As a new administration plots its bloodthirsty vengeance on federally funded social services and the cultural sector, Development professionals everywhere wait for the next move in this brave new world. Waiting on the brink is exhausting, mostly because as a fundraiser, your charge is to control the situation. Every day, with every program, donor, mode of operations, income and expense stream, staffing pattern, and the like, you need to predict multiple scenarios for the future in the hope that today’s actions will lead to tomorrow’s funding. Since the new normal involves Biff Tannen, the Bundy brothers and a gang of Nazi-apologists occupying Washington and playing King Joffrey against a terrorized nation, it’s hard to make predictions for tomorrow. So, in this new reality, Jon and Sarah grab a coffee and wade into the silent, still waters of possibility as they consider how their skill set will fare in the coming nonprofit apocalypse.
Sarah: What about Zombie Porn?
Jon: Yeah, great… wait… what??!!!
Sarah: Zombie. Porn. Listen, it is sort of a thing already, and I’d rather not go into the details of my research, but I think we can really blow this thing out. I started my skills-list with “tragedy porn,” and I realized that with my – and our – arts and writing backgrounds, horror affinity and daily salesmanship of tragic real-life scenarios, that we could be, like, The Walking Dead for the sex industry. This could be Yuge! And Trump is totally not going to touch porn – we both know that, right? Him, porn.
It’s important that it’s written and directed from a perspective of intersectionality and empowerment for women, particularly because we’ll have at least 40% of the proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Or heck, we’ll give money to all the nonprofits facing life-changing cuts like the national parks, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, civil legal services, etc. Seems only fair… they are all set to lose billions in Federal funding. We both know a bunch of actors, although this may not be their “thing.” What do people shoot porn on these days, iPhones? Do you need a zoom lens? Hey, didn’t you say you have a friend that writes Vampire Porn?
Jon: Um, yea, I do, and he says it’s very lucrative. But, Vampires are different. You can write tone, mood in a Vampire narrative. But Zombies? How do you even write dialog? They only grunt and growl.
Sarah: Exactly! That’s perfect for Porn. It’ll be easy.
Jon: True, but, it’s just not creative. Besides, I want to feel inspired by what I do, like I’m improving myself, challenging myself on some fundamental and metaphysical level. And that during my journey of self-discovery, I’m also improving the world. I don’t know, Zombie Porn just doesn’t seem right for my idiom.
Sarah: Right. I forgot. Your fascination with Captain America and all things Apple Pie.
Jon: Gluten Free and Vegan Apple Pie.
Jon: Besides, if our entire industry is going to be torn asunder by the “Mangled Apricot” as if he were doing shots of Jaegermeister while playing social service Jenga with his Frat buddies on a Wednesday night, then I’ll be damned if I take my skills to the recesses of the Dark Internet in exchange for Bitcoins and Mario Brother hacks. We should use our skills to resist. Fight back. Like Jyn Erso and the Rebel Alliance or Jon Snow and the Men of the North.
Sarah: Last I checked we were short one blaster and an army of Wildlings.
Jon: Hell with that! Let our words be our blasters. Let the prose we create inspire an army. We will become the engineers of a brave and bright new future for us all.
Sarah: Jon, we can’t even get the local Community Foundation to give us a grant. Their largest gift went to a start-up music therapy program for refugee kittens with feline AIDS. It was crowned as a model of local sustainability! The biggest army that I know dominates the many tiered rankings of our professional networking affiliates–consultants. They can teach you how the blaster works, but they ain’t gunna hold it, and they’ll always tell you your aim is true.
Jon: I’m sure we know at least 60 people that would read our passionate entreaties.
Sarah: 60? That’s not an army, that’s a Platoon, and you and I are nothing more than a fire team. We’re hopelessly outgunned, outmanned, outnumbered, out-planned.
Jon: You’re a buzz-kill Lin Manuel-Miranda.
Sarah: You know nobody outside of the New York area gets your “Hamilton” references, right?
Jon: Okay – Let’s not look at this from an interest or impact perspective. Let’s look at this from a skills perspective. What job requires the ability to turn a phrase, albeit in a slightly humorous, concise format, while enduring constant rejection and occasional abuse?
Jon: We’re fucked.
Sarah: ….So no Zombie Porn?
– Sarah and Jon