march for babies blog

17 Mar

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Posted by Linda
March for Babies 2008 in Jacksonville, Florida

March for Babies '08 in Jacksonville, FL

I learned asking for donations in a bad economy is not business as usual. More than halfway to go to reach my goal, I decided to adjust course. So, I’ve been talking to some of our bigger fundraisers here at the national office.

“Think of every ask as a sales call,” was one person’s advice. “You have to sell the benefits of their donation to the March of Dimes.”


That may make sense if sales are, say, what you do for a living. For the rest of us, let me break it down:


Get personal: E-mail is great, but when the donations stop coming in, approaching people in person is your best tactic. One good thing, it gets much harder to say no.


Think positive: And smile when you’re asking: it’s contagious. Your positive attitude and enthusiasm for the cause will inspire people to give.


Make the sell: Explain how their gift will help babies and families. Talk about the work the March of Dimes does. And remind everyone of the tax deduction next year!


The biggest thing right now is to just ask. If someone helped you before, give them the opportunity to help again. All you can do is be sensitive and acknowledge hard times. People can say no. They don’t need us to do it for them.


Have you changed tactics to raise money this year? Post your advice here!


Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Courtney — March 17, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

Asking for donations face-to-face is really important. The Online Fundraising Tool is exceptional and a really great way to coordinate your efforts, but it certainly can’t replace the power of asking someone in person! Thanks for the helpful tip.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Jennifer — March 17, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

I have set myself 3 reminders. Not only am I the Ambassador Family for my company, but I took my son’s story and I use that to help raise funds. I sent out a letter with his story and how I raised funds last year… I want to meet the goal again this year. I emailed just this week with another version to everyone. Two weeks before the walk I will send my final letter/email and make
a few phone calls too. You have to be creative !!!

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Kristi — March 17, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

My daughter, age 8, volunteered to record a 15 second public service announcement for the three local radio stations. She identifies herself and then notes, “One day every baby will be born healthy, but we have to walk to get there”…..and tells folks how to donate. We wrote a letter and she has passed it out to everyone we know telling them to listen for her PSA. We also provided her webpage on the letter so they could donate directly to her. She has handed the letters out at daycare,church, school (the school nurse even made extra copies when she ran low), and sent them to family and friends.

We haven’t heard the PSA yet but a lot have and we are starting to get more donations in as it reminds them to donate. With the poor economy we are really stressing the smallest of donations helps us move toward our goal.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Jessy — March 18, 2009 @ 2:53 am

Every year my sister and I do a loose change drive at our MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group. This usually brings in a couple hundred dollars for our team total!

Make it fun! Have a game night where your friends pay to play and win prizes. Have a dinner party – $10 a plate?

Last year we had a yard sale with all the proceeds going to our team and raised over $300! Our youngest walker also set up a candy/soda stand and added to her totals, too!

This year my son and I are having a $1 root beer float day at his Boys and Girls Club and we’ve also bought MOD bracelets, pens, and pencils and will be setting up shop in front of our local WalMart for two Saturdays.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Angela — March 18, 2009 @ 8:41 am

Some great fundraising ideas here! Thanks everyone. And keep them coming, we can all use some inspiration!

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Eric — March 18, 2009 @ 9:36 am

I sent personal letters to each of my prior donors from the past two years and have seen a nice return on that so far.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Michele — March 18, 2009 @ 9:46 am

I’m reminding my friends and contacts that they do give to charity every year, whether the economy is up or down — and asking them to make the March of Dimes one of the charities of choice this year. I’ve also offered to give to their favorite charity in return.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Karyn — March 18, 2009 @ 2:35 pm

For making the sale: You can remind people that funds donated to the March of Dimes supports advocacy efforts on behalf of families, including access care and support. As families have to make hard choices about health care and insurance, organizations like MOD help to ensure that there are infrastructure safety nets in place so that babies can be born healthy – no matter what the DOW is. Read the MOD reaction to the President’s Budget for more.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Rachel — March 18, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

I am only doing it at school. But we are giving away easter eggs full of candy for ever buck. So, hopefully it will persuade some kids to donate.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Ashley — March 18, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

i am new at all of this. i just had a baby in october and he was born premature with a lot of problems. he passed away 2 days after he was born and i was wondering if anyone had any tips on how to do some of this stuff.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Gayle — March 19, 2009 @ 11:47 am

Right there you’ve said the best tip of all for the rest of us–premature babies and babies with birth defects don’t stop happening just because the economy is bad and we can’t afford them. So reminding people of that sad fact and that every little bit helps might make a difference in their donating or not. My heart goes out to you for your loss.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Angela — March 19, 2009 @ 3:35 pm

Ashley, I’m glad you found us and touched you want to help other babies and families in your difficult time.Have you signed up for March for Babies yet? You can start a family team and invite family and friends to raise money and walk with you in your baby’s name. Or you can connect with and join an existing team. Once you’re registered, we’ll guide you through the process of raising money online. There are many great tips in the comments and keep reading our blog for more.If you haven’t already, visit It’s a wonderful community of people who had a premature or sick baby and support each other. Many of the moms and dads on the site have also experienced the death of their baby.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Alyssa — March 20, 2009 @ 1:27 am

I just want to thank everyone for their support in the MOD. Just this past January (the 30th to be exact) I lost my daughter stillbirth due to a reason even unknown to my doctors. Something apparently so rare, it hasent been seen by most doctors in the U.S. I would tell you what it is but I dont even know. Three years prior, I lost my first daughter also stillbirth due to a prolapse cord. My children are not here with me for reasons I dont know. So this year, I’m walking for my girls. To make sure no one has to go through what I did. So I thank you all… because its people like you that are going to make a difference in these babies lives…

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by shannon — March 20, 2009 @ 8:41 am

Alyssa’s story really touched my heart because I have a counsin that was pregnant with twins.Half way through her pregnancy she went to the doctor and everything was fine and 3 weeks later she went back and one had died.She had to continue through the pregnancy and carry him to full term, although the doctors did not know if the other would live or die.She made it to delivery but he is severely handicap, and they said that the babies had an blood clot in their brain and thats why the one died and it’s by the grace of god why the other did not die.I myself have two beautiful boys, 1 is 3 years old and the other is 6 months old.I had a pretty rocky pregnancy but we got through it and they are prefect and healthy.That’s why it is so important to me to raise money so that everybody else can have healthy children like me!!

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Jessica — March 20, 2009 @ 2:43 pm

I am proud to say that this is going to be my second year walking for MOD. I gave birth last January 15, 2008 at 25 weeks to fraternal twins. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy with morning sickness and being in and out of the hospital for 11 weeks. My water bag broke at 23 weeks and I stood strong for 12 more days giving birth vaginally and c-section. I lost one after 23 days of his heroic struggle. I couldn’t think of anyway to give back besides MOD. When I walked last year, my son was still hospitalized and he didn’t come home until the end of July. Other NICU parents and I made a family team and reached a goal of over $7,000 making us the leader in Ambler, PA. This year has been very difficult to raise money due to the economy. So, I decided to make molded lollipops of pink and blue babies, booties, bottles, pacifiers, etc. I handed them out to all of my friends to take to work and we are at almost $400 raised and counting in just a week. An example of profit, spend $60 and make $700. If anyone has any more ideas, please let me know. Thank you!!!

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Cathy Guevara — March 22, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

I love the MOD Web site, but I believe that a hand addressed personal letter does wonders. I shared my story, my goal, and why MOD was so important. For those donors who I suspected may need a softer push of encouragement, I even sent a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope. I’ve had an awesome response with these, as people didn’t have to search around for a stamp and envelope…they already had it!

Another idea is to hold a garage sale and use the earnings for your MOD fundraising. If you mention it to friends in your neighborhood, work, or church, you’ll find that often, people will donate their items for your sale, too. I found that if I put up signs telling buyers that this is a charity sale to benefit March of Dimes, I have fewer people try to haggle with the price. In fact, many offer an extra donation…just to show their support.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by — March 22, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

Hello my name is sonia Ive been collecting money thru my job for march of dime for babies, I was wondering who takse the pic my nephews in the hospital, he was born one pound were hoping for the best for him so far hes doing good, I wanted to ask if you can use his pic for next years pic.Thank you

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Amanda — March 22, 2009 @ 10:44 pm

I have sent letters to family members informing them of the life saving research the March of Dimes provides and asked them for small donations. Also, I live in a community of about 900 people and am putting an article in our newsletter with this years Ambassador family story. The newsletter has not been sent out yet but I am hoping for a good response. I’m hoping to get at least 100 people to make a $20 donation leading to a total of $2000. Even if I do not reach that goal, it will be nice knowing the community will learn of the Ambassador family’s story and the importance of the March of Dimes.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Garrett — March 23, 2009 @ 10:14 am

I am in a group at school and we are trying to raise money for the March of Dimes. We will be visiting an Elementary School and talking to some 4th graders. We are going to give them some activities to do and try to get them to help out and donate to the March of Dimes for the premature babies. I have also sent out letters to 15 people to see if they will help out and donate under my name.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Ephrem — March 25, 2009 @ 12:05 am

I am affiliated with my school in fund raising and it is difficult to fund raise during the hardships of the economy. I have realized that I and we as fund raisers have to work even harder to reach our goals. It is not impossible we just have to do what this blogs stats in using different technique to fund raising. With hard work we will still be just as successful.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by henry — March 25, 2009 @ 9:20 am

to agree along with most of the comments on this blog. i as well have been working with my school to help raise money for the march of dimes. with the economy being the way it is i am finding a little bit harder to motivate people to donate some of the points in here have helped with my fundraising.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Jamie — March 25, 2009 @ 9:28 am

This quarter in college our ENG 325 Writing for the Community is all about helping the March of Dimes. We are split into several teams. Each team has signed up to do different fundraising techniques. My team has decided to sell candy bars and advertisement for the back of our t-shirts, as well as have a change drive. I have been working with my daughters Pre-K coordinator to have all the children collect change and have a walk with ice cream. I have also sent out thirty-five letters to family members and countless number of e-mails to my friends asking them to donate under my name on the website. The children are our future, so lets do everything we can to ensure a better one.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Dale Jefferies — March 25, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

I think the most useful of your tips is to keep it personal. Also, people are definitely more likely to help out when they feel they are being addressed individually and not in bulk. My team has found the most success in the “every little bit helps” approach; ColdStone Creamery agreed to help us sell squares for $1 each. While people may not be making big donations because of the economy, it seems they still want to help in some way. Generally, I think people want to help out as long as we pull our weight and convince them that their money will not be used irresponsibly.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Samuel — March 25, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

I truly stand behind the first two tactics; get personal and think positive.

By looking someone in the eye they are less likely to say no because there is now a face on the person or charity they could have said no to. Even if they do say no they are more likely to direct you in another direction, this is where word of mouth comes in to play. Any salesman knows that word of mouth is the best way to finalize any deal.

Thinking positive should almost come as number one. When you are looking at someone in the eye they can feed off of your emotions, attitude, and body language. If you are already prepared for the conversation, excited about what you are asking for and motivated by your goals, your success rate will increase in noticeable margins.

With such a great cause, how can anyone not be optimistic?

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Jonathan Leonard — March 26, 2009 @ 2:38 am

I agree that face to face is an excellent way to seek the help of loved ones. Regardless of the economy, it is a useful way of obtaining funds. But with our economy being in the poor state that it is in, this method is even more so useful. As stated, it is much harder for someone to actually say no to a donation request, especially in comparison to simply ignoring a letter or e-mail. Most importantly, it gives the person making the request a chance to really explain themselves and their cause. The written word can be very motivating if people take the time to read it, but it is hard to ignore someone standing in front of you and pleading for your help for a cause they truly believe in.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Logan Sharp — March 26, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

I too have encountered some resistance or a sense of hesitance when approaching people for some sort of donation, no matter how small it is. I’m glad I read this blog because some of the tips on here have definitely helped. Some people are amazed at what all the March of Dimes has done and that alone has convinced them to contribute in some way, even though the economy is in a bad state. I also found just being polite works as well.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by David Downs — March 26, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

Currently my team has decided to have a “laugh for babies night” at the Funny Bone here in Springfield. The show is slated for April 23 and tickets should be on sale very shortly. The great thing about the show is the fact that all ticket proceeds are going to the March of Dimes. I hope to see you all the!

More information about the show and time coming soon!

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Paul Woods — March 26, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

I have tried all of the things mentioned in this blog and none of them seem to help. Are there any other things that can be suggested. One thing that I found did work was letting people know that they do not have to donate but if they have any extra money at all that anything is helpful. I also told people all they had to do was give up buying one drink a day or go for the cheaper meal once and that would cover the donation. These seemed to work on some of my donators.

Tips for Fundraising in a Bad Economy

Comment by Shea — January 20, 2012 @ 6:59 pm

Get some hot dogs, & canned sodas, grill the hot dogs than charge a dollar for each. It raises great money!


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