8 Classic Nonprofit Jokes to tell at Parties

light-bulbs-406939_640pdLast week, someone told me I should go into stand-up comedy. I started working on some jokes. Here is the first batch. Try them out at your next cocktail party or annual dinner and you should have people rolling on the floor.

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An Executive Director walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?” The Executive Director says, “My organization is facing financial crisis due to the economy and funders’ shifting priorities. We may have to lay off some staff and close several programs, leaving thousands of low-income clients without service.”

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Knock knock.

Who’s there?

The annual fundraising event!!!!!

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How many board members does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Eight! One to change the light bulb, and seven to distract the founder!

(Original answer: It really depends on the composition and skillset of the particular board. If there is an electrician on the board, for example, then it may only require one board member. However, if there’s a founder on the board, he might insist that the old bulb is perfectly good and there is no need to change it, so another board member may be required to create a diversion.)

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What did the ED say to the PO? IOU N LOI

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An Executive Director, a Development Director, and a board chair were adrift on a raft after their ship sank. The board chair looked at the ED and said, “This is all your fault. You were steering the boat!” The ED looked at the DD and said, “No, it’s all the DD’s fault. She was in charge of the sails.” The DD said, “It’s both your fault. You were steering the boat, but you were charting the course.” All three were devoured by sharks. It was the worst board/staff retreat ever and the organization never used that teambuilding company again.

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What did the Executive Director say to the Finance Director at the organization’s annual holiday party? “It’s the end of the calendar year, please prepare to close our books so we can do the financial reports, mail out W-2’s to our staff, and send 1099’s to contractors.”

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What do you get when you cross a Program Director, a Volunteer Manager, and a Janitor? Answer: A situation that is not too uncommon in most nonprofit organizations.

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A Development Director found a magic lamp. A genie appeared and offered one wish. The DD said, “I wish for one million dollars to support my organization.” Done, said the genie, come to your office tomorrow, and it’ll be there. Next day, she came to the office, and when she opened the door, three million binder clips fell out. “What the hell!” she said to the genie, “I asked for one million dollars!” Yes, said the genie, but you didn’t specify that it couldn’t be in-kind…

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All right, I’ll keep writing more jokes until I have enough to take the show on the road. Please post your jokes in the comment section. (Update: See “More classic jokes to tell at parties” for more hilarious nonprofit jokes.)

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Body language basics for nonprofit professionals

CatapultaIn this field, we deal with people a lot. In fact, over 80% of my work is attending meetings. (Of the remainder, 20% is spent emailing and 10% is spent cowering under my desk, rocking and shaking, staring at our budget, wondering why it wouldn’t balance). Considering that at least half of our communication is nonverbal, it is shocking how little we pay attention to body language. But body language is awesome, and learning even the basics will give you a leg up—ha! Body language joke!—at the next site visit or presentation or board meeting.

So today I am going to delve into some of the signals that I have been studying. It is good for you to learn a few of them so you can better interpret people’s moods and emotions, and also for you to be cognizant of your own body language so you can better communicate.

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Final observations on Europe before we get back to unicorns and wombats

cuppolaHi everyone, sorry for the lateness of this post. I was traveling back from Berlin. It is good to be back in Seattle, though I am jetlagged and look kind of like someone just punched me in both eyes. Today I realized I have lost 5 pounds, which gives me a great idea: The Vegan Balkans Diet! Basically, just become a vegan, then go to the Balkans.

Since I’m jetlagged and trying not to fall asleep until at least 9pm, I don’t know how coherent this post is going to be. Berlin, Germany was really great, except that people were kind of rude, saying things like “You do not have an account at this bank? Then no, you may not withdrawal money here” and “Stop! You can’t just try to break off a piece of the Berlin Wall at this museum!”

Continue reading “Final observations on Europe before we get back to unicorns and wombats”

8 grammar mistakes even smart and sexy people like you are making

 

portrait-1072696_960_720A while ago, I wrote about people’s misuse of the word “literally,” a condition that has reached pandemic level, with even very smart people saying stupid things like, “My board is so great, I’m literally in love with all my board members.” I carry small rocks in my jacket, just so I can throw them at people who use “literally” wrong

Well, after writing that post, dozens of readers wrote to thank me for raising awareness of the issue, and by “dozens,” I mean two people. So I thought we should shed light on other common grammatical mistakes that occur in our field, where 90% of the work is done by talking and writing.

Now, first of all, a disclaimer: I am not a grammarian, and I don’t claim to have perfect grammar or anything. Anyone who scans NWB posts will see countless mistakes.

Second of all, not all grammar needs to be correct all the time. Sometimes for the sake of flow I make grammatical mistakes on purpose, e.g., “Someone did not pay for their ticket to our fundraising dinner, so I am going to hunt them down and put this horse head in their bed.”

Continue reading “8 grammar mistakes even smart and sexy people like you are making”

Nonprofit Cocktail Recipes

cocktail-1058237_960_720A while ago I wrote about self-care, and how we should all try to find time to do the things that make us happy. For me, one of those things is mixing drinks. It makes me happy to discover or invent new cocktails. Here are several that are inspired by people and concepts in nonprofit work. I also asked friends on NWB’s Facebook page to send in their own recipes, and those are listed at the end. Please submit your own inspired creations in the comment section.

The Executive Director

1 oz vodka

2 oz grapefruit juice

2 oz passionfruit juice

1 more oz vodka

Another oz vodka

Put ice into glass or mug. Pour everything else in and stir. Garnish with more vodka. Drink at either 9am or 9pm at the office. Strong, and slightly bitter.

 

The Retreat

1½ oz coffee liqueur

1½ oz brandy

1 oz nighttime cold and flu medicine

2 Tylenol Extra Strength tablet

Pour coffee liqueur, brandy, and cold and flu medicine into glass without ice. Drop in Tylenol tablets. Drink the cocktail slowly while discreetly checking emails on your smartphone.

The LOI

1/6 oz dry gin

1/6 oz Kirsch

1/6 oz orange Curaçao

1/6 oz dry vermouth

1/6 oz sweet vermouth

Strip of lemon peel.

Mix all ingredients together with ice and strain into a shot glass. Garnish with lemon peel strip. Give it to someone. If they like it, make them another, but instead of using 1/6 oz for each ingredient, use 1 full oz, but change orange Curaçao to blue Curaçao and Kirsch into blackberry brandy.

 

The Strategic Plan

½ oz blue Curaçao

1 tsp raspberry syrup

¼ oz maraschino liqueur

¼ oz yellow Chartreuse

¼ oz Cointreau

Chill everything for several hours, including a shot glass. Slowly and carefully pour the liqueurs in the order listed over the back of a teaspoon into shotglass. Do not stir. When done correctly, you will have a colorful, multi-layered drink that is not only delicious, but beautiful to look at. Do not drink it. Show it to everyone, then put it in the fridge and then throw it out after a year or two. 

The Annual Event

1 piece edible gold leaf

2 oz Cinzano extra dry vermouth

½ oz framboise

½ oz black Sambuca

½ oz pureed sardines

rose petal, lime wedge, lemon peel twist, raspberry, pineapple piece, candied hibiscus, black truffle shaving, cape gooseberry

Put gold leaf into glass. Shake Cinzano, framboise, and Sambuca with ice and pour into glass. Float pureed sardines on top. Garnish with rose petal, lime wedge, lemon peel twist, raspberry, pineapple piece, hibiscus, truffle shaving, and cape gooseberry. Drink up, rest for three months, then start gathering ingredients to make another one.

The Earnest Volunteer
Contributed by Krystyna Williamson

1/2 ounce dark rum
Jamaican ginger ale
1/2 tsp lime juice
mint leaves
1 1/2 ounce simple syrup

Muddle the mint in the syrup, add the rest and stir gently. Comes in on fire, heads off in three directions, and never really gets the job done. 

The Corporate Foundation Administrator:

Contributed by J. Eric Smith

2 parts Jagermeister
1 part Mayonnaise
1 part Worcestershire Sauce
1 part Cottage Cheese

Mix ingredients, shake vigorously, and drink very, very, VERY slowly, smiling all the while. If you gag or frown, you do not get the grant. Ever.

The College Intern

Contributed by Claire Petersky

1 1/2 oz vodka
3/4 oz peach schnapps
1/2 oz creme de cassis
2 oz orange juice
2 oz cranberry juice
1/4 cup white sugar
Orange slice and maraschino cherry for garnish

Very sweet, has some power – but you don’t want more than two of them.

The Development Director: 

Contributed by Sharonne Navas

1 ½ oz Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 ½ oz Butterscotch Schnapps
¾ oz Goldschlager
1 tbsp 151 Rum
1 dash Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients with ice in a shaker and pour into glass. If your Development Director has gotten the organization to fundraising goal by mid-year, you can light this drink on fire. If the Director hasn’t, you can light him/her on fire.* Win-Win!!

The [Certain Grantor]’s Website

Contributed by Claire Petersky

5 cherries

Angostura bitters

Lemonhart 151 rum

3 oz gin

1 bar spoon rosewater

½ oz lime juice

Place cherries in your mixing glass, add sugar. Place equal portions of Angostura bitters and Lemonhart 151 rum into an oil mister/sprayer. Mist the Angostura mixture through a flame. Flame until sugar caramelizes. Fill with ice and add gin, rosewater, and lime juice. Then, because the cocktail has timed out, throw the entire concoction down the disposal. Take a bottle of sriracha and splash a drop in your eye. Beat head against your kitchen countertop. Repeat from the beginning, at least three times.

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(*Note, Nonprofit with Balls does not condone the setting of anyone on fire, even Development Directors who haven’t met outcomes).

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