Our Cause

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+About our organization

Who is March of Dimes?

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every family can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy, we support every pregnant person and every family.

What was the original name of the March of Dimes?

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

When did the March of Dimes change its mission to birth defects prevention?


Who founded the March of Dimes?

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States.

What is the March of Dimes mission today?

To improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth.

Why did the March of Dimes change its mission to birth defects prevention?

To "lead, direct, and unify" the fight against polio, a paralyzing viral disease.

Why is the problem of prematurity so important?

Prematurity is the leading killer of America's newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.

What is March of Dimes doing about preterm labor?

Preterm birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and globally. We’re there for families before, during and after pregnancy with prenatal support and education, NICU initiatives, advocacy and health equity training to help ensure the best possible outcomes for every birth and protect the health of moms and babies.

At our five March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centers (PRCs) located in hospitals, medical centers and universities across the U.S. and London, and through a transdisciplinary model, we’re also engaging in critical research to advance our understanding of maternal and infant health to improve the health of every family.

What is March of Dimes doing about maternity care deserts?

Where one lives matters. Maternal mortality is significantly higher in rural areas, where obstetric providers may not be available and delivery in hospitals. March of Dimes released The Nowhere to Go: Maternity Care Deserts Across the U.S. report in September 2020 that found 2.2 million women live in maternity care deserts—counties with no hospitals offering obstetric care—and 7 million women of childbearing age live in counties without access or with limited access to maternity care. By raising awareness and advocating to prioritize the health of moms and babies, we can help families get the care they need when they need it most.

How does March of Dimes help people who have miscarriages?

March of Dimes provides resources for pregnant people who have experienced a miscarriage. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Some women have a miscarriage before they know they’re pregnant. If you’ve had a miscarriage, you may be overwhelmed by your feelings of grief. Here’s how you can honor your loss:

  • Share your story—Join a supportive space to share your story, connect with others and offer support to families with similar experiences—whether that’s infertility, pregnancy or the heartbreak of loss. Visit SHARE.MARCHOFDIMES.ORG
  • Wall of Remembrance—Leave a message as a tribute to your loved one. Share your story, read the memorials and honor the babies and moms and moms-to-be who are gone too soon. Visit MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/REMEMBRANCE
  • Join March for Babies: A Mother of a Movement™—Honor babies born preterm or with birth defects, remember and pay tribute to those lost and connect with others who share your commitment to giving every family the best possible start.
  • DIY fundraiser—Family, friends and loved ones may wish to make a difference in a time of sadness and grief. With a March of Dimes Do-It-Yourself fundraiser, you can create and organize an event, activity or challenge while raising funds to improve the mom and baby health. Visit MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/DIY

What is March of Dimes doing for babies born preterm?

Every family deserves the best possible start. But that’s just not the case. Preterm birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in the U.S. and globally. We’re there for families before, during and after pregnancy with prenatal support and education, NICU initiatives, health equity training and innovative research to make sure every mom and baby is healthy and strong.

March of Dimes works to improve mom and baby health, reaching more than 700,000 women and health care professionals with health education and professional training. We provide programs and services such as our NICU Family Support® programs with comfort, information and resources to families with a baby in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU); Meals that Matter that supplies meals to families and staff in the NICU so they can focus on the care of their babies and themselves; and Military Baby Showers that offers needed resources and information to enlisted service members who are expecting or have a pregnant partner.

At our five March of Dimes Prematurity Research Centers (PRCs) located in hospitals, medical centers and universities across the U.S. and London, and through a transdisciplinary model, we’re also engaging in critical research to advance our understanding of maternal and infant health to improve the health of every family. Find out more at MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/RESEARCH/RESEARCH.

What is March of Dimes doing about infertility?

In the U.S., about 12 to 13 percent of couples have infertility problems. Infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant after 1 year of unprotected sex, or after 6 months if you’re a woman 35 years or older. It can cause a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety. March of Dimes helps families experiencing infertility by providing awareness and information through programs such as It Starts With Mom. Learn more at MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/IT-STARTS-WITH-MOM/CAUSES-OF-INFERTILITY.

What is March of Dimes doing for maternal mortality?

March of Dimes brings awareness and research to maternal mortality as too many parents are dying from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. This is especially true for pregnant and parenting people who are exposed to racism. The maternal death rate for pregnant Black and American Indian/Alaska Native people is about 3 times higher than it is for White people.

Most pregnancy-related deaths can be prevented. March of Dimes helps parents by promoting information such as getting regular health care before, during and after pregnancy and learning warning signs of health complications that can save lives. Find out more at MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/COMPLICATIONS/PREGNANCY-RELATED-DEATH-MATERNAL-DEATH-AND-MATERNAL-MORTALITY.

What is March of Dimes doing about adequate family leave?

Parents having the time and financial security to care for their infants at home is necessary for ending our maternal and infant health crisis. March of Dimes advocates for critical federal, state and local initiatives to ensure that all moms and babies have access to care and other much-needed support like paid family leave.

What is March of Dimes doing about mental health?

Mental health challenges are among the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth. A pregnant person’s mental health is directly connected to their physical health and their baby’s health. Many women experience mental health challenges during pregnancy and the postpartum period, such as depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. March of Dimes strongly supports efforts to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment for women with maternal health disorders, and encourages our supporters to advocate for our nation’s moms. Learn more at MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/MENTAL-HEALTH.

What is March of Dimes doing for health equity for all moms and babies?

Prematurity affects too many moms and babies. It’s made worse by the health equity gap in our health care system today. More than 700 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes, and the CDC reports that 60 percent are preventable. It’s even more dangerous for communities of color as Black and American Indian/Alaskan Native women are 3 times more likely to die from pregnancy compared to White women. Also, women of color are up to 50 percent more likely to give birth preterm and their children can face a 130 percent higher infant death rate. March of Dimes works to change this by providing mobile health units that visit underserved communities with medical care and maternity and baby supplies. We also offer programs that seek to promote health equity for moms and babies. Our implicit bias training for health care providers to help them understand institutionalized racism in the health care system and train health care workers not to perpetuate the cycles of discrimination. Our robust federal and state advocacy agenda and network focuses on systemic solutions to health inequity, and we strongly supported the development and introduction of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act in collaboration with the Black Maternal Health Caucus. 

What is the Apgar score?

The Apgar score, created by Virginia Apgar, MD, is a simple test of five vital life-signs administered immediately after delivery.

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+Donations and other gifts

What are the ways I can donate?

Your support enables us to continue funding research, providing resources and programs and advocating for policies to help parents throughout their pregnancies. March of Dimes offers various ways to donate through fundraisers, programs and other gifts. Visit MARCHOFDIMES.ORG/GIVING/DONATE to donate today.

What is my donation being used for?

For more than 80 years, March of Dimes has led the fight for the health of all moms and babies. Every baby and family deserve the change to start healthy and strong. With your help, we can do this by:

  • supporting research to find solutions so every family gets the best possible start
  • advocating for policies that prioritize the health of moms and babies
  • providing resources and programs to help moms throughout their pregnancies
  • educating health professionals to improve mom and baby care
  • uniting local communities across the nation through events and collaboratives
  • partnering with organizations and companies committed to helping moms and their families

What percentage of my donation is being used for moms and babies?

As of 2020, we’re pleased to report that approximately 75 cents of every dollar we raise goes directly support moms and babies through cutting-edge research, programs, education for families and health care providers and community services. March of Dimes is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and we work hard to use every dollar effectively. To learn more, read our most recent annual report.

I saw a March of Dimes blanket on TV. How do I receive one?

Blankets are a thank you for donors who sign up for monthly giving at $19 or more.

What if I want to make a gift in honor or in memory of someone I know?

You can donate in honor of or in memory of a special someone. An acknowledgement of your generous gift will be sent to family that you chose to make a donation honor or in memory of. You can also create a virtual band through banding together to remember or celebrate someone you love.

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What March of Dimes events are happening near me?

The March of Dimes has been conducting special events for more than 60 years. These activities - formal balls, signature chef auctions and dinners, motorcycle rides, golf tournaments and March for Babies - help the March of Dimes fund cutting-edge research and innovative programs to save babies. With a wide variety to choose from, there is something for everyone! Contact your local chapter for a March of Dimes Special Event near you!

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How much money was dedicated to programs in 2021?

With the help of volunteers, donors and partners, we raised $219 million to invest in research, education and community services.

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+Global programs

How severe is the global problem of birth defects and preterm birth?

Every year, nearly 23 million babies worldwide are born prematurely or with a serious birth defect of genetic origin. Over 4 million of these babies die before their 5th birthday and, for those who survive, many face life-long disability. While birth defects and preterm birth affect all countries, the toll is particularly high in developing countries.  For more information, see our reports on global toll of prematurity and birth defects.

Where does my money go?

Help moms and babies in your community. Donate your car, truck, van, bus, boat or motorcycle to the March of Dimes and keep us on the road to finding out what causes premature birth and birth defects. Fast, free towing from all 50 states! To ensure that your donated vehicle is headed in the right direction, follow these tips:

  • Donate only to charities with a name you know and trust. Be careful of confusing legitimate charities with others that have soundalike names.
  • Check that the charity receives at least 70% of the proceeds from donated vehicles.
  • Confirm that your vehicle will be handled by licensed and insured tow companies and dealers.
  • Limit your liability: Sign the title directly to the charity or their agent. Never leave the title blank!
  • Ask how the funds will be spent.  The March of Dimes spends 76% of activities on research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies lives.

For further information call 888-898-1144 or donate your car online today!

Thank you for your donation.

How does March of Dimes Global Programs carry out its activities?

March of Dimes Global Programs conducts its work through “mission alliances” with non-governmental partners in target countries. We offer our partners technical expertise and the extensive resources of the March of Dimes, including professional and public health education materials and tools for establishing data collection systems, public awareness campaigns and programs for education of health professionals. We conduct interventions in middle-and low- income countries to strengthen prevention of preterm birth and birth defects and reduce infant mortality. We do this in partnership with a wide variety of organizations, including the World Health Organization and other international health agencies, academic medical centers, non-governmental organizations, parent/patient organizations and other stakeholders.

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+Grants and research

How can my organization apply for local March of Dimes funding?

Contact your local March of Dimes chapter to ask for a Request for Proposal (RFP). Each year chapters award community grants to support projects that address local perinatal needs in line with the chapter’s strategic plan. Proposals or Letters of Intent are usually due to the chapter in the late summer.

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+Local programs

What programs does my local March of Dimes fund?

March of Dimes chapters support local projects aimed at helping women have healthier pregnancies. Funding from community grants enhances the availability and quality of health care and prevention services for women and their babies. For a list of specific programs funded in your state, please contact your local March of Dimes chapter.

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+Working for the March of Dimes

How can I grow my career with the March of Dimes?

We provide conferences, webinars, online training and one-on-one mentoring. We also have an internal job posting process to enable staff to learn and act on internal career opportunities. We provide relocation support for those staff members who are offered the opportunity to physically relocate.

Can you share more about the work culture at the March of Dimes?

We are a mission-driven organization with a strong local presence in all states plus Puerto Rico. The thousands of volunteers and businesses who partner with us are committed to our mission. Our work sites are professional environments with diversity of staff, high integrity and ethics, strong technology support and excellent employee benefits. Work sites provide the ability to interact with high impact community volunteers regularly.

Has the March of Dimes received any special awards recognizing its commitment to its employees?

Since 2009 the March of Dimes has received prestigious recognition from Working Mother Magazine, which named March of Dimes in its 100 Best Companies list for its parent-friendly workplace and benefits. 




Why should I work for the March of Dimes?

The March of Dimes is a major nonprofit organization committed to improving the health of babies, by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. We have a rich legacy of success dating back to 1938 when our organization was founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt to defeat polio. Within 17 years, the Salk vaccine was developed with March of Dimes research funding. The March of Dimes became one of the few organizations to have defeated the threat it was established to fight. With 1,200 staff members committed to our mission in over 200 work locations throughout the United States, we engage with volunteers in communities across the country. Consider joining us in meeting our mission goals!

What career path might I find of interest to me?

Entry level positions at many of our work locations allow for career growth to leadership positions either within the location or at the state/chapter level, regional level or national level.

What employee benefits are offered?

The March of Dimes views total compensation as combination of salary and benefits.  The Foundation offers a comprehensive and competitive benefits package to employees.  Some of the key elements of this package include:

  • A choice of two Medical Plans:
    • 100% coverage for annual well visits
    • Disease management and wellness programs
    • Both plans include 100% Maternity coverage and well child care;
    • Competitive employer premium subsidy for eligible staff members
  • Employer funded Pension Plan (401a)
  • Pre-Tax Retirement Savings program (403b)
  • Group Dental, Life & Long Term Disability plans
  • Pre-Tax Transit, Flexible Spending Accounts and Vision plans
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Mom/Parent Friendly Benefits Programs including: paid time off for new parents, extended parental leave, adoption benefits.  The Foundation is proud to be a recognized mom/parent friendly workplace
  • Salary Continuation Plan, Business Travel, Workers Compensation, Pet Insurance