Finance Year in Review
The Finance Team hit the ground running in April 2020. We were not only learning how to live our personal lives amidst the pandemic, but we also were brainstorming immediately how we can take our movement to a virtual level. Our entire team emphasized that kids at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals need us now more than ever. We knew that we were not going to give up just because planning, fundraising, recruiting, and much more became much more difficult in a virtual setting. We decided kids deserve hope and that is what we lived by all year.
From April through September 2020, I worked very closely with the Directors of Special Events and other finance team members in order to plan our Aztec Night. I had full faith in my team, but it was very difficult to hear that we were going to be the first ones to host a four-hour virtual event on our own. It was hard to envision a virtual Aztec Night when our Aztec Night is such a special night for the entire board as it is the first time we spend all night sharing Dance Marathon passion and wearing our polos for the first time. I knew we all had to work together and lean on each other in order to make this event successful. It was the time to be innovative and creative. After several months of many zoom calls, emails, spreadsheets, inquiries, rehearsals, and much more- flash forward to September 12th we all witnessed our hard work pay off. We had over 130 participants for the full four hours and exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Before our Aztec Night was over, we started brainstorming and planning our famous Miracle Week, hosted in October. Miracle Week was one of my favorite memories as VP of Finance. More specifically, our fundraising push day was my proudest memory during this insanely busy week. This push day was held a few days after educating and recruiting. The night before, we put on our first-ever “Light of Hope Ceremony.” This night kicked off the start of our huge push day. We shared our WHYs, had guests from the hospital, and shared stories of the many kids we fight for. Our President of SDSU attended our zoom event, which was new and exciting for everyone. This Light of Hope Ceremony was exactly what we needed to start our biggest goal for a single day of $40,000. The amount of engagement was truly miraculous to see and by the end of the day, we raised a total of $53,756.96. This marked the largest amount ever raised in a single day for Dance Marathon at SDSU. To say all the zoom calls and emails that went behind this day were worth it is an understatement. This is my proudest moment because every single board member also emphasized how proud they were. I am proud to spend countless hours behind the scenes if it will give the amount of joy I saw on everyone’s faces when we revealed that we raised over 53k in one day!
Starting in April 2020 and leading all the way up to our main event in February 2021, our Directors of Corporate Fundraising and our Director of Community Fundraising worked very diligently with their outreach methods. Despite the pandemic, we were all facing with many restaurants and businesses in our area taking a financial hit, we were still able to set up food fundraisers every month which helped us raise more money for the kids! It was truly incredible to see the amount of effort our board members put in in order to make these food fundraisers successful. Our Directors of Corporate Fundraising received the most corporate sponsorships than any other year. One of my favorite memories with my phenomenal Directors of Corporate fundraising was when we officially received $10,000 from Rainbow Sandals. This was not only a brand new partnership, it was also the largest check we have received from a sponsor.
We had many other accomplishments as well. Our Director of Merchandise set up our very first online store and created a fundraising incentive program. Our Director of Hospitality successfully received over 10 different coupons and gift cards from various restaurants in San Diego in order for us to reward our participants. Our Director of In-event fundraising ran our first-ever online auction, worked very hard behind the scenes to make 53k in one day happen, and ran our opportunity drawing so smoothly during our virtual main event. Our finance team members were our backbone and were always ready to jump in and help.
These are just a few moments that will always be remembered and celebrated. All of these events and memories made our total for the year possible. I cannot thank my team enough for everything they did this past year. Being their VP was truly a life-changing experience for me. This was a year of darkness and despair for many and this team always lifted each other up and never gave up. We gave kids HOPE!
-VP Finance 2020