Tales from the Field: How a Microcampaign Saves Babies' Lives


It started with someone’s idea to have a 5K race. The kind of idea that makes seasoned fundraisers cringe. Not because it’s a bad idea. It’s because they are so much work for very little return. Time is our biggest commodity. Events take time. Lots of it.

So we got creative. What if we launched an online campaign that would use email and social media as channels for giving?

We had the tools and resources needed: a website, an email system, a list of donor emails, social media accounts with a strong following, a credit card system to accept gifts, and staff that were excited to try new things.

And that is how we began Safely Swaddled (in your generosity), a campaign to fund sleep sacks for babies born at Trinity.

Babies can get tangled up in loose bedding that covers their faces and interferes with their breathing. Trinity nurses – and the American Academy of Pediatrics – have found a great alternative: wearable blankets.

Because the ask amount is low - just $9 - this giving opportunity is a quick and easy way for someone to make a difference. The impact is immediate and the sleep sack can be given in honor of a loved one. Each sleep sack is presented with a card noting the donor and the loved one it's honoring. 

This campaign has been rewarding for everyone.

  • The donor gets to make a difference for a small donation.

  • A loved one is honored during a milestone moment. 

  • The recipient gets a sleep sack for their new bundle of joy.

  • Trinity gets to share the message of safe sleeping. 

  • The culture of philanthropy is alive between the donor, the nurse and the patient.

We envisioned that this would be a small, short-lived campaign. But, due to it's success, we decided to keep the program going year round and we continue to purchase more sleep sacks as donations come in. 

Our biggest lesson from this effort is that we have to keep our eyes and ears open, be willing to try new methods and take a few risks. We listened to those closest to our patients and we created a special opportunity that will continue to impact the lives of our tiniest patients.

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Amy Jones is the Associate Director of Development at the Trinity Health Foundation. She designed and built this campaign with a budget of $150. All graphics were created in house using canva.com. Nearly $3,000 has been raised in it's short life with more than 300 sleep sacks given to families