"Classic" Nonprofit Jokes

Our humor columnist Vu Le is standing at the microphone:

Last week, someone told me I should go into stand-up comedy. Figuring that stand-up probably pays more than nonprofit, I started working on some jokes. Here is the first batch. Try them out at your next annual dinner and you should have people rolling on the floor.


An executive director walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Why the long face?" The executive director says, "My organization is facing financial crisis due to the economy and funders' shifting priorities. We may have to lay off some staff and close several programs, leaving thousands of low-income clients without service."


Knock knock.

Who's there?
The annual fundraising event!!!!!


How many board members does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: It depends on the composition and skillset of the particular board. If there is an electrician on the board, for example, then it may only require one board member. However, if there's a founder on the board, he might insist that the old bulb is perfectly good and there is no need to change it, so another board member may be required to create a diversion.

What did the ED say to the PO? IOU N LOI


An executive director, a development director, and a board chair were adrift on a raft after their ship sank. The board chair looked at the ED and said, "This is all your fault. You were steering the boat!"The ED looked at the DD and said, "No, it's all the DD's fault. She was in charge of the sails." The DD said, "It's both your faults." All three were devoured by sharks. It was the worst board/staff retreat ever and the organization never used that teambuilding company again.


What did the executive director say to the finance director at the organization's annual holiday party? "It's the end of the calendar year; please prepare to close our books so we can do the financial reports, mail out W-2's to our staff, and send 1099's to contractors."


What do you get when you cross a Program Director, a Volunteer Manager, and a Janitor? Answer: A situation that is not too uncommon in most nonprofit organizations.


A development director found a magic lamp. A genie appeared and offered one wish. Not wanting to be greedy, she said, "I wish for one million dollars to support my organization." Done, said the genie, come to your office tomorrow, and it'll be there. Next day, she came to the office, and when she opened the door, three million binder clips fell out. "What the hell!" she said to the genie, "I asked for one million dollars!" Yes, said the genie, but you didn't say it couldn't be in-kind...

Vu Le is executive director of the Vietnamese Friendship Association in Seattle, where Vietnamese comprise 26% of the population. You can read more from Vu at NonprofitwithBalls.com or . . .

More from Vu on Blue Avocado:

Comments (4)

  • Anonymous

    Note to self: Pee BEFORE you read anything written by Vu Le. Too funny to read on a full bladder.

    Apr 21, 2014
  • Not as good, but my submission:

    What is all white, has the horse of a body, a long horn growing out of its forehead, and may or may not be mythical?

    Answer: A major donor.

    Apr 22, 2014
  • Anonymous


    Apr 23, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Agree that the genie's in-kind was the best. I actually did laugh out loud.

    Aug 29, 2017

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