About NUDM

Now in its 46th 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.




Years of NUDM




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 $1,144,515 for Communities In Schools (CIS) of Chicago (a nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing the opportunity gap in education by ensuring that every Chicago Public School (CPS) student graduates high school prepared for success), and 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

This year, NUDM is thrilled to partner with 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 placement. NUDM will partner with Children’s Home & Aid’s Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Child & Family Center in Evanston specifically, helping fund their expression therapy, counseling, and mentoring programs…and more.