Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cash-strapped charity hands out new titles instead of pay raises

Metro’s largest charity is giving its employees a special bonus this year – new titles. The Community Trust of Metro says it couldn’t afford to give the over-worked, under-paid staff a salary increase this year. Instead, Executive Director Wendell Snidely says they are offering their 30 staff members new, fancy titles and business cards to go along with them.

“We don’t have the money to increase anyone’s salary this year, except me and the finance director,” said Snidely. “So we came up with the idea of giving people new job titles that would make them feel better about their work in a shallow, meaningless sort of way.”

The new policy, called “Name Compensation”, will see all staff members receive new, exciting job titles. The communications officer will now be Vice-President of Medias, the events coordinator will become the Director of Field Fundraising and the junior major gifts officer will become Deputy Director of Constituent Development and Parties.

Executive assistant and receptionist Dibble Brewer says she was thrilled to be name Vice-President of Assistance and Reception.

“All I get is a lousy business card? That’s it. What about the increase I was promised? Geez,” she said in support of the program.

Finance clerk Betty-Sue Bob said she was surprised and humbled when she was named Director of Finance.

“My boss, the Manager of Finance, told me that I was being named Director of Finance. And I like said oh wow. Then she said she had been named Princess of Finance and that she outranked me. I’m glad I didn’t say anything at first, because I was going to tell her to get her own damn coffee,” said Bob. “Do I really have to call her ‘Your Royal Highness’?”.

The plan had a few strange twists when superstar fundraiser Jean Whitetooth insisted on a title of her own choosing.

“I was ready to offer Jean Vice-President of All Development Everywhere. I thought that was befitting of her status and position, and her ego. But she said no and we had to go with what she wanted, which was Prima Ballerina. I don’t know what that has to do with fundraising but I’m just happy she’s happy,” said Snidely. “We had to order pink coffee mugs with her new title, though.”

Initially reluctant, the Board of Directors agreed to the new policy when Snidely suggested that each of them could be “Chairperson of the Board.”

Snidely herself has also had to change her job title to match the rest of the Trust. She will now be known simply as “The One”, based on the Neo character from “The Matrix” film series.

In a separate move, the Trust will now refer to donors as “Love muffins”.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mega-charity outsourcing IT department to sheep in Scotland

Employees at Metro's largest charity say their jobs are being outsourced to workers from another country. The 32 staff who work in the Cancer Trust of Metro say they were given lay-off notices last week and told their jobs we're being outsourced to sheep in the Scottish Highlands.

"The entire IT department has been canned. Now our jobs will be done by someone with wool from a another country. We're not going to stand for it," said Dibble Brewer, President of the Union of Federated Charity Slaves and Indentured Servants, which represents the workers at the Trust.

The union was told about the change a few hours before workers got their lay-off notices. Many of the employees had been working for the Trust for years. Some had 10 years experience in the IT department. None of them expected to lose their jobs to sheep.

"I can't believe it. We were just laughing at the latest requests coming into the Help Desk when we got the word that our jobs were being cut," said Turner Electrode, a five year IT worker at the Trust. "And then we learned that the entire IT department was being sent to Scotland. Now a sheep will be doing the job that we used to do. That made us all mad. And strangely curious."

Trust CEO Wendy Hairdo denied that foreign workers would be taking jobs from people in Metro.

"We are trying to save money my reducing operating expenses. So, we decided to contract all of our IT services to BAAA IT, a US-based company. Their service department is based in Scotland where they have an IT department staffed by some of the best-trained IT sheep in Europe," said Hairdo. "No sheep will be working full-time in Metro."

However, Brewer says that as part of their severance package, some workers were ordered to help train the Scottish sheep to do their jobs.

"They had to help the Trust train these sheep to do their old jobs," said Brewer.

A spokesman for BAAA IT, said none of their sheep would be working out of the Trust offices in Metro. But he did admit that several sheep did visit the office last week for a briefing.

"They are based in Scotland. They just came here to set-up our remote systems, that's all. And to get some shopping in," said Fluffy Sheepe, the company's director of public relations.

Hairdo says that the move to have sheep from Scotland do the work of the IT department will save the Trust millions of dollars over the next few years, enough to give senior Trust managers their own coffee-making machines each and a larger car-allowance.

"We're doing this so that we can spend more money doing what our donors want us to be doing -- helping people deal with cancer while having a low-fat soy latte in the comfort of our offices," she said. "Our donors will love this."

Soon after the story broke, the Trust's board of directors decided to outsource senior management to Norway Lemmings from Finland.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Two local cancer charities to have “rumble” to decide who rules West Side

The Jets
The Sharks

Two of Metro’s largest gangs are planning to have a rumble to decided once and for all who rules the cancer charity sector on the West Side.

The Jets, a gang who runs a prostate cancer charity, and the Sharks, who operate a breast cancer charity, both have offices on Metro’s West Side. Tension between the two cancer charities have been mounting for months. Police managed to break up a major riot just last week when the Sharks caught Jets fundraiser “Baby John” on their turf asking business sponsorships for their annual ball.

“These two charities have been nibbling at each other’s heals for a long time now. I seem them cancer gangs come and go, but these Jets and Sharks are different. If I don’t find out where the rumble is, there’s gonna be trouble,” said local police spokesperson Lieutenant Schrank.

Things went from bad to worse at the Jets ball, where Maria Nuñez, the sister of Sharks’ leader Bernardo, was seen dancing with Tony Wyzek, an ex-member of the Jets. Later, police broke up what looked like a war council meeting of the leaders of both gangs at Doc’s shop.

“They told me that they were meeting there to exchange information on planned giving techniques, but I’se knew what was going on. They were planning their rumble. Those wise guys,” said Lieutenant Schrank. “If they have that rumble, there’s gonna be trouble.”

Jets leader Riff Lorton says he doesn’t know anything about a planned rumble, but says the Sharks need “some learning” about who rules the West Side.

“I don’t know nothing about no rumble. All I know is that those Sharks need to be keeping their place in their own donation territory, see?,” he said. “They gotta stop coming into our neighborhood with their annual giving direct mail letters and their major gift officers roaming the streets looking for trouble. You know what I mean?”

For their part, the Sharks say their cancer charity is the one and only place for donations on the West Side.

“We all know who’s the most important cancer charity. It’s the breasts, man. Not the prostates. You can’t even see a prostrate! It’s like not even there!” said  Sharks leader Bernardo Nuñez, and brother to Maria. “Yah, and if that no good prostrate-loving Jet Tony ever touches my sister again, I kill him. You hear. Kill him!”

Some people are hoping a rumble can be avoided. Maria has asked Tony to try and stop the rumble, even if it is only a fist-fight. The two-star-crossed and hopeless lovers used clothes in a bridal shop to fantasize about their wedding, exchanged vows and then kissed.

“Why can’t all us cancer charities get along. We are all fundraisers. Why does there have to be blood between them? Why?” said Maria.

“Damn cancer charities. There’s gonna be trouble,” concluded Lieutenant Schrank.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Study finds charity IT departments regularly turn off network to show organizational dominance, have a laugh

A new study says the majority of US charity IT departments turn their computer networks on and off at regular intervals to demonstrate their organizational power.

The study of more than 3,000 charities, conducted by the US Center for Charity Stuff, found that 67 percent of charity IT managers admitted to interrupting their network. Half of these said they did it to show their importance within the organization, especially to the Finance Department. Thirty percent said they did it because they needed a laugh. The remaining twenty percent had a variety of reasons for turning the network off, including paranoid delusions, the need to reset their online gaming platforms, to cover-up online poker sessions or because of demon possession.

“This survey gives a rather unique insight into the minds of IT managers at US charities. Most of them seem to be cranky, insane or insanely cranky,” said Dr. Boris Snidely, CEO of the Center. “It appears that most US charities are experiencing some kind of network interruption purely because the IT department wants them to.”

The study asked IT managers at US charities a number of questions, including what motivated them. The results confirmed other surveys – most IT departments are underfunded or inconsistently funded, have high turnover and are underpaid. But Snidely says the questions about motivation yielded a number of unexpected results.

“What they said about the number of help tickets they receive didn’t surprise us. It’s when we asked what they do with them that we got some really interesting results,” said Dr. Snidely.

According to the survey, half of all help ticket requests are usually ignored. In most of those cases, automated messages are sent making it appear that the IT department is working on the problem. Some IT managers only act when second or third requests come in on the same ticket.

Other findings from the study found that most IT answers to network, computer, software or other questions are usually made up and that a third of the time even the IT department doesn’t know the answer.

“We believe that IT managers are felling very vulnerable in their organizations and have a deep seeded need for recognition,” said Snidely.

A spokesman for the Association of Charity IT Leaders dismissed the study as “fluff”. Spokesperson, Dibble Brewer says IT managers only follow the same practices as other professionals at US charities.

“We all know why finance managers screw up the odd pay slip and why administrative managers forget to order those over-sized paperclips we wanted – it’s to show who’s boss,” said Brewer. “Our members are just doing the same thing.”

A follow-up study by the US Center for Charity Stuff has been put on hold indefinitely because of a major computer network crash.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Chocolate declared King of Philanthropy over Coffee in first-ever social media poll


Chocolate has triumphed over coffee in a month-long international social media contest to see which substance makes the world of Philanthropy work.

Created by NPHumour, the world’s only fundraising comedy website, the contest asked fundraisers from around the Globe to use their social media to determine whether philanthropy revolved around coffee or chocolate. Advocates for both went online with Twitter, YouTube and other social media to “Like”, “Comment” or “Re-Tweet” their favourite fundraising concoction.

The results showed a near 2-to-1 preference for chocolate. NPHumour Editor John Suart says the answer is clear. Chocolate is the king of fundraising.

“The fundraising world has spoken. They prefer chocolate over coffee,” Suart said. “Coffee may be the thing that keeps them awake, but it appears that chocolate is what makes fundraisers really tick.”

Nearly 1,000 people participated in the challenge. A special “Chocolate Wins” video has been released by NPHumour to celebrate the victory.

Non-Profit Humour is the world’s only fundraising comedy website. Created in 2011, the site has had 130,000 visitors. Visit the site at:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Death turned down for a job in planned giving

Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, has been turned down for a job as a planned giving officer with the Metro Trust Foundation.

The Grim Reaper was one of 47 people who applied for the position at the Foundation, Metro’s largest charity. He was sent a rejection letter without even being interviewed.

In the formula rejection letter, Foundation CEO Wendy Snidely praised Death for his “many strengths, positive attitude and thirst for life.”

She went on to explain that the position was a very demanding one and that the Foundation had to be very selective about whom would fill the new position.

“Planned giving is a very complex field of fundraising – wills, estate gifts and life insurance. It’s not for everyone,” explained Snidely.

In his cover letter, Death did detail his extensive experience with end-of-life issues. He said he has talked with many people facing the end of their existence and been able to “form a bond with them.” Death described himself as a “hard worker” and “committed”. He also included details on his employment, including his first fast-food jobs out of high school.

One of the questions the Foundation was about fundraising experience. Here, Death admitted that he had little direct experience. However, he did write that his work with people in end-of-life situations often involved discussions about money. He wrote that he made up for his lack of fundraising experience with a “superior understanding of the mechanics of gift planning, in all its forms.”

“I have always been an advocate of getting people to make a will. And I often advise them to leave money to charity as a way of ensuring their legacy,” he wrote.

“I have a thorough knowledge of life insurance products and how they work, as well.”

Death also included a personal reference from Famine, the third horseman of the Apocalypse, and Mr. Peabody, his now dead high school principal.

After reviewing his application in light of the rejection letter, Death did notice that his resume was not formatted correctly and that he had spelled the word “public” without the letter “l”. He also noted on second glance that he had written that he was a “stick for detail” rather than a  “stickler for detail” as he had intended. This may have contributed to his rejection.

The letter noted that the Foundation would keep Death’s resume on file and would contact him again if any other positions were posted that fitted his skill set.

In a related story, CEO Wendy Snidely was found dead this morning from an apparent accident at the Foundation. Workers found her body in the photocopy room. Police say she was somehow accidently sucked into the photocopy machine while sending out rejection letters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Charity can’t deposit big check from major corporate donor

Don't send this...

One of Metro’s largest charities has handed back a $100,000 donation from a major corporate sponsor because it couldn’t cash the over-sized check they received.

The Metro Hospital Trust received the donation from Snidely Hardware, a chain of Metro stores that employs more than 1,200 people. At the special announcement event at the Trust’s offices, store officials handed over a large check that was six feet wide and 2 feet tall.

“We were all smiles until they handed over this big check. Like, how the heck are we supposed to take that to the bank?” said Trust CEO Dibble Brewer.

Confused Trust officials thanked the company and its employees for the donation, but later met in private to discuss the problem with the check.

“As the Director of Finance, I see a lot of cheques. But most of them are much, much smaller,” said the Trust’s Wendy Badhairdoo. “This one was like much, much bigger. And it was made out of a rigid material. We couldn’t get it to fit into our bank deposit bag. I didn’t know what to do.”

Trust officials tried several ways to fold the big check but to no avail. They then considered a plan to break the check into pieces for reassembly by the bank using a detailed map and written instructions. Nothing worked.

“We called our banker who was playing golf and told him about our problem. We asked him whether the bank would accept a check the size of a pool table and he said ‘no’. Checks needed to be a regulation size,” said Brewer. “What were we to do?”

Finally, Brewer says they had to call the company back and ask them for something smaller.

“This was a really hard thing to do, so naturally I asked Wendy to do it. She called the CEO of Snidely Hardware and told him that the check was just too big and that we needed it to be much smaller.”

“They had a hard time understanding our request. I guess they have been using big checks like this for donations for years and strangely enough no one has ever told them about the problems it creates,” said Badhairdoo. “I had to tell them that we needed something smaller or we couldn’t take their donation. They seemed to get that.”

A few days later a courier dropped off a standard-sized cheque for $10,000 and a note from Snidely Hardware that as requested they were giving us “something smaller.”

“That’s what you get for reminding corporate donors about breaking the financial rules. They cut their original donation. Some donors are irresponsible and childish like that,” said Brewer. “But I’d rather be a forthright, ethical charity than be a charity that gets over-sized checks and tries to pass them off on our bank. We may have less, but we have our pride.”

Monday, April 1, 2013

Study shows most of what your charity agreed upon yesterday is out-of-date today

A new study says that most charities are surprisingly less effective than most of them think. The ten year long study by a team of scientists from the University of Southern North Dakota found that the majority of what US charities decided on one day was totally out-of-date the next day.

“We expected US charities to be inefficient and ineffective but not to this scale,” said study leader Dr. Dibble Brewer. “We found that 60% of the charities in the study had most of their plans invalidated the day after they made them.”

The study looked at the strategic planning process of more than 1,200 US charities, including large fundraising organizations and small volunteer service associations. It followed each major decision that a charity made and then followed up at certain time intervals for up to a year.

The scientists concluded that 60% of charity’s strategic decisions fell apart the day after they were made. A further 30% became useless a week later. Some 9% actually managed to stay intact for the year-long study period. The remaining 1% were decisions that were invalidated the minute everyone left the meeting room.

The plans went down the drain for mostly the same set of reasons. Nearly half failed because of the over-optimism of the executive director/CEO of the charity. A further 30% fell apart because of unpredictable outside forces. The rest failed because the charity was cursed or because of a strange kind of amnesia that made most of the staff forget what was in the plan.

“We were surprised to discover that a small, but significant number of people in these charities seemed to forget everything in the plan, often the moment they left the meeting room in which they approved it,” said Brewer. “When we followed up, most of these people didn’t remember the decisions they made and a few even denied that they ever were involved in our study at all.”

Brewer says the study could not find a definitive root cause of the lack of decision-making effectiveness, although they have suggested a number of research ideas for further study.

“It could be that charities are over-worked and under-staffed. It could be that the pace of change is just getting faster and faster. Or it could be Devil possession or mass hysteria,” said Brewer. “We’ll have to do more research to figure it out.”

The study also found that most charities aren’t surprised by their lack of effectiveness. Many thought that it was standard in the sector.

“We kind of expect things to go bad,” said Sarah Snidely, the CEO of the League of Big Honking Charities. “We’re charities. Nothing we do makes much sense really.”