march for babies blog
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more ways to get involved!
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 email@example.com!
Now let’s hear from you!
What is your number one tip for a new youth captain?
Nominate a Top Student Leader for the 2014-2015 National Youth Council & Collegiate Council Ambassador Program!Posted by Volunteers
Do you know a student leader who has shown incredible passion and dedication for the March of Dimes? The March of Dimes is looking for passionate rising or current college students to lead youth volunteers and help all babies have a healthy start! We invite advisors and mentors to nominate a student leader for March of Dimes National Youth Council and Collegiate Council Ambassador roles.
The National Youth Council is the foundation’s TOP youth leadership council, consisting of dedicated collegiate leaders passionate about the March of Dimes and committed to promoting, supporting and implementing youth leadership development on a national level. Collegiate Council Ambassadors are college leaders interested in growing March of Dimes local engagement and involvement on campus and in their community.
New members to both programs are provided with orientation, ongoing training and mentoring. Throughout their experience, members will be offered opportunities for professional development and personal growth.
To learn more about these leadership opportunities and to nominate a student leader, visit marchofdimes.com/youthnominations. Nominations close February 28, 2014 – so nominate a student leader today! For more information, contact March of Dimes Team Youth at firstname.lastname@example.org
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?
National Youth Council members are selected because of their demonstrated leadership and dedication to the March of Dimes Foundation. These new members have done extensive volunteer work for the March of Dimes and are active members in their communities.
The newest members are:
Kyle – University of Florida: He has served in a variety of leadership roles for the March of Dimes including the Gainesville Chain Reaction March for Babies Chair and Gators March for Babies Overall Director.
Morgan – University of Minnesota-Duluth: Her past leadership roles include the 2010-2011 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) National Vice President and the 2011-2012 Collegiate Council Ambassador at her university.
Donnie – University of South Carolina: He previously served as the Future Business Leaders of American (FBLA) National Vice President and is currently serving as the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National President, two of March of Dimes national service partners.
Drew – University Wisconsin-Madison: He first became involved with the March of Dimes through his work with FBLA, serving as the FBLA National Treasurer his senior year of high school.
Anastasia – Clemson University (SC): She serves as the March of Dimes Chair for her chapter of Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority, and works closely with the NICU Family Support program at Greenville Memorial Hospital.
Taylor – University of Oregon: Most recently serving as the FBLA National President, he has received numerous young leader awards for his strong leadership and service ethic.
XinLei (Tony) – Stanford University (CA): His past leadership roles include the 2010-2011 Key Club International President and 2011-2012 March of Dimes Collegiate Council Ambassador at his university.
National Youth Council members work closely with other volunteers and professional staff at the March of Dimes regional and national offices and in the chapters to provide leadership and assistance in these programs. In addition, National Youth Council members are involved with other national partners, advocacy initiatives, and with the development of collegiate programs to support the March of Dimes mission.
Are you interested in becoming a Youth Volunteer Leader? Contact email@example.com or visit the March of Dimes Youth Leaders page for more information on the National Youth Council and other leadership opportunities.
Let’s Hear From You:
How have you been a March of Dimes leader locally (at school and/or in your community)?
Your March for Babies success is a direct result of your hard work and also the great effort of your team and your supporters. Show everyone how thankful you are for their help throughout your fundraising efforts! And you can use this opportunity to remind them that they can continue to support you year-round. Here a few ways to show your thanks:
Send personalized thank you letters and/or emails to all donors. Include updates from your team, highlights from your fundraising campaign and March for Babies event, and a team photo. Be sure to include your team’s fundraising total, and let them know you are still accepting donations.
Highlight your top walker at your next team meeting. If your meetings are over for the semester/year, include a special note to your top walker in a follow-up email to your team, so your team knows of this individual’s success.
Throw a “Thank You” Party for your team and donors. Celebrate your success with your team! Organize an outdoor picnic at a local park or beach, host a pizza party at school, have an ice cream social during homeroom or after school, or simply meet at a local hotspot for food and celebration. Invite your key donors to join in on the festivities, such as parents, friends, and teachers. Make sure to include a mission moment and an overall Thank You to everyone for their support.
Now we want to hear from you:
How have/are you planning to thank your team and your donors?
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?
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?
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?