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What costume should we wear this year? My worn-out magician or wizard costume is just so yesterday and last year the executive assistant said to me, “you think you have to perform magic in finding volunteers, ha, try hiding the donation report from our CEO when donations are down.” Hmmm, maybe one of these costumes might work.

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donor fatigue: dress in pajamas and randomly pin on a few dollar bills. Yawn and mutter, “so what exactly did you do with the last $300 I gave?” Make it more realistic by pinning on a volunteer name tag and say, “you didn’t even thank me when I came in last week and put 453 packets together, but you were quick to send me 6 email requests for the new funds campaign.”

background check: wear black pants, a night sky t-shirt and a huge red check mark. Say things like, “I found out about your speeding tickets in college,” or, “are you sorry for shoplifting when you were a kid?” Sneak up behind people and whisper, “I know everything about you….muahahaha.”

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budget cuts: cut out financial statements, pin them to a t-shirt and slash through them with red ink. For more realism, carry a tray of half-eaten sandwiches and dried-up carrot sticks. Say things like, “because of drastic budget cuts, our volunteer luncheon will feature left-over food from board meetings. I’m not bitter; I can re-snack with the best of them.”

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team building exercise: wear exercise clothes and tape pictures of buildings to your outfit. Write the names of the departments on each building but be sure to choose a giant castle for fund-raising and place it on top of your head. Do weird things, like don a blindfold and snort like a pig while calling out, “where’s my pig partner,” or loudly share a humiliating experience, or randomly fall backwards and yell, “hey, why didn’t anyone catch me, you call this a team?”

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time off: dress in your normal office clothes, carry your phone, a pad of post-it notes and a spreadsheet. Say things like, “I’m having a great time at my son’s soccer game, but sure, I can answer the volunteer’s question, put her on,” or “wow, the Grand Canyon is truly spectacular this time of year, I’ll just get off the donkey and call for a replacement volunteer from here!”

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the volunteer luncheon: tape balloons and streamers to the front of your outfit. Add in a banner that reads, “we can’t function without our volunteers,” On your back, tape a sign that says, “the rest of the year,” and leave your outfit blank. Or, if you’re feeling really snarky, tape little quotes to your back like, “send a volunteer to the store, that’s why they’re here,” and “no, no a volunteer can’t do that, they’re not qualified!”

Maybe I’ll just make a large sign that says “appreciated” and I’ll stand under it. What are you going to go as?

-Meridian