Annelise Silkaitis is the Nonprofit Outreach Manager at bunny.money. While pursuing her Master’s Degree in Public Relations at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, she has been in charge of finding and onboarding nonprofits since May 2021. Between classes and meetings, Annelise is at the chore of developing bunny.money in partnering with nonprofits. Volunteering since a young age, Annelise has the determination to promote and highlight nonprofits organizations and do her bit to create a better world. Today, this hardworking and cross-disciplinary woman tells us more about her journey.
Tell us more about yourself, what is your background?
Before studying in New York, I graduated from college in South Carolina. My Bachelor focused on Experimental Psychology and Global Studies with a minor in French, Advertising and Public relations.
I’m currently enrolled in a Masters program at Syracuse University in New York focusing on public relations and social media. I have also developed several skills in graphic design, video editing and creative writing during a summer Bootcamp. Throughout my studies, I have been very rigorous and passionate about showcasing my work and using social media or my website as amazing resources where I could express my creativity and deliver messages that engage.
As I grew up in a small town, social media remained a great source of information and awareness about being a woman, for instance. In college, I was a part of a sorority and became involved in their philanthropy, speech and hearing. Since August, I've been helping one of my professors with her book about Wonder Woman in transcribing interviews with feminists and writing their biographies.
“As I grew up in a small town, social media remained a great source of information and awareness about being a woman.”
I’m the second oldest of three brothers and a sister. My parents and two of my siblings are computer science engineers. Since I was young, I was more interested in reading and writing than maths and science.
“Growing up with this education and mindset, really pushed me to make an impact on the community and take part in organizations.”
I grew up volunteering a lot at the church of my town in Illinois, in the Chicago suburbs. At a very young age, I worked closely with the community and got involved in service projects. I was the President of a service organization for a few years in college. My parents always taught me to be grateful for what I have and give what I have. Growing up with this education and mindset, really pushed me to make an impact on the community and take part in organizations.
What’s the story, how did the adventure with bunny.money start?
I’ve been introduced to Fabien Lamaison, Founder and CEO of bunny.money, through a common and startupper friend on LinkedIn. As I was looking for experience in non-profit advocacy and outreach, bunny.money was the perfect fit for me to pursue my passion and develop skills in this area.
“bunny.money was the perfect fit for me to pursue my passion and develop skills in advocacy.”
I studied French for eight years which gave me an immediate connection with bunny.money’s team and co-founders. I love working closely and collaborating with a transatlantic and multicultural team.
We are working on different time zones, different continents, which enriches the team and me. I used to manage different time zones as my family is still in Illinois and I'm in upstate New York, a part of bunny.money is in California and the other is in France. That could be challenging but using Slack our communication is smooth and very clear.
“J’adore Paris, la vie romantique, l’énergie de la ville, il y a tellement de choses à faire et découvrir.”
Moreover, I lived in Paris for a semester and had to go back to the US as the pandemic just hit. [In French] I loved the city, its famous romance, the culture, the architecture, and the energy of Paris. I’m planning to go back with my mother and sister hopefully next year.
What’s your role at bunny.money?
As the Nonprofit Outreach Manager at bunny.money, I’m in charge of finding nonprofits that want to partner with bunny.money. I manage the onboarding process as well as the follow-up with them and work closely with the CEO to conclude the partnership. I also help develop digital marketing with engagement on social media especially. This position is all about connecting with nonprofits and creating a bond with them.
Since then, I have emailed about a hundred nonprofits and did not receive as many answers. this challenge always makes me raise questions about my way to approach them. I love finding a special connection with a nonprofit, either I know someone working there or I volunteer there or the cause is close to my heart.
Over the course of my experience at bunny.money, I have reached lots of nonprofit organizations involved with environmental causes. Probably the current preoccupation on our planet and climate change are pushing people to reflect more on their impact and more and more organizations need outlets to highlight their project and receive funds. As bunny.money is giving 1% of its revenue to the nonprofit 1% for the planet, it helps to reach nonprofit organizations involved with this cause. It ultimately creates a bond between them and us.
What's your secret sauce to find and engage with Nonprofits? Ideas for the future?
My secret sauce if I have one is to keep in mind the importance of creating a bond. There’s a special emotion I have to think that I’m participating in helping nonprofits stand out and that they trust bunny.money. I always need to be persistent and patient. Finding a good rhythm is really important to not overwhelm them and keep my message going through.
I tried to reach nonprofits focusing on different causes. In October we have been seeking women’s rights. I found and concluded a partnership with Whole Women’s Health Alliance at bunny.money, a nonprofit that educates about abortion and helps women make their own choices for their bodies. It is the kind of success that made me proud and gave me a little more purpose. We’re currently trying to reach nonprofits helping the cause of Breast Cancer, Human Rights or Animal Welfare as they would supplement well our existing partners.
What is the favorite cause you support? Why?
“Using social media and being aware of their negative impact could have pushed me to develop interest and skills in making content that engages positively. It’s something to keep in mind while working every day on it.”
I’ve been very engaged in the mental health cause. I wrote a paper about the impact social media has on students in college. Using social media and being aware of their negative impact has pushed me to develop interest and skills in making content that engages positively. It’s something to keep in mind while working every day on it. On my personal accounts, for instance, I will log out for a week to reset myself and focus on the social media of bunny.money only.
What are your hobbies?
In my spare time, I sew. It’s a stress relief and helps me turn my brain off. I also participate in social events at my school. Last month, I did an apple picking activity with several students. I journal and do calligraphy. I love keeping myself creative and have personal projects besides my work and studies.
I’m using TikTok as my main social media platform. I love it because there's less pressure, more fun and creativity. I like to create Vlogs and outfit videos. I would love to develop one for bunny.money!
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