Humor in the Nonprofit World

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Several nonprofits played April Fool’s Day pranks this past April 1, an article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported. Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization, pretended they were turning their nonprofit into a deli shop called Team Ruebencon. Keeping America Beautiful joked that the first recyclying symbol was found in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Although the day has passed, these stunts prove that getting creative and having fun with your marketing can inspire donors. Nonprofits have a rep for being serious to a fault, but incorporating humor is sometimes the key to finding financial success. Here are some ideas on how to add some spice to your organization’s communication.

First, and easiest, you can link to humorous videos, pictures, or articles that relate to your cause. Do you help animals? Then post funny videos of cats. Everyone loves a funny animal video, so these are sure to get people commenting and sharing.

Next, you can create your own humorous content. Does your organization donate gently used clothing? Take pictures of your staff and volunteers dressing up in the funniest (or ugliest) clothes that have been donated and post them. Just be careful to keep it humorous, you never know if the donator could be watching!

In the spirit of April Fool’s Day, play small pranks on your donors through newsletters or on social media. It doesn’t have to be April Fool’s Day to pull a good trick. As long as you make sure and tell your audience it’s all in good fun later on, no harm done. People want to see that the organizations they love have a good sense of humor. In a world of mainly emotional and sad, touching stories, injecting a little fun can only be a good thing.

About the writer: Erin is a junior at the University studying Journalism and Entrepreneurship. She is undecided about what she wants to do after school. She is passionate about writing, dogs, and Chipotle. 

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