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23 Apr
Volunteers

March for Babies Day Checklist!

Posted by Volunteers

March for Babise collage

With March for Babies in less than week, it’s time to get ready for the big day!

Before March for Babies:
Pack the essentials – fully charged cell phone, your team contact list (with phone numbers), team T-shirts and Band-Aids. Be sure to check the weather and back needed supplies based on the forecast (raincoat, umbrella, sunscreen, etc.)

Send a reminder to your team about the big day, including when and where you will meet at March for Babies, the forecast and needed weather supplies, and, of course, thanking them for their hard work. Planning celebrate your success following March for Babies? Be sure to include that in your reminder as well.

Looking for an opportunity to boost Team Spirit? Host a t-shirt and/or sign making party (perhaps at your next Team Meeting or after school) and, as a team, create signs and shirts for March for Babies. This is a great way to build excitement for the big day as well as promote your team’s success at March for Babies!

Following March for Babies:
Thank everyone who helped! Send letters, emails or visit those who donated in person, thanking them for their support. Be sure to let them know how much was raised and how important their efforts were. Encourage your team members to do the same!

Did a local business support your team? Give them an extra boost by thanking them personally and through social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

Celebrate your success! Post photos of you and your team at March for Babies, along with your final fundraising totals, online, in class and throughout school. With administrative approval, ask to announce your success during morning announcements. Celebrate team members and top fundraisers with a picnic or party.

Have a great March for Babies and be sure to share your success and team photos with Team Youth on Facebook, on Twitter (#marchforbabies; #teamyouth), and/or by emailing teamyouth@marchofdimes.com.

17 Apr
Volunteers

March for Babies is almost here! Here are some fundraising techniques as we enter into the final lap.

Send reminders: Did someone mention interest in donating but have not yet done so? They may have simply forgotten. Send them a reminder (letter, email or even talk to them in person) and let them know how close you are to reaching your goal!

Thank everyone: Send emails or write letters thanking those who already donated. Post your thanks publically on Facebook and Twitter. Remember to include how close you are to your goal. This may encourage another person to donate, or even inspire those who already donated to give more to help you reach (or exceed your goal).

Increase your goal: Have you reached you already reached your fundraising goal? Congratulations! On your March for Babies Online Fundraising Tool, increase your goal to raise even more for babies!

Skip your morning coffee purchase and donate to yourself. Don’t purchase coffee – skip eating lunch out and donate that to yourself. If your daily purchase costs $5, you could donate $25 in just five days!

Still need more tips and ideas?
Here are some great ways to raise $300 in a small amount of time:
• Start with your own $25 donation (from skipping your daily coffee or lunch purchase) = $25
• Ask four family members for $25 each = $100
• Ask five friends to donate $10 each = $50
• Ask four teachers/professors for $15 each = $60
• Ask five coworkers for $10 each = $50
• Receive three $5 donations after a Facebook post = $15
Total raised = $300

10 Apr
Volunteers

Hands in SMALL

There may be less than a month to March for Babies but there is still time to have a successful March for Babies season. Here are some tips to keep you on track as we head into the final lap!


Reaching (and exceeding) Your Fundraising Goal
:
Maximize your contacts and those of your team members — keep talking about your team, why the March of Dimes is important to you and let donors know how their help can bring you closer to your fundraising goal.

Encourage donations— Post how close you are to your goal on Facebook, Twitter and school message boards (with permission). If you are three $10 donations from the goal, let the world know — these types of benchmarks really work.

Follow up— Contact people who said they were interested in giving but haven’t committed.

Note bank days— Ask your March of Dimes chapter when bank days are held and schedule a time to come by. Ask your chapter how to handle last-minute donations.


Keeping Your Team on Track
:
Stay motivated — Send updates every few weeks to celebrate the team’s progress and to encourage team members to do even more.

Celebrate individual and team success – Did a team member achieve a goal? Did your team reach (or exceed) their goal? Provide a certificate or public congratulions to celebrate the accomplishment and motivate all members to keep going!

Build team spirit— Set up a day to make t-shirts and/or signs and banners that you’ll wear or carry while your walking on March for Babies day.

For more tips and best practices, check out the March of Dimes Youth Captains Guide available at www.marchofdimes.com/youth.

 

26 Mar
Volunteers

Making “the ask”

Posted by Volunteers

A big question we receive during March for Babies is “Who should I ask for support (either to walk with me or to donate)?” The answer is – everyone and anyone! Here are a few tips to help you come up with a list of potential supporters.

Getting Started – Make a list of ten people you know that you could ask for support.
Then write down ten more.  Keep going until you can’t think of anyone else.  Start simple with your immediate family and close friends. Expand the list to include extended family, classmates, teachers (past and present), and coworkers. Think about everyone you talk to on a daily or weekly basis. Are you part of a community or school club/organization? Add their names to the list. Go even further by including neighbors and additional members of the community (like your family doctor or dentist). When you begin to make your list, don’t leave anybody you know out – sometimes you’ll be surprised at who gives you a donation.

Incorporate this activity at your next team meeting. Make it a competition to see who can come up with the most names!

Reaching Out – Be creative when reaching out. One technique may not work for all audiences.
Online fundraising is an easy way to fundraise. The easiest way to fundraise online is sending emails to potential donors with a link to your personal page.  You can do this directly from your Online Fundraising Page at marchforbabies.org. But don’t stop there.  Use social media to post a link to your fundraising page – you can reach people who might not have donated to you otherwise.  Dedicate your Facebook or Tweet about your progress. Use benchmark words to encourage more donations – “I’m just three $10 donations away from my goal!”

In some cases, adding the personal touch of a hand-written letter will be an incredible and thoughtful surprise to potential supporters. Mail letters to family and friends. Go the extra mile and ask classmates and teachers in person – it’s much harder for someone to say no to you in person. If you want to reach the most potential donors as possible, using a variety of fundraising methods will help you get there.

The Snowball Effect – After you’ve asked someone to donate, ask them to refer you to others they know who might be interested in donating.
Ask friends to share or post your fundraising efforts on Facebook and Twitter. This will help you not only reach people in your network but outside of it as well. Asking donors to refer you to others is an easy way to expand your network and will not only help you raise more money this year, but also when you participate in March for Babies in the future.

Ask Everyone – The important thing to remember when you decide who to ask to support you is that there is no such thing as asking too many people.  Besides, someone can only say yes if you ask them first!

19 Mar
Volunteers

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Raising funds for the March of Dimes is a great way to support stronger, healthier babies AND it’s also a great opportunity to be creative! Here are some great ways to make your fundraising stand out and to get your friends and family excited about donating to your March for Babies efforts.

Ask in a special way – Make your letters and emails to potential donors personal in order to get a larger response. Do you send personal letters to your friends and family updating them on your life and career? Include your March for Babies efforts within your update.  If you are sending letters use colorful envelopes that are impossible to ignore.  Remember to share photos of your team and the reasons you are walking in your letters, emails and on your social networking sites (like Facebook and Twitter).

Share something sweet – Make cookies or other baked goods to thank your friends and family members. Go one step further and bring baked goods or candy to school or work (with permission) and sell them for donations.

Utilize special occasions – Is your birthday or another special occasion coming up? Ask your friends and family to donate as a gift this year. Having a celebration or a get-together? Provide an opportunity for attendees to donate to the March of Dimes right there as a thank you. Go the extra step and have a computer set up allowing people to make online donations right to your March for Babies individual or team page.

Offer rewards – Offer to drive your friends to school or work, carry your friend’s books to class, or clean out your friend’s locker in exchange for a donation to your March for Babies team.

Create competition – Challenge your friends and families to see who can get the most people to donate to your team’s page. Make the challenge public and you will see even greater success!

Say thank you – Thank those for donations in-person, by email/letter and/or through Facebook and Twitter. With administrative approval, publicly thank those who have donated at the beginning or end of a class or even make announcements to the entire school! The more public the thank-you, the better! Your donor can help you promote you walk!

Be creative and think outside the box! What works for some does not for others, and you and your friends and family may have a unique idea! Just be creative and have fun with it! Happy fundraising!

For more creative ways to raise funds, be sure to check out the 2014 March for Babies Youth Captains Guide!

Now let’s hear from you!
What is your best fundraising tip?
What creative ways do you raise funds for the March of Dimes?

 

13 Mar
Volunteers

Do you have what it takes to be an outstanding March for Babies team captain this spring? Looking for ways to encourage fellow students and members in your club to get even more involved with March for Babies? Here are a few tips and best practices from members of March of Dimes National Youth Council, to help you be successful this year!

Personalize your ask! Hannah Fagen, student at University of Pennsylvania, sends personalized emails and letters when asking friends and family for donations and includes her history with the March of Dimes. She recommends, whether it is your first, fifth or 100th year, to share your history with March of Dimes and your reasons for walking.

Fundraise Online: Volunteers who use the Online Fundraising Tool (OFT) raise over $100 more than those who don’t. OFT is available when you register online at www.marchforbabies.org. Remember to customize your page by uploading a photo and updating your message.

Pay it forward! Offer to help out friends and clubs at school with upcoming events, projects or activities as a thanks for their donation. Caroline McKnight, student at University of Florida, is always the first one to offer her support around campus, and then finds her friends and classmates are even more excited to help her by walking or donating.

Follow up & say thanks! Thank those who donated through social media, in person and/or through emails/letters. Follow up with those who committed to donate but have not yet had the opportunity. Let everyone know how close you are to goal. (Tip from Dylan Conn, student at Stanford University (CA)). 

Remember the Mission: Let people know that by donating they are supporting stronger, healthier babies. Invite a family connected to our mission to speak at your event, or show our National Ambassador mission story (found at youtube.com/marchofdimes).

For more tips and advice for successfully leading your team during March for Babies, check out the March for Babies Youth Captains Guide. Here you can find a step-by-step guide to leading your team and hosting events on campus. Contact us at teamyouth@marchofdimes.com for more ways to get involved!

Now let’s hear from you!
What is your #1 Fundraising tip?

26 Feb
Volunteers

How to Host a School Event

Posted by Volunteers

School event

Hosting an event at school is a fun and exciting way for your team to work together to raise funds and awareness for the March of Dimes. Here are some tips and advice to help you be successful this March for Babies season. Be sure to check out the 2014 March for Babies Youth Captains Guide for a full step-by-step guide to planning your own event, as well as fundraising ideas and resources.

Remember to work with your administration for approval for any events or activities your team hosts at school.

Brainstorm & Set Goals: At least 2 months prior to the event, host a brainstorming session with your team. Consider your target audience and evaluate the success of past events. Do school dances usually draw a large crowd, are students interested in sporting events, or is something else even more popular? Is another popular event happening at school this semester? Reach out to the organization(s) in charge and see if your groups can join forces to support the March of Dimes.

Get organized: Once the event theme is set, think through the resources and supplies needed to make your event successful. Assign tasks to individuals or create committees, if needed. Some assignments may include publicity and promotions, day-of set up and clean up, logistics and gathering supplies. Depending on your event, you may also have entertainment and games committees.

Find Support: Contact different groups and organizations at school to encourage attendance AND for support of the overall event, if needed. Invite the acapella group to be the entertainment, ask the journalism club to help with publicity, and encourage the school mascot to be a special guest. Reach out to local stores and restaurants in the community for food or prize donations. As a “Thank You” offer free advertisement opportunities on your promotional material.

Remember the Mission: Let people know that by donating they are supporting stronger, healthier babies. Invite a family connected to our mission to speak at your event, or show our National Ambassador mission story (found at youtube.com/marchofdimes).

Take pictures and videos at the event and be sure to share with sponsors and everyone who participated. Following your event, be sure to thank your sponsors and team. Be sure to share your success with Team Youth (teamyouth@marchofdimes.com) and on Facebook (facebook.com/marchofdimesyouth) and Twitter (@teamyouth).

Now let’s hear from you:
What tips do you have for school teams hosting an event?
Tell us about your favorite March of Dimes event you attended or hosted.

19 Feb
Volunteers

FBLA-PBL at VLC

For more than 40 years, Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) has been an enthusiastic supporter of the March of Dimes, educating countless members of the community and raising more than $15 million to support our mission! At the 2013 Volunteer Leadership Conference they were recognized as the 2013 #1 Top Fundraising National Service Partner raising more than $470,000!

We got to speak with the Cole Simmons, FBLA National President, and Donnie Iorio, PBL National President, about their experiences as student leaders working with March of Dimes, as well as gain some fundraising tips and advice for students.

Q: What motivated you to volunteer & participate in March for Babies and March of Dimes?

Cole Simmons (FBLA National President): I only learned about the March of Dimes upon joining FBLA, but soon discovered it was much more than just another organization. There is no arguing that the work that the March of Dimes does impacts our future. Seeing the stories of the lives saved by the March of Dimes has been what has motivated me to get involved!

Donnie Iorio (PBL National President): My local [FBLA] chapter advisor in high school motivated our chapter to attend the March for Babies in our county – from then on, I was hooked!

Q: Why do you think it is important for youth to be involved in March for Babies & March of Dimes?

Cole: It is important for youth to be involved because it sets the stage for a lifetime of service! In addition, youth can be some of the most energetic, passionate, and productive contributors to organizations like the March of Dimes.

Donnie: This is my favorite question!  Back when the March of Dimes was started, 75 years ago, the mission wasn’t to improve the health of babies–it was to eradicate polio, a terrible illness that primarily effected the youth in our country.  FDR, the President of the United States, asked that families send their dimes to the White House.  Children went door to door, one dime at a time, knowing that what they were doing was making a difference.  Though Polio has been eradicated, the March of Dimes mission still remains the same – helping the Youth live healthier lives.  That is why it is so important that we, as youth, contribute to the mission.

Q: And finally, tell us your #1 fundraising tip!  

Cole: Show your passion! When you are fundraising, you are essentially selling an idea. To make others believe in it, you have to show that you believe in it yourself!

Donnie: THANK people on Facebook!  Seriously, every time someone donates, dedicate a Facebook status update to them thanking them for their donation!  I find that not only is this a nice gesture, but it prompts others to donate to your cause!

Thank you, FBLA-PBL for your continued dedication and passion to our mission! And thank you Cole and Donnie for your insightful tips and expertise!

For more tips and advice for successfully leading your team during March for Babies, check out the 2014 March for Babies Youth Captains Guide available at www.marchofdimes.com/youth. Here you can find a step-by-step guide to leading your team and hosting events at school and within your community. Contact us at teamyouth@marchofdimes.com for more ways to get involved!

6 Feb
Volunteers

March for Babies season is in full swing and it’s the perfect time to “Kick Off” your school’s fundraising with a Kick Off! Hosting a March for Babies Kick Off is a great way to motivate your team, recruit new teams and gear up together for March for Babies!

Check out our tips and guides to help you plan a successful event. Feel free to customize your Kick Off to better fit your location and team – and for even more resources, be sure to check out the 2014 March for Babies Team Captains Guide (available now!).


GETTING STARTED:
Meet with a March of Dimes staff person before, during and after the kick‐off. They may be able to help you with additional advice and resources. You can find your local March of Dimes chapter here or by visiting marchofdimes.com/youth and selecting “contact us” at the bottom of the page.

Secure a location, such as a school gym, park, or recreation center. Remember to keep in mind the amount of people you are planning to invite and ensure the space is the right size to accommodate everyone. Interested in reaching your entire class, organization or even school? With administration approval, host the Kick Off during school hours (either in class or part of a school-wide assembly), or at your organization’s next meeting.

Find an emcee/host — this could be a local celebrity or leader in your school/organization. Even if they aren’t the emcee, invite your class president, your school mascot, or another influential person in your community to attend.

Invite past March for Babies participants and teams (youth and adult), March of Dimes staff members, and local organizations, schools & press to attend.


TO INSPIRE WALKERS
Remember the mission. Let people know that they are supporting a great cause: stronger, healthier babies. Invite a family connected to our mission to speak at your event, or show our National Ambassador’s story. Are you walking for a specific family or child and/or is someone in your organization connected to our mission? Encourage them to share their story.

Include entertainment. Invite talented individuals and groups in your community to donate their time for our mission. Ask the high school or college cheerleading squad or dance team to perform.

Secure food donations from local restaurants or other sources. Ask local stores for goody bags with donations. Provide free publicity to those who donated by putting their name/logo in the program, invitations and/or displayed at the event.


TO SUPPORT WALKERS
Build in time for interaction providing opportunity for teams, old and new, to meet, network and share ideas.

Provide resources and materials to all team captains and make sure all participants know how to raise money.

Setup a laptop station to give attendees, who haven’t had the opportunity, to register or join a team.

30 Jan
Volunteers

Remember to plan time for your team photo!

Did you know that students across the country (elementary through college age) raised more than $3 million in 2013 to support stronger, healthier babies? Schools alone raised more than $2.2 million! Join students throughout the country as they march to help babies! Here are some ways to help you and your team get started this season!

Get Organized: Create your team online at www.marchforbabies.org. On this site you can set fundraising goals, customize your team page and recruit friends and family to help you reach your goal! Team members can register online and join! Already created a team last year? Simply sign into your account and re-register your team!

Promote and Build Your Team: Reach out to your classmates, family members, friends and organizations at school to support your campaign by joining your team or helping to fundraise. With administrative approval present information about March of Dimes in front of your class, a student organization or even your entire school! Look into promoting your team’s efforts in the school newspaper and on the campus radio/news station.

Set Goals: Work together to set a team goal and determine how many fundraisers you need to recruit to meet it. As a group, brainstorm events that will spread awareness and raise funds. Ask everyone to also set an individual fundraising goal.

When you particpate in March for Babies, you give hope to the families of babies born too soon or sick. For more tips on starting your team and sample fundraising ideas, check out the 2014 March for Babies Youth Captains Guide,. Need more reasources? Visit marchofdimes.com/youth or contact us at teamyouth@marchofdimes.com!

Now let’s hear from you!
What is your number one tip for a new youth captain?

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