march for babies blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tips’

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29 Mar

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?

18 Mar

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?

2 Dec

The year is not over yet, but we are already getting ready for March for Babies 2010. If you’re curious about when your event is taking place, find out now. You can already sign up, too!

If you’re leading a team, or thinking about starting your own team for the first time this year, now is a great time to get organized. Get your mailing list in order and send a holiday e-mail and “save the date” to everyone who walked with you this year. Just activate your account and use the e-mail feature on your team captain dashboard.

Before I forget, we have some great new tools for team captains (and for company team captains, too). Download the team captain guide for how-to information you can really use.

And add our blog to your reader for lots of news and tips in the coming months. I just know we’re going to have a great March for Babies! Are you excited yet?

7 Apr

Blister Busters

Posted by Linda
One way to avoid blisters

One way to avoid blisters

Annoying? Yes. Unavoidable? No! You don’t have to put up with blisters on March for Babies day. Just follow these tips.


Train. I know you don’t want to hear this. But if you’re not used to walking 6 miles, your body and feet have to prepare.


The right fit. Your shoes can’t be too tight or too roomy. Obvious, right? Still, most of us focus on the length and forget all about the width – just as important!


Sock it up! Many hikers swear by wool. But if your feet get sweaty, synthetic may be better. Go for breathable and seamless.


Something in your shoe? Stop and take it out. Those little stones can play a real number on your feet. Ignore them and you’ll pay the price.


If you’re planning on getting a new pair of shoes. Check out Famous Footwear’s official March for Babies shoes. They’re super comfortable… and they’re 10% off (not $10, thanks Claudine) with this coupon! Famous donates $5 of every purchase to the March of Dimes. Don’t forget to break them in before March for Babies day!


If you do get a blister, it’s better to leave it alone. If you burst it, you risk getting it infected. One last tip: pack some band-aids. A blister will be less painful after you cover it.


Any veteran walkers out there who can add their advice?

1 Apr

Follow Us On Twitter!

Posted by Linda
Join the conversation

Join the conversation!

Blog not moving fast enough for you? Sounds like you’re ready to join the conversation on Twitter!

If you use Twitter already, follow our feed. Talk about March for Babies to your own Twitter friends. And help us spread the word by re-Tweeting any of our messages you like.


Don’t forget to follow proper Twitter etiquette, start any re-Tweets with “RT @marchforbabies:”

If you’re new to Twitter, now’s a great time to sign up. Creating a Twitter account is absolutely free. If you follow us, you’ll always hear the latest March for Babies news first – and we’ll keep those tips coming!


Tell your friends about our feed and mention it on your Facebook or MySpace page!

25 Mar
Walking in the spring

Springtime, March for Babies time!

Donor fatigue, giver burnout… what they mean is “hey, you’re not the only one asking me to help out.”


While you’re sending out your e-mails for March for Babies, people are getting plenty of other appeals in their e-mail and mailbox. So how do you break through the clutter?


Make them feel special: True, yours is only one of many requests. But you have a huge advantage over anonymous direct mailers: you know you these people. So, don’t send letters or e-mails in bulk. Personalize them! If you can make your donors feel they are being asked especially, they will be more likely to help.


Know what you’re talking about: Everyone’s hitting them up, but, with a little ready knowledge, you can stand out. And I’m not talking stats. Use your own story, or emphasize a project or goal of the March of Dimes that you care about – like supporting families in the NICU, or finding ways to prevent prematurity.


You know what? I don’t like being asked for money. But when I do decide to donate, I really enjoy the good feeling of giving that gift. It’s not that different from giving a present you know someone will really enjoy.


Have you experienced donor fatigue? How are you combating it?

18 Mar
Online Fundraising

Get Your Facebook App!

Posted by Online Fundraising

Are you on Facebook? You have to get our great app! This may just give your campaign the push you need.


Our widget sits right on your profile page and shows your goal and progress (updates automatically every couple of hours). If you have 200 friends on Facebook, this probably includes a bunch of people you wouldn’t have e-mailed a donation request to. I’m talking new people to reach and new fundraising opportunities!


This is cool: People can click and donate right on your page – and all these donations show up on your wall where they may inspire other friends to give.


To get the app, you have to log on to personal March for Babies account.


     •     Click on the “get a custom widget” button to the left of your screen


     •     Choose the Facebook option and click “get it now”


     •     Log on to your Facebook account


     •     On the next screen, click “allow”


     •     Add the widget to your wall and Info tab where its most visible


     •     The widget should now show up on your profile page and info tab! 


There’s more you can do on Facebook to help boost your fundraising. You can send the app to 20 friends a day – inviting them to add the app to their page, too. And you can post your March for Babies fundraising video on Facebook.


Let us know how you’re using Facebook to promote March for Babies!

17 Mar
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!

11 Feb

Walk the Dog?

Posted by Linda
March for Babies doggie patrol in NY

March for Babies doggie patrol in NY

Last week, we were talking about bringing babies and young children to the walk. I’m not a pet owner myself, but I should have seen this one coming: what about dogs? The question came from Sheesh who’s walking in Newport Beach, Ca, and wanted to know if puppies were welcome.

I did some asking around and while there are no hard and fast rules about bringing dogs, here’s what I found out.


The main thing: consider Buster’s personality. Is he used to noise? Being around lots of people? Small children? Other animals? You know your dog better than anyone, but even you can’t predict exactly how he’ll react under a new set of circumstances.Sadly, there have been some accidents at our walks – and both dogs and children have been hurt. And then there’s something else to think about: will you be doing your dog a favor by bringing him along?


If you do bring your dog, make sure all her vaccinations are up to date. And don’t forget to pack supplies: her leash, water and bowl, toys, snacks and anything you need to clean up after her. Some walk sites have special pet areas, water and other supplies available, but others won’t offer anything. Avoid surprises, give your chapter a call and know what to expect.


Remember, there are people who are just irrationally terrified of even the tamest, tiniest puppy (my mom). And there are those who feel very strongly that dogs and babies don’t mix. You don’t have to agree, but it won’t hurt to be considerate. So make sure you control your dog and keep her close.


Oh, and have fun. Woof!

6 Feb

How to March with Babies

Posted by Linda
I did it!

Yeah! I did it!

Are you walking with little ones this year? You may be nervous about what to expect – I was last year, with just one 1-year-old. But a little preparation goes a long way.

New mom? Congratulations! And hats off if you’re already up to walk! Leave your new baby at home with nana, or a trusted sitter. Under a month old, babies are just too young for the excitement, the sun exposure and chances of bad weather. And if your baby was born too soon, you probably want to wait an extra couple of months. Bring her along next year!


Older babies will be perfectly content to roll along with you in the stroller and glad to be outdoors. If they’re anything like Haden was at that age, they’ll also sleep through most of the walk. Load up your stroller with the usual: a change of clothes, plenty of diapers and a pad for changes, pre-mixed formula if you’re not breastfeeding and some clean bottles and nipples. Prepare for rain as well as sun. Even if the temperatures are not that high in April, apply sunscreen liberally and bring a hat to protect your baby’s sensitive skin from direct rays.


Here’s the real challenge: your toddler who’ll insist on walking at least part of the route himself. And who’ll stop often to examine a fallen leaf, discarded cup, or anything else on his path. Yep, that will be us this year. Pack enough to drink and lots of snacks and be prepared to take a little longer. Don’t be afraid of the occasional outburst or even breakdown. Your munchkin will have a lot of fun. Sure, he may become a little excited, but you’re among friends who get that!


March for Babies is a real family event. Your young ones are going to have a great time. And to make sure you will, too, we’ve made the routes kid and family friendly. There’s food before you leave and plenty to eat at the finish line. There are stops for toilet and water breaks. And just in case, busses to bring everyone back to the car.


Any veteran parents out there with more advice for rookie moms and dads?

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