Entering college, I knew that I was going to get involved in campus life. After numerous meetings with professors who told me to “do what makes me happy” and hearing how great Loras College Dance Marathon was, I decided to give it a shot. Little did I know, I was signing up for an organization that would do more than fill my time; Loras College Dance Marathon has become part of my everyday life and helped shape my career path.
WHAT WE DO
Dance Marathon is a nationwide movement that raises money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals across the nation. The children we help have endured more than most adults have in their whole lives. There are over 300 different college programs across the country with over 200,000 participants. Those 200,000 participants raised a monumental $26,834,682 in 2015. What is even more impressive is Loras College Dance Marathon (LCDM) has been able to claim the title of #1 fundraising program per capita for the past seven years. LCDM raised a remarkable $201,000 in 2016 for the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.
HOW WE RAISE FUNDS
Loras College Dance Marathon is not just a single event in April that raises $$201,000. LCDM is a year-long effort to raise funds and awareness for UICH while providing support for local families. Such events may include: mini-golfing, line dancing, hockey games, video gaming events, networking events, and raking services.
Even though we are a student organization, our audience is potential donors. We need to reach people who have incomes sustainable for giving which typically are not college students. We need to know how to make our audience feel like they have a connection with our kids. We are constantly asking, “What motivates our audience and how can we approach them? Why would they choose to donate or volunteer for LCDM vs. another non-profit?”
We utilize social media as a marketing tool because its inexpensive. For our fundraising events, such as our Color FT5K on October 11th in 2016, we utilize Facebook tools such as the boost post feature to broaden our reach to potential participants. Facebook is our most popular platform, but we use Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat as well. Twitter is used for our live feeds during events or as a quick reminder of something coming up. Instagram is for a ‘behind-the-scenes’ visual look at LCDM and Snapchat is a combination. Snapchat is used for live feed, as well as for a behind-the-scenes look. Our ultimate goals are to raise funds and awareness so we can continue growing year after year, which these platforms ultimately help accomplish. A common hashtag on our social media is #FTK. This stands for ‘For The Kids’ because everything we work for is geared towards the children we serve. It connects a ‘family’ of people and shares our mission in just three short words.
WHY I LOVE IT
Loras College has given me the opportunity to fulfill my passion in a way that can continue after my time on campus. Specifically, LCDM has provided me with opportunities to demonstrate my strengths in event planning and learn from others. Joining this organization in college has helped steer me in a career path which has led to my current internship with Plaid Swan. The employees at Plaid Swan have the same type of passion and drive that not only produces great work, but motivates others to work hard in order to satisfy clients. I am excited to continue learning from some of the best mentors in the Tri-State area, grow into a wonderful culture that is Plaid Swan and I have Loras College Dance Marathon to thank for it.
– Rachel Moser, Public Relations & Event Intern