By Caitlin Becker

With the Fall semester coming to an end, you might be getting a little anxious aboutT raising that money for the Big Event. Luckily there is still plenty of time over Winter Beak to reach your donation goal. I talked with Madison Traviss, a Sophomore at the University of Iowa, about what she does to fundraise to get to the Big Event and how you keep those donors giving back each year.

For Madison, fundraising starts early. “I write letters during the summer to get people thinking about Dance Marathon,” said Traviss. She also explains to potential donors all the different things that the money goes towards such as gas gift cards, wigs, better equipment, etc. so that they are informed on what an impact their donation can have. But fundraising does not end once she receives a donation. “Every time I get a donation, I write a thank you note just to show my appreciation, and after the Big Event, I make sure I write them another note about my experiences at the Big Event to give them a better idea of what happens [there],” explained Traviss, “They tend to save the letter and it makes them feel good that they gave to a great cause.”

She also takes advantage of spending quality family time during the holidays. “At a family event, like around Thanksgiving, I play the Why You Dance video and Recruitment video so they can realize what their money is going towards, said Traviss. Family donations can really help boost your donation total, and be sure to mention that if the company they work for has a matching program, then they could double their donation amount with no additional cost to them.

Traviss also plans on trying something new to fundraise this year. “Every time I work I want to donate my tips to Dance Marathon,” explained Traviss. This is a great, selfless way to personally donate without hurting your bank account. And if your boss allows, you can even explain that you are donating your tips to the UI Children’s Hospital and see just how much those tips increase.

No matter how you decide to fundraise, Traviss leaves us with this advice, “The most important thing is to let [donors] know what Dance Marathon is about, what their money goes towards, and that you’re willing to put your name on Dance Marathon and that they really make an impact to [the kids and their families].” So what are you waiting for? With the holidays just around the corner, be sure to let your family and friends know just how thankful you are to be part of Dance Marathon and show them all that you do For The Kids.  You may be surprised just how much holiday cheer can lead to some great donations.

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