A haiku is a form of short poetry, originated in Japan. It typically contains of only 17 syllables over three phrases, and seeks to still convey a message. Some common themes on which haiku are written are nature, or human nature. But that does not mean it cannot be written about nonprofit life.
A little while ago, a #NonprofitHaiku contest ran on Twitter, and it saw the agony of social sector professionals beautifully channelised into poetry. Here are the winners from the contest:
This haiku, by Amanda Paveglio @AmandaPav1, captures the angsts of writing grant proposals, and the ingenuity of our sector:
Org’s mission doesn’t
Fit in fifty characters
Myb rmv vwls?
This one, by Jess Solomazing @jesssolomon, illustrates the level of intellectualization that happens among funders:
“Project” would not be funded
No proof of concept
This gem, by Jennifer Iacovelli @anotherjenb, vividly crystalizes the dreaded terrible in-kind donation
Cole slaw donation
Left in a bucket outside
With soggy bread too
This one, by Chuck Brown @brookheart, may enrage some, but good poetry should spark emotions
The gift that keeps on giving
Just not to your org
And lest you think everyone in our sector is cynical, here’s a beautiful haiku from Charlford House @CharlfordHouse, with this moving note “This one is from my heart, it’s my personal story and about as honest as I can get in 17 syllables”
I was a hot mess
I recovered at Charlford
Not a hot mess now
You can read more haiku about nonprofits on NonprofitAF.