High School Marathon Information I.
Why do you dance?
VII. Riley Families
VIII. Event Planning
Activities and Entertainment
Other IUDM-Affiliated High School Marathons
Why do you dance? FTK-- For the kids. Every hour you spend on your feet is dedicated to standing for HOPE for the kids. "We stand for those who can't" Circle song-- At the end of each marathon, before the total is revealed, it's tradition to stand in a circle, arms around each other, while “Angels Among Us,” or a similar song, plays. The reason behind that is this: While Riley Hospital provides crucial medical care and love, there are some patients who don't make it. This song reminds us that they are forever with us as our angels. It is a chance for dancers to reflect on why they are there, why they dance, who they dance for, and the impact Riley Hospital has on their lives and those around them Line dance-- By far, one of the most fun elements of any dance marathon! While you're brought together to stand for the kids, you're also unified in the line dance memorized and performed TOGETHER at the end of your marathon. Stand the whole time-- For however many hours your marathon lasts, we stand to let the kids know they are not alone. We stand to support all that the kids and their families may go through. We stand to show that we CAN make a difference in the life of another. For all people you’ve met—Being a part of this organization is a blessing itself because of all the amazing people you meet. You are able to build relationships and friendships with some of the most passionate and caring people that go beyond just High school and college. Riley Children’s Hospital and Riley families— In particular, IUDM helps benefit Riley Hospital and the families. Our funds and support goes directly back to Riley Hospital so that they can help treat Riley families in need and support future research towards infectious diseases. Ryan White and Ashley Crouse—To carry on their legacy and what these two symbolic people mean to the IUDM organization. Their inspirational stories helped shape what IUDM is today and serve as examples how everyone can impact others in many different ways. You may have a specific person or people at your school for which you honor your dance marathon. It is always important to be reminded of why your marathon began and how it has continued through the memories of these individuals.
Committee Structure One way of dealing with the many different tasks when planning a marathon is to divide the responsibilities among committees. Each committee has an individual in charge to accomplish certain goals. Below is a list of different committees and the responsibilities that could be assigned to each one. Remember the list below is just a starting point for you to consider, depending on the needs of your marathon, you may want to divide things up differently with more or fewer committees.
Catering - Responsible for everything relating to food They should work to secure food donations from various restaurants and corporations. Just as important as getting food donated, is getting it delivered. This committee needs to make sure they plan to get all the food from the donor to the marathon, whether they pick it up themselves or are able to get it delivered. Then make sure that once the food arrives it is set up for the dancers. This committee may also work with Fundraising to plan percentage nights.
Recruitment - Focused on informing the school about the marathon They may plan recruiting events that tell students more about RDM and encourage students to sign up. They will also work closely with the dancer relations to run the sign up table. Recruitment should find ways to reach out to individuals who may be interested in dancing, and answer their questions about Dance Marathon. This committee can also be tasked with organizing the call-out meeting for new committee members after the marathon.
Dancer Relations â€“ Focused on registering individuals to participate as dancers in the marathon This committee is tasked with putting together information for dancers. For smaller marathons, this committee can be combined with Recruitment. They will also be responsible for making a packet available to students, whether that is through a sign up table in the cafeteria or any other such means. Once they have created the packets, and passed them out to students who want to register for the marathon, they must also set up the check-in table at the marathon where they can collect the packets dancers fill out and the money they have raised.
Entertainment - Plans games, activities, and general entertainment for the marathon. They secure the materials for any crafts that are planned, or any video games they choose to set up. They can also aim to fill time by planning to bring in bands, or zumba instructors, or putting on skits, or anything that will make for a memorable marathon. They should also work with the DJ and any bands that are coming in to make sure sound is properly set up for the event.
Fundraising â€“ Handles all financial responsibilities They count it all the money, and keep track of how it adds up throughout the year, and calculate the final total. The fundraising committee also should work to schedule canning events, and to keep track of the Riley Buckets used for all the different fundraising opportunities.
Morale - Tasked with making sure everyone at the marathon is involved, enthusiastic, and on their feet. If possible this committee should learn and help teach the line dance. They are responsible for providing group leaders for each color group. They also may decide to designate theme hours for the marathon which committee members can dress up for to keep spirits high. The goal of this committee is to keep spirits high and dancers excited, they may also work closely with entertainment to prepare for some of the group games.
Riley Development â€“ Maintains the focus of the marathon and those involved with Riley and the families The committee may work to coordinate a tour of the hospital for any students who are on a committee that are interested. They also may look for riley facts, stories, or video to share at meetings. The most important task this committee has is contacting and relating to Riley families who come to speak at the marathon. They
are tasked with planning for individuals to come to the marathon to share their story, and should make sure that such speakers are made comfortable, welcome, and important.
Special Events – Plans events throughout the year to raise money and awareness They may reach out to middle schools or elementary schools to have “mini-marathons” or planning miracle minutes at sporting events. Bake sales, penny wars, spirit weeks—this committee should be working on planning any new event, or repeating any successful event they can think of in order increase your school’s marathon total and participation. For smaller marathons, this committee can be combined with fundraising to minimize confusion.
Operations – Facilitate all the tasks that make sure the marathon runs smoothly They are responsible for helping to develop a schedule and floor plan for the marathon that will allow it to run efficiently. During the marathon they make sure tables, projectors, trashcans, anything and everything, is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there. They should direct set-up and clean-up.
Promotions – Works to create awareness of dance marathon activities to help increasing school involvement They work to design posters, signs, videos, shirts, etc… that share information about the marathon. They are tasked with compiling a list that organizes contact info for all the committees so that any RDM member can contact anyone else they need to. They will also create videos to tell students about upcoming Dance Marathon events and work to design the marathon and committee apparel. The committee should ensure that plenty of pictures are taken at the marathon, and used afterwards. This committee is also in charge of managing the marathons online resources, Facebook, twitter, any websites, and the marathon’s online fundraising account.
Marketing Documentation of Experiences at High School Marathons: - Assign who takes pictures at each marathon o Who has a good, useable camera? o Set rotations at marathons for picture taking. - Saving the pictures all on one hard drive. o Important for organization of pictures for use in marketing. o Vital for easy use and access to pictures for making of videos. o Designation of committee member to organize pictures. Shooting of Video Commercials: - Locations o Creative places for filming of promotional videos are important. o Diversity in the setting of the shoots. - Potential Plotlines o Come up with several different plots and storylines. o Make sure videos are informative, entertaining, and attractive to high school students. - Survey Monkey o Create a Survey Monkey online to better determine who can and is willing to participate in the making of the videos and what days and times people can work on them. o Hereâ€™s the link to creating a Survey Monkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/ - Focus and Purpose of Videos o Focus on gaining the attention of all students in your school. o The purpose of the videos is to promote the marathon and give reasons why people should get involved. o Be sure to inform viewers of the incredible impact Riley Hospital has on the state of Indiana. Social Media - This can serve as an effective, widespread, and cost-effective way of spreading the word about the marathon and other events - Facebook and Twitter updates give people the opportunity to share any information and help attract interest T-Shirts - Many high schools will make shirts to sell and promote and wear during the marathon - Think of creative colors and designs specific to the theme or focus of your marathon - Local businesses may be able to assist on donating or establishing discount costs 5
Recruitment Recruitment is a vital part in getting dancers to the marathon. There are many strategies you can use to generate excitement and awareness of the main event. IUDM Visit - Committee members from IUDM can come and visit to talk to students about what it means to be a part of dance marathon. They can help share information specific to your high schoolâ€™s marathon as well as share their own experiences of being involved, whether in high school and/or IU. - If asked, they are always more than happy to show some of the line dance! Kids share Riley Story from school - Demonstrating the personal connections between your school and Riley Hospital helps students understand the cause better and what it means to be involved. - Many students are very happy to share their Riley stories, in relation to the Hospital or Dance Marathon, and all you have to do is ask for volunteers! - These stories can be shared during classes, announcements, or any other opportunities to talk in front of students. Line dance at lunch - If students from your school already know the line dance, showing it to friends, classmates, and other students demonstrates a more personal enthusiasm for others in the school to get more involved. Spirit Week - Many times leading up to marathons, schools will have a spirit week to raise awareness of the upcoming event. - Dress-up days serve as a fun way to grab the attention of people who have yet to be informed Co-sponsorship with Student Organizations - Showing support to student organizations provides Dance Marathon committees the opportunity to reach out to a large group of diverse groups - For example, a Dance Marathon night at a tennis match or cheering on your high school debate team with a group of Dance Marathon participants Active Participation in Freshman Orientation - Each new student presents an opportunity to continue the growth of Dance Marathon - Freshman orientation allows for a Dance Marathon committee to get freshmen excited early along with using each freshman as a jumping off point to reach the whole grade
Fundraising Fundraising is critical to the success of any dance marathon in support of Riley Hospital for Children. The mission of dance marathon is to raise money and awareness for the children at Riley Hospital. Since 1991, almost $12 million has been raised, by IUDM and our affiliate marathons, and we only continue to make milestones by the different ways we fundraise. Every second we stand outside a restaurant asking for donations, every letter we send out to a local business, and every time we tell someone about dance marathons, we are doing it for the kids. There are multiple ways in which your school can fundraise for Riley Hospital. Fundraising Letters - Go to www.iudm.org/fundraising/ - Click on a letter template suitable to send out. - These letter templates provide you with great examples of what to write in your letters in order to be successful with your own personal fundraising. - These letters are great to send out to family members and friends who would be willing to donate to such a great cause - Sending a letter to a local business is a great way to bring attention to and hopefully be successful in raising money for Riley Hospital - Make sure to personalize the letter with your own reasons for participating in Dance Marathon There are instructions on how to donate through “Donor Drive,” some schools also use FirstGiving. - These sites where you can create a personal fundraising page where people can electronically donate money to your cause. - This can be sent out through your Facebook or Twitter page as well as through email. - Anyone can donate through this website, so this is a perfect way to bring awareness to as many people as possible. - Tips for Making a Personal Fundraising Page In order to make your page most effective, here are a few suggestions to consider: o Tell your story. Not sure how to start? Include answers to these questions in your ‘personal message’ on your fundraising page: Why are you fundraising? Why is the Riley mission important to you? Set a fundraising goal. Donors want to see their friend succeed. In fact, some will donate again if they know their friend is close to reaching their goal. Give updates on the status of your fundraising goal. Raise your goal once you reach it. Then update your donors again. o Add a picture. Add an image that speaks to your donors (eg: a photo that represents the reason you are collecting donations). o Spread the word. Share your fundraising page with family, friends, colleagues or anyone in your community. Firstgiving provides e-mail templates you can use in your account.
Thank your donors. Firstgiving automatically e-mails a “thank you” message to your donors. When editing your fundraising page, take time to personalize the “thank you” message. Tell donors what it means to you or how their donation is helping Riley. Keep sharing. Send updates to your family and friends on your fundraising success or personal experiences at Riley. Sharing stories about challenges and achieving milestones makes donors feel like part of your fundraising efforts. Firstgiving provides an e-mail template you can use in your account. Link or add your page to your social media site(s).
There are many more ways one can fundraise: - Creating a percentage night at one of your local restaurants where a certain percent of everything that restaurant makes that day is donated to Riley Hospital - Canning, another term that means ‘asking for donations’ using the Riley buckets, with permission around popular locations in your town. - Promote your mission as much as possible to everyone everywhere you can in order to get the word out there about how important this is - Something as simple as setting your homepage on your computer to GoodSearch which is a website that donates .1$ every time someone uses the page as their search engine – make sure to specific your donation to IUDM.
Contacting Businesses Whether corporate sponsors or restaurants, any business you are looking to help with your marathon should be contacted with a formal letter. Businesses will often be given incentives or benefits in exchange for sponsoring the marathon such as advertising. When contacting businesses, it is always a good idea to research the business, and the previous history they have had with the marathon. If they have no prior history, make sure to research the company so that you know who the contact person is, as well as where they have given money in years past. Formal business letters are a great way to reach out, but can sometimes be inefficient, and not as effective as other methods. Another avenue to look into would be personal visits to the businesses that you are pursuing, as well as e-mailing multiple businesses at a time. Included, is the e-mail template that we use at IUDM, which can be very efficient when attempting to contact multiple businesses at the same time. Make sure you change important details to cater to your schoolâ€™s dance marathon.
Some Important Points to Cover in your Letter: -
Who we are o We need to let businesses know what part of Dance Marathon we are from to increase awareness of the importance of the schoolâ€™s marathon and what the job is as committee members.
What the cause is o It is important to explain to the people you are contacting where their money can go and the specifics of the department at Riley of which the money is going to. o Ryan White Infectious Disease Center at Indiana University Health Riley Hospital for Children.
Why we do this o Businesses need to know the core reasons as to why we are so passionate about the cause and why we work so hard to help kids fight off their illnesses. o Personal connections, experiences, etc.
Who we help o Potential donors should be aware of where their money is going and who they are helping with their donations. o Certain Riley stories with links to them can be useful.
IUDM E-mail template Hello [Insert Contact Name], My name is [Insert your Name] and I am a [Your class status (Freshman, etc.)] at IU, and a committee member for a student organization called IU Dance Marathon (IUDM). I'm emailing because I was referred to you by [Committee Member/Dancer Name] , and I wanted to send you some information about our organization to see if you would like to be involved. I'm not sure how much you know about IUDM, so I'll just give you the quick briefing on my organization. IUDM is a student organization that raises money year-round for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. IUDM has a total of over 800 college students from around campus, all of which have a part in planning for our main event, the 22nd Dance Marathon, being held on the weekend of October 26-28th, 2012. The Dance Marathon is a 36-hour event that revolves around many different activities. From bands, to acts, to floor games, to a line dance, over 1,600 students (called "Dancers") participate. Also at the Marathon are Riley families who share their stories about their experiences at Riley Hospital for Children. Moreover, there are hundreds if not thousands of visitors who come to the HPER to support IUDM committee members and Dancers throughout the weekend. Why to get involved: - The number of students attending the Marathon is in the thousands/it's a great opportunity to show off what [Company Name] has to offer. - Donations are tax-deductible. Say your company donates $1,000 in monetary or in-kind donations, this is tax deductible (we can give you a tax ID number if needed). - There are many other benefits of becoming a Corporate Sponsor. Please see the attached document. - The Ryan White Infectious Disease Center/Riley Hospital is a very worthy cause. Please check out this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReLrlwR5WH4) We would love for [Company Name] to be a part of Dance Marathon weekend by partnering with IUDM as a sponsor and sharing a monetary or in-kind donation. This is a great opportunity for your company to expose the name of [Company name] to all of our students, as there is not a bigger event on IU's campus than Dance Marathon. You can contact our Corporate Relations director, Joseph Moheban, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding sponsorship levels .Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon. For the Kids, [Your Name], Indiana University Dance Marathon
Riley Families Riley families play a crucial role in portraying the true meaning of what Dance Marathon as a whole is about. Several travel all across the state of Indiana to speak of their experiences and express gratitude to everyone who attends a high school marathon. It is important to integrate their incredible stories and lives into your marathon. Here is a current list of our Riley Families. Links to some of their stories can be found at http://iudm.org/riley-families/ or at http://www.rileykids.org Points to Cover When Contacting Riley Families: - Make sure they know the date and time of the marathon, and give them plenty of time to plan months ahead so they can work the marathon into their schedule. - It is important to have a plan set in place for how many families you want talking or attending the marathon. Organization is key because the setup and structure of your presentation of the families can really set the tone of the marathon. Give each family a listed timeline of the events taking place in the marathon. - Explain the role(s) that each family and kid will be playing in the marathon to them so they can prepare themselves to talk if need be. - Have more than one person as a contact for families. The more points of contact you have with each family before the marathon, the more comfortable they will feel attending the marathon. Tips for the Marathon: - Assign small groups of committee members to each Riley family. o This will ensure that each kid is well attended to and is able to receive the full fun-filled experience of the marathon. - Keep kids entertained and expose them to every activity station set up at the marathon. - Plan activities for both the dancers and the Riley families together.
Event Planning Easy Steps to Plan a Fundraiser - Put it in writing. This will help make the plan real and your goals more achievable. - Set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. - Diversify your revenue streams. You never want more than half your money coming from one source. If that source goes away, you've got HUGE problems! - Create a Summary Calendar to keep all your activities in one place. This will help you manage your work better and be proactive instead of reactive. - Put support in place to keep you on track. Get someone to hold you accountable and make sure you work your plan. Otherwise, you may be tempted to let the plan slide. A percentage night is a very popular fundraiser for small groups like school PTO/PTAs, scout groups, sports teams, and other groups with a good size member base but few volunteers. While the potential for large profits from this fundraiser aren't very likely it can provide a steady source of income for your group with very little effort. And this discretionary spending by members of your group won't affect the regular fundraising dollars they give. Make sure to rotate your restaurants for the best results. How to hold a percentage night! - Many restaurants offer nonprofit groups a popular way to fundraise with "Restaurant Night" fundraisers. - The restaurant gives your group a percentage of the sales on a designated night for all the customers that your organization brings to their business. - A restaurant night fundraiser requires virtually no planning and very little investment from your group. If the restaurant requires a flyer or coupon to be presented for your group to receive credit, they will often print those up themselves. Why does a restaurant participate and even encourage this type of fundraiser? - It makes the restaurant look good. Giving back to the community enhances their corporate image. - It fills the restaurant on a slow night. - It introduces people to the restaurant that might not visit otherwise. - What kinds of restaurants hold restaurants night fundraisers? Almost every kindâ€Ś - Be aware that although many chain and franchise restaurants are available for fundraising, the decision to do so is up to the individual restaurant operator. And terms of the fundraiser will vary from restaurant to restaurant, even within the same chain and city sometimes. Some may make you present a coupon, tell the waitress in advance, drop receipts in a box, or order only certain things on the menu to qualify. - Many locally owned restaurants are also eager to host your restaurant night fundraiser too. Don't forget to add them to your potential list of restaurants to call on. They often will offer you a better deal than the chains and franchisees.
Any restaurant that you, or a member of your nonprofit group, have a personal connection to via the owner, operator, manager, or worker also may offer you a better deal.
How to hold a successful restaurant night fundraiser - The secret to having a successful restaurant night fundraiser rests with you. You must advertise the event to your members and make sure they show up. Ensure a large turnout by asking your members to encourage family and friends to attend the restaurant night too. This also means you need to ensure the fundraiser is set up well in advance to give family and friends time to plan space in their schedules to attend. - Many restaurants will allow your members to work behind the counter during your restaurant night. This can be especially effective for schools when the familiar faces of teachers, staff, and administrators are encouraging your members to spend more by upgrading to a special meal or add a desert to their order. - Sometimes the restaurant will allow you to set up an area to inform the public of your cause and solicit donations via a donation box by the cash register. A popular method is to ask customers to donate the change they receive back from their meal purchase to your cause. There are many variables to consider when choosing a restaurant to host your fundraiser: - What percentage will our group receive? Local restaurants tend do donate higher percentages while chains and franchises trend toward the low side. Usually the range is between 10 and 25%. - What day or days are available? Some local restaurants will agree to a week long promotion, but usually it is limited to one day or night. - What hours are available? Obviously the more hours available the more potential for income. - Is it limited to just my group? Or will we receive a percentage from everyone who dines during our time period? - If take out or drive through is available will we receive income from these sales? - Can our members work behind the counter or as "celebrity servers"? - Can we set up an informational display and solicit funds during our restaurant night? After putting on your fundraiser, an important follow-up is to thank the restaurants that helped you. Although it is important to thank them when you attend, thank you letters serve as crucial forms of stewardship to show your appreciation and maintain good relationships with the donors for future events.
Activities and Entertainment It is important to make sure you have activities available for your dancers for the majority of the time at your marathon. Activities keep your dancers motivated! They keep the dancers engaged, from being bored, and from thinking or about how long they have been standing. It also can provide another opportunity for your dancers to interact with the families, Riley kids, and other dancers. Activities Appropriate for Dancers and Riley Kids - Learning the line dance will be fun and a time consuming activity, but think about having other activities like a Wii station, bounce house, or face painting stations available for when the dancers are not learning the line dance. These activities also are appropriate for the Riley kids to join in on so your dancers can have more time making personal connections to the families. Motivating Environment - Dance marathons are all about having fun and raising money for a great cause, but sometimes dancers forget that. Make sure you have a great playlist always on the speakers to keep up everyoneâ€™s energy. Do make sure that all the songs on the playlist are appropriate for the Riley kids to listen to! Posters or banners of specific Riley kids around the marathon area also remind dancers why they are there and who they are fundraising for. - An inspiration tent that includes Riley stories (from families at the marathon, your school, or Ryan White and Ashley Crouse) serve as an effective to show why the dancers are there and maintain the focus and atmosphere better than a poster, for example.\ - Some larger marathons may incorporate color teams (sometimes 3 to 4) to increase motivation between groups and incite competition to keep going throughout the marathon. These should only be used if there are enough people and can be facilitated effectively More Activity Ideas - Small prize give away each hour for the most enthusiastic dancers - Dancing or singing competitions between teams or individual dancers - A craft station where dancers can make tie blankets or cards for kids currently at Riley hospital - Coloring/painting stations with coloring book pages are another easy way to keep busy - Limbo or Tug-of-War during dinner/lunch - Food Eating Competitions - Large group games (eg: Red rover, Sharks & Minnows, Elves/Wizards/Giants, etc.) - Zumba or Group stretching
Other IUDM-Affiliated High School Marathons Bloomington North/South Cardinal Ritter Carmel Castle Cathedral Center Grove Culver Danville Griffith Hamilton South Eastern Jennings County Lawrence North New Palestine North Central South Deanery (Roncalli) Southport/ Perry Meridian