About NUDM

Now in its 43rd year, NUDM is one of largest entirely student-run philanthropies in the nation. Our mission is to unite the Northwestern, Evanston, and the Greater Chicagoland Community in philanthropic fundraising, awareness, and education. 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 $17 million for more than 30 different charitable organizations. Join us March 3-5, 2017 to #PlayForChange and join #GenerationG.



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 $1,201,216.24 for ECF and Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that, through an all-volunteer network, mobilizes communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children across America who might otherwise go hungry. This money went to providing 357,329 meals that fed over 9,400 children, supporting the development of new program sites in other Evanston and Chicagoland schools, and creating new, sustainable Blessings in a Backpack programs across the country.

Where We Are Now

This year, NUDM is thrilled to partner with GiGi’s Playhouse, a nonprofit organization that provides unconditional support and free educational and therapeutic programming to individuals with Down syndrome. Everyone deserves to have a place where they feel like they belong. At GiGi’s, children and adults of all ages have the opportunity to maximize their self-confidence and be empowered to achieve their greatest potential. With GiGi’s Playhouse, we hope to not only improve the lives of thousands of people with Down syndrome, but also to help change the way the world sees “different” by fostering a daily mindset of acceptance and hope for everyone.