For the past year, more than 1,000 undergraduate students have applied their talents, imagination, and social contacts to fundraise for Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) 2018.

Personal fundraising efforts included making and selling artwork, collecting coins from motorists at intersections, providing laundry services, and performing public stunts for pledges such as wearing a “Left Shark” costume for a day.

The hard work and creativity are all in the service of supporting two nonprofit organizations: primary beneficiary Cradles to Crayons, a national organization that provides children from birth through age 12 in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive, and secondary beneficiary Evanston Community Foundation, which invests in the community through grant making, leadership development, and capacity building.

The 44th annual Dance Marathon will take place March 9 through11 at Norris University Center. Donations for this year’s event can be made online at

One of the largest, entirely student-run philanthropies in the nation, NUDM has raised more than $19 million for more than 30 different charities. For each of the past seven years, more than $1 million was raised. The final total is presented in an oversized, eye-popping check to the beneficiaries at the conclusion of the marathon, bringing the exhausted dancers alive with wild cheering.