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Creative Ways to Fundraise for Dance Marathon

Dance Marathon is one of UCLA’s beloved annual traditions. Hundreds of students cram into Pauley Pavilion to dance for 26 hours to raise money for the Pediatric AIDS Coalition. Dancers must raise $260 in order to participate in the event, which can be a real struggle for some of us, especially if some of us waited until the last minute to start fundraising. After all, procrastination is truly a talent honed best by college students.

To any aspiring dancers out there who are still struggling to fundraise for DM 2015, here are some suggestions:

1. Utilize the art of self-humiliation

There is a reason that trashy reality television is so popular in today’s culture: We love watching people embarrass themselves. Why else would there be 15 million spinoffs of The Real Housewives? Many DMers volunteer to wear crazy embarrassing outfits, post mortifying #throwbackthursday pictures of themselves and even get a “swag” lip tattoo in order to reach their goals. Now that’s what I call dedication to the cause. If you’re not ready to go through any body-altering procedures just yet, I totally understand. Instead, offer an all-out embarrassing makeup session to donators, complete with a walk around Westwood to show of your fabulous new look.

2. Cater to the ‘turnt’ community

Bake sales are usually the go-to fundraising technique for events like this. They are universally appealing – who doesn’t love food? However, if there is one demographic that loves food more than the average person, it’s definitely drunk people. Setting up stations on the classic corner of Strathmore and Gayley for “drunchies” has proved profitable for many Dance Marathoners. If standing in the cold isn’t really your thing, the access control centers in the residence halls would be another prime location. Quick tip: the greasier the food, the better.

3. Flaunt your talents

All of us have a special skill or weird talent that could totally be used to raise some cash. For the artsy-creative types, a personalized song or poem can be the perfect unique gift. For the campus fashionista, wardrobe consultations can be a great way to encourage donations while making UCLA a better-dressed community. Those fluent in HTML could offer to spice up someone’s blog, while dancers could give lessons to the rhythmically challenged. If you really wanna go the extra mile, try advertising on Bruin Walk to spread the word about your new service.

4. Capitalize on laziness

As a self-proclaimed Postmates addict, I am doing no good to dissuade the stereotype that college students are lazy. Use your inside knowledge as real life college student to your advantage to determine what YOU would want to make your life easier. This is the kind of intel that advertisers and marketers spend tons of time and money to figure out. Hate walking to campus? Offer to pick your friends up and drive them to class as a mini-Uber service. Have no time to go grocery shopping? Pick up your friend’s groceries and deliver them right to their door in return for a donation. If someone started a laundry washing-and-folding service tomorrow, I would be first in line. Seriously.

As always, if you’re still struggling with coming up with the money, feel free to contact your Dancer Captains for help.

Good luck!

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