John Suart wants his humor Web site to be The Onion for nonprofits. But first he must grapple with the earnestness of nonprofit workers trying to save the world.
Mr. Suart, a nonprofit marketing consultant in Ontario, is marking the first anniversary of the site Non-Profit Humour. In past months, he has tackled the inanity of social media (“Charity Can’t Understand Its Own Tweets”), pressures facing fundraisers (“Young Major-Gifts Officer Confident She Can Get Donation From Family of Man-Eating Trolls”), charities’ ineptness with technology (“IT Guy Calls Social Media ‘Magic’ to Explain It to Dumb Charity Colleagues”), and the quixotic and absurd nature of some organizations’ missions (“Charity Created to Prevent Sky From Falling”).
Mr. Suart’s site received 65,000 page views in the past year. Roughly 300 people have signed up for his e-mail alert. And once in a while, someone takes him seriously.
Once or twice he’s seen a headline from his site—something like “Grant Writer Just Makes Up Famous Quotes in Proposals”—shared on LinkedIn or Twitter along with a sympathetic comment or an offer to help. Sometimes he gets the sense that his marketing clients worry he’s spoofing them.
Times are tough for nonprofits, says Mr. Suart, and “there is a culture that what they do is serious and they are serious people.”
So last week he posted “A Serious Message From the Editors.” It reminded readers that the city of Metro, where trees campaign against direct mail and aliens touch down after receiving fundraising solicitations, is pure fiction.