To date, our #ProjectPetRAK program has helped countless rescues receive free Grandma Lucy's food. Since it's inception, we have donated over 7,000 lb. of free food! One of our recent partnerships with the United Doberman Rescue in MN yielded the rescue a grand total of 300 lb. of Grandma Lucy's food! I had a chance to interview Mary Rudd, the Director of the rescue on their experience with our charitable program.
United Doberman Rescue, MN picnic. Picture courtesy of the United Doberman Rescue, MN
What were your expectations of the #ProjectPetRAK program, and how did it all pan out in the end?
We knew we had many dedicated volunteers and supporters who do nice acts for animals every single day, but we were blown away at finding out we had earned 300 pounds of Grandma Lucy’s! We had a lot of fun performing the Random Acts of Kindness, as well as checking out what our supporters were doing and posting about. It was great seeing everyone band together in support and help others who asked how they could join in.
What are some of the ways you worked with the rescue volunteers and fans to make sure you had a successful #ProjectPetRAK promotion?
As soon as we found out we were selected, and the promotional posters were sent to us by Grandma Lucy’s marketing, the two individuals we had heading this project reached out to our volunteer list serve group to post what #ProjectPetRAK was and how to do it. This gave a couple weeks leeway for questions to be asked and ‘test’ sample posts to be checked out for correctness before our giveaway month started.
Once our rescue’s month was going, we found it really helpful to make weekly posts to remind supporters that #ProjectPetRAK was still going, how to add the tagging, and multiple examples to get the creative ideas flowing. Our fans were really great about ‘sharing’ our posts on social media.
We made mini-flyers to hand out at our adoption meet & greets as well so that visitors could snap a picture of visiting with our adoptable Dobermans and post about it right then and there with volunteer help.
What was the impact of this type of program on the rescue?
In rescue, food is always a crucial resource. Like many other groups, malnutrition and emaciation cases aren’t uncommon, so having quality food on hand is literally life-saving! Having peace of mind that we are covered with 300 pounds of freeze-dried (so it actually makes 1,500 pounds of food rehydrated!) nutritious food allows us to put our resources to other areas, such as vet care, spays/neuters and needed supplies.
Were there any challenges that you had to overcome during the program? How were those managed?
The biggest challenge was that many of our volunteers are…how do I put this….of the non-millennial crowd. We weren’t always the most technologically savvy, and needed the help of a few diligent volunteers overseeing the posts to make sure the necessary tagging and #ProjectPetRAK was included for us to get credit for the post.
Are there any individuals at the rescue you would like to thank for helping make this program successful?
We want to thank EVERYONE who posted a PetRAK for us! Also to our volunteer, Sara, who nominated us and got it going in the right direction and making sure our RAKs counted.
What are your words of advice to other rescues wanting to participate?
Make sure that you are regularly (weekly, at least!) reminding people to keep posting and a how-to with the tagging. Be sure to give your volunteers a lot of examples, as things they are doing all the time – fostering, transporting, home visits, socializing the dogs, providing love or treats, attending our meet & greet events, etc. are acts of kindness that they can share and post. Having our core volunteers post really got the general public and supporters started and wanting to add in.
Also, it really helped for us to make our own posters featuring our adoptable dogs with information about #ProjectPetRAK and how to participate, which allowed fans to see exactly who they were helping and bring it closer to home.