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No-Profits: Why Not Try Humor to Share Your Message?

Sure it’s a world where great causes are often difficult, and deal with horrible issues like poverty, homelessness, or drug abuse. As a result, most efforts at telling the message of non-profits is deadly serious. But more and more creative non-profit organizations are mining the virtues of humor in their messaging, and it’s working. Variety Magazine recently covered and “mockumentary” called “The Majestic Plastic Bag” produced for the Heal the Bay environmental group. It’s fabulous. Narrated by Jeremy Irons, it’s been a huge success with more than 100,000 views just in the first 5 days on YouTube. Obviously we shouldn’t trivialize serious issues, but I would encourage you to explore the possbilities of humor. Often, a little comedy connects with an audience in ways other approaches just can’t accomplish.

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Pictures in Burbank, California (cookepictures.com)where he helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."