Of late, many nonprofit organizations have been turning to online intermediaries to do their dirty work online. Today, I present myself to your opera company as the clearly preferable alternative: an in-real-life intermediary. Drawing on my decades of experience in the gaming and concrete industries, I will make absolutely certain that your message gets across. I think you know what I’m talking about here.
Let me give you a few scenarios.
Scenario #1: You want to attract more twenty-something ticket buyers. I understand that this is a goal of many arts organizations, though I have no fucking clue why. Young people have no money, and they don’t give a shit about the opera. They have no appreciation for fine culture, and if you do manage to get them in the seats, they’ll just spend the whole show mocking you on Twitter.
But fine. You want more young ticket buyers, because you want to look cool. So you set aside some funds to attract these young ticket buyers. You could spend that money on some stupid reception with Mozartinis or on an age-pegged discount program that will make clear to all the over-40 people who actually support your organization that you think they’re old and ugly and you wish they’d die…or you could give it to me, your IRL intermediary.
I would take that money and use it to buy drinks for a single particularly attractive twenty-something at a popular night spot. For my standard hourly wage, I will make conversation adequate to interest her; for a premium rate, I’ll throw in some sarcastic and humorous references to the struggling Spider-Man musical. I will then accept her invitation to join her at her downtown condo, where I will consume some of the beer she has on hand—note this significant savings to you, who would otherwise be bearing the cost of our comestibles—and join her in bed. For my standard hourly wage, I will cause her to have a single orgasm; for a premium rate, I will bring about several orgasms.
I will rise early the following morning while she sleeps off the exhaustion from our vigorous activity, and before quietly letting myself out, I will navigate the browser on her iPad to your organization’s website. I guarantee a click-through rate of at least 5%, which is much better than you’ll do with a Facebook ad.
Scenario #2: You want a lapsed donor to resume his annual donations, and ideally to raise the amount. This, I understand. Everyone wants money—that’s why they call it money. (Note that being a cultured individual with a particular interest in heists, I quote David Mamet regularly.) Now, you could hire some “development director” who will spend that money on seminars where people sit around saying things about Facebook that reveal they don’t even know the difference between a fucking profile and a fucking page, or you could give it to me.
I will pay an IRL visit to the home of this lapsed donor while he’s out betraying you by using the season tickets he purchased from some pretentious theater company. By the end of the second act, I will have consumed a bottle of his finest sparkling wine and—taking care not to harm myself in the line of duty—carefully smashed it over the Giacometti sculpture that the clueless bastard doesn’t even realize is a fake. Employing a face mask to keep our professional relationship completely confidential, I will greet the lapsed donor in his kitchen and use the smashed bottle to nudge him over to the study, where I will have previously navigated his browser to your website. Employing this method, I guarantee a click-through rate of 100%.
Scenario #3: The leading local contemporary art museum has just hired a charismatic new director who formerly served as a curator at the Guggenheim. He’s attracting a lot of the attention—and money—that used to go to you. This is an unacceptable situation. You could spend $1 million on your own high-profile hire, or you could go ahead and give that $1 million to me. I will visit this new hire late at night in a dark alley, where I will put a single bullet right in his fucking head. I will then navigate his Blackberry to his own organization’s website. I guarantee a click-through rate of 0%.
Now that you understand my method, I think I’ll be hearing from you soon. In fact, I know I will.
– Jay Gabler