How Ben Affleck and Matt Damon used humor to raise $500,000

It started with a video I saw posted on Twitter:

In short, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon give each other crap, in a very entertaining fashion, as they explain a fundraiser that includes the opportunity to win a trip to hang out with them. I enjoyed the video and thought it was a neat idea, so I made a small donation to the cause.

But then, it gets better. Earlier this week, I got the email below:

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Not only was this email hilarious, like the video, but I was impressed to see they'd raised $500K in 14 days! How many of us would love to hit that kind of fundraising goal?

And then I got this message a bit later in the week:

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More great humor, and another push to meet the goal. This email campaign was well done.

Granted, we don't all have star power at our disposal, or the ability to offer fabulous prizes in exchange for donations. But it was the humor, not the prize, that motivated me to donate - and that's something almost any nonprofit can replicate.

Yes, humor must be handled carefully in nonprofit communications. Note that the brilliant thing about the humor used in the video and email above is that it is neither at the expense of the organizations nor the causes they represent. When they discuss the causes they're helping in the video, they are respectful, and even competitive. It's when they're talking about each other that they are having fun and being silly.

How can your nonprofit use this technique to raise more money and get more donations? Post your ideas - and other examples - in the comments!