March for Moms Annual Report 2017/18

Board Members serving from January 1, 2017 – July 2018:

  • Ginger Breedlove, President
  • Neel Shah, Vice-President
  • Lesley Rathbun, Secretary
  • Ebony Marcelle, At-large
  • Dawn Thompson, At-large


Volunteer Leadership:

  • Yuliya Labko, Advocacy Director
  • Joseph Booth, Legal counsel
  • Lewis Booth, Event Day Project Manager
  • Amy Johnson-Grass, Event Day Speaker Asst.
  • Kathleen Rice Simpson, VIP Reception


Paid Consultants:

  • Bryan Marvin, Website Coordinator
  • Jamie Zahlaway Belsito, Advocacy Strategist

This report serves as an overview of the March for Moms Association activities from December 2017 to December 2018. Work for this new non-profit in the second year continued with the continued services of founding Board of Director members and small passionate group of volunteers. The 2018 strategic goals for March for Moms included work toward a singular focus on passage of legislation addressing maternal mortality. Focused activities included:

  • Increasing revenue streams to fund events
  • Holding a second rally on the National Mall in DC
  • Growing a larger, recognizable public presence
  • Adding Sister-Rallies to coincide with national activities
  • Engaging with a growing number of organizational partners

The following provides review of strategic goals and future plans for 2019.

Financial Review

 In 2017 total income generated was $42,979.00 by 24 organizations and individual donors.

In 2018, March for Moms nearly tripled total income generated to $119,471.00 through combined support from 42 organizations and individual donor giving. Due to a rapid and heightening interest from multiple organizations to join the March for Moms movement late in the spring and a small volunteer Board with limited human resources, over 10 additional organizations were unable to be accommodated to join in 2018 prior to the Rally. We anticipate significant growth in the area of organizational participation and financial support in 2019.

  •  The March for Moms Association began the January 2018 fiscal year with a bank balance carry-over of $14,474.65.
  • Income raised for 2018 came from organizational donations, personal donations and two awarded grants. Organizational and grant income totaled $109,700.00. The organizational partners and in-kind sponsorships can be found at
  • Two unrestricted grants for 2018 were awarded by Merck for Mothers and The Yellow Chair Foundation.
  • Personal donations via Generosity online giving of 98 individual contributions totaled $9,771.00.

Combined total funds raised = $119,471.00

  • Expenses for the DC and Sister-Rally events included: National Mall Rally day expenses (stage/sound/security/tents/chairs), Advocacy training event day, Print materials, Stage drop design, Web design and maintenance, Marketing, T-shirts, VIP reception and Graphic design services.

Combined totaled expenses January – June 2017, $60,533.00

Balance as of December 31, 2018 is $79,741.99. A December 2017 grant was awarded from the Pinpoint Foundation in the amount of $50,000 as seed money for hiring an Executive Director in 2019. [*The carry-over balance, funds raised for the 2018 Rally, would be $29,741.99.]

Additional expenses post Rally included ongoing website maintenance, legislative strategy planning, Board retreat and miscellaneous expenses.

The Accounting Firm of House Park Dobratz & Wiebler, P.C. in Kansas City, MO will be contracted for a second year to complete filing Form 990N.

2018 March for Moms Rally Events

  • DC Rally week events included:
    • Advocacy Training Day – Partner events held with 2020 Moms Association
    • Congressional Briefing – Partnered with Jamie Belsito and DONA, Intl.
    • Advocacy work on the Hill
    • VIP Reception for Donors, Speakers, Board and Volunteers
    • Rally Event on the DC Mall
    • Over 50 Sister City Rallies nationwide in partnership with Improving Birth

  • 2018 National Mall Speakers:
    • Ginger Breedlove, March for Moms President
    • Neel Shah, March for Moms Vice-President
    • LaQuandra Nesbitt, MD District of Columbia, Dir Dept Health
    • Charles Allen, Ward 6, DC Councilman
    • Pooja Mehta, OB/GYN New York City
    • Emma Sandoe, Health Policy, Harvard
    • Jesanna Cooper, OB/GYN Birmingham, Alabama
    • Christy Turlington Burns Every Mother Counts
    • Charles Johnson & Judge Glenda Hatchett, 4Kira4Moms
    • Adriana Gallardo, ProPublica
    • Wanda Irving
    • Elizabeth Dawes Gay, Black Mama’s Matter
    • Lisa Hollier, President ACOG
    • Mary D’Alton, OB/MFM Columbia University
    • Mary McCausland, Near Miss Mother
    • Eleni Tsigas, President Preeclampsia Foundation
    • Kristen Terlizzi, President Accreta Foundation
    • Aaron Caughey, OB/PhD OHSU School of Medicine
    • Brittany Marshall
    • Gene Declercq, Prof Boston University
    • Timoria McQueen Saba
    • Rebecca Fox Starr
    • Emily Drake, AWHONN
    • Angelina Spicer
    • Bryanna Cotter PL+US

  • March for Moms Congressional Briefing was held on May 8th. Over 100 attendee’s included invited guests, Congressional Leaders, Congressional aids and organizational leaders advocating for prioritization of maternal health in the US. Speakers included:
    • Yuliya Labko, March for Moms Policy Director and Panel Facilitator
    • Ginger Breedlove, March for Moms President
    • Sascha James-Conterelli, D.N.P., C.N.M., L.M., President, New York State Association of Licensed Midwives
    • Jesanna Cooper, MD, OB/GYN, Simon Williamson Clinic, Birmingham, Alabama
    • Aimee Danielson, PhD, Director, Women’s Mental Health Program, Departments of Psychiatry and OB/GYN, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C.
    • Ebony Marcelle, MSN, CNM, Washington D.C. (March for Moms At-Large Member)
    • Melissa Fries, MD, OBGYN, Department Chair, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, D.C.

  • March for Moms Advocacy Day engaged individuals on the Hill following the briefing on May 8th. Nearly 80 participants visited the offices of 33 legislators to educate members on key facts related to two specific pieces of legislation aligned with the March for Moms mission: R. 1318 – Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017 introduced by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler [R-WA-3] and S.1112 Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2017 introduced by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [D-ND].

  • During advocacy week in May, March for Moms utilized a Voter Voice platform provided at no cost by the Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine. The platform enabled participants to communicate directly with the legislators in their states and districts to educate policymakers on Maternal Mortality in their state.
  • Following the rally in June, March for Moms created a unique website petition from our platform. From June – December 13th, 9,331 individual messages were sent directly from the March for Moms website. This massive, organized communication effort was seen as a significant driver of the final passage of the House and Senate Maternal Mortality Act bills late in December.

March for Moms Featured Media

Leading up to and after the March for Moms rally, 23 press related media spots featured March for Moms representatives discussing issues surrounding maternal mortality in the US. Press releases can be found on the March for Moms website at  Additionally, many cities were featured across the country via local news outlets covering local rallies on the weekend of the National event.

Evaluation and Commitment to 2019

In June 2018 members of the March for Moms Board met in person, in Boston, to evaluate, discuss and vision future growth and strategies. It was clear we were in a position to advance growing interest of serving as a cohesive umbrella for organizations invested in maternal health through the March for Moms movement. A decision was made to move forward with intent to build a larger working Board with ability to bring ‘work, wisdom and wealth’ to a leadership team. Attention to diversifying Board representation was also discussed. Voluntary resignations, for personal reasons, from original Board members included founding members Dawn Thompson and Lesley Rathbun.

Board growth was initiated following the retreat in July. By the close of 2018, six newly elected At-Large Board Members agreed to serve.  Continued efforts to grow the board continue. Current and new members include Ginger Breedlove, Neel Shah, Ebony Marcelle and:

  • Gene DeClercq
  • Tia Tilson
  • Mary D’Alton
  • Karen Feinstein
  • Rose Horton
  • Chanel Portia

Future Planning

We are excited to celebrate passage of the Maternal Mortality Act, S. 1112 and H.B. 1318 signed in to law by President Trump in late December 2018. And, there is much more work ahead to improve health of moms and babies in the U.S.

March for Moms is now, and always will be, a diverse collaboration of families, clinicians, professionals, and policy makers.  We bring broadly different philosophies and practices to an “agora”, a marketplace, of education and action, united to achieve the best possible health and well-being for all mothers, everywhere.

We will drive public demand for greater investment in the wellbeing of mothers by organizing a large citizen rally in Washington DC and cities across the nation on May 11, 2019. We will additionally provide advocacy training and toolkits for coordinated events during the week preceding Mother’s Day, which we will declare national maternal health week.

We currently have a national park permit to hold a rally on the National Mall on May 11, 2019 and plan to help organize sister rallies in cities across the nation by recruiting field leaders, preparing a toolkit, and developing a common organizing platform.

We are planning an Advocacy Training Day to coincide with the March for Moms rallies. We are currently seeking use location in Washington DC for a one-day event. This will include coordination of activities, specific and focused legislative content, and strategy for participants to address issues on the Hill. Yuliya Labko continues to serve as our Advocacy/Policy Director. We will also continue to use the services of Effie’s Grace, LLC, Founder Jamie Zahlaway Belsito as our strategist to understand the legislative landscape. A focus for 2019 legislation will center on bills that address maternal health inequities with Black families. A striking illustration of the urgent and yet decades of unaddressed need to address racial inequities follows. March for Moms agrees with Linda Blount, of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, noted during the Morehouse symposium, “Race is not a risk factor. It is the lived experience of being a black woman in this society that is the risk factor.”

We are at the early stages of creating a communications and partnership strategy for national maternal health week. We are hoping this will be a mechanism to better engage the private sector in our work.

We intend to hire our first Executive Director with a candidate identified by January.

In addition to the growing Board of Directors, we have formally established four working committees with growth of strong volunteers serving. Committee activities will be chaired by Board members and focus on: Finance, Partnerships, the Rally and Communications.

On behalf of the 2018 Board of Directors and co-founders Ginger Breedlove and Neel Shah, we remain dedicated to growing public demand seeking to better understand and invest in the wellbeing of mothers in the US. Through this rapidly growing coalition of diverse professional organizations, consumer movements, non-profits focused on maternal morbidity and mortality and committed individuals, we recommit our shared leadership.

Submitted by:

Ginger Breedlove and Neel Shah

February 2019