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Dance Marathon adjusts recruitment strategy to pursue higher goal

Students party at Dance Marathon 2010. (Stanford Daily File Photo)

Organizers of Dance Marathon, the 24-hour dance party that raises money and awareness to fight HIV and AIDS, have tweaked their recruitment strategy this year in an effort to donate $100,000 toward combating the pandemic.

The group last year raised about $87,000, which was donated to the Boston-based Partners in Health and the San Francisco-based Bay Area Young Positives. Ninety percent of that amount was matched by the Palo Alto-based organization FACE AIDS, which was founded by Stanford students in 2005.

This year, organizers are focusing more intently on fundraising and on recruiting dancers who will stay on their feet for the full 24-hour party.

“We are more about getting engaged dancers that are really dedicated,” said Louis Lu ‘12, Dance Marathon’s public relations executive. Lu said recruiting dancers who will remain standing for the full 24 hours is important because last year, a significant number of dancers either never showed or left early.

“Last year it was about getting as many people involved as we could,” Lu said, “but this year, our goal is to get all the dancers to stay for the entire 24 hours.”

Organizers are also focusing on freshman registration this year, citing the time constraints of upperclassmen. As part of this push, organizers have visited freshman dorm meetings dressed in rally gear, hoping to get freshmen excited about the event.

And for some freshmen, it’s worked.

“I’ve heard from people who had done it before that it’s a great event,” said Michael Lipman ’14, who registered for the event. “It seems like a fun way to support a really good organization.”

Said Kevin Hurlbutt ’14, another freshman who registered: “It seems like a really fun way to do some community service. And all of my friends are going to do it with me, so it’s going to be entertaining for everybody.”

More than 500 dancers have registered for this year’s marathon, which is set to take place in Arrillaga Alumni Center on Feb. 12 and 13, 2011. During registration, dancers pledged to stay for 24 hours, remain on their feet and raise $192 toward the overall donation.

The registration deadline for dancers was Oct. 29, but students can still sign up to be “moralers,” who raise $60 and work three-hour shifts to motivate the marathon dancers. The deadline to sign up to be a moraler is Nov. 14.

Dance Marathon organizers also put together Hackathon, which encourages students who have computer skills to participate in a 24-hour coding session. Instead of raising $192, hackers donate their tech-related services to nonprofit organizations. The deadline for Hackathon was also Oct. 29, but Hackathon Director Sam King ’12 said organizers might allow a late registration process to fill empty slots on projects.

About Brendan O'Byrne

Brendan is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily. Previously he was the executive editor, the deputy editor, a news desk editor and a writer for the news section. He's a history major originally from New Orleans.
  • Dave

    So let’s see if I understand this. The problem last year was that there were a lot of people who donated the full amount but left early or didn’t show at all. The plan is to increase donations by discouraging people who would happily pay, but would potentially leave early or not show. How exactly is that plan supposed to increase donations?