How to Fundraise

Ways you can raise money

Four Hundred Dollars?! How can I raise that much money?! Raising your $400 is actually really easy, and there are several ways to do it! Probably the most common way is to ask your friends and family to make donations.

  • Online Giving System  Create your own online giving page and sending out emails to friends and family. Learn more about creating your own Online Giving Page below or click here to login to your page.
  • Letter Writing  The more traditional approach is to send out letters or postcards to your friends and family. Remember, people still LOVE to get personalized mail!
  • Canning  The most social way to raise your money is to go "canning" downtown on a weekend night.
  • Matching Gifts  Some businesses will match gifts. Click here to read more..
  • Websites that give back to DM!

Letter Writing Campaign 

One of the most effective, easiest, and most traditional ways to raise money is to send personal letters or postcards. These letters should describe what Dance Marathon is, explain your involvement and simply ask for donations. You can do this all straight from the comfort of your home!

Not in the mood to write? Dance Marathon will send the letters for you through our letter writing campaign!  By clicking here, you can submit the names and addresses of people you would like to contact and we will send the letters for you! You may also include a brief personalized paragraph that will be included at the end of each letter that is mailed.


Have you ever seen someone standing downtown on a Thursday night holding a can and asking for money to help kids with cancer? That person holding the can was a University of Iowa student who was canning. Canister Solicitation is one of the most profitable forms of fundraising for The University of Iowa Dance Marathon. There are three types of canning: neighborhood, downtown, and football. You should ask your morale captain about specific canning dates coming up. Remember that you must sign up in advance for each canning event, and a morale captain or another leadership member will organize these drives and go with you.

Canning Tips:

  • Put information about Dance Marathon, including phone number and website address on your signs and cans.
  • Wear bright, visible clothing and a Dance Marathon T-shirt, carry your student ID.
  • Get to know the mission of Dance Marathon and what exactly the money is used for.
  • Be enthusiastic, welcome questions with a smile and confidence. Most people are going to ask questions before they open up their wallet.
  • Be sure to inform donors that all donations qualify for tax deductibility.
  • Thank everyone and tell them to watch for Dance Marathon in February, even if they wouldn't donate.
  • And of course, HAVE FUN! Get to know the people in your canning group and keep reminding yourself how great you will feel after all the hard work.

Matching Gifts 

Visit the UI Foundation website for more information here. Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match any charitable contributions made by their employees. So your gift could be doubled or tripled! Some companies even match gifts made by retirees and/or spouses.

Websites that support Dance Marathon 

Goodsearch and Goodshop

Use Goodsearch and Goodshop to help raise money for Dance Marathon! If you type in University of Iowa Dance Marathon in the charity line and select U of I DM (not ISU J ). Search away and we get a penny for every search which can add up quickly! Likewise on Goodshop, you can select Dance Marathon as your charity of choice, find the stores you like to shop at, and by using Goodshop Dance Marathon will receive a percentage of your purchase!


Dance Marathon is now listed with iGive! iGive is a great opportunity to jump start your holiday shopping while raising money for Dance Marathon. Up to 26% of each purchase will be donated to Dance Marathon.

  • Every time you go shopping, a percentage is donated to Dance Marathon.
  • Visit Find your cause. Register to be a member (its free!!)
  • Check out the great offers and deals, like free shipping and double donations.
  • Use the links to shop at your favorite stores. There are over 680 stores to choose from online.
  • iGive will send us the money raised.


Online Giving Page

How to access your online giving page:

  • Go to
  • Click on Log-in section on the top right hand corner of the screen. 
  • A new page will appear prompting you to enter your user name and password.  In the user name section type in your hawk ID.  In the password section type in your hawk ID’s password.  (If you ever need to change your hawk ID’s password your password to the online giving pages will change with your hawk ID’s password so they should always be the same as what you use to log in to Hawk Mail and ICON.) 
  • Click the log-in button. 
  • A new page will appear that will have an online giving link that should start with  There will be numbers at the end of this URL. 
  • Click on the URL (This is the URL you can give to potential donors to ask them to donate to your page). 
  • Your online giving page will appear.


What you can do on your online giving page to make it personal:


Change profile picture:

 It is recommended you change your profile picture so donors know they are donating to the right person. 

  • When on your profile page click on “Edit Profile” right below the 3 dancers Dance Marathon logo. 
  • A new page will appear.  Click on “Change” underneath the Dance Marathon logo that is now on the right hand side of the screen. 
  • Click on the “Browse” button and find a picture within your computer that you would like as your profile picture. 
  • Click on the picture you would like to use and click “Open.” 
  • Select “Upload.” 
  • By clicking on the original picture that uploads you can change the size of your profile picture or eliminate part of the picture so it is only a picture of you. 
  • When you have it the size you would like click “Crop.” 
  • Your new picture will appear. 


Add your story: 

You can update a section of your online giving page to share your story with potential donors. 

  • When on your main profile page click on the pencil icon that is next to “My Story.”
  • In the text box that appears below add your own story or anything you would like (please keep it appropriate!) 
  • Scroll to the bottom of the text box and click save to save your text. 
  • You can go back and edit your story at any time by clicking on the pencil icon.


Add a comment: 

  • Towards the bottom of your page is your own “wall.”  This is very similar to a Facebook wall where you can write things on your own wall and write on others walls.  Comments will not appear on other user’s wall until the owner of the wall has approved the comment.  To add a comment to your wall click on add comment.  Type in your comment and click “Add.” 


Delete a comment: 

  • Click on the red icon that has a white line through it. 
  • Select yes on the comment box that appears asking if you are sure you would like to delete the comment. 


Share information on Facebook and Twitter: 

  • Click on the Facebook and Twitter icons below your profile picture to tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter you are raising money for Dance Marathon. 


If you ever want to get back to your online giving page click on “Users” tab on the left side of the page and then click on “My Profile.”  A new page will load and on this page click on the dollar bill icon next to “DM2011.”


If you ever have any questions about your online giving page please email Ryan Fessler at