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March of Dimes named top charity

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The March of Dimes is being honored as a top charity by Philanthropedia, a division of GuideStar, it was announced today, according to HealthNewsDigest. Philanthropedia is a web-based nonprofit group that rates charities according to their financial responsibility and outstanding work, helping donors to give wisely.

"We are pleased and humbled to be cited by Philanthropedia experts as a top nonprofit in our field," says Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "Since our founding by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 to find a vaccine to prevent polio, we have endeavored to achieve mission results and a high standard of excellence. Our mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality."

Philanthropedia's panel of 74 experts identified the March of Dimes as 1 of 16 high-impact nonprofits working in the field of people with disabilities, and named it second in that category. Starting in 1955 with a signature victory to eliminate polio in the United States, the March of Dimes has led many successful public health campaigns that improved infant health, including:

* Reducing serious birth defects of the brain and spine by 26 percent through folic acid fortification of the nation's grain foods in the late 1990s.

* Bringing mandatory newborn screening programs to every state to ensure that each baby is tested for more than 30 conditions that, if undetected and untreated, can lead to serious disability or death.

*Launching a nationwide prematurity prevention campaign. The March of Dimes recently announced that the U.S. preterm birth rate dropped for the sixth consecutive year in 2012 to 11.5 percent, a 15-year low.

In addition to this new honor, the March of Dimes is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity and meets all 20 standards listed on the BBB Wise Giving Alliance Web site Give.org.

Seventy-six cents of a dollar raised by the March of Dimes supports its programs. For more information, see the March of Dimes entry on GuideStar.org or visit marchofdimes.com/mission/where-your-money-goes.aspx to see a graphic on how your donations are being used to support lifesaving research and programs. Watch and share this short animated videothat also shows donors where the money goes.

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. For more than 75 years, moms and babies have benefited from March of Dimes research, education, vaccines, and breakthroughs. To help raise funds to prevent premature birth and birth defects visit March for Babies at marchforbabies.org. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. The 2014 March for Babies is sponsored nationally by the March of Dimes number one corporate supporter Kmart, Macy's, Famous Footwear, Cigna, Sanofi Pasteur, Mission Pharmacal, United Airlines, and Actavis.

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