This is a bit of a David and Goliath story.
… and use the power of Facebook to do it!
What we would do is create a mini-website with our shirt designs on them, and code each page with a specific group’s name.
We would then post this link on that group’s FB Page… their fans would see it and purchase shirts… and we would then donate $5 for every shirt sold to that rescue.
Most groups were very happy to have us help them raise funds, and were often surprised when we went to their website and made that first donation.
But we were just getting started… and our RESCUED! Is My Favorite Breed. Facebook page only had 500 fans. (Remember that number.)
One thing we found out early on is this… when we are choosing a Rescue Group or Shelter’s FB page to post on… the larger the fan count (aka LIKES) = more sales = bigger donation that we could make.
So again… it was December 2010… we were small… and we found a group on Facebook that had 25,000 fans.
So we posted our t-shirt link… which said that $5 from every shirt sold would be donated to that group.
Our link stayed on that page for all of 3 minutes… and then was removed.
You see, the page we posted on was just a Facebook Group. They did not accept funds or receive donations. So to them, it looked like we were pulling a scam. After all, how can we claim to raise $$ and donate to a group that didn’t accept donations?
Yep… we made a 3 minute mistake.
I would love to tell you that the page owner contacted us and said “We appreciate what you are trying to do for Rescues and Shelters… however, we do not accept donations, so we really cannot have you raising funds for us like this.”
IF the group owner would have contacted us and said that, we would have apologized for the misplaced post… moved on… and this blog post would end right here.
However… that is NOT what happened.
Instead… our post was removed after 3 minutes… we were banned from that group’s page… and a new post went up saying: “Brett LaCroix of LaCroixTees.com and RESCUED! Is My Favorite Breed. is a scam artist… etc… etc… etc…”.
When we saw that, we were devastated… and since we were banned from the page, we couldn’t defend ourselves… and since they had 25,000 fans, not only were a LOT of people seeing this… many were commenting and saying nasty things about us.
This was horrible! :( All for a 3 minute mistake.
Of course, we were not scammers… and we had plenty of rescue friends who we had donated a lot of money to.
So… I quickly sent out some emails to my rescue friends… who soon jumped into action and posted the truth on this page, defending us and our company. They shared that they had received donations… that we were a legitimate fundraising company… etc…
It didn’t matter to the page owner. As a matter of fact, after awhile, she even posted something like this: “For all those posting JUST to defend LaCroixTees.com and RESCUED! Is My Favorite Breed., please stop, or your comments will be removed, you will be banned from this page, and you will be reported to Facebook!” (Not sure what the last point was going to accomplish).
So not only did they continue to Slander our company (actually, printed words would be considered Libel)… but they attacked many of our rescue friends that were trying to defend us. … but All they were doing (our animal rescue friends) was posting to let the page owner know that she was making a big mistake and had misjudged us.
One rescue… was even turned into Facebook for using a personal account as a “rescue account” and their account was shut down. (Yes… it CAN and DOES happen… that is why I wrote THIS blog entry.)
So here we are… trying to do good… we made a 3 minute mistake… and now we are being bashed to an audience of 25,000 Animal Rescue fans, by an Animal Rescue page that was “supposed” to be on the same team as us!
Luckily, this happened in the beginning of December… so we had a big Christmas rush to contend with (lots of t-shirt orders), so we really couldn’t dwell on this too much.
Yes… it appears that we accidentally “stepped on a rattlesnake” and got bit hard… but we would not give up our mission!
Sure… our FB Page only 500 Fans… and a BIG page with 25,000 fans were attacking us… but we needed to pick ourselves up, and move on.
So what happened and why am I telling you all this?
Well… we pressed on… and over the next 2 years…
We created a website: http://www.rescuedismyfavoritebreed.org/
We created an Animal Rescue Facebook Directory that now lists over 4500 Rescues and Shelters
We continued our T-Shirt fundraising program, now have nearly 500 groups signed up with us, and have donated $1,000’s upon $1,000’s to Rescues and Shelters! (We no longer do fundraising for groups without their permission.)
We wrote an Animal Adoption themed Children’s Book and Coloring Book, so that we can influence the Attitudes and Behaviors of the NEXT Generation… thus working on the Long Term solution to pet overpopulation!
We put together a FREE Facebook Promotional Tips Tutorial to help Rescues and Shelters reach more of their fans on Facebook.
AND… we are even helping groups who have Amazon Wish Lists… get better exposure and more donations with a FREE New and Improved Wish List Link.
… But why are we telling all of you this NOW?
Well this story took place in December 2010 when we (David) only had 500 FB fans and they (Goliath) had 25,000.
Well… WE just passed
37,000 38,500 43,800 58,000 Fans… and passed up that other group that currently only has 37,200+ fans!
However… we are not going to name names (and yes, we are STILL banned from their page)… and this is not a post to expose them.
We simply wanted to mark this event by sharing what this has all taught us.
1. Be slow to judge others! Yes, we are all human and make mistakes, and more importantly, some people accidentally do the wrong things with good intentions!
2. Don’t underestimate the “little guy”. Did that group think that our small 500 fan FB Page would surpass their fan count in just 2 years? Probably not.
3. Respect the power of Facebook. Words matter… posts matter… that is why we refuse to post negative info and stories about groups, rescues, etc… unless it is something that has already been researched and posted by a legitimate news source. We don’t have the time and resources to investigate everything… and WE have been wrongly accused in the past, so know what it feels like and something we NEVER want do that to someone else.
This is a story that we have waited 2 years to tell. But more importantly, the experience has fundamentally changed how we do business, how we treat others, and guides everything we say and do online.
If you are not currently a part of our RESCUED! Is Our Favorite Breed. Facebook page, you are welcome to visit us, “like” us, and be part of our “mission” to help Pets, Animal Rescues/Shelters, and to change the thinking of the future generations! :)