How Ryan Gosling Thanked a Major Donor

Ryan Gosling: Actor and Nonprofit Communicator?

While most of us realize that Ryan Gosling is an attractive man and a good actor, who knew he would be so good at nonprofit communications?

We came across the Ryan Gosling memes while updating our March edition of our free Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts, so we added this to our pop culture and news section of the email:

Ryan Gosling is very popular in several memes right now that could be a lot of fun to customize for your org. Check out several of the “Hey Girl” Tumblr blogs here. See another example on Facebook’s Ryan Gosling Arts Administrator here.

We always encourage those who have signed up for the prompts to let us know how they are using the ideas, so we were delighted to hear this story from K. Kimberly McCleary, President and CEO of The CFIDS Association of America. Kim shared:

Hi Kivi,

I acted on another of the tips in your writing prompts email from a couple weeks ago. Our organization is dedicated to a world without CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome). Laura Hillenbrand, author of bestseller “Unbroken,” has CFS and has been a long-time supporter. She made a substantial gift that we announced last week. As a token of our deep appreciation, I’ve been trying to figure out something fun and meaningful to send her. She has simple tastes and a wicked sense of humor. (I’ve known her for 12 years and say this with some confidence.)

I noted the Ryan Gosling meme in your recent tips list. Laura is a consultant on the “Unbroken” screenplay. She hopes that Ryan Gosling will be cast in the role of protagonist Louie Zamperini for his likeness to Louie, his acting skills and his likability. I also happen to know she thinks he’s hot.

So, acting on your tip (one of many that has inspired action!), I made her an “Unbroken”-themed “Hey Girl” booklet. She loved it, posted the pages on her personal Facebook page where it got lots of “likes” and appropriately deserved lewd comments from men and women alike. It made her very happy. So thank you for the inspiration — AGAIN!



Here are some of  the images Kim sent to Laura.  They are themed to the book Unbroken so they may not make sense if you haven’t read it, but I think you’ll get the idea.


I created the Nonprofit Writing Prompts thinking they’d be helpful for newsletter writing and blogging, but Kim has taken this idea to a whole new level, which is fabulous because

  1. She has taken the time to get to know her donors on a personal level so she knows what they like.
  2. She knew she needed to say thank you in a creative and personal way.
  3. She wasn’t afraid to do something entirely different — and potentially pretty risky! (But because of #1, she knew it would work).

Thanks for sharing and for the inspiration, Kim!

We send our Monthly Nonprofit Writing Prompts at the beginning of every month and include ideas on everything from special days of the month to pop culture to metaphors — whatever we think will help you bust through nonprofit writer’s block. It’s a free service and over 2,000 nonprofits are signed up, so you are in good company! To begin receiving the prompts sign up here.

  • Debra Askanase

    Kivi, you never know what a writing prompt will inspire! What a great story about how the CFIDS Association of America incorporated the uber-popular Ryan Gosling meme into a thank-you. Kim took a risk that really paid off!

    I might add a #4 to your list at the end: she created a story just for the donor. In a way, it’s the reverse of popular nonprofit storytelling: the story of how the donor matters, not the nonprofit. I loved this so much – thanks for sharing on your blog.

  • Kivi Leroux Miller

    Great point Debra!

  • Mariana

    Hi there, do you need any copyright in order to use memes?

  • Siebel CRM Users Database

    Individual with the inclination and means to be a potential source of significant income to a charitable cause 
    and building relationships with people who will give large donations.

  • Kim McCleary

    Hi Kivi,

    Thanks for sharing tihs with your fans! Your newsletter, writing prompts and handbook are a rich treasure chest of ideas and inspiration!

  • Kivi Leroux Miller

    Anyone can participate in a meme – that’s part of what it is. People grab an idea and tweak it and spread it. Now, technically, you should be careful about copyright on any images you use, but I think the reality (right or wrong) is that photos of celebs in particular are used all the time without much regard to copyright.

  • Mariana


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