why humor is just what your nonprofit may be missing

Today, we ask that you take a serious moment to consider humor. In the nonprofit world, it seems every campaign holds the weight of social responsibility on its shoulders, so there can’t possibly be any room for humor. This is unfortunate because it makes us lose one of the most powerful tools to spark action: relatability.

But we get it, going to your board of directors with a campaign that seems to have more irony than vitality is a bold move. Here are some great examples of nonprofits that utilized humor to get into the hearts of their donors.

1. follow the frog video

Rainforest Alliance put together this extremely detailed hypothetical scenario of the average Joe going to the ends of the world to help save the rainforests. Rainforest Alliance hit 2 birds with one stone with this witty video: Expressed the depth of their mission and cause while also pointing out how easy it is to donate a few bucks when you compare it to trekking through the rainforest with Siri as your only guide.


2. bright by three print ads

Every new parent will identify with these absurd ads. Bright by Three prides itself in being the operating manual that should come with all babies. By infusing humor into these ads, parents will feel the gravity of the world lifted off the shoulders, if not the baby vomit that still sits there.

3. team rubicon’s box of awesomeness

Team Rubicon, a nonprofit that provides disaster relief, decided to sell “boxes of awesomeness” on Amazon. You could order different sizes of this non-existent box that would correspond to a different donation level. The piece that makes this campaign so successful was the public’s reviews of these awesome boxes. Earl from LA left a review saying, “I was having a beer on the from porch when I saw the neighbor’s cat climbing on the crate. She stuck her head in a knot hole in the wood, and there was a flash of light that I can only describe as pure awesomeness. Next thing I know, I’m staring at a puma.”

Sadly, the awesome got cut short when Amazon decided the box violated the terms of their seller guidelines. Team Rubicon definitely gained some lifelong donors from this campaign, though!

All in all, we know that Injecting humor into your brand is a bold move. But at the end of the day, it can pay off in hilarious amounts!

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