Fundraising FAQs


  • What does the money I raise go towards?

    All the money you fundraise each year goes directly to the NUDM final total, 90 percent of which goes to this year’s primary beneficiary, GiGi’s Playhouse (a nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers), and 10 percent of which goes to the Evanston Community Foundation. The fee you paid during registration covers the cost of all 30-hour weekend operations, ensuring that all your fundraising goes directly to the beneficiaries.

  • When do I have to have raised the $400?

    You have to have the entire $400 raised by Feb. 24th in order to dance. The recommended half money deadline (when you should have raised $200) is Jan. 19th. If you have all $400 raised by the half money deadline, you will be awarded a double block-change, 30 minutes instead of 15 minutes of rest between two blocks, during the event!

  • Can I raise $400 without letter writing?

    Absolutely – tons of dancers do it every year! There are so many creative ways to easily reach your fundraising goal from Dough 4 DM bake sales to psych/Kellogg studies to hometown company sponsorships and matching grants. Here are some resources below:


    • Prospective Health Study for Freshman and Sophomores ($60): Information can be found here and you can sign up to participate here.
    • Kellogg: Sign-ups for studies through the Kellogg School of management can be found here
    • Psychology: Sign-ups for studies through the Psychology Department can be found here
  • What are some fundraising ideas I can use?


    • Canning. What is canning? Check out our Canning Guide for everything you need to know!
      • Pick up cans and bibs in the NUDM office (Office E) on the Norris 3rd Floor
      • Saturday, February 25 – Evanston, Park Ridge
      • All quarter – Winnetka
        • *To can in Winnetka you will have to fill out an individual permit, which are located in the NUDM Office (Office E in Norris).
    • Participate in Dough 4 DM: Bake cookies at a provided location on Sunday afternoons, help wrap them, and receive a portion of the profits as the cookies are sold through NUDM! Individual dancers get first priority to sign up! You can also buy cookies here.
    • Sign up for this Searle Research Study! Make $60 for filling out some quick questionnaires and giving blood sample.
    • Sign up for paid research studies through Kellogg! Make $8 in 20 minutes or less!
    • Sign up for paid research studies through the Auditory Neuroscience Lab:
    • Sign up for research studies through the Psychology department:
      • Or email professors: (,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    • Deliver people food from Norris (i.e. an on-foot, student-friendly Postmates) for a donation fee
    • Sell Krispy Kreme donuts, cupcakes, and other goodies in Tech, Kellogg, Norris, etc. (helps if it’s something new and exciting!)
    • Bake sale in strategic places (frat quad, the Deuce, etc.)
    • Make crafts for people’s rooms and sell to your friends
    • Help sorority ladies with big/little week! Offer your crafting skills, your singing skills, let them hang out with your golden retriever or something.
    • Feeling daring? Make a Facebook status promising to do certain tasks for a certain size donation. (And follow through by making a video–good laughs for everyone.) Examples:
      • $25 – Drink a gallon of milk in 5 minutes
      • $75 – Eat a ghost pepper
      • $100 – Dye my hair purple
    • For every dollar I raise, I will ____. Example:
      • For every dollar I raise, I will do one push-up.
      • For every dollar I raise, I will fit that many grapes in my mouth.
      • For every dollar I raise, I will spend one minute dancing outside of tech.
    • Tag your friends in a Facebook post asking them to donate just $1 to your page (I made $10 doing this (so at the very least I have 10 friends!!!!)
    • Email old high school teachers and college professors asking them to donate to your page
    • Ask local restaurants or stores for gift cards or other donations, you can auction them off to your friends and donate the profit!
    • Have a cute pet? Set up a petting booth, $3 to pet my dog!
    • Sell things you don’t use anymore on Free & For Sale
    • Sell old textbooks on the Textbook Exchange Facebook group
    • Sell clothes/accessories you don’t wear anymore on NU Closet Recycle, or to Crossroads in Evanston
    • Have a ton of tailgating gear or frockets? Sell your swag to younger members of your organization!
    • Know how to graphic design? Design geotags for student orgs, they can buy them off you cause you’re dope!!
    • Play a lot of video games? Organize a tournament with your friends. Have people buy in for $5/ Have half the proceeds go to the winner, and the other half go to NUDM!
    • Have a car? Offer to give friends rides to the airport, to Nevin’s, etc.
    • Put on a talent show in your dorm! Charge admission!
    • Put on an anti-talent show in your dorm! Charge admission!
    • Offer to do friends nails, makeup, or hair before formals/events!
    • Know how to sew? Fix people’s tears or missing buttons for a small fee!
    • Shovel neighbor’s driveways for a small donation
    • Offer to DJ someone’s party
    • Offer to clean-up after someone’s party
    • Put cans, or any cup with NUDM on it in your dorm, in your classes, at your Greek house, in your apartment, wherever! Ask people to donate any small change or bills they might have.
    • Offer to tutor someone in class if you’re an expert (good suggestions: EA, physics, linguistics, psych, genetics, etc.)
  • What is canning and when can I do it?

    Canning is a great fundraising method where you stand outside in various local cities with a group of friends and ask anyone passing by for donations, as you tell them about NUDM! Make sure to grab a can/bib from your group head or the NUDM office and pay attention to announcements for canning dates and places.

  • Can I raise money at NUDM events?

    Yes! At NUDM’s weekly trivia, your $5 entrance fee goes directly back to your fundraising total. So when you go to trivia, you’re really putting money toward your fundraising page! There’s also 50/50 raffles each week, where you can win half the pool of money from the raffle during trivia!

  • What is the Grant Program and how can I be a part of it?

    A pool of money raised from our summer campaign as well as corporate sponsorships has been allocated to support the personal NUDM fundraising efforts of dancers. Specifically, the money will be allocated to dancers on financial aid through the application process of Student Enrichment Services through the SES One form, launching on February 6th. Dancers on financial aid will have the opportunity to receive up to $150 towards their fundraising efforts.

  • What Incentives are there to fundraise?
    1. If you raise $400 by $200 deadline you receive a  double block change
    2. If you raise $450 you will receive a Justin Barbin Photo Opp and Dancer Gift Bag
    3. If you raise $650 you will receive an extra 45 minutes of rest
    4. If you raise $1200 you will receive an extra 1.5 hours of rest

Verbal Pitch

Northwestern University Dance Marathon is one of the largest entirely student-run philanthropies in the country, having raised more than $17 million in its 42-year history, including more than $1 million in each of the past six years. This year we’re supporting GiGi’s Playhouse, a national network of Down syndrome achievement centers. NUDM is a 30-hour marathon in March with more than 1,000 participants. With your help, we can impact the lives of the more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.

Social Media

Hi everyone! This year I have decided to dance for 30 straight hours in Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM), one of the largest student-run philanthropies in the nation. NUDM’s 2017 primary beneficiary is GiGi’s Playhouse, a national network of Down syndrome achievement centers that provides free therapeutic and educational resources!  In order to dance this year, I need to raise at least $400 dollars. I appreciate whatever help you might be able to give me through my donations page at this link: (INSERT LINK)