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About NUDM

About NUDM

Now in its 47th year, Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) is one of the largest independent student-run philanthropies in the nation. Our mission is to unite the Northwestern, Evanston, and Greater Chicagoland community through awareness, service, education, and philanthropic fundraising. A year-long effort culminating in a 30-hour dance marathon, NUDM strives to create an inclusive and enriching environment for the NUDM student body, our rotating primary beneficiary, and our longstanding secondary beneficiary, the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF). Since 1975, NUDM has raised more than $20 million for more than 35 different charitable organizations.

Our History

In 1975, Northwestern University Dance Marathon, the philanthropic child of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and the Associated Student Government, was born on the Northwestern University Evanston campus. It was initially called the “Dance to Give Them a Chance” marathon, and it benefited the American Epilepsy Foundation and the Arc. Fifteen couples made it through the 52-hour marathon, raising $9,100 at Blomquist Memorial Gymnasium.

NUDM is now one of the world’s largest collegiate philanthropies! Last year, NUDM raised $1,029,366 for Children’s Home & Aid (a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving Illinois foster youth and families through a child’s time in foster care as well as in their permanent home placementand the Evanston Community Foundation (which funds a variety of local grants to deserving organizations with the goal of helping Evanston thrive).

Where We Are Now

NUDM 2021 is partnering with Compass to Care, an Illinois-based nonprofit organization that supports families who have a child with cancer through assistance that can include funding for airfare, bus fare, car rental, gasoline, lodging, parking fees, taxi fees, tolls, and train fare and even long-distance travel. Compass to Care works to eliminate the monetary burden of cancer-related travel costs, remove the stress of planning a trip and traveling with a child who is ill and give hope for their child’s cure from cancer. Always remember that #HopeTravels.