Humor As Part of Nonprofit Social Content and Engagement Strategy: Hilarious Examples | Beth’s Blog

Humor As Part of Nonprofit Social Content and Engagement Strategy: Hilarious Examples

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According to a recent survey by OTX, 43% of respondents say they have shared content on social media sites because it is funny.   And the reasons are not a mystery — people remember how you make them feel and making them chuckle, giggle, and laugh reduces stress and makes people feel good.   There are tips for using humor successfully and methods for creating funny content as well as how to avoid a big fail .   Nonprofit technology professionals know how to converts laughs to donations and devoted an entire session to sharing tips, techniques, and examples during a NTEN conference.

When I saw this YouTube video to promote a conference on measurement and outcomes, I couldn’t resist sharing it.   It is the second installment of a series about the adventures of “Data Girl and Measurement Boy” that promotes a conference on data and improving outcome measurement for nonprofits.

Just because it is Friday and sometimes we need to let off a little steam, here’s six funny nonprofit spoof accounts that make fun of philanthropy, fundraising, and the nonprofit sector.

1. Bruce Wayne of the Wayne Family Foundation

2. Nonprofit Hulk Smashes Nonprofit Jargon

3. Fundraising Yoda Shares Fundraising Wisdom

4. Big Scary Fortress Nonprofit with a Command and Control Culture

5. The Whiny Donor who complains about nonprofit fundraising mistakes

6.  Nonprofit Humor Blog chronicles funny (fictional)  stories about nonprofits

What are some of the best examples of nonprofits using humor in their engagement and content marketing? Or, have any favorite nonprofit humor spoofs?

Update:

Joe Waters pointed me to a pinboard of examples of Cause Related Marketing Campaigns that use humor.
When You Work A Nonprofit Blog – and a case study about and why it got started

18 Responses

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thanks Beth! You bring up some great examples of how a little humor goes along way. I love that Bruce Wayne bit. :) Not only does laughing burn calories but it is great for marketing.

    I also really appreciate that you point to our blog post on creating funny content.

  2. Beth Kanter says:

    Hi Stephanie: I loved your post! The examples – except for the Data Girl and Measurement Boy are just for fun, don’t seem to be connected with a marketing strategy – but for those of who work with nonprofits – they provide some stress relief.

  3. Stephanie says:

    That makes sense. However, I think a social employee can still benefit the overall goal. A little humor does go a long way. It’s good to have a few laughs a day. Thanks for this!

  4. Daniela says:

    I started something called Stupid Bird Humor at my org, Audubon California, and it has helped us reach a broader audience of bird lovers.

  5. Beth says:

    Daniela: Would love to see an example, have a link? Did you do it on Twitter or Facebook or other channel?

  6. [...] According to a recent survey by OTX, 43% of respondents say they have shared content on social media sites because it is funny.  [...]

  7. [...] CONTENTAccording to a recent survey by OTX, 43% of respondents say they have shared content on social media sites because it is funny. And the reasons are not a mystery — people remember how you make them feel and making them chuckle, giggle, and laugh reduces stress and makes people feel good. There are tips for using humor successfully and methods for creating funny content as well as how to avoid a big fail . Nonprofit technology professionals know how to converts laughs to donations and devoted an entire session to sharing tips, techniques, and examples during a NTEN conference. (…)  [...]

  8. Robin Mohr says:

    My new favorite: Fundraiser Grrl

    http://fundraisergrrl.tumblr.com/

  9. Beth says:

    Robin: Thanks for sharing. Hilarious

  10. [...] go to Beth Kanter for writing about using humor in social media content, Joe Waters for putting together a list of [...]

  11. Beth Kanter says:

    Another one for the list @FundraiseSpock

  12. Meredith says:

    Ms. Kanter,

    I really enjoyed your post and thought it to be very insightful. It provides great advice for nonprofit organizations, stressing the importance of using humor as a tool for social media success. It is, no doubt, the end goal of a nonprofit to have followers and donors spread the word about a cause, and employing researched methods of generating more views and shares is important to achieving increased buzz. With the amount of social media being used and shared each moment of everyday, your article is not only timely but a discerning addition to how nonprofits should be better reaching their audiences and potential donors. It certainly was not hard to find other organizations using comedy, like for instance the Human Society’s upload of cute and funny video with a talking cat. This is just one example of the many videos that skillfully use wit that I found after reading your post. I noticed your article from the summer about Nonprofits using Vines and I think that they are another great medium for nonprofits. I believe the organizations could benefit from adding comedy to the Vines that are already spreading the word about different nonprofits and causes.

    You mentioned humor fails and the article that included the Evansville, Indiana’s Airport humor mistake, and it is true that there are so many ways a joke can go wrong. I for one have read cringe worthy PR disasters like Kenneth Cole’s tweet making light of Egypt’s riots, along with many other public fiascos that tend to include distasteful jokes. But, moreover, one of the easy down falls I see in using humor is that many nonprofits’ mission and causes are of more sensitive issues. Despite a nonprofits’ thought out and innocent attempt at humor, impolite followers and Internet trolls can spoil these efforts. It would be naïve of nonprofits to not carefully monitor the uses of their humor to ensure no large PR nightmare or more importantly protecting those they serve. In addition, as the Airport example proves, limiting the open-endedness of the post with lack of a question or engagement (other than sharing, liking, or retweeting) is a good way to avoid inappropriate comments. I furthermore think it is incredible essential that the use of the comedy is consistent with the brand and follows suit with other posts made by the organization. Straying from the style of the brands’ past posts may come off as forced, disingenuous and cause the joke to fall flat. Overall, I completely agree that humor is a ideal way to stand out in the ever-increasing crowd of posts in all social media mediums. The more nonprofits utilizing this statistic about humor and media, the more followers they can encompass.

  13. Beth says:

    Meredith: Thank you for your very thoughtful reflection on the use of humor in content!

  14. GIIP says:

    So many new follows :)

  15. [...] stay connected to the process when reading a how-to piece. Like relevance and achievability, humor enhances the user experience, builds relationships, and increases the likelihood they’ll share your piece with [...]

  16. [...] – this one is NOT comedic, but it can help you incorporate some humor into your outreach. Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogleTumblrRedditStumbleUponDiggEmailPrint Category: [...]

  17. [...] off some steam and don’t take yourself too seriously. Beth Kanter wrote recently about using humor in nonprofit communications; also check out the Non-Profit Humour blog for more [...]

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