charity has to start new capital campaign to pay for the last capital campaign

Metro’s Community Hospital says it will be starting another massive fundraising campaign this month to pay for the last one

The “For Our Sick Kids” campaign ended last week after raising $30 million. More than 25 full-time staff, two dozen consultants, a team of more than 100 volunteers and a trained monkey laboured on the campaign from a Class A office suite for more than five years.

“We certainly raised a lot of money and we’re very grateful,” said Hospital Foundation CEO Dibble Brewer. “But we didn’t realize that we would have to spend so much money raising the money we raised. So we decided to start a new campaign aimed at paying our bills from the last campaign.”

During the campaign, three different sets of fundraising consultants provided counsel to the Foundation. Other consultants including a communications firm, an ad agency, a web service and a fortune teller who knew something about social media. Three database consultants were also used, including one to set-up the Foundation’s database, one to tell the Foundation how it worked and one to clean up the mess the first two consultants made.

“Our staff worked very hard. And it was equally hard for me to fire most of them once the campaign ended and pay them a year’s worth of severance each.  That really added up. I guess I wasn’t thinking when I hired them all in the first place, especially, Svetlana, our masseuse,” said Brewer.
The salaries for the staff were set by the hospital, which paid about twice the scale the Foundation had paid in the past.

“I guess we shouldn’t have paid so much, but they were all somewhat good at their jobs. I know I was worth my $250,000 a year plus a car and a gym membership,” said Brewer. “I’m glad I’m still here.”

The Foundation, created out of the ruins of two previous hospital foundations for the “For Our Sick Kids” campaign, had to create everything new.

“We spent a whack of money on new letterhead, business cards that glowed in the dark, new furniture, an Italian espresso machine and new coffee mugs with my picture on it. I couldn’t believe how many versions of our major ad campaign I ordered – 27. That added up, too. I was floored by how much that all cost when my finance director told me while I was terminating her.”

The Foundation will be launching the “PAY For Our Sick Kids” campaign soon. Aiming to raise an additional $3.5 million to cover the costs of the “For Our Sick Kids” campaign, the new effort will ask existing donors to dig deeper and help those who made the original campaign a reality.

“We’ve already got a direct mail appeal ready that shows the pictures of the ex-staff members and consultants. We just took out the pictures of the kids from the original campaign and changed a few words and presto, it was done.”

To make the campaign work, the Foundation will be hiring five new consultants and ten new staff as well as recruiting 50 new volunteers to form the campaign cabinet. It also moved into better Class A office space in a different downtown building with a better view of the lake that is conveniently located near downtown shops.

“Hmm. I wonder how much this campaign will cost? Ah, never mind,” said Brewer.