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Child Health Day 2018, Ideas to Activate & #CommitForTheKids

As we look forward to Child Health Day on October 1, 2018, we look back at fantastic examples from programs that celebrated in 2017. Check out the phenomenal work of Dance Marathon programs across the network to get inspired for Child Health Day 2018.

Child Health Day is a U.S. federal observance holiday where agencies and organizations concerned with child welfare unite to raise awareness about the “fundamental necessity of a year-round program to protect and develop the health of children in the United States.”

On Child Health Day, Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs are asked to #CommitForTheKids in their communities treated by their local CMN Hospital by:

  • Asking participants to join the movement and sign up for their campus’s Dance Marathon.
  • Ask supporters to donate and show their support for kids treated in their local communities by CMN Hospitals.
  • Ask all constituents (donors, participants, supporters, miracle families) to spread the word via social media about Child Health Day 2018.

To learn more about how Miracle Network Dance Marathon will be activating on Child Health Day and to find resources, graphics, and videos, check out and bookmark this Dropbox link.

On Child Health Day, encourage students on your campus to commit for the kids by JOINing the movement and registering for your Dance Marathon event.

Building in registration activation is simple and easy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Host a Participant Week: Host events on campus and promote the stewardship of your participants through social media. Encourage othersto join the movement!
  • Email past participants who have not yet signed up for your current Dance Marathon event.
  • Have a registration day kick off campaign.
  • Open your Donor Drive page for registration on Child Health Day.
  • Provide discounted registration on this day.
  • Provide incentives for individuals andteams who register.

To see more JOIN resources and examples, click here.

2017 Child Health Day Recruitment Examples:

  • Hofstra University: as a first-year program, they worked to spread awareness about their organization and registered 45 people.
  • IUPUI:  Jagathon hosted a “half-off day,” where they offered a discount on their registration fee to create a sense of urgency and motivate people to register on Child Health Day. This resulted in Jagathon registering 857 people in one day. See their plan here.
  • Mississippi State University: The week prior to Child Health Day, and continuing throughout the following week, this Dance Marathon put a 15′ inflatable baby in prominent areas on their campus and gave it a twitter account (@msu_baby) for people to follow and interact with. They kept STATEDM’s connection to it a secret because we want to create a huge amount of buzz on campus about why the baby is here and curiosity about who is responsible for it. They revealed their connection to the baby on Child Health Day by putting the baby in the most trafficked area of their campus with their STATEDM banner hung on it. On CHD, they tabled next to the baby, telling people about the campaign and Dance Marathon and encouraging them to #CommitForTheKids by registering, with 475 students registering on that day. See their plan here.

  • Oklahoma State University: In one minute, 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. on Child Health Day, Cowboython asked students “what can you do with just 60 seconds to make an impact?” Their goal was to show students that, if they can “commit for the kids” for just 60 seconds, they can…
    • Register a friend
    • Post their personal fundraising page
    • Share their “why”
    • Introduce CowboyThon to someone new

Their campaign resulted in 605 participants registered in one day! See Cowboython’s plan here.

  • University of Oklahoma: Soonerthon had an internal goal of 616 new registrants, which is symbolic of the 616 kids who are treated at their local children’s hospital in Oklahoma City every day. While tabling on campus, they offered information about Dance Marathon and encouraged people to register for their event. For every new registrant that signed up, they got the opportunity to write their name and #commitForTheKids on a white balloon, which they then placed in the shape of the Miracle Network Dance Marathon flame. They crushed their goal, registering 805 people on Child Health Day. Read more about their plan here.

Child Health Day is the perfect opportunity to jump start and increase your fall fundraising. Ask for donations and explain to donors how their donation stays local to help kids in your community. Donors today want to know how their funds will have an impact, so share how and why their donation makes a difference.

Fundraising Campaigns:

Children’s hospitals need donations to stay open and provide lifesaving care. Help your participants ask for donations by utilizing the following examples:

  • Challenge students to raise a certain amount on Child Health Day based on numbers related to the cause. (Ex. $62 for the 62 children who enter a CMN Hospital everyminute).
    • Fontbonne University set a campus goal of raising $6,200 in honor of the 62 kids who enter a CMN Hospital every minute and raised over $7,100 on Child Health Day! See their plan here.
    • Saint Norbert College Dance Marathon also challenged participants to raise $62 each. In addition, they reached out to faculty and staff on campus and Miracle families to help them out in their fundraising efforts. They held events all over campus and utilized a strategic e-mail and social media communication plan to share what they were doing with their community. See their plan here.
  • Penny Wars: Set up buckets on campus that correlate with registered teams or other groups and have them fundraise against one another. Pennies = positive points, silver and dollars = negativepoints
  • Push Days: Rally behind a shared vision of what your program thinks it could raise in one day. Work with your DM Manager to set goals for your organization.
    • Dance Marathon at the University of Southern Indiana hosted a “Dream Day” fundraising push day with the goal to raise $10,220.17 (on 10/2/2017). They challenged executive board members to raise $300, committee members to raise $100 and participants to raise $25, resulting in over $11,400 raised in one day.
  • Executive/Leadership Team fundraising: Utilize this day to focus on Exec Team fundraising. Work towards hitting milestones or totals of expected fundraising for your
  • Team Competitions: See which team could raise the most in the day, get the most donations or have the most team members making an ask on this day. Utilize the thrill of competition and offer a cause-based reward for their participation – tour of the hospital, meet and greet with family at the event,
  • $0 Participant Campaign: Challenge your participants to all have more than $0 on their Donor Drive pages by the end of the day.
  • Percentage Nights: Ask local businesses to #CommitForTheKids by hosting a give backnight.
  • Release incentives for participants: Announce incentives and prizes participants may be able to win by fundraising.
  • Canning or Bucketing: Utilize the weekend prior’s sports games to further engage your community and boost fundraising efforts. Can around campus, asking for donations and campus to join in the fight For The Kids! Ask local businesses to keep cans out in support of your organization and hospital for CHD. Bring cans to classrooms and pass around. Send cans to organizations meetings to pass around.
  • Alumni Outreach: share the CHD resources with your alumni board or alumni fundraising team if you have one. Utilize the day to make a donation ask of alumni, ask them to recommit for the kids on CHD, and steward alumni fundraisers and donors with a thank you message.

Read more about other universities’ campaigns and how they achieved such awesome success by reviewing their campaign plans here.

As we are “For The Kids,” it’s only fitting that we should share stories about our Miracle Kids on Child Health Day. The goal is to generate meaningful content that is easy for all users to share on their own social platforms.

Help spread the word about Child Health Day by utilizing the following examples:

  • Promote your social media page through paidadvertising on your channels.
  • Ask your supporters to follow you on your social media
  • Connect the cause directly on campus by hosting a miracle family.
  • Tell your college or university administration what you’re doing and why it is important, ask for theirsupport.

2017 Child Health Day Awareness Examples:

  • Spartanthon at Case Western Reserve University, who won the Child Health Day challenge for on campus activation, aimed to raise awareness for Cleveland’s high infant mortality rate, which is double the national average. They hoped that by hosting a day focused specifically on awareness and education, they would inspire their campus of 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and the surrounding CWRU community to commit for the kids. They posted informational videos on social media, hosted educational displays on their campus, and more. See their plan here.
  • Gonzaga University Zagathon was recognized for winning the Best Funds in Action Post social media challenge after they shared the graphic below to explain how their donations are used by their local hospital. They also worked with both the City of Spokane and the state of Washington, which proclaimed and put in a Congressional Record to declare October 2, 2017 Child Health Day and Zagathon Day!

Need more reasons to donate?Check out the lifesaving devices and treatment your donation dollars bought from last year's Dance Marathon!#CommitForTheKids #ChildHealthDay

Posted by Gonzaga University Dance Marathon on Monday, October 2, 2017

  • Loras College Dance Marathon was recognized for winning the Best Video social media challenge by showing why they commit for the kids:

Loras College Commits for the Kids

#CommitForTheKids today; prove your commitment tomorrow; and hold your commitment forever.On Child Health Day, allow these beautiful miracles to light a fire inside you. Show them they are not alone by dancing, laughing and crying with them. Fuel the flame by clicking the following link:

Posted by Loras College Dance Marathon on Monday, October 2, 2017

  • St. Ambrose University Dance Marathon also shared a great video with individual testimonials as to why their members #CommitForTheKids.

#CommitForTheKids at CMN Miracle Network Hospitals

St. Ambrose University Dance Marathon celebrates Children's Health Day by sharing why they #CommitForTheKids and support the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital

Posted by St. Ambrose University Dance Marathon on Monday, October 2, 2017

  • University of Oregon also brought an ambulance to their campus that is funded by donations to their local CMN Hospital.

  • Individuals were also challenged throughout the day to share their personal reasons why they #CommitForTheKids:



Connect with your Dance Marathon Manager to learn more about Child Health Day 2018.

Check out the Activation Guide in Dropbox to start planning and bookmark this Dropbox folder which will updated frequently with new graphics, videos, and creative assets for you to use ahead of Child Health Day.

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