Innovative thinking, practical tips and some crazy ideas

Truths and jests

Are nonprofits and fundraising organizations prepared to laugh at themselves?

Hats of to John Suart for helping us find out. His Non Profit Humour blog is hilarious and there’s a lot of truth in his jesting.

Recent posts include one that reveals both sides of the media release game. Others deal with unrealistic expectations of social media efforts and question their effectiveness.

There is often a sad side to humour. After I finished chuckling at these, I was struck by how genuinely they describe the situation many nonprofits are in. With restricted marketing budgets and too few resources, nonprofits do often find themselves flailing – and hoping. From the outside it’s easy to see that what they need is a realistic and informed plan. From the inside, marketing is often subject to unrealistic expectations. It seems that every stakeholder thinks that he or she is an expert in marketing and knows exactly what the organization should be doing. (Well, at the very least they know what is being done wrong.) The end result can be marketing efforts that are neither pretty nor effective.

The blog also takes on the large organization that so often takes itself far too seriously.

It seems to me it’s also the humorous side to Dan Pallotta’s HBR blog about thinking outside the box. Dan’s point is that to think outside the box, you have to be able to confront what’s inside the box. John Stuart demonstrates that humour is a great way to do that.

So, let’s be prepared to laugh at ourselves and in the process become better nonprofit marketers.

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