NU Dance Marathon supports midwest and local causes

Thirty consecutive hours of doing anything sounds taxing, and a handful of Northwestern students are about to take on a challenging activity: dancing.

This weekend marks the 41st Northwestern University Dance Marathon, a fundraising event that Northwestern students put on each year. This year, the event primarily benefits Starlight Children’s Foundation Midwest, an organization that strives to improve the lives and health of children all around the world. But NUDM also raises money to help out right here in Evanston.

Money raised will also go towards the Evanston Community Foundation, allowing students to engage not just Northwestern but the community that surrounds it. In fact, ECF has been a secondary beneficiary of NUDM since 1997 specifically to pursue the goal of uniting Northwestern’s campus with the Evanston community and greater Chicagoland area.

ECF works to help Evanston thrive as a vibrant and inclusive community, serving as an umbrella organization for a number of local groups. Since its inception in 1986, ECF has provided a variety of services to the community, including fostering private philanthropy, building endowments for current and future opportunities and allocating grants to other nonprofits.

Thanks to NUDM, ECF has been able to provide far more grants, with students donating more than $1 million dollars to ECF through multiple dance marathons. If NUDM sounds unfamiliar, perhaps you remember seeing the students “canning” on specific street corners of Evanston. This is a fundraising that many students employ, wearing yellow bibs and asking for money to reach their $400 minimum fundraising total.

NUDM is known to be one of the nation’s largest student-run philanthropies, raising more than $15 million for over 30 charities since 1975. What’s in store for dancers this year? Find out by checking out a live-stream of the event at or paying a visit to the tent yourself at the Norris University Center.

Posted on March 7, 2015 and filed under Evanston Community.