HumourMay 06, 2019

Haiku-ing your way through nonprofit life

Do you have a lot of nonprofit angst? Why waste it when you can channel it into poetry.
2019-05-14 00:00:00 India Development Review Haiku-ing your way through nonprofit life
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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:

Harriet Tubman’s

“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

Donor-advised fund

The gift that keeps on giving

Just not to your org

Related article: What would Shakespeare say?

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

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