march for babies blog
Become a Virtual Walker
Can you believe April is almost here? For many of us March for Babies is right around the corner.
Has something come up that will keep you from walking on March for Babies day?
You can still fundraise for March for Babies even if you can’t attend the event. It’s true! Consider being a “Virtual Walker.”
You can still support your team by joining and raising funds to help your team meet its goal. Whether you’re on a team or not, if helping babies is important to you but you can’t attend the event in person, attend in spirit by joining and then asking everyone to donate. They won’t mind if you can’t walk this year.
Your online registration to March for Babies allows you to fundraise wherever you are. While we would LOVE to see you on event day dressed in your best purple gear we understand there can be scenarios/situations where attending the walk is not possible. Being an online virtual walker grants you the access to continue your support for our mission.
Yesterday was an exciting day for our National Ambassador, Nina Centofanti! She traveled to DC with her family and was joined by Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes, and Bill Fitzgerald, Vice President and General Manager of GE Aviation. She toured the White House, saw the West Wing, and even met President Obama! It was a day this special 8-year-old girl will never forget.
Left to right: Julie Fronckowiak, Corporate Relations Manager; Dr. Howse; Ambassador parents Chris and Vince Centofanti with their children, Mia, Nick, and National Ambassador Nina Centofanti; and Bill Fitzgerald.
Today’s update comes to you from a recent Q&A with Rebecca Riley, the current Key Club International President and a March of Dimes volunteer. Key Club, a national service partner of the March of Dimes, is an international high school student-led organization and we are so excited to have their support! Rebecca, along with many other Key Club and Kiwanis International members, continue to work together year-round for stronger, healthier babies!
From past conversations, it is quite obvious Rebecca is passionate about the March of Dimes and our mission, but it became even more evident through this Q&A session. She states, “March of Dimes is so important to me because prematurity truly can touch anyone,” admitting that she used to think prematurity affected only moms who made poor choices or didn’t see the doctor. Rebecca thanks the March of Dimes for educating herself and her community about prematurity, since it can and does affect mothers who do take good care of themselves and their baby by eating right and keeping their prenatal care appointment. She closes by stating, “I fight with March of Dimes so that one day I can be the mother of healthy babies!”
“…the March of Dimes has really been a focus for me this year. When I discovered that World Prematurity Day was going to fall on the Saturday of one of our International Board meetings, I knew that I wanted to make a statement to all of Key Club International by having my board involved in some way. We took pictures of our matching purple shirts and plastered them all over Facebook to send Key Club International the message that we love babies and we love March of Dimes!”
Below are a few more highlights from our Q&A session.
Q: Rebecca, how do you encourage Key Clubbers to get involve with the March of Dimes?
A: I would encourage all the Key Clubbers that I know to get educated, get involved, and get out:
Get educated by contacting your local March of Dimes representative, visiting marchofdimes.com, and asking your Key Club Lieutenant Governor for more information. Read up on what March of Dimes has done and is doing to ensure the health of babies and children around the world.
Get involved by using March of Dimes resources to plan a fundraising event with your own club. Ask your local representative how you can help with March of Dimes in your own community–you may even be able to support an area family affected by prematurity. Educate your club and get them fired up and ready to help.
And finally, get out and spread awareness of March of Dimes in your community. Get involved in March for Babies and recruit volunteers and participants to join in also. Organize a highly-visible community-based fundraiser for March of Dimes. When you get your community involved in March of Dimes and March for Babies, you not only support March of Dimes nationally, but you also support healthier babies through education in your own community.
Q: Why do you think it is important that students get involved with the March of Dimes?
A: I think that March of Dimes is so important for our students today because we are the mothers and fathers of tomorrow. Although the day when we become parents may seem far away, it is in reality relatively close, and I believe that it is so important for us to do everything that we can to ensure that our babies are healthy when that day comes. I fight with March of Dimes so that one day I can be a mother of healthy babies, and I hope that my fellow students will do the same.
Thanks Rebecca for your insight, and all Key Club International members for supporting the March of Dimes and joining us in March for Babies! Where are you walking with your Key Club, or any other team, this spring?
If mobile is more your style, you can download iPhone and Android apps to conduct your campaign from the palm of your hand. WHAT??!! Yep, we said these tools were cool!
Facebook 24/7? No problem — just download our Facebook app to post photos, your mission story, your goal, donating instructions and more, to create a fabulous fundraising network.
Hit the button!
You can also spread the word instantly and easily with the social media share buttons!
So go to your dashboard — you’ll love it!
It’s never been easier or more exciting to get the word out and donations in to help babies and moms everywhere!
Feel free to reach out for help – Email or call (888) 274-3711.
Take me to my dashboard
If you haven’t already, please REGISTER!
This is one of my favorites to bring a smile and bring in donations!
eCards — A little shy about asking for donations? With eCards, you’ll get a smile every time (and very likely, a donation too!). Personalize the animated walker with a photo of yourself, or your baby, or even your dog (hey, we’re going for attention here!) It’s a funny and friendly way to get your message out to people that you’re close with, as well as those you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
So go to your dashboard and start driving your fundraising with humor and heart!
And if you need any help, simply Email or call (888) 274-3711.
Take me to my dashboard
REGISTER to get started.
Did you know that the dashboard on your personal webpage lets you drive donations with flair and originality? I’m checking out all the cool tools that help you grab more attention and have more fun when asking for support, starting with:
Email Badges — In a few clicks, you can install a personalized signature badge (with your photo!) that appears at the bottom of the March for Babies emails you send. You can also choose a vertical badge for your blog or website. Best part: your badge auto-updates with your fundraising bar and links to your personal page. Now you’re fundraising like a pro.
I used my dandy dashboard to customize both my personal page and email message, and make my own donation (a great way to kick off my fundraising and show others how much I care.)
And if you need directions while you’re “driving,” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) we’re here to help you.
Just Email or call (888) 274-3711.
Take me to my dashboard
Not registered yet? Now’s the time! REGISTER
Signed up for the March for Babies 2013 walk? Great! Now it’s time to ask your family and friends to support your walk. Here is a great tip on how you can ask for donations onto your fundraising page:
The March for Babies website has some really great tools that you can use once you are logged in: email, social sharing, E-cards, etc.
But, you don’t have to be logged in to ask people to donate if you learn the link to your page. The link to your page is super easy to remember: the first part is www.marchforbabies.org the second part is your username and when you put a slash between the two – viola – you have the link to your March for Babies page: www.marchforbabies.org/username
• You can Text or Tweet the link
• You can type the link in your favorite social site posts
• You can add the link to your email signature
• You can write the link on your business card and give to someone – any time you’re talking about walking, you can write the link down and give to the person so they can go donate
We’d love for you to login to marchforbabies.org and/or use the apps to do your fundraising – but as long as you LEARN YOUR LINK, you don’t have to login to fundraise!
Want to walk in March for Babies but haven’t yet signed up? You can register by selecting either Join a Team, Start a Team or Find an Event on www.marchforbabies.org to get you started!
Have questions? Contact the OFT Help Desk at email@example.com or 888-274-3711
As you continue to raise funds for March for Babies, remember that there are a variety of people you can ask to donate. But keep in mind the first step to getting someone to donate is to ask, and there are multiple ways to even make this ask!
Here are a few tips to help you find who and how to ask.
Getting Started: Who to Ask
Make a list of ten people you could ask for a donation. 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), members of your sports team and/or school organization. Go even further by including neighbors and your 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 will donate.
Incorporate this activity at your next team meeting. Make it a competition to see who can come up with the most names!
Reaching out: How to Ask
Online fundraising is the easiest way to fundraise, but you’ll find that you may need to ask people to donate in different ways. Send emails to potential donors with a link to your personal page. You can do this directly from your Online Fundraising Page at marchforbabies.org. Use social media to post a link to your fundraising page to reach more friends and family members. 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!” When someone donates, thank them through your social media channels by tagging them in your post. They will feel special and this may encourage others to donate as well.
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 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.
Take your fundraising to the next level by sending personal letters in the mail to family and friends. Consider asking classmates and teachers in person– it’s a lot harder for someone to say no to you in person.
The important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as asking too many people. Remember in order for someone to say “yes” you have to first ask.
Now Let’s Hear From You!
What are some creative ways you have asked for support?
Our March for Babies Fundraising Guru, Zoe, shows first time fundraiser, Chris, how to make a donation to his March for Babies Fundraising page.
Watch the video and learn why making a donation to your own page is one of the best ways to kick off your March for Babies fundraising!
My brother and his wife were awaiting the birth of their first child. But, very suddenly, there were complications. When I received a call telling me that I had a 2 lb., 6 oz. baby niece, my joy was hand in hand with fear. And it broke my heart that my sister-in-law felt no joy at all. I will never forget opening the door to her hospital room and seeing her lying in the dark — overcome with disappointment and feelings of failure. My brother and I stared into the incubator at this tiny girl who wasn’t quite ready to come into this world. What should have been the happiest day of their lives was the beginning of an anxiety-filled journey.
The first sign of heightened hope…she was breathing on her own!!
In the ongoing days and weeks, the situation — and emotions — began to brighten. There is no way to express how grateful they were for the caring hands and expertise of the NICU staff. How grateful they were for the guidance, comfort and support they received. How grateful they were when, five weeks later, they were able to take their little girl home! During that challenging time period, they weren’t aware of the ways in which the work of the March of Dimes helped their daughter. But they are now…and will never forget it. My niece grew slowly, but surely; had no subsequent health issues; and is now a beautiful young woman.
For every expectant couple, no truer words were ever spoken: “As long as our baby is healthy…”
Nearly half a million babies are born too soon each year. Each one of them needs our help.
REGISTER now for March for Babies, and if you can’t walk with us, please DONATE.