Sunday, March 24, 2013

Irish charities running out of Leprechauns

The Irish Government is stepping in to financially support dozens of major charities because of a lack of Leprechauns.

The Taoiseach, or Prime Minister of Ireland, declared a “charity emergency” this morning after a number of leading Irish charities reported that they had run out of the mischief-making, tiny fairy creatures who have pots of gold and grant three wishes when captured by humans.

For centuries, Irish charities have relied on the “wee folk” linked to the Tuatha Dé Danann of mythology to fund their programs. The system began to falter in 2000 when a government study found that most charity Leprechauns were becoming too old. It found that the majority of Pots’ of Gold had been “significantly drained” after hundreds of years and that finding replacement fairy creatures was near impossible. The study concluded that Irish charities had developed an over-reliance on the Leprechauns and had lost the practical ability to capture new ones. Further, most of the three wishes Leprechauns grant had already been used.

The crisis has brought many Irish charities to near bankruptcy, says sector leaders.

“This is a disaster for the charitable sector and for the country. We will no longer be able to depend on this revenue stream to keep our programs going,” said Seamus O’Snidely, President of the Irish league of Big Honking Charities. “We’re going to actually have to start fundraising again.”

Not since St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland in 398 AD have Irish charities resorted to asking the public for donations. With the capture of the first Leprechaun in 415 AD, most fundraising has been confined to giving to religions that don’t believe in fairies.

“Our aging population of Leprechauns just can’t carry the weight of all our national charitable programs any more. We’ve tried a number of techniques to motivate them to give up their last remaining pots of gold, but it’s not working. We’ve already got them all,” said O’Snidely.

In response to the emergency, the Irish government has brought in a team of expert fundraisers from North America, including fundraising data experts The Batsch Group and charity marketing leaders JohnSuart.Com.

US charity leaders are watching the situation in Ireland closely. A number of US charities, especially universities, still use Leprechauns.

“The US situation is different from Ireland. But there are a number of big US universities that are experiencing the same impact as Irish charities,” said Dr. Dibble Brewer, a US charity expert and taxidermy specialist. “We might see some of the current billion dollar capital campaigns falter if US Leprechauns start encountering the same problems as their Irish counterparts.”

In a related story, several Irish charities have begun planning to capture the Tooth Fairy in order to secure new funding.