Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) held their annual Dance Marathon Leadership Conference virtually this year via Zoom and Vimeo Live. UGA Miracle’s Executive Council and Board were invited to participate in the Conference and Collaboration Meetings from July 16-18th. This annual opportunity fosters collaboration among peers involved in Dance Marathon programs across 45 U.S. states and 3 Canadian provinces to share best practices for fundraising, strategic development to raise awareness, expand connections for the cause, and professional development through networking.
Mainstage sessions consisted of hospital spotlights, awards, DEIA panels, and opportunities to connect with thousands of people involved with CMN Hospitals. Other sessions included a Morale Dance Showcase, live workshops, and even an Ideal Business Partner Pitch competition.
UGA Miracle’s Sponsorship Chair, Austin Grant, and Membership Co-Chair, Madeline Valenzuela, presented an ideal business partner pitch to a panel of judges from Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores as well as CMN Hospitals Staff who manage national corporate partnerships. Miracle Million Club Dance Marathon programs nationwide participated in this event where they gained feedback on how to improve their pitches to potential business partners.
Annaclaire Acosta, UGA Miracle’s Executive Director, presented in an On-Demand session entitled “What an Inspirational Website Can Do For Your Program.” She went into detail on how a well-developed, intentional, and cohesive website can grow an organization’s online presence in terms of fundraising, communication, stewardship, and more regardless of a program’s size.
UGA Miracle took home two awards at DMLC 2021. The Most Improved Dance Marathon Award recognized UGA Miracle for taking “significant steps to increase funds raised and overall participant recruitment and/or improve the execution of event or year-round programming.” The Miracle Maker: Year 15+ award was given to UGA Miracle for increasing fundraising by 14% and having the largest monetary growth in the network of over $175,000 resulting in a total of over $1.4 million!
Throughout the event, members had the opportunity to network with peers through Zoom based on interests or their position. UGA Miracle’s Marketing Co-Chair, Isabella Wilson, said “I really enjoyed my time at DMLC this weekend! I learned some great ideas from other Dance Marathon programs in the Miracle Million Club Networking meeting, which was extremely beneficial and gave me insight on how we can better our organization in the future.”
Despite all of the hardships of the past year, the students that make up UGA Miracle showed true resilience and leadership, and this stands true as seen in their successes at DMLC!