Insights to Power Social Good

Light Up Dr. Bear: An Interactive Fundraising Campaign

Posted by Angela Whaley on Dec 27, 2018 12:45:40 PM


As 2018 comes to a close, we are taking time to reflect on all the good that happened this year.

We are thrilled to be part of the Light Up Dr. Bear interactive fundraising campaign and wanted to share the details while the campaign is still live.

Enjoy and let us know what you think in the comments!



The Team


Campaign Highlights

  • The "Light Up Dr. Bear" campaign invites you to “Show you care and light up Dr. Bear” to brighten patients' days by giving.
  • The campaign features 316 bears placed around the D.C. metro area and at Children's National Medical Center, its community clinics, and outpatient centers (see map below.)
  • With every donation, all 316 bears light up simultaneously; brightening patients' days, assuring families of community support and reminding donors that their gift makes a difference.
  • Modeled after Children's National's iconic mascot, Dr. Bear, the bears represent the 316 patient beds at Children's National Medical Center.
  • The campaign runs from November 23 to December 31, 2018.


The Background

Children’s National Medical Center has been an mGive partner since 2008 and is one of our first partners to pioneer the U.S. Text to Give space with us.

Autonomy was tasked with building the IoT Bears for the campaign and reached out to mGive directly as the leader in SMS fundraising.


The Challenge

As a nonprofit hospital, Children's National Medical Center and its patients depend on generous support from the community. Children's National cares for more than 230,000 kids annually and donations help ensure each child, from every background and walk of life, receives exceptional care, regardless of illness, injury or ability to pay.

As Washington, D.C.'s only hospital specializing in kids, Children's National Medical Center treats the whole child and their family with a child-centered focus. This approach includes medical equipment and facilities that are specifically designed for kids. Care teams with specialized training for kids' healthcare and emotional needs, unique programs for play (including art and music therapy), a library and reading room, Seacrest Studios and the Healing Garden, are all an integral part of what Children’s National offers.

Philanthropic support from "Light Up Dr. Bear" will go towards helping children like Priest, a patient featured in the campaign. Born extremely premature and weighing just ounces, Priest was transferred to the Children's National neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) shortly after birth and has spent the first 16 months of his life there. Read more of Priest’s story here.


The Solution

Both Text to Give and Text to Donate workflows were created for testing opportunities. Text to Give donations are added to the cell phone bill, also known as “carrier billing.” Text to Donate donations are completed via a web-based credit card donation form.

In addition to providing the SMS gateway, Rally4 and mGive also consulted on the SMS donor onboarding messaging, cross-channel marketing conversion tracking and best practices, call-to-action optimization, and ultimately a donor cultivation series.

Together Rally4/mGive, Autonomy, Children’s National Medical Center, and SmithGifford built workflows that would light up Dr. Bear each time a donation was made, and collaborated on the marketing materials and donor onboarding.

When a Text to Give donation is completed over the cell phone bill, the mGive API is triggered by Autonomy to light up Dr. Bear. For Text to Donate, when the web-based donation is complete via credit card, the Autonomy workflow lights up Dr. Bear.

To make a donation or find a bear near you, visit or text LIGHT to 50555 to add a $10 donation to your cell phone bill.* You are also invited to share photos and videos on social media to encourage donations and spread awareness using #LightUpDrBear.


The Impact

The campaign runs from November 23 to December 31 and supports Children's National Medical Center in its efforts to find cures, fuel innovation, and provide world-class care to every child, regardless of illness, injury, or ability to pay.

“We are asking you to show you care and ‘Light up Dr. Bear’ with your donation this holiday season,” says DeAnn Marshall, MHA, president of the Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Your generosity will have an immediate impact on a patient’s day and make a lasting difference on the care Children’s National provides children.”

“This campaign is really about the families here who depend on us. It’s about brightening their day and showing them that our community is out there supporting them” adds Marshall. “Your gifts will bring a little extra joy to Children’s National and support our work to help kids grow up stronger.”




Want to Build an Interactive Fundraising Campaign Together?

Complete the form below and we can discuss your unique opportunities or click here to book a meeting now.



*$10.00 donation to Children’s National Medical Center. Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 50555 to STOP. Text HELP to 50555 for HELP. Full Terms: Privacy Policy:

Topics: mGive Blog, mgive, nonprofit, text to give, mobile marketer, mobile donations, mobile giving, charity, holiday season, giving season, Mobile Fundraising, Strategies and Tactics, Social Good, Fundraising Ideas, Mobile Fun, Advanced, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Engagement, Innovation and Creativity, year-end, holiday giving, Fundraising, Philanthropy, Text donation, Marketing, Advertising, Call-to-Action, Ask, Text to Donate, Giving Platforms, storytelling

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