Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Tweets Paying Off



As many readers know, I wear two hats in town. In addition to serving as editor of the local newspaper, I am on the board of directors at the Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary. I was appointed in January and I've been busy trying to get the word out about the sanctuary and its needs. Last night, I was so excited to have all my social networking on Twitter.com pay off.

Since February, our followers on Twitter have doubled every month. In fact, we have 500 followers now, including people from across the United States, England, Canada, Germany and Japan checking our updates, which include how to help the sanctuary, information on sponsoring bunnies, adoption, video links, fundraising events and work bees.

Among my first official projects as a board member, I volunteered to host Hoppy Hour May 28 at the Spotted Dog Winery in Saline as a fundraiser for the sanctuary, which is in great need of donations to continue operating out of a farm in Willis, near Ypsilanti. With 500 rabbits, it's a daunting task to keep the money flowing to support operations year round, and especially after Easter, when many people surrender their rabbits after finding out they weren't a good match for their family for whatever reason.

As part of the wine tasting event, we're holding a silent auction. I am soliciting donations to be auctioned off, with all the proceeds benefiting the sanctuary. Before pounding the streets locally, I thought I would jump on Twitter and see if I could convince people to help out. First I sent out a "tweet," which is just a sentence or two, that we were looking for donations of items for a silent auction to benefit the bunnies. One person responded with interest in helping. Then I looked through our list of followers, where I found artists, business owners and jewelry makers. I then sent them a direct message asking if they could donate an item as a tax write-off. Then I thought bigger. I went under the "search" function and plugged in "art," "artist," "jewelry," "crafts" and "watercolor." A bunch of tweets then popped up with those words in them and I found many were artists. I then replied to their tweets, soliciting donations.

In less than 24 hours, I've had four artists respond who didn't even know anything about our organization until I sent them a tweet. I am really excited that they care enough about the sanctuary, after checking our Web site, to help out and that my efforts on Twitter are finally helping the sanctuary in a tangible way.

I also twitter for the newspapers, providing links to breaking news and blog postings on our Web site. So, hop on Twitter and check out all my posts -- for the newspapers (mrogersheritage) and the rabbit sanctuary (GLrabbits). Also, if you're involved in a nonprofit, I recommend you get to twittering. It can only help.

Also, if you find yourself looking for a nice evening out while also helping a good cause, come to our wine tasting and auction. Maybe you will be the winning bid on some of these fine art items. If you're a local artist or business person and want to donate an item to the auction, please e-mail me at michelle@rabbitsanctuary.org.

Here's my press release on the event:

The Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary will host Hoppy Hour, a wine tasting benefit for the sanctuary, from 6 to 8 p.m. May 28 at the Spotted Dog Winery, 108 E. Michigan Ave., in Saline.

The event will feature Spotted Dog Winery’s unique blends of white, red and fruity wines. Sale of bottles of wine with a rabbit sanctuary custom label also will benefit the rescue group. In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction of donated items and light refreshments.

To purchase tickets in advance, visit the Web site www.rabbitsanctuary.org. For more information or to donate an item for the auction, e-mail michelle@rabbitsanctuary.org.

The Great Lakes Rabbit Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization, is the largest rabbit rescue in the United States. It’s located on a farm in Willis, near Ypsilanti, providing a home for about 500 rabbits and four pot-bellied pigs. Opportunities for rabbit adoptions, sponsorships and fostering are available on the sanctuary’s Web site.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Linh said...

Great example of the power of Twitter and nonprofits.:) Looking forward to seeing how you'll expand on using social media with other efforts.

Linh Song
npServ Director
NEW
www.new.org

May 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Linh said...

Great example of a nonprofit using Twitter.:) I'm looking forward to seeing how you'll expand upon using social media in the future.

Best,
Linh Song, MSW
npServ Director
NEW
www.new.org

May 8, 2009 at 10:16 AM  

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