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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