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Going Into 2022 Event Season, Here’s What Will Work

All Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs are expected to follow COVID-19 guidelines and the rules and regulations of their campus. If you are unsure, connect with your campus advisor and/or administrators.

Following 2020 and all of the challenges that came with it, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals worked with our research partners for various programs to understand giving sentiments and how we should participate in the marketplace in the future. Overwhelmingly, donors are open and excited about giving, but how often and how we ask is very important in securing their trust and their gift.

The following research was conducted during a handful of CMN Hospitals’ 2020 Radiothon events by Critical Mass Media and the insights are helpful in understanding where CMN Hospitals supporters are at and how receptive they will be towards supporting CMN Hospitals programs, like Dance Marathon, in the future.

66% of listeners did not mind being asked to donate.

  • Listeners have always been driven to donate through a desire to feel helpful, but to some, donating this year feels as though it has extra special importance
  • Listeners may make multiple one-time gifts to various charities throughout the year, but COVID-19 has impacted how often and what amount they are able to give
  • Listeners believe it is important to talk about how the pandemic is affecting kids already fighting their own battles and how it affects those caring for them
  • Listeners agree children’s hospitals need even more help now as compared with pre-pandemic times
  • Online giving was very popular, especially amongst younger listeners

Celebrating frontline staff and clarifying how they, too, benefit from funds raised appeared to appeal to listeners.

  • To avoid confusion, clear impact and tangible facts about how donations at the local hospital will be used is vital for the listener and their desire to donate

Storytelling, interviews, local impact, and donation matching were among the most compelling reasons for listeners to donate, and all drove increased engagement with the campaign.

  • Hearing from the doctor’s themselves, and the children, impart the necessity of donating to listeners
  • Listeners are much more inclined to give when asked if they feel their donation will directly impact their LOCAL community
  • Interviews featuring positive outcomes were the most compelling to listeners


All of this is good news as you all head into your 2022 event season. Keep getting the word out there about how your local hospital benefits from donations to Dance Marathon during the pandemic and continue to tell the stories of doctors, patients, and their families. When you can, place a tangible number in front of your donation asks and tie fundraising challenges back to the impact your program is having in your community. Donors want to give and feel helpful and your Dance Marathon is the vehicle through which they can do that!

All research findings featured in this article were prepared for CMN Hospitals by iHeartMedia’s Critical Mass Media in 2020. 

Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $300 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

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