Monday, March 24, 2014

It’s no joke...

NPHumour Ends

We’ve decided to end NPHumour. It all started nearly three years ago with one joke, then a story and then a website. Since we started, we’ve had nearly 200,000 visitors. Not bad, but sadly, not good enough, either.

There’s always been a part of the charity sector that never laughs. And while we’ve certainly tried to do our part to change that we just haven’t been able to break through to the larger sector. This publication has always been run on a shoestring, and in fact, we probably lose money on it. But lately, writing these stories has become harder and more burdensome. 

We are signing off at what we hope is the height of our success. Please accept our thanks for visiting us. Thanks to our loyal subscribers. Thanks to our many sponsors.

We’ll be keeping the website up for the time being, so enjoy our more than published 230 stories. 

Maybe one day we’ll be back. 

All the best.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Magic mirror tells charity CEO she is no longer best fundraiser of them all

The CEO of Metro’s largest charity is no longer the best fundraiser of them all, according to her anthropomorphic, malevolent magic mirror.

Metro Hospital Foundation CEO Cindy Maleficent has been using the magic mirror every day before starting work since she took over the charity ten years ago. Upon moving to Metro from Texas she was granted the mirror by an evil spirit in a Faustian bargain to receive superior fundraising skills, unnatural beauty and a savvy evil fashion sense. The mirror is in a hidden alcove in her large office at the hospital, next to the dungeon where she makes magic potions that enslave major donors and force them to give to the Foundation.

Everything changed last week when for the first time the mirror told her she was not the best fundraiser of them all. “Alas, my queen, you are the fairest fundraiser in America so true. But Snow White, the new major gifts officer you just hired, is a thousand times a better fundraiser than you,” the evil prognosticator said.

“Alas for her, you mean!” Maleficent was heard to grumble upon leaving her alcove and leading a staff meeting where Snow White was making a presentation.

The slim, black-haired White is a recent university graduate from Boston. She was hired by Maleficent for her brief stint as a major gifts officer at Boston’s Snidely Children’s Hospital. Maleficent told Finance Director Dibble Brewer that White was just the perfect “bimbo” she needed to complete the major gifts team at the Foundation, which is dominated by people Maleficent can easily dominate and outshine. The Foundation has had a high turnover in fundraisers since Maleficent took over. Some left quickly for other jobs, one or two simply disappeared, but most were fired for one reason or another.

But White wasn’t what Maleficent expected. Her perky personality and clever fundraising skills soon distinguished her from her peers. Within a short period of time she was bringing in more donations than all of her colleagues. She also had a better grasp of the Foundation’s database and twice as many connections then Maleficent on Linkedin.

Staff said they found the normally cold and vindictive Maleficent strangely quiet and “all smiley” during White’s presentation, in which the young fundraiser proposed a new major gifts strategy. Staff members were impressed with White’s plan.

Maleficent was seen to call on Annual Gifts Director Jeff Woodsman aside for a brief, heated private conversation before inviting Snow White to make a presentation at the local AFP chapter at a downtown hotel.

“You have such heart, my dear,” Maleficent told Snow White before leaving the staff meeting and heading back to her lair. “I wish I had it,” she added, chuckling on the way down the hallway.

White, oblivious to death stalking her, is making plans for a cool PowerPoint for the supposed AFP chapter meeting. Woodsman later made an excuse to get time off work and started searching the web for a butcher shop that sells pig hearts.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Charity plans to sacrifice virgin fundraiser to satisfy the gods of capital campaigns

Metro’s University’s Advancement office is planning an offering to the gods of capital campaigns to ensure their $100 million “Another Gym” campaign is successful. On Friday, when the moon is full, they plan to sacrifice a virgin fundraiser on a stone altar near the site of the future third gym the campaign is raising money for.

“Our campaign is nearly ready to begin. We want everything to go well, so we thought we should satisfy the gods with an offering,” said VP Advancement Erin Snidely. “And what better than a virgin fundraiser?”

The gods of fundraising have not always smiled on the University. The last capital campaign, “The Second Gym” was only partly successful. This time, Snidely says, they’re taking no chances.

“Last time we wanted to raise $50 million, so we said our goal was just $40 million knowing that we would go way over the top. But we only raised $40 million. It was a major disaster. The gods were angry with us for our arrogance,” she said.

As well, the last campaign saw a number of signs and events that showed the gods’ displeasure. The previous VP Advancement was run over by a cement truck on its way to build the second gym. Then, the sheep entrails the University Chancellor opened up at the secret pre-launch ceremony were the wrong colour and had a bad odour. Many took the events as signs of a curse.

Snidely, who was hired a year ago to get ready for the campaign, said that this time they have taken every step possible to satisfy the gods.

A shaman was brought in early to bless the site of the third gym with water, grass smoke and chicken blood. Then fundraising staff held a two day long vision quest in a sweat lodge on the University commons. Finally, they hired a young fundraiser for sacrifice.

“We realized that the only thing that would please the gods would be the blood of the innocent. So, we hired a young, inexperienced graduate to be Director of Fundraising last month and kept her busy doing paperwork so she wouldn’t do any asking for money.”

There was a scare a week ago when the virgin fundraiser tried to solicit a two dollar pledge for the University’s staff United Way campaign. Luckily, advancement staff were quick to realize what was going on and diverted the virgin fundraiser’s attention to picking out colours for her new office.

“We almost lost it, but some quick thinking by our people kept the essence of the virgin fundraiser intact. She will be ready for the sacrifice when the time comes,” said Snidely.

“And it’s about time. This woman is so annoying. She’s always suggesting dumb ideas and wanting to create a new Facebook page.”

The hardest part of the campaign so far, says Snidely, has been doing the HR paperwork on the virgin fundraiser.

“You know how hard it is to hire someone who has to be killed? The HR guys couldn’t figure out if she was a temporary hire or a permanent employee without death benefits. Geaz!”

The sacrifice will be attended by several dozen university officials and lead donors for the campaign. Matching white, hooded robes have been purchased as well as an Obsidian knife that will be used for the ceremony.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Consultants recommend Old Man Winter extend his non-profit activities into Spring, Summer

One of the US’s oldest non-profit organizations has been told to expand its activities or face the loss of a whole new generation of stakeholders.

The recommendations were contained in a consultant’s report handed down to the board of directors of Old Man Winter, the non-profit that creates the Winter Season in the US and around the world. Created at the dawn of time and run by the same hermit-like pixie for hundreds of years, the charity recently commission the study on how relevant its activities are today, especially with Generation Y (also known as Millennials).

The report by Big Invoice, a large non-profit consultancy based in Boston, recommended that the organization scale back on severity of Winter and expand into Spring and even Summer.

“Our research shows that Americans are really quiet fed up with Winter. This organization is not really doing itself any favours by laying waste to large parts of the US with freezing rain and snow. It needs to find a way to reach stakeholders with a better message,” the report concluded.

A survey done by Big Invoice found that support for Old Man Winter’s programs and services have fallen to drastically low levels. Only one in five Americans now say they appreciate the positive impact that Winter brings to farmers, lakes and rivers and snow-based tourism. Worse, ten percent of the survey said that they were violently opposed to the organization.

The research also had bad news about the generational impact of Winter. While support for Old Man Winter is falling steadily, it is falling twice as fast among Generation Y than Generation x or the Boomers. Big Invoice predicted that when the Boomers retire in large numbers over the next few years support for Winter will crumble to the point where the non-profit organization will be no longer viable.

The report explored a number of options, including bringing on a new Ice Age to cover the globe. However, it recommended expanding the organization’s activities into more popular months such as Spring, and eventually Summer.

“Spring gets much better numbers that Winter, and Summer more than Spring. This is an untapped market for the organization that could bring it back from certain demise,” the report said.

Big Invoice created a 10-point action plan that will see Old Man Winter target skiing slopes with more snow right up to July and sponsor snow sculpture contests year round. Most importantly, Old Man Winter will whistle-up a series of short snow squalls on in Southern US states during heat waves in July and August.

“The deep summer is when people will appreciate a little snow the most. When the temperature goes beyond 100 in key US cities, Old Man Winter should bring down an hour or two of light fluffy snow. This will get American associating the organization with positive things in their lives again,” the report said.

The consultants also recommended an ad campaign celebrating Winter featuring an array of Hollywood stars and a total make-over of Old Man Winter himself.

“The image that most Americans have of Old Man Winter is of a strange, icy creature that is heartless and relentless. We need to soften that by getting them to see his friendly, warm nature.”

The report recommends Old Man Winter appear on a variety of reality TV shows, such as Dancing With The Stars, and make the rounds of late night talk shows.

There’s no word when or if the recommendations will be accepted by the board of the organization, which is currently busy trying to freeze Georgia and damage parts of the orange crop in Florida.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

“I’m not here to ask for money” named all-time greatest pitch at Fundraising Hall of Fame

The US Fundraising Hall of Fame has named “I’m not here to ask for money” as the world’s greatest fundraising pitch.
The Hall of Fame made the announcement at its annual induction conference and trade show in New York City. The pitch was one of ten nominated by a committee of fundraising experts, with the winner being selected by the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame. “I’m not here to ask for money” becomes the first fundraising pitch entered into the Hall of Fame, which annual recognizes achievements in the philanthropic sector.

“We had a tough time picking the all-time greatest fundraising pitch. There were so many great candidates,” explained Hallof Fame CEO Dibble Brewer.

“I’m not here to ask for money” was created in 1903 by fundraisers at the University of Northwestern South Dakota. Brewer says the Hall of Fame was able to determine that the pitch originally came from the insurance industry, which in turn adopted it from the travelling snake-oil salesmen that roamed the American West at the end of the 19th Century.

“This pitch was perfected specifically for reluctant donors. It took the barriers they presented to making a donation and used them to the fundraiser’s advantage. It was the successful because it said exactly what the donor wanted to hear at the right time,” said the archivist’s write-up in the nomination submission.

The pitch has had a long life because of its many variations. Some notable examples are “I’m not here to ask for money, just to talk about the alumni association” and “I’m not here to ask for money, but to ask your advice about who would give to our upcoming capital campaign.” The Hall of Fame identified nearly 200 such variations, including “I’m not here to ask for money, just to ask about your horse” from 1904 to “I’m not here to ask for money, just to ask you about our new Facebook page” from 2011.

The Hall of Fame says the pitch has likely raised several billion dollars’ worth of donations in its time and still continues to be on the frontline of fundraising pitches today.

Fundraisers across the country hailed the selection as a milestone for the charity sector.

“That’s the first pitch I used when I started in this industry 30 years ago,” said VP Development Chris Snidely at the Big Honking University of Texas. “It kind of brings tears to my eyes.”

“If I tallied up all the times I used that pitch, I probably never asked anyone for money!” said noted US fundraising guru and author Turner Pitchfork.

But not all fundraisers are welcoming the selection. Many, like Sara Twofaces, CEO of Big Invoice, the largest philanthropic consultants in the US, say there were better alternatives.

“I certainly like ‘I’m not here to ask for money’, but there are better pitches that should have been selected. ‘Wouldn’t you like your name on X’ has probably raised more money in the health sector than anything else. That should have won.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Grocer set to introduce new frozen, quick-rising fundraisers that can be prepared in a microwave oven

Great-tasting, hot fundraisers will soon be available in your charity’s lunch room. A national food maker has announced the release of a new line of frozen fundraisers that can be made in microwave oven. Called Jack-and-Jill-in-a-Box, the line will feature a variety of fundraisers, including annual giving, major gifts, planned giving and fundraising manager.

“The Jack-and-Jill line is a breakthrough in food manufacturing. We’ve been able to take a recipe for highly effective fundraisers and turned it into something you can make in a microwave oven. It’s cheaper than hiring a real fundraiser and tastes just great!” said Jason Snidely of Snidely Foods, the Iowa-based manufacturer.

The process to make a Jack-and-Jill fundraiser starts in a large food plant in Armpit, Iowa where food scientists study what makes a great fundraiser.

“We looked at a wide-range of fundraisers, trying to find what makes the best one – ability to raise money, brilliant smile, golf game and such. Then we broke those down into their basic inputs, like pork, toothpaste, calculators and body-spray, so we could duplicate them,” said Snidely.

A giant extruder then turns the raw slurry into a pre-measured fundraiser that is put in its own microwave-safe tray and then flash-frozen. Snidely says the trick with the new line was to find technology that would make the half-pound box quickly rise and grow into a full-size fundraiser who could walk, talk and raise several million in donations before breakfast the next day.

“Our early experiments led us to a secret process of nano-food technology that could build the fundraiser piece-by-piece as it thawed. As long as charities follow the instructions to turn the product twice during the ten minute cooking cycle on high everything should be just fine.”

Charities must also be careful not to remove the plastic film surrounding the new fundraiser when it comes out of the oven or they could receive nasty steam burns.

Snidely cautions charities that the instant fundraisers are not designed to replace their current diet of fundraising professionals, but only act as a supplement. Charities should consume them right away after preparation. The Jack-and-Jill fundraisers have a shelf-life of about 30 days after being made. On the plus side, charities don’t need to pay them or give them health benefits since they weren’t technically alive.

The line, which was introduced in a test market in New England last month, has netted a number of early favourable reviews.

“When I saw this in the frozen aisle off my grocery store next to the peas and carrots I knew I wanted to try it right away,” said Boston charity CEO Dibble Brewer. “We took it back to the office and ten minutes later we had a major gifts fundraiser ready to get to work making us millions.”

“The frozen fundraiser did a better job than the real ones I had on staff. They were nicer, faster and knew a lot more. I was so impressed, I’ll never get a real fundraiser again. But I will need to get a bigger microwave for the lunch room,” said Turner Durner, a Vermont hospital foundation CEO.

But not all the reviews were favorable. One AFP chapter president found that the Jack-and-Jill fundraisers weren’t cooked all the way through and began to go bad just after a few days. Snidely says early versions of the products had a few flaws, but most have been now fixed.

“We found in the first few test batches that about ten percent of the fundraisers tried to kill the donors they were assigned to, but in subsequent batches we’ve managed to reduce that by 90 percent.”

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

CFRE introduces new organic fundraising certification

The world body that certifies fundraising skills has introduced a new organic classification that recognizes all-natural fundraising skills.

The new Certified Fund Raising Executive credential to be introduced next month will be called the “Green CFRE”. To win it, fundraisers will have to prove that they use no fertilizers or synthetic chemical inputs, genetically modified organisms or irradiation when asking for donations.

“We introduced this because so much of fundraising is artificial – the pitches, programs, brochures and even the people,” said CFRE Earth spokesman Dibble Brewer. “We were worried about the long-term impact of all that on the environment.”

The Green CFRE was first suggested after a report by the Association for Green Fundraising that showed that greenhouse gas admissions created by the US fundraising sector was ten times higher than equivalent for-profit industries like marketing, real estate sales and funeral homes. The report found the average US fundraiser made more methane than 20 cows and at least six pigs.

At the same time, the CFRE became aware of a new green generation of major gifts fundraisers who have been gaining fame and fortune through environmentally sustainable fundraising techniques.

“We were excited by a group of Seattle fundraisers using new organic techniques like free-range donations and fertilizer-free major gift solicitation, apparently without too much loss of reach. We just knew it was time to go green,” said Brewer.

Under the new certification, fundraisers will need to show they are all-natural in their form and approach to all fundraising activities. Candidates will need to take a series of blood tests and submit to announced and unannounced inspections for a period of six months. They will have to use recycled paper in all printed material and take major donors to only vegetarian meals. And they will not be allowed to use hormones or antibiotics or drink lattes out of paper cups.

Like other organic products, fundraisers will need to prove they are made up of organic materials to meet certification, but the CFRE will allow fundraisers to have a minimum of 70% organic ingredients to qualify. Exceptions will be made for fundraisers who have artificial legs, arms, hips or hands.

Those receiving the Green CFRE will be able to add special letters after their name and have a special logo attached to their left ear, which the US Department of Agriculture makes mandatory for all “live organic species” before they are sold at market or to a registered slaughterhouse.

The new certification has ran into some criticism, especially from older fundraisers. Brewer says such opposition is to be expected.

“These old fossils started fundraising in a time when they didn’t think about the kinds of emissions they made. We have to move with the times. Mother Earth can’t take our old ways of asking for donations,” he said.

“If chicken farmers and coffee purveyors can do this organic certification than so can we.”


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Thursday, February 13, 2014

World Winter Fundraising Games starts in Sochi

US Men's Winter Fundraising Team marches at opening ceremonies

The world’s 23rd Winter Fundraising Games have opened in Sochi, Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin officially opened the games by lighting the Eternal Flame of Philanthropy in the Sochi Winter Donations Palace, watched by more than 50,000 spectators and an estimated TV audience of several dozens of AFP members around the world.

The Sochi Games will feature 21 winter sports events at nine different venues and run concurrently with the Olympic Games. More than 1,500 fundraisers from 17 countries will be competing.

Team USA is the favourite, with some estimating that it will bring home more than two dozen medals.

“We’re the most experienced, the most driven fundraisers in all the world. Our team have been training for this for years. We’re ready to bring home the gold,” said US Team CEO Dibble Brewer.

The US is expected to take gold in Men’s Downhilll Major Gifts Skiing. University advancement Manager Derek Snidely is the two-time world champion in the event, raising more than $2 million in the world cup race in Geneva last year. In Women’s Annual Giving Speed Skating, US fundraiser Cybil Makeup, a perky, go-getter fundraiser from a US hospital system in Atlanta, is also expected to do well, but faces tough competition from British fundraiser Turner Highhandle, who won gold during the recent Commonwealth Games with a skate that set a new record in direct mail responses.

Experts say the host Russian fundraising team has the edge in planned giving events, especially the Gift Planning Triathlon, which combines cross-country skiing, rifle shooting and getting donors to leave a substantial gift in their will.

“When it comes to getting someone to put something in their will, the Russians are just killers,” admitted Brewer. “But we’re ready for their rough-and-tumble strategies. We’ll be more than a match for them.”

In Donor Recognition Hockey, experts can’t agree on which country will come out on top – Russian, the US or Canada. Brewer says each country has differently playing styles.

“The Russians think donor recognition is just about drinking vodka. The Canadians have to do everything with extra warm clothes on because of their climate. Our style of having big gala dinners with ever-evolving themes like Mardi Gras or the Circus Big Tent will rule the day,” said Brewer.

Security at the Games is expected to be tight, considering that Sochi is next door to some of the most radical fundraising regions in the world. The US Department of State has warned citizens attending the Fundraising Games to be vigilant and to not share any fundraising techniques or technology with strangers they meet in Sochi.

“The last thing we need is to have some of our advanced fundraising database technology falling into the hands of local philanthropic terrorists who could use it to start a capital campaign bent on destruction,” said Brewer. “We’re warning all our fundraisers to stay within the Games village for the duration of the Games.”

The Opening Ceremonies of the Games featured a parade of fundraisers, including the single fundraiser from the Vatican. The Russians then put on a 10 hour stage show featuring ballet dancers re-enacting fundraising moments from the famous novel War & Peace.


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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zombie charity admits buying sharp-sticks-with-logo-on-it a mistake


Critics are attacking the Metro Zombie Foundation for its insensitive fundraising practices. A group of zombie donors has published an open letter in Metro newspapers calling for the Foundation to withdraw its latest marketing gimmick – sharp, pointed sticks with the Foundation logo on it.

The group, which includes more than 100 prominent local Zombies, many of whom are top donors to the Foundation, called the stick marketing idea “offensive and insulting to all flesh-eating creatures”. Mostly dead spokesperson Denise Snidely said the Foundation was being insensitive to its donor base.

“We walking dead creatures support our community. We donate, just like we share the living human flesh we hunt. The last thing we want is to have the charity we support hand out sharp sticks to people. That’s like our worst nightmare,” she said.

Zombies can only be killed by removing a significant portion of their brains from their bodies. Many still-living humans prefer sharp sticks or shotguns to defeat Zombies. Snidely says for too many Zombies the last thing they want to see on Earth is a sharp stick.

“I can’t imagine the horror of a Zombie seeing the Foundation logo on the stick that plunges into their forehead and stops their flesh-eating mania. It’s disgusting,” she said. “What if this sharp, pointed stick gets into the wrong hands?”

Foundation CEO Dibble Brewer defended the stick purchase, which were given out at donor recognition events, but have since been withdrawn. She says they were intended to help donors clean their teeth.

“We all know what it’s like to have a bit of clothing or a belt stuck in our rotting teeth after we bite into human tissue. We thought this over-sized tooth pick would be a great new way to reach our donors,” she said. “Many have already tried it and liked it.”

This is not the first time the Foundation has found itself in trouble with its Zombie donors. Two months ago, The Walking Dead, as the keynote speaker for its annual gala fundraiser. The Michonne character, armed with a Japanese sword, is known for killing Zombies by the dozen.
Invited to dinner
there was an outcry when the Foundation announced that it had selected Danai Gurira, the actress who portrays Michonne on the Zombie TV drama

Brewer said the selection of Gurira as a speaker was a simple mistake.

“We selected Gurira because of her award-winning work promoting continuing arts education in Zimbabwe. We never even made the connection to The Walking Dead until after we booked her. But because of the outcry, we’ve selected film-maker George A. Romero, who made the classic movie Night of the Living Dead. He should be much yummier.”

The Foundation has struggled to make its target for its current capital campaign, called The Big Bite. The $50 million dollar campaign hopes to raise a brick wall around Metro to prevent still-living humans to leave and keep Zombies from wandering the countryside, falling into holes and off cliffs.

“Despite these booboos, we’re still doing good work. We’re helping Zombies lead better mostly dead lives and making the community a nice place to…uhm…die. We ask our donors to keep on giving to the campaign and help us make a difference,” said Brewer.


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

NSA admits to Congress it invented social media to further its eavesdropping

Testifying about inventing social media

The National Security Administration, the spy agency accused of listening to and watching most traffic online, has admitted before Congress to inventing social media back in 1993.

NSA head General Keith Alexander made the admission before the House Security and Intelligence Committee. Under questioning from lawmakers, Alexander said that the NSA originally thought up the idea at its infamous “Skunk Works” in Maryland in the early 1990s.

“We invented social media because we wanted to be able to track every single person in the world. All their activities. Their likes and dislikes. Their friends and affiliations. And, ultimately to monitor what they were doing practically every single minute of the day,” he admitted.

The NSA’s first foray into social media yield few results. Called Geocities, the project let users make their own websites, which the NSA then monitored and collected royalties on. The Agency added AOL Instant Messenger in 1997 to be able to track citizens wherever they were, night or day. Friendster followed soon in 2002.

“The program was amazingly successful. People from the US and around the world were willing to yield up all their personal data to us in exchange for some measly content,” said General Alexander. “Then we gave the program a twist with Wikipedia in 2003.”

The NSA had long been looking for a way to give its propaganda an air of authority, but previous attempts had been miserable failures. When it invented Wikipedia, the NSA finally had a platform that it could use to generate information with any spin they wanted.

“But I think our biggest success has been Facebook. The young NSA agent we put in charge of it, Mark Zuckerberg, did an amazing job. We gave him a backstory about being some geek kid at Harvard, but actually it took a team of 40 NSA scientists and $3 billion to make it happen,” he said.

Thanks to Facebook the NSA has been able to collect a vast array of personal information on US citizens. Alexander says by constantly updating it and keeping it in a state of disarray the NSA have been able to create more and more ways to intrude into the daily lives of ordinary folks.

“The American people should be very proud of the return-on-investment we’ve been able to give them by inventing social media. We now know more about threats against this country and which cute puppy pictures are more adorable than ever before. It was certainly worth the $100 Trillion we spent on it.”


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Rich philanthropist urged to donate $2 million to university gym to give closure to otherwise meaningless, worthless life

Metro University is asking philanthropist Sid Moneybags to make a signature gift to their new gym campaign to bring “closure to your otherwise meaningless and worthless existence.”

The pitch was made in a special ask to the Moneybags family by senior advancement leaders and university president Dr. Melvin Snidely. In a special presentation at the alumni lounge they went over Moneybags’ pointless life and throwaway achievements, urging him to make a last grasp at some kind of significance out of his life.

“We ditched the typical approach to a major gift ask – the flattery, the name-dropping, the prestige. Instead, we just made it plain and simple. We told him ‘Sid, you are nothing without giving at least $2 million to our new gym,” said Vice-President of Advancement Dibble Brewer.

The Moneybags were asked to be the lead sponsors in Metro University’s new “One More Gym” capital campaign, which aims to raise $50 million to build an identical gym across the road from the existing gym that was opened last year.

Sid Moneybags made his fortune on Wall Street as a stock trader and investment banker. He has been a modest, but consistent donor to the University, which he attended for half-a-year when he was 18. Now, 67 and retired, Brewer says Moneybags is right for an ask that questions his very soul.

“We laid it out for him. His failed marriages. His dysfunctional children, some of which went to our University. His rabid, raw quest for greed to replace the lack of love he had as a child. Even the shame of  how he wet the bed till he was six years old,” said Brewer about the ask, which took a team of ten majors gifts officers, psychologists, private investigators and a stand-up comedian a year to create.

“But we had to tear him down. We had to, so we could build him back up to make this gym a reality and to make the world a better place for all humankind.”

The ask included bringing in some of the University’s top researchers. A team of six physicists, including two Nobel Laureates, made a one hour scientific presentation about the insignificant contribution Moneybags made to the Cosmos. Later, a group of award-winning philosophers and theologians held a debate about how much better the world be if Moneybags had never been born. Finally, researchers from the medical school explained the high probability that Moneybags will die suddenly because of his smoking, lack of exercise and drinking.

Dr. Snidely gave the final presentation, showing pictures of the new gym and showing a video of students who say they would use it.

“For some reason, Sid felt that his practical non-existence was sufficient for his legacy at this time,” said Brewer. “He didn’t give us a cent. And then he went off and became a monk working with lepers in Africa or some stupid thing. What a disappointment.”

Nonetheless, Brewer says the unique ask was a success. It was unique and powerful.

“It didn’t work this time, but there are certainly other millionaires out there whose lives are equally empty and meaningless,” he said. “In fact, all of them are.”


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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cow board members “give of their time”, not milk


The board of directors of the Metro Cow Foundation says they don’t need to make a donation to the charity’s new milk campaign because “they give of their time.” The move was in response to the charity’s Executive Director asking for board members to make a donation to the $10 million “Give Milk” campaign.

“It was the feeling of the board that we already give to the success of this charity with our many hours spent at meetings and asking others to give milk. That’s enough. We don’t need to give any homo or skim to the campaign,” said Flossy The Cow, the chair of the board.

Executive Director Dibble Brewer made the pitch at last night’s board meeting, calling on the board to give a least a couple of ounces of milk or a stick of butter. Brewer made an impassioned plea that the board were role-models that needed to show others why giving to the Foundation was important. However, the appeal for participation went nowhere. Board members, led by long-time finance chair Mildred The Cow, quickly voted down the proposal.

“If I put a dollar figure to all the time I have spent working on behalf of this great charity that would equal a whole tanker-truck of un-pasteurized milk and maybe some of those cute baby-cheeses that come in wax, too,” she said. “I say we’ve already paid. In spades.”

The working-dinner board meeting at the foundation’s offices was supposed to review the charity’s third quarter financial results and the new planned cottage cheese giving program, but quickly got sidetracked by the discussions over giving milk to the campaign. Extra cud and straw had to be ordered as the heated discussions taxed the two stomachs of the bovine board members.

Fundraising committee chair Mossy The Cow pleaded with the board to change their minds, arguing that if board members don’t give no one will.

“Many of our biggest donors have been asking us whether our leaders also give to the campaign. I told them that this board always puts its money where its mouth is,” said Mossy. “But I stressed that we are always careful to avoid hoof-and-mouth disease.”

“We had this same discussion about diversity a year ago and the board was intransigent. Now, we have Sue The Pig on our board and we’re the better for it. We have to move with the times. And part of the job of a modern charity board is to give milk to their own cow capital campaign,” added Mossy.

Board member Fru-Fru The Cow objected to being asked for a donation on privacy grounds.

“I’ve been chewing cud with some of you now for nearly a decade and I don’t think it is fair for me to know how much milk you make or much milk I give from my udder. That’s just not right,” she said.

Chair Flossy asked the fundraising committee and the governance committee to meet to discuss the issue in depth before the next board meeting three months from now. However, some members say the issue will never be settled until a new crop of board members is sidled-up to the board stall at the charity’s barn.

“We just have to make giving milk a priority in selecting new board members and hope that one day this won’t be a problem,” said Mossy.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

“Culture of Philanthropy Yogurt” now available for fundraising sector


A US dairy has created a new style of yogurt just for fundraisers. The Culture of Philanthropy Yogurt from Snidely Dairy of Plano, Texas comes in four flavors and is available now at local health food stores and Association of Fundraising Professionals chapters across the nation.

The new brand of Greek-style yogurt was inspired by last year’s US Philanthropy Conference in Dallas, which Dairy owner and CEO Terrance Snidely attended as chair of the local hospital foundation.

“They were all talking about culture of philanthropy this and culture of philanthropy that, and I thought, hey, I’m in the cultures business. I can give them what they want!” said Snidely.

The Dairy made a new Greek-style thick yogurt from a blend of fermented cow, goat and camel milk. Smooth and silky, like a rich major gifts donation, the yogurt has a unique taste because of the use special Lactobacillus delbrueckii cultures.

“It tastes both bitter and sweet, which I thought would be appropriate for fundraising. It’s definitely both,” said Snidely.

The yogurt is made by first heating the milk to 176 °F to kill any undesirable bacteria and to denature the milk proteins so that they set together rather than form curds. The milk is then cooled, the bacterial culture is added and fermentation begins. Later one of the four fruit combinations are added – strawberry, blueberry, blend of also-ran useless berries or peach.

Charity leaders says the new yogurt is both appropriate and tasty.

“We’ve been trying to tell people about the culture of philanthropy for decades, but they just didn’t get it. Now, we have a yogurt that says it all and it tastes great, too,” said Dibble Brewer, CEO of the League of Big Honking Charities.

In a blind taste-testing survey, fundraisers preferred the smooth taste of Culture of Philanthropy Yogurt over other yogurts and typical fundraising foods, such as red velvet cake, donuts and fried calamari.

“When I fundraise, I want something light and fruity to get through all the major gifts calls I have to do,” said Tiffney Standall, a young major gifts officer from Chicago. “And it reminds me of what I’m doing, too. That’s cool.”

“Something, made from bacteria, that is fruity and conveys a serious message. That’s what philanthropy is all about,” said Dennis Turdwell, a New York City hospital foundation Executive Director.

Snidely says they plan to expand the Culture of Philanthropy line to include other offerings fit for fundraisers, such as margarine, cheese strings, antiperspirant, breath mints and nylon stockings.

“The average fundraisers leads a life of misery and emptiness. In a small way, we’re filling their otherwise meaningless existence with things that taste good and remind them to get back to work and stop wasting so much time talking about their husbands and kids in the staff room,” said Snidely.

“This isn’t just fundraiser yogurt, it’s a calling.”


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hospital charity distributing planned gift pledge forms before all major surgeries

Waiting to make their Planned Giving pitch

Metro’s largest hospital is introducing a new, cutting edge planned gifts initiative. The Metro Hospital Foundation says it will begin pitching planned gifts through brochures, signs and videos to patients about to undergo major surgery.

The new program, called Last Rights, will focus on telling patients about the important legacy a gift to the hospital would mean if they should die because of their illness, injury or malpractice. Foundation CEO Dennis Snidely says they are giving patients the opportunity to give and make what might be their last conscious decision before leaving this world.

“These potential donors deserve the chance to make one more, perhaps final gift to Metro Hospital before they pass on. That’s why we’re calling it Last Rights. These donors have the right to make a planned gift even as they are put the sleep before surgery not knowing if they will ever wake up,” said Snidely.

The program was test piloted on the Intensive Care Unit for two months earlier this year. Patients were given brochures to read and signs were placed on the IV bags and poles. As well, the Foundation partnered with the hospital’s Chaplain Service to mention the program at the patient’s bedside.  Snidely says the results were better than they hoped for.

“We anticipated that as many as half of the ICU patients would make a pledge, but in our pilot almost 90 percent did,” said Snidely.

“I remember being there on the ICU myself with my team, observing. And when the Chaplains were called to give our Last Rights program pitch a look came over the patient’s faces – serene, angelic. Some even began to cry. The idea of making a gift to our foundation meant that much to them. It was a beautiful thing to see. I cried, too.”

The new program will feature an upbeat, animated video called “You can still make it” in which a cartoon anesthesia machine talks to patients about the importance of leaving a legacy to the hospital in their will. As well, the Foundation has paid for new surgical masks and gowns for doctors and nurses to wear with the slogan “Have you left something to the hospital in your will?” in warm, friendly colors.

Snidely says the Foundation has been flooded with calls by other hospitals and health centers across the US looking for information on how to implement a Last Rights program.

“We’ve pioneered something here that many other hospitals want to use. It’s a powerful and simple way to make a planned gift pitch. It works because we’ve been able to identify the exact right audience for our planning giving message. These patients are just sucking it up,” he said.

Patient Dibble Brewer, who underwent open heart surgery last month, pledged more than $50,000 to the hospital after being exposed to the Last Rights program. He says it was a moving experience.

“I don’t honestly remember much, just feeling like I was outside my body looking down and someone wanted to have my money for something. Then I woke up and I was told I’d signed away all this money. I’m just glad to be alive,” he said.

“Legacy-making at the last moment on Earth. That’s what philanthropy is all about,” said Snidely.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Grand Theft Auto game to be adapted as fundraising training tool


US charities are tapping the gaming world for help in training a new generation of fundraisers, starting with the wildly successful Grand Theft Auto series. A version of the game, to be called Grand Theft Major Gifts, will be released through the League of Big Honking Charities as a training tool this month.

League CEO Mildred Snidely says the new tool is part of their cutting edge effort to better train US fundraisers and inspire young charity workers.

“Our training committee was wondering how to best educate new fundraisers about the challenges that await them – competition, regulation, the need for speed. Then one of our people showed us Grand Theft Auto where players take on the role of a gang leader in a big city who rises through the ranks of organized crime through murder, drug-dealing and illegal parking. And we said, that’s it. That’s what fundraising is all about,” said Snidely.

In Grand Theft Auto players are given various criminal missions by kingpins and major idols in the city underworld which must be completed to progress through the storyline. They use a ruthless combination of unsafe car driving, murder, flying helicopters, bank robbery and assassinations to get to the top.

In the new fundraising tool, players will take on the role of a major gifts officer at a big city hospital with a mandate to do whatever it takes to make their sales quota, including prospect research, donor calls, direct mail, pipe bombs, extortion and kidnapping.

“The tool will give them all the resources they need to make their one or two million dollar monthly sales quota for the hospital before their boss terminates them. It’s up to them to plan their time, their actions and manage their weapons and ammunition to make their goal. It’s a real test of their ingenuity and will to succeed,” said Snidely.

Players using the new tool also get to drive muscle cars at impossibly high speeds through a major urban center with hardly any street parking, which Snidely says will teach fundraisers how not to waste time on sales calls.

Like the real game, the tool will also introduce rivals from other fundraising organizations who will try to steal major donors, prospect data and eliminate opponents. In fact, says Snidely, the game opens in a running gun battle as the fundraiser player’s mentor is gunned down by the sinister University Advancement Cartel. The mentor’s grisly death and especially his dying words leads the player’s character to vow to reach the capital campaign’s goal whatever it takes.

“The tool just doesn’t teach techniques, like how to ask for a million dollars or plant a car bomb to bump off a planned giving donor, it also motivates,” says Snidely. “Players walk away with an emotional connection to the charity and to their cause. Our research shows that they leave the training with a deadly focus on their work. It’s very effective.”

Early test learners say the training was very powerful and addictive. Dibble Brewer, a new major gifts officer at Metro University, says she spent hours in the training center perfecting her fundraising pitch and polishing her plans to kidnap the children of major prospects to force them to give more.

“It was an amazing experience. I went from a chump with an economy car in the game to driving a tricked-out SUV and being the kingpin of a vast illegal enterprise bent on philanthropic work,” she said. “I had more sex, committed more crimes and raised more money in the game then I could in a lifetime in the real world.”

The League also plans to adapt other games for training tools, including Super Mario 2, Bloodlust 4 and Assassin’s Creed.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Major kidney charity buys liver, bladder and urinary charities in massive takeover of excretory system fundraising sector

excretory take over? 

In a surprise move, Metro’s largest kidney charity has bought out the local liver, bladder and urinary charities in what experts say could be a move to corner the market on fundraising for the excretory system – the biological system that removes excess and unnecessary materials from the human body.

The Metro Kidney Trust announced late yesterday that it would be buying the Metro Liver Foundation, the Community Bladder Trust of Metro and the Urinary Association for Metro in a deal worth more than $75 million in cash and stocks. The deal, which must receive regulatory approval, will take effect next month.

Experts say the bold move will concentrate all fundraising for disorders responsible for the elimination of the waste products of the human metabolism as well as other liquid and gaseous wastes as urine and as a component of sweat and exhalation.

“This is a gutsy move by the Kidney Trust to gobble up the other parts of the human excretory charities in town. This is definitely the work of Trust CEO Dibble Brewer,” said one analyst who did not want to be identified but who looked a lot like Sam Tickman, chief stock market analyst for Metro Stocks.

Brewer, a Wall Street Investment Banker and takeover specialist, was recruited to lead the Kidney Trust last year after spending more than a decade in the corporate sector. He had been signaling a change in the marketplace for months, saying that there were too many players and too much competition for excretory-type donations.

Charity sector watchers fear that Brewer will buy the charities, keep their money-making major gift programs and jettison everything else in order to maximize the power of the Kidney Trust. Others predict Brewer will create a new super excretory charity out of the ashes of the purchases that will suck millions of dollars out of the entire fundraising sector.

Some charity leaders have criticized the move, calling the buyout “predatory”. Metro Lung Trust chair Turner Snidely says his charity was originally approached by Brewer several months ago, but they said no.

“They wanted to buy us out and pay us off. We said no. The excretory system involves several functions that are only superficially related. This is just a crazy idea that will wind up making the Kidney Trust a lot more money but will make everyone else broke. There’s no honor in that,” he said.

Brewer himself wasn’t talking yesterday, spending most of the day at a retreat with major donors and Trust officials. In a prepared statement, he did say the move was “necessary to avoid a market correction that would damage the entire charity sector of Metro.”

Employees at the bought out charities reported for work this morning feeling anxious about their work and careers.

“Yesterday, I was just in the bladder donation business. Today, I’m part of fundraising empire for the entire excretory system. It makes you wonder what’s next,” said Jimmy Olsen, copy boy at the Bladder Trust.

“I sure hope he knows what he’s doing,” said Wendy Jailnose, a planned giving officer with the Urinary Association. “Or this whole excretory could blow up in his face. And that would be icky.”

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Police called in after charity’s planned gift pledges mysteriously go to same person named “Will”

Police investigating "Will"

Metro’s largest charity has called in the police to investigate what could be a serial fraud artist who preys on vulnerable senior citizens. Officials at the Metro Hospital Foundation say that a significant portion of the planned gift pledges they were expecting to see this year from donors who passed on instead went to the same mysterious figure named “Will”.

“It appears that in each case, these seniors left a large portion of their estate to this ‘Will’. The money should have gone to the hospital. We don’t know who he is or how he influenced them to change their last testament, but it sure sounds suspicious,” said Deputy Police Chief Dibble Brewer.

Brewer says the hospital foundation was expecting at least $1 million from more than 47 donors who passed on this year. But half of those donors, with nearly $400,000 in pledges, instead gave their pledges to “Will”.

Foundation CEO Sally Snidely says they began to get suspicious when so many families began talking to them about “Will”.

“The first time we heard about it was after one of our oldest and longest-giving annual donors passed away many months ago. When we contacted the family about the planned giving pledge they told us that that exact same amount had been given to ‘Will’. The, we heard it again and again. It was just as plain as daylight. Someone was tricking these seniors into leaving a good part of their estate to this ‘Will’,” she said.

Foundation officials reviewed their entire planned giving process trying to find a connection. The only thing linking the effected donors was that they all attended the same planned giving seminar last year.

“They all went to the same seminar on making a gift after you pass on, but that’s it. They died at separate times, leaving separate amounts and lived in different parts of the city. It’s a complete mystery how this ‘Will’ got to them all,” said Snidely.

The investigation comes after a series of setbacks for the Foundation’s planned giving program, Two years ago, the full-time planned giving staff were terminated and new, less expensive and less experienced employees were brought in to run the program on contract.

“We’ve had nothing but trouble with planned giving for the last while. We made some mistakes in our printed and online material and we found that our contract staff were not delivering very effective education seminars to donors. We even had to do several brochures over again. Not once, but twice. Now this,” added Snidely.

So far, the shadowy “Will” figure has not stepped forward to claim his various monies from the estates of the donors, but police say they will be watching and waiting.

“This is obviously a master criminal who knows how to prey on the weaknesses of our seniors,” said Deputy Chief Brewer. “But every criminal makes at least one mistake. And when this ‘Will” does we’ll catch him and put him away behind bars for a very, very long time.”

Thursday, January 9, 2014

University presidents condemn NSA snooping, but wonder if they can borrow system for next capital campaign

The organization that represents the nation’s university presidents has come out with a strong condemnation of the National Security Agency’s domestic snooping program that taps millions of text, email and phone messages of ordinary US citizens. Meeting in Chicago, the League of US University Leaders issued a stinging criticism of NSA domestic snooping and a call for the technology behind it to be shared with their advancement teams for their next capital campaigns.

“This NSA snooping program is an outrage against our fundamental rights. The government has no right to monitor ordinary citizen’s emails, text messages and phone calls,” said League Chairman Desmond Snidely, President and Vice Chancellor of the University South-Western North Carolina University.

“We call on the government to stop this practice at once, right after they have allowed some of our more larger universities to borrow the system for a couple of key capital campaigns.”

News reports across the world have revealed that the NSA has a vast surveillance system of foreign nationals and US citizens. The majority of reports emanated from top secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Media stories suggest the NSA has the ability to track a person’s every communication – their web activities, text messages, emails and phone calls. They can also reportedly activate their mobile phone’s microphone and camera to listen and watch what people do. The League says that this is unnecessarily intrusive and goes against the US Constitution.

“The government doesn’t have the right to listen, watch or read everything you do online or with your mobile phone. They may be doing it in the name of the War or Terrorism, but what they are accomplishing is to tear down the rights and freedoms our forefathers fought so hard to create,” said Snidely. “Also, it’s not right that they don’t share this kind of thing because some US universities are about to start billion dollar fundraising campaigns.”

Snidely says US universities will be raising billions of dollars in fundraising in 2014 and desperately need a new way to reach alumni and donors. University capital campaigns have been growing in size in the last decade, but more and more of the donations are coming from fewer people. Alumni participation is also decreasing. While social media and mobile phones have opened up new opportunities to reach donors, says Snidely, it has also created significant barriers to reaching people who don’t want to be reached.

“This NSA snooping program is just plain wrong, plain and simple. If it were to be used at all, it should be used to help us find more donors to help keep our nation’s greatest asset – our universities – strong and vibrant.”

On the heels of the announcement by the university presidents, the Conference of US Hospital CEOs made a similar statement. Conference Chairman Dibble Brewer of the Vicksburg Hospital of Plano, Texas also added their voice to the worldwide condemnation of the NSA snooping program.

“We hospital leaders also call on the US government to stop this practice of snooping on millions of innocent Americans,” said Brewer in a statement. “But if they were to share it, it should be the nation’s hospitals who get first crack at it. We have pressing fundraising needs, more pressing than building a bunch of gyms at local universities.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

The winners have been chosen in our annual people's choice awards -- the 2013 NPLOLs. We asked you to pick from ten stories. Seven were chosen for the highest page views and three were wildcard stories we thought were overlooked. More than 100 people voted, and we selected Fayre from Memphis as our winner of a free gift from our online store.

FIRST PLACE (The choice of more than a third of all votes)
47 local charities mistakenly have gala fundraiser all on the same night 

Foundation to Stop Procrastination delays its new strategic plan, again 

Anti-social media foundation launches new social media fundraising campaign

Work/Life Balance committee told to work late, weekends to get report done


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