Cow Board Members Give of Their Time, Not Milk

Blue Avocado humor columnist Vu Le is taking a brief vacation, so we're bringing you a guest humor column by John Suart of the Non-Profit Humour Blog in Canada:

The board of directors of the Metro Foundation says they don't need to make a donation to the charity's new milk campaign because they "give of their time." The move was in response to the executive director asking board members to make personal donations to the $10 million "Give Milk?" campaign.

"Board members already give to the success of this charity with our many hours spent at meetings and asking others to give milk. That's enough. We don't need to give any of our own homogenized or skim to the campaign," said Flossy the Cow, chair of the board.

Executive director Dibble Brewer made the pitch at last night's board meeting, calling on the board to give a least a couple of ounces of milk or a stick of butter. Brewer made an impassioned plea that the board were role models that needed to show others why giving to the foundation was important. But board members, led by long-time finance chair Mildred the Cow, quickly voted down the proposal.

Baby cheeses that come in wax

"If I put a dollar figure to all the time I have spent working on behalf of this great charity that would equal a whole tanker-truck of unpasteurized milk and maybe some of those cute baby cheeses that come in wax, too," she said. "I say we've already paid. In spades."

The working-dinner board meeting at the foundation's offices was supposed to focus on review of the charity's third quarter financial results and the new planned cottage cheese giving program, but quickly got sidetracked by the discussions over giving milk to the campaign. Extra cud and straw had to be ordered as the heated discussions taxed the two stomachs of each bovine board member.

Fundraising committee chair Mossy the Cow pleaded with the board to change their minds, arguing that if board members don't give, no one will.

"Many of our biggest donors have been asking us whether our leaders also give to the campaign. I told them that this board always puts its money where its mouth is," said Mossy. "But I stressed that we have to avoid hoof-and-mouth disease."

100% Board Mooing?

"We had this same discussion about diversity a year ago and the board was intransigent. Now, we have Sue the Pig on our board and we're the better for it. We have to move with the times. And part of the job of a modern charity board is to give milk to their own cow capital campaign," added Mossy.

Board member Fru-Fru the Cow objected to being asked for a donation on privacy grounds.

"I've been chewing cud with some of you now for nearly a decade and I don't think it is fair for me to know how much milk you make or much milk I give from my udder. That's just not right," she said.

Chair Flossy asked the fundraising committee and the governance committee to meet to discuss the issue in depth before the next board meeting three months from now. However, some members say the issue will never be settled until a new crop of board members is sidled up to the board stall at the charity's barn.

"We just have to make giving milk a priority in selecting new board members and hope that one day this won't be a problem," said Mossy.

Mooooooo! John Suart is a marketing and communications consultant to nonprofits based in Toronto, and he writes the Non-Profit Humor Blog as well. Thank you, John, for sharing this glass of moo juice with us.

Comments (3)

  • Anonymous

    Thank goodness John Stuart straightened out that argument! Of course board members must contribute to the fiscal health of an organization!! Tough but necessary!

    Feb 12, 2014
  • Anonymous

    Too often board members follow this herd mentality. Thanks for the giggle.

    Feb 13, 2014
  • I don't see what you're all beefing about.

    Feb 13, 2014

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