march for babies blog
For many of you, your March for Babies will take place in one exciting month! Now’s the time to 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.
Think about these steps as we count down to March for Babies day:
1) Encourage donations — Post how close you are to goal on Facebook, Twitter and school message boards (with permission). If you are three $10 donations from goal, let the world know — these types of benchmarks really work.
2) Follow up — Contact people who said they were interested in giving, but haven’t committed.
3) Stay motivated — Send updates every few weeks to celebrate the team’s progress and to encourage team members to do even more.
4) Build team spirit — Set up a day to make signs and banners that you’ll post on March for Babies day.
5) Note bank days — Ask your chapter when bank days are held and schedule a time to come by. Ask your chapter how to handle last-minute donations.
6) Assign a photographer — Ask a team member to agree to take photos on March for
What else is on your “to-do” list, Team Youth, as you gear up for March for Babies Day?
On February 10, the Rutgers University March of Dimes Collegiate Council hosted “A Purple Tie Affair,” a night of elegance, fine dining, and awareness. Over 120 people attended the event at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Upon planning such an extravagant event, Ruchita Parekh, a Rutgers University student and council member, stated, “In college we are given very few opportunities to dress-up in formal attire and enjoy a gourmet dinner with our friends. Thus, we came up with an event where the students could enjoy an elegant evening with their friends while learning about the March of Dimes.”
Students enjoyed a night filled with good laughs, delicious food and a whole lot of dancing thanks to the live DJ performance, all while dressed in their best. Sachet Choudhary, Collegiate Council Ambassador, noted that students showed up in their finest, from prom dresses to suits. Some students went the extra mile and were styling in tuxedos.
The Collegiate Council started organizing and preparing two months in advance! Throughout the planning process, the council worked hard to ensure not a single item was overlooked, including the location, caterer, guest speakers, decorations, and DJ.
In addition, the council spent a great deal of time promoting the event around campus. The Rutgers University Collegiate Council used word of mouth, posters, flyers and social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter in order to garner attention for the event.
In the end, their hard work and dedication paid off. “A Purple Tie Affair” was a huge success! In addition to the great turn-out and over $500 raised, all attendees were engaged by the moving mission family who shared their story during the event. “A Purple Tie Affair” hosted by the Rutgers University Collegiate Council was a memorable night and a tremendous success!
Let us know how you turn your formalwear into fundraising for the March of Dimes!
Shaquille O’Neal has joined our team as the 2012 March for Babies spokesperson! As our newest and arguably the biggest teammate, Shaq, as he is known, is asking everyone to go full-court on fundraising for March for Babies.
He is encouraging all his fans and Twitter followers to join him in supporting March for Babies. Be Shaq’s best teammate and do the same. With our online fundraising tools (OFT) and social media applications, such as our Facebook app, you can easily ask your friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances to support your March for Babies efforts and exceed your fundraising goal.
“March for Babies walks are a slam-dunk event for anyone who wants to help give babies a healthy start,” says Shaq, who is walking in Atlanta on April 28th. “I’m walking because I’m thankful that my children were born healthy.”
Whatever your reason for participating — whether, like Shaq, you’re thankful for healthy children or you had a premature or sick baby — the money you raise helps moms and babies in your community. With your help, we will find the causes for premature birth and develop ways to prevent it.
“I’m not used to missing goals — or baskets,” says Shaq. “So come out and bring your family and friends to a March for Babies event near you.”
March of Dimes Mom Sherri Shepherd makes her debut on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars tonight!
Sherri has been a wonderful March for Babies celebrity volunteer and mission ambassador for our Prematurity Campaign. Let’s all get behind Sherri this season as she goes for the Mirror Ball!
Cheer Sherri on each week and be ready to show your love when the audience voting begins!
The March of Dimes Collegiate Council at Indiana University (IU) is hitting the ground running this March for Babies season! This year they have committed to raising at least $5,000 for healthier, stronger babies and sharing our mission and the importance of healthy living throughout campus to increase support of the March of Dimes.
On February 29, the council hosted a “Thinking about OB/GYN?” panel discussion open to all students with a medical field interest. The panelists consisted of Dr. Lisa Weiler, MD Obstetrician / Gynecologist at Southern Indiana Physicians for Women, and Julie Kathman, a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Bloomington Hospital. Weiler and Kathman discussed their respective careers in depth, ranging from their interests in mother and baby health to the difficulties of raising a family while maintaining a professional career. Throughout the discussion, they answered questions from the audience of pre-med and pre-nursing students concerning their educational backgrounds, challenges with entering the field, and advice for success.
After the discussion, Indiana University Collegiate Council Ambassador, Nicole Budzynski, spoke about opportunities for students to get involved with the March of Dimes, including taking part in the annual Bloomington March for Babies event held on April by registering their own team or volunteering day-of and donating to the IU Collegiate Council team.
This panel discussion was part of year-long series of “Premeds Preventing Prematurity” events at the Indiana University campus intended to educate pre-med and pre-nursing students on the mission of the March of Dimes and raise interest and funds for the IU March for Babies Team. The event included a dinner sponsored by the Indiana University Student Association. In the upcoming months, the Indiana University Collegiate Council plans to host additional panel discussions, a Coffeehouse, sell t-shirts, and host various events with the help of campus clubs and organizations in order to raise money and awareness for the March of Dimes.
Way to go, IU March of Dimes Collegiate Council!
Now we want to hear from you!
What events are you hosting to fundraise this year?
What groups (at school or in the community) are you working with to support stronger, healthier babies?
Whether this is your first event or if you’re a pro, planning fundraising events can take a lot of work, especially when coordinating your academic schedule at the same time. Through my volunteer experience with the March of Dimes, I’ve come up with some great items to help you host a successful fundraising event.
Think BIG, but be realistic: Be creative, but don’t be overwhelmed by trying to reach out to the whole world. Every event, no matter how big or small is valuable. If you don’t have the resources to plan one giant event, plan several small events.
Start now: If you haven’t hosted an event, don’t be intimidated to start this year. The perfect time to start is now. You can start as small as hosting an information booth on campus with facts about our mission and premature birth rates in your state. Have a donation bucket available for students interested in supporting the March of Dimes.
Get students engaged: What’s popular on your campus? Does your school have a longstanding tradition? Try to incorporate your school’s spirit into your fundraising efforts. Ask the mascot to wear March of Dimes gear at the next game to promote your event. Get the faculty involved by hosting a “Pie-Your-Teacher” competition, in which students donate money for the chance to pie a particular teacher.
Ask for help: If you are ready to engage even more people on campus, try reaching out to organizations that might be interested in partnering with you. Start with our National Service Partners. These groups have an established connection with the March of Dimes and may be great resources. And remember, your local March of Dimes office and Team Youth are always available for additional support.
Have fun: Make sure you’re enjoying yourself throughout your fundraising efforts — and know that you are making a difference.
Good luck with your fundraising efforts! Don’t forget to check out the March for Babies Youth Captain Guide.
You may already know this, but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded that we have a slew of online, social and mobile media to help you with your campaign — they’re all just a finger-tap away:
Facebook app: Link your Facebook and March for Babies accounts to access sharing tools.
Facebook: “Like” the March of Dimes on Facebook and get involved in the community.
Badges: Use our customized online signature tool as an email signature.
Animated e-card: Email supporters a personalized animated electronic card.
LinkedIn: Share your support of March for Babies with your network.
Mobile app: Manage your campaign from your iPhone®, iPad® or Android device.
Twitter: Tweet about or follow us @marchforbabies.
Finger-tap your way through your March for Babies campaign!
Calling all youth teams! Schools, clubs, groups of friends – get on board with March for Babies! By raising money for the March of Dimes, you’re giving babies all over the country a better chance at a healthy start.
You’re helping to fund research to fight birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. You also help provide information and comfort to families with a baby in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU). Fundraising is a vital way to support the March of Dimes, and you can truly make a difference in people’s lives.
Here are just a few fun ideas to help you engage your community and raise money for the March of Dimes. Remember to ask your school administration for approval before hosting any event.
- Kickball/dodgeball tournament. Host either a kickball or dodgeball tournament at school. Work with a local business for donations of food, water and even an award for the winning team. Charge an entry fee for teams to participate and for the audience to watch. Include the mission of the March of Dimes by presenting a mission moment before the game starts.
- Dinner before a school event. Host a dinner for people to enjoy before they attend the upcoming play, musical or concert. Ask a local restaurant to donate the food and drinks. Publicize the dinner at your school and around your community and charge an entry fee.
- A “mission” minute. At your next home game, use halftime as a time to explain the mission of the March of Dimes. After explaining the mission, pass a bucket throughout the stands for 1 minute to see how much money you can raise.
- Silent bake sale auction. Bake delicious homemade foods and coordinate a silent auction with these treats in your teacher’s lounge. For each item, the teacher with the largest bid wins the dessert.
And now, let’s hear from you. Share with us your best fundraising idea so far for March for Babies!
The College of New Jersey’s Circle K club has made a year-round commitment to volunteer for the March of Dimes, and they are leading the way for healthy babies!
In November, the Circle K was hard at work during Prematurity Awareness month to advocate, educate, and fundraise for the March of Dimes. The Circle K International March of Dimes Ambassador, Danielle Sammut, with the help of a club member, was able to get the college to light up Alumni Grove in purple, in support of March of Dimes. Club members spread the message about premature birth.
On World Prematurity Day, November 17, the club had a March of Dimes table set up in the STUD. They sold Prematurity Awareness bracelets and pumpkin cut outs, and had many brochures available to educate the campus.
Katherine Loore, the March of Dimes Committee Chairperson for TCNJ Circle K truly enjoyed her experience on this day: “World Prematurity Day was such an amazing experience, especially since it was my first time being actively involved. I wore purple, asked family and friends to wear purple, changed my Facebook picture, updated my status, and wrote letters to mothers of premature babies. I believe I have never ever been this excited about supporting a cause for March of Dimes. I know that by raising awareness and sharing knowledge about the problems mothers and babies face, March of Dimes with the support of others will help moms reach full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies.”
The positive energy towards spreading awareness continued into the night with a Late Night Servce hosted by TCNJ’s club, which gathered students from all different organizations. A March of Dimes service table was set up where students wrote letters to mothers of premature babies. It sparked great conversation about the cause and made people outside the club happy that they could make an impact on premature birth.
This is only the beginning of TCNJ’s efforts to help fight for stronger, healthier babies. Katherine Loor has plans to continue her efforts as TCNJ’s March of Dimes chair, “I would really love to have an event for preemies and the community to enjoy a day of fun activities while learning about the mission of March of Dimes and what they can do to help.”
Now, they have organized a team for the March for Babies walk in April. They have some great ideas coming up, building off of a successful November campaign, including participating in a dorm storm to educate dorm residents about the March of Dimes and invite them to walk and donate to March for Babies; and hosting an ice-cream social/card making night to promote March for Babies!
What is your team doing this month to fundraise for March for Babies?