march for babies blog
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?
Hosting a March for Babies Kick Off is a great way to recruit teams and walkers in your local area and gear up together for March for Babies! Here are a few ways to make your Kick Off event a success.
Contact Your Local Chapter Staff - Meet with a March of Dimes staff person before, during and after the kick‐off. Go to marchofdimes.com and click “contact us” at the bottom of the page to find your local March of Dimes chapter.
Secure a Location - Such as a school gym, park, or recreation center.
Find an Emcee/Host - This could be a local celebrity or leader in your organization. Does college or high school football have a large following in your community? Invite the school mascot or school leader.
Invite Everyone – Invite past March for Babies teams (youth and adult), March of Dimes staff members, and local organizations, schools & press to attend.
To Inspire Walkers
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 mission story (found at youtube.com/marchofdimes.com). 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 by showcasing local talent. 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. Finally, secure for food donations from local restaurants or other catering places. 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 teams, old and new, to meet, network and share ideas. Provide all team captains with support materials 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.
For more resources on engaging your team and fundraising ideas, visit marchforbabies.org.
Now let’s hear from you:
What was the most memorable March for Babies Kickoff you attended and why?
How do you get your team excited for March for Babies?
Looking for creative, new fundraising ideas for your March for Babies team? Check out these options! They are designed for all of our student volunteers - but can work for any age group!
Set up a trivia night — Organize a fun night with food and board games, with a $5.00 admission.
Sponsor study snacks — Set up a table during exam time and sell bags of trail mix, nuts and candy to keep students alert.
Have a mini Super Bowl — You also can organize a massive game of tag, ultimate Frisbee® or a Quidditch match at your school or local park. Recruit players and raise money by selling food and admission tickets.
Make a birthday wish — Have friends and family make donations to the March of Dimes instead of giving you gifts.
Go Project Runway — Organize a fashion show that features clothing from local stores. It’s a great way for stores to showcase their clothes. Prom and formal wear are naturals. Hold your event in a central location and use the admission fee to raise money for the March of Dimes.
Cutout campaign — Pick up cutouts at your March of Dimes office and have an in-school competition to see which grade can raise more money selling them. Post sold cutouts in a central part of the school so classmates can feel good about the difference they are making in their community.
What’s your most creative fundraising idea this spring to help raise money for healthy babies?
Having a hard time figuring out how you’re going to reach your fundraising goal? Try creating a formula of support from family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Say your goal is $250 – consider something like this:
Start by making your own $25 donation. Then, ask: three friends for $25; two family members for $20; four colleagues for $15; a neighbor for $10; your doctor for $25; and, a local merchant for $15. Add it up and you’ve reached $250.
And don’t forget to ask your donors if their company offers matching gifts – you might be able to double your donations.
College students from Arizona State University to Yale University met in New York last week for the first ever March for Babies University, a three day training program for Collegiate Council Ambassadors. Collegiate Council Ambassadors are nationally recognized collegiate leaders for the March of Dimes who implement and grow student groups dedicated to year-round activities to support our mission in their local community. Throughout March for Babies University students participated in sessions with national March of Dimes staff to learn the keys to leading a successful March for Babies team, from mission awareness activities to how to plan a fundraising special event.
Each Collegiate Council Ambassador pledged to raise at least $5,000 for March for Babies this year, and they all left expecting to easily exceed this goal!
In addition, the March of Dimes National Youth Council met last week in preparation for March for Babies. The National Youth Council is comprised of the Foundation’s top college volunteer leaders committed to promoting, supporting, and implementing youth leadership development initiatives. As a council, they plan to raise at least $20,000 for March for Babies.
Are you a student interested in becoming a March of Dimes leader or do you know a student leader who would like to further their volunteer efforts with the March of Dimes as part of our National Youth Council or Collegiate Council Ambassador program? We are currently accepting nominations for the 2012-2013 academic year. Please visit http://bit.ly/AgYNKz for additional information about both programs and instructions on nominating a student leader.
Nominations are due February 15 and must be made by a local March of Dimes staff person or advisor.
Now, we want to hear from you!
What is your 2012 March for Babies goal?
What are some fundraisers you plan to host?
Are you participating with your coworkers this year? Walking in March for Babies is one of the most meaningful things you can do as a team - and a great time for anyone in the company. It really is what you make it though, and the sky is the limit!
Pour your heart into it - Know a special baby or child? Dedicate your walk to a little someone in your life to motivate you in your fundraising and inspire your supporters.
Bring some fun to it - What are you willing to do if you reach your goal? Dye your hear purple, perform a heartfelt rendition of “Ain’t no mountain high enough” in the cafeteria…
Stir up friendly competition - Yes, you’re on the same team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show the folks in Accounting just the kind of stuff Purchasing is made of!
Make it rewarding - Does your company offer March for Babies incentives? If not, ask your team captain to up the stakes. A lunch with the boss for the top fundraiser, a day off for $500+ walkers…
Is your company walking, give them a shout-out in the comments. And share your own tips, what’s working for you or your team?
Is this your first March for Babies, or are you a seasoned veteran? When it comes to fundraising, I think most of us can use some new ideas.
- Tell your story - Nothing inspires people to give like your personal story. Tell your potential donors who you’re walking for, how they can help and how much that would mean to you.
- Ease into it - Ask your family first, and your closest friends. Once you feel confident, reach out to your coworkers, doctor, your kids’ teachers, etc.
- Set your giving options - Did you know you can customize the gift amounts people see on your fundraising page? A higher suggested gift may encourage people to increase their donation.
- Go offine - Raising money online is the most effective and easiest way to increase your goal. But there are probably people you know who are not on your Facebook, or who you have no e-mail for. Do ask in person, and use our printable badges.
Now it’s your turn. Thousands of new family teams are walking in March for Babies for the very first time this year. What advice can you give them? How do you raise those dollars?
As long as you’re sitting behind your computer… click through to do some good this summer!
These three great companies are giving away a total of $60K to the charity of your choice. Just think of the good that this money could do for babies and families.
1. Enter Kenneth Cole’s Big Change Giveaway here and win $25K to fight premature birth and other problems that threaten our babies.
2. Visit delicious cookies on the Web: Christie Cookies is also giving out $25K!
3. Check out Capital One’s Connect One campaign to win $25 instantly ― plus a shot at the $10K grand prize. Make our babies the winner!
Thanks to all these companies for showing some love in the summer of ’09. And thanks to you for taking a couple of minutes to support your favorite charity. Share the love and invite others to click to help us also!
Michael Hall is the March of Dimes National Ambassador Dad. Every time Michael speaks out about prematurity to raise money for the mission, he lights up with joy and pride talking about his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Katelyn. Michael is leading Team Katelyn to victory for March for Babies. And, oh yeah, Michael was also named Dad of the Month by iParenting.
Want to know what this volunteer dad extraordinaire is doing for Mother’s Day? Michael is shopping online to benefit the cause! Flowers, photos, jewelry and more. Take a few more steps for babies – get something for your mom! Or, is your mom the mom who has everything and is also allergic to flowers, just donate in her honor – it’s a priceless gift of love and hope.
Want to use your profile to turn a March for Babies profit? Follow these tips:
- Put your March for Babies personal fundraising link in your status update. People really rally around a tangible goal so try a message like “I am $150 away from $500. If 30 of my 200 friends each donate $5, I’ll reach my goal!” For extra pep, share with a link, video, or cute baby photo!
- Add the App. The March for Babies Facebook application provides a dynamic badge for your profile and publishes a story each time you receive a donation. It’s an excellent way to get the word out that you’re helping the babies.
- Create an event. Create a “Help Me Support Healthy Babies” Facebook event and invite all of your friends. Include your fundraising link, an ask for donations and team members, and post motivational pictures and videos.
Have you fundraised successfully on Facebook? Share best practices with us about using Facebook to raise money for March for Babies.
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