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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