When the United States was announced to be in a global pandemic, the University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon did not stop fighting for pediatric cancer. Although we weren’t allowed to go visit the kids in the Children’s Hospital, we did what we could to communicate with our families. While brainstorming ideas on what we could do for Dance Marathon during this time, the idea of business capital came up. All businesses must have capital to purchase assets to maintain their operations. This especially applies to local businesses that need extra support to maintain economic growth. The University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon encourages people to support all local businesses in Iowa City because of the lasting impact they provide the organization.
The University of Iowa Dance Marathon has set up three different types of partnerships including monetary donations, in-kind donations, and community day donations. Monetary donations come from businesses that show their support to the kiddos by donating directly to the organization. These donations have made a significant impact on our DM kiddos and their families.
In-kind donations are when a business chooses to provide goods and services to the organization such as snacks and/or meals to dancers, leadership members, and DM families to help fuel them throughout the 24-hour event. We greatly utilize in-kind donations throughout the year, but a majority of the donations are for the Big Event. Our Big Event would not be a success without the kind gestures of our in-kind partners.
Community day donations are opportunities for us to partner with local businesses in the Iowa City area to raise money for our organization and bring more into their business. The business then donates a portion of their sales back to Dance Marathon. We love community days because they are a great way to give back to the community and the organization.
Thompson and Co. is a local salon and parlor that really does it all. The corporation raises money for the organization and donates their time and services at various DM events. At the Big Event, Bobby Thompson is one of our speakers each year. He really emulates what it means to be there for our Dance Marathon Kiddos and their families. Thompson and Co is famous for their Short Hair Don’t Hair event that occurs from 1am to 5am during the big event where stylists volunteer their time to cut hair for people who want to donate their hair. They also provide opportunities throughout the year where people are able to donate their hair at the salon to children going through hair loss due to chemo treatments. This is such a special experience for everyone!
Katie Culver, the University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon Sponsorship Director stated, “I would encourage everyone to support local businesses because when you support locals, you support families. And that's exactly what Dance Marathon stands for - supporting our families. Local businesses truly care about the well-being of the community and work to build relationships with people who have the same mission as they do. We're grateful that we have the opportunity to partner with businesses in such a strong, well-connected community." In all, we are so grateful for all of the partnerships we have with businesses throughout Iowa and we appreciate all of the support they’ve shown us over the years.
By: Parker Georlett, Public Relations Committee, DM 27