About NUDM

Now in its 44th year, Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) is one of the largest 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. Every year, 1000+ dancers and committee members come together to create NUDM and dance for 30 hours straight to benefit NUDM’s primary and secondary beneficiaries. NUDM selects a different primary beneficiary annually, and NUDM’s long-standing secondary beneficiary is The Evanston Community Foundation. Since 1975, NUDM has raised more than $20 million for more than 30 different charitable organizations. NUDM is constantly striving to create an inclusive and enriching environment for the NUDM student body, our rotating primary beneficiary, and the Evanston Community Foundation.



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. Today, NUDM is one of the world’s largest collegiate philanthropies! Last year, NUDM raised $1,253,596 dollars for ECF and GiGi’s Playhouse, the only nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers; changing lives through free, results-driven programs for individuals of all ages, families and communities.

Where We Are Now

Now in its 45th year, NUDM is one of the largest independent student-run philanthropies in the nation. Since 1975, NUDM has raised more than $20 million for more than 30 different charities. Last year, NUDM raised over $1 million dollars for its seventh consecutive year in support of Cradles to Crayons — an organization that partners with social service organizations, such as school districts and homeless shelters, to connect communities with excess resources – whether new or used items in good condition – with communities that are in dire need of these resources. Cradles to Crayons provides children with quality items, emphasizing the idea that quality equals dignity.