Every year, student-run philanthropies known as dance marathons raise money for children's hospitals across the country. In 2019 alone, Children's Miracle Network reported over $44 million raised across their network of dance marathons, and this doesn't even include some programs like Penn State University's THON which is currently the largest student-run philanthropy in the country.
Well, if you yourself are a participant in a dance marathon program currently, you know how tough COVID-19 has made your efforts. Not only have in-person events been largely canceled, eliminating everything from canning in public places to entire dance marathons, but the moral dilemma of taking attention from any other worthy cause is very real. We want to help.
Whether you realize it or not, all forms of fundraising for your event amount to "marketing" your cause, or more specifically, your online donation page. We want to recommend a new way to market that better accounts for 2020's struggles: content marketing. It's hard to blast an explicit ask constantly of "donate to me here" or "if you donate, I'll do this" on social. Instead, you could write a funny, or interesting, or even heartfelt article that thoughtfully weaves an ask into the end. This implicit ask for a donation is more likely to succeed because the reader has already committed to your content.
TLDR: People are probably overwhelmed with causes right now and numb to traditional ways of being solicited. Trying writing an article (or weekly posts) that diversify the ways people can find your donation page.
Pick one of the prompts below (or come up with your own) to write an article that entertains a reader while still hyping your program or experience. At the bottom of your article, create a line break and link to your online donation page using the following example language:
I'm participating in [your dance marathon program] this year. We understand 2020 has left many in need, and encourage you to find those causes you feel called to support. If you would like to support our cause of [hospital or entity receiving your funds], please go here to donate: <your donation page URL>
If you don't have an Odyssey account, before doing anything else, CREATE ONE one here.
Once you have your Odyssey account all set up, use one of these headline templates to create dance marathon content that is sure to win:
1. XX Things Every [DM Program]-er Knows to be True
Example: 12 Things Every IUDM-er Knows To Be True
2. I Asked XX [DM Program] Participants Why They're Dancing and [What they said]
Example: I Asked 20 PSUDM-er Why They're Dancing This Year, And They Want To Make The World A Better Place
3. I'm a [Affiliation type] and I Dance Because [Compelling Statement]
Example: I'm The Daughter Of A Cancer Survivor, And I Do Dance Marathons To Make Sure Others Survive, Too
4. XX Reasons Why You Should Participate In Dance Marathon
5. XX Tips To Help You Survive Dance Marathon
Some creators have been using Odyssey to elevate their dance marathons for years. Here are some existing examples: