Skip to main content

Dance Marathon 2016 by the numbers

Students on stage at Dance Marathon.

Northwestern students made good on their promise to help fight childhood hunger in 2016. Funds raised through Dance Marathon topped $1.2 million in support of Blessings in a Backpack and the Evanston Community Foundation (ECF).

One of the largest student-run philanthropies in the world, Dance Marathon broke the $1 million mark in fundraising for the sixth consecutive year.

At the conclusion of this year’s event, executive co-chair Kevin Harris addressed the crowd of dancers, organizers and beneficiaries. “By being here in this tent, you are showing families in need that Northwestern will not be complacent. We will stand up for them.”

Dance Marathon 2016 by the numbers:

  • 30: hours danced by more than 1,000 Northwestern students.
  • $1,201,216: this year’s grand fundraising total, which surpassed last year’s $1,130,979.
  • 8,000: unique donors that helped set a record for the most donations per dancer ever. 
  • $920,057: amount of the check presented to Blessings in a Backpack, the second-largest donation to a primary beneficiary ever.
  • $102,228: amount of the check presented to the Evanston Community Foundation, Dance Marathon’s secondary beneficiary for the 19th consecutive year.
  • 830: hours students spent volunteering in Evanston.
  • 12,548: backpacks of food provided to Evanston elementary school students.
  • 349,830: meals provided by this year’s Dance Marathon donation.
  • 9,200: children helped by this year’s Dance Marathon donation.


Blessings in a Backpack

Every Friday, more than 3,700 Blessings in a Backpack volunteers distribute bags of nutritious and non-perishable weekend food to children. During the week, these kids rely on the federally-assisted National School Lunch program for free and reduced price meals in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions.

“When you consider that just $100 feeds a child for an entire school year (of weekends), you realize Dance Marathon has the power to directly impact the overall health and academic performance of thousands of kids,” Arielle Miller, executive co-chair of Dance Marathon, said.

“This is going to make a magnificent difference in the lives of children across this country, and we will never forget it,” Blessings in a Backpack CEO Brooke Wiseman said. “You’re hooked to us for life.”

Evanston Community Foundation

The Evanston Community Foundation has been Dance Marathon’s secondary beneficiary since 1998.

Dance Marathon officially surpassed more than $1 million donated to ECF over that 19-year partnership this year.

“The foundation is focused on helping Evanston thrive now and forever as a vibrant, inclusive and just community,” said Monique Brunson Jones, ECF’s new President and CEO.

“Each year the foundation receives grant requests from organizations working across a broad spectrum of program areas like basic human needs, community development, early childhood education, environment, health, housing, seniors, workforce development and family support and counseling,” Jones said.

Now in its 42nd year, Northwestern Dance Marathon has raised more than $18 million for more than 30 different charities.

Editor's Picks

Back to top