Lime Time Wednesday: Spreading Lime and Other Fundraising Ideas!
As you may know Wednesdays are the popular day throughout the week where all of UIDM proudly displays their favorite color, lime green. Iowa City has become accustomed to lime and its representation. That being said, how can we help Dance Marathon reach beyond the Iowa City limits?
Hosting a mini-marathon at your high school is a great way to not only fundraise, but to spread the word about Dance Marathon and the goals of the organization. Mini-marathons are a great introduction to a fraction of the BIG Event in February. Mini Marathons can be held at any age level (K-12). The best part about mini marathons is the fact that they’re run by students, just like at the college level! The main thing UIDM would do for you is contact the advisor of the student org you’re going through and provide you with all of the means necessary for a successful event.
Another great way to spread the word about why we’re FTK is through letter writing. Who writes letters these days? It isn’t very often you receive a letter or note in the mail anymore, but it’s surprising how effective a letter is when asking for a donation, it seems more personable. Most Sunday nights members of leadership reserve a room in the IMU specifically for letter writing! Here you will be provided with paper, envelopes, and POSTAGE to knock out a great start to your fundraising. Leadership is always standing by to get you started or to assist you with things to write about. Some people type their letters up beforehand and come to stuff their envelopes (and enjoy free pizza or other treats), and others only bring their imagination and ideas, BOTH are great! As you stuff the envelope with your letter, you are also provided another envelope for your party to send their donation back in. These envelopes are automatically sent back to the Dance Marathon office and the donation is put in your Dancer Account! Taking advantage of letter writing is sure to show your family and friends how hard you’re working FTK! The following Sundays are the nights left this semester for letter writing, oh, AND FREE PIZZA:
November 9th, Michigan Room
November 16th, Michigan Room
November 30th, Nebraska Room
December 7th, Indiana Room
Community days in your hometown are another excellent way to “spread your lime” and do a little fundraising at the same time! Find a local business and see if they are interested in donating a percentage of their profit within a certain time period of their business hours back to Dance Marathon. Here in Iowa City businesses such as Z’Mariks, Yotopia, DP Dough, etc. love Dance Marathon and often give portions of their profits for a specific day to UIDM! Can you think of a few businesses in your community who would do the same? Local businesses often look to do events like these because it generates a customer following for them, and what better way is there than supporting local businesses that give back to the kids! Contacting the business manager well ahead of time will look professional and create a good vibe to him/her about Dance Marathon at the University of Iowa. When you first make contact with the business, let them know the “WWWH” (Who, What, Why, How) of Dance Marathon. For example:
Hi! My name is Jenny Boeding, and I’m calling on behalf of the University of Iowa’s Dance Marathon. We are one of the largest student-run organizations on campus that provides multi-dimensional support for children and families affected by pediatric cancer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, here in Iowa City. Starting on February 7th, I will not sit, sleep, or consume any caffeine for twenty-four hours to take a stand in the fight against all pediatric cancers, and dance for a cure! I’m wondering if your business would be interested in hosting a community day to support Dance Marathon and help me reach my fundraising goal of $1,000 for the kids?
If they decide to go through with hosting a community day, let the manager decide what percentage of the proceeds will be for the allotted time (or if they decide to do all day). If they ask what has been done in the past, suggest 10% because everything counts! Make sure to clarify how they are going to tally the donation from their profit. Is it from every sale? A flyer? Mentioning DM? Next, ADVERTISE! Spread the information about the business and how they are supporting Dance Marathon. During the Community day it isn’t essential that you stay the whole time, but definitely make a presence, thank the business again, and leave a self-addressed envelope for them to send the check in!
After receiving ANY sort of donation, whether from family or friends or from a community day, SEND A THANK YOU CARD. Thank-you notes are your way of showing personal appreciation for that party’s contribution to Dance Marathon. Let them know what it means to you, what you’re looking forward to at the BIG Event, or how their donation has impacted a family or kiddo at the Children’s Hospital. Thank you notes are much more personable when hand-written, and should be received by the donating party no more than a week after they donated! It will be much easier to personalize their note if the idea is still fresh in your mind! Do NOT use your graduation party thank-you technique as a guideline! (at least not mine…).
This year I’m trying to really bring the DM lime to my hometown community. Being a music education major, it should be no shock that I was involved with the performing arts in high school. My idea is to host a show with alumni and current students at my high school to raise money and awareness about pediatric cancer! This last week I put these thoughts into actions. Emailing administration, I’ve gotten the “thumbs up” to start planning, what I hope to be, a huge event for DM over Christmas break. I have a few families from DM that are from my community and am hoping they will want to become involved with the production as well. I’m excited to start advertising and creating a set list for what I’m going to call, WD Music: Past and Present! More details to come.
Fundraising $400 dollars may seem daunting, but think of being 8 years old with neuroblastoma and having to go through chemo, miss school, miss recess, and miss your friends; which seems scarier to you? Fundraising is a great opportunity to realize why you do what you do for Dance Marathon, and will help prepare you to advocate for something in your life after college. For me, I dance for more birthdays, more holidays, more family vacations, and more MEMORIES.
What do I dance for? Life.
Today is Wednesday.
I’m wearing my lime.
Written By: Jen Boeding