John Oliver is a hero, not just because he’s funny, but also: His jokes made money for the Society of Women Engineers. Like, $25,000 in donations in 48 hours kind of money.
On Sunday during his HBO show Last Week Tonight, Oliver lampooned the Miss America Pageant for declaring itself "the world's largest provider of scholarships for women” when in fact, only a small amount of that organization’s $45 million in goodwill actually goes to the contestants. Oliver then named the Society of Women Engineers as one of the country’s other large scholarship organizations.
Suddenly, the SWE's Twitter and Facebook accounts were on fire and then money began pouring in, according to the Chicago Tribune.
In two days, the organization received about $25,000 in donations, which amounts to 15 percent of what the engineering group expects from individual giving each year, SWE spokeswoman Kelly Janowski said. All of it is going to the group's scholarship fund, added Peter Finn, deputy executive director of the not-for-profit international organization of about 27,000 members.
"This has been huge for us," Finn added. "It's tremendous."
The SWE call this sweep of goodwill the "John Oliver Bounce."
For an organization that awarded $721,000 in financial scholarships during the recent fiscal year and $3 million to "women pursuing engineering careers" over the last six years, they sound like they deserve it.