Earlier this year, Dance Marathon released its campaign for DM27- the focus for the year: to Rise with Resilience. Rising with resilience means to advocate for and support our families, whose lives have been changed forever with a cancer diagnosis, and to reflect the strength of our families by doing so. One of the most impactful ways to support our families is by fundraising.
Bridget Joers, the DM27 Finance Director, has been working nonstop to ramp up fundraising. She, along with other members of the finance committee, are working to improve upon last year’s tote board by coming up with new ways to fundraise and reach new donors. In light of a global pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement, there have been a lot of changes in the approach to fundraising. “A lot of fundraising has been virtual right now. Our big project at the moment is the Fore the Kids fundraiser at the end of August,” she said. “It’s summer right now, and there are a lot of things going on. As for the future, we’re still figuring a lot of it out. We’re going to have to lean a lot on peer-to-peer fundraising and take advantage of resources.”
Peer-to-peer fundraising, or fundraising done by reaching out to someone and asking for a donation, made up 73% of last year’s tote board. Another 13% of the tote board came from community sponsorships. Other big contributors to the tote board include the Fraternity-Sorority Life community and other student organizations. The business cabinet has been working to find ways to execute big events such as Kickoff to Kinnick and Miles in the Maize (both running events that bring in large donations to the tote board), or they’re going through past data to try and come up with new ideas for fundraising- such as socially-distanced community days! Since many events have been cancelled or restructured already due to COVID-19, it’s evident that the DM27 tote board will rely a lot on fundraising done by dancers and leadership members. While that may seem a daunting task, it is absolutely possible with the right drive and motivation for the kids. Our families are no strangers to uncertain times- and that’s why we need to fight with them now more than ever.
“When quarantine started, I felt like my life was on pause. The thing is, Dance Marathon can’t put a pause on it. The reality is that these kids can’t put a pause on cancer. They’re still going through chemo and treatments. They’re counting on us to fundraise and support them. We know that it’s hard to stay motivated during a time like this, but when you see the ‘famspirations’ and get those donations, it’s 100% worth it,” she said.
Some ways to virtually fundraise:
- Partner with a local business to have a (socially distanced) Community Day! This could even be based off of online or carry-out orders!
- Have a can drive! Collect cans and bottles from neighbors and friends and recycle them for money into your dancer account!
- Sell clothes to Plato’s Closet or other items on FaceBook Marketplace!
- Post on social media- Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc! Ask if you could Venmo-request people $2 or $5 towards your dancer account.
- Send emails, letters, and Facebook messages with your online giving page to relatives, classmates, friends, family friends, and even old teachers/professors!
- Get creative! You could always think of a product or craft to sell and then donate the earnings to DM!
Everything you fundraise directly impacts the lives of the kiddos and families fighting their toughest battle. Find inspiration here: https://dancemarathon.uiowa.edu/families/meet-the-families/ and remember who you’re fighting for!
By Lilly Ries, Public Relations Committee DM27