Now in its 45th 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.
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 $1,175,709 for Cradles to Crayons (which works to provide children from birth through age 12 all the resources they need to thrive at home, at school, and at play) 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 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.