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The Ultimate Dance-a-Thon Guide

All About Dance-A-Thons

Beyond just being fun, dance-a-thons have a lot of benefits as a fundraising option. One great thing about dance-a-thons is that compared to other fundraisers, they’re low cost. All you’ll have to pay for is a venue, a DJ, food, and potentially prizes. 

There are many other benefits of hosting a dance-a-thon, including:

  • They’re flexible. They can be hosted virtually or in person!
  • They allow many people to participate. Dance-a-thons are typically day-long events, ranging from 12 to 24 hours, with some even spanning two whole days, but don’t worry! Many dancers choose to dance in sessions instead of straight through.
  • They bring people together. Who wants to dance alone?
  • They provide a chance to fundraise in smaller ways. You can sell t-shirts or host a raffle to get the most out of your event!
  • They get people excited about fundraising. When participants enjoy the event, it makes fundraising that much sweeter.

Walk-a-thons are a great choice for almost any organization because they’re easy to plan and host, have a low cost, bring communities together, and more!

The Dance-a-Thon Fundraiser Essentials

While dance-a-thons are low-cost, there are still a few things you’ll need to secure to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here’s a look at the essentials:

  • A venue. One of the most important elements of a dance-a-thon is having a space to dance! To save money, most organizations try to host their event in a space they already own. Luckily, if you’re a school, you likely have the perfect place for a dance-a-thon: a gymnasium. For other organizations, you might have to get creative!
  • Dance-a-thon peer-to-peer software. Since your main source of donations will be coming from your participants’ sponsors, you’ll want to make sure dancers have a dedicated place to accept those donations. Peer-to-peer software works perfectly for dance-a-thons and will allow your participants to set up a page where their sponsors can easily submit their donations.
  • A DJ. Who can dance without music? You’ll definitely need someone playing music throughout the whole event. If you can solicit a student or volunteer, that might be the best way to get a free or low-cost DJ for your dance-a-thon.
  • Food and drinks. With all that dancing, people are bound to get hungry, so you’ll want to be prepared. Try reaching out to local vendors to see if they’d be kind enough to donate some food or drinks for your event.

Additional considerations may include custom t-shirts for the event or some sort of prize for whoever dances the longest.

7 Steps For the Best Dance-a-Thon

Stick to these seven steps for the most successful dance-a-thon!

1. Choose a dance-a-thon software provider.

To stay organized, you’ll want to find a peer-to-peer fundraising software provider that allows dancers to create easy-to-use pages to gather sponsors’ support. Look for a provider with secure payment processing and customizable page features.

2. Secure a venue.

For an in-person dance-a-thon, you’ll need a space to dance. Renting a space can be costly, so try to use a space that your organization already has access to like a school gymnasium or social hall.

If you’re hosting your dance-a-thon online, all you have to do is set up a video conference link so that everyone can dance together from wherever they are!

3. Figure out the logistics.

How long will the event be? Where will people park? What kind of food will there be? Who will DJ?

This is the time to get all of the day-of details worked out so that everything is organized and ready to go on the day of the dance-a-thon.

4. Recruit participants.

If a dance-a-thon needs anything, it’s dancers! Recruiting dancers is super easy if you’re a school since students will be your primary participants. For other organizations, you’ll want to do major outreach, including social media, emails, and flyers. 

Make sure you’re telling potential participants the cause you’re raising money for, how they can participate, how to sign up, and any other important information they’ll need for the dance-a-thon.

5. Assist your participants in finding donors.

This is where the fundraising comes in! You’ll first want to make sure participants have set up a peer-to-peer fundraising page and know how to use it. Then, you’ll want to encourage them to start finding donors.

Donors can be anyone—friends, family, neighbors, teachers, professors, and more. Just make sure your participants have all the information and materials they need to reach out to potential donors, including premade social media posts and reminder text templates.

6. Dance all day!

The big day is here! Be proud of all the hard work you put into this event and enjoy! 

You’ll want to make sure there are plenty of volunteers at your event so that everything runs smoothly. Here is where you can add any extra fun elements to your dance-a-thon like t-shirts, a raffle, a contest, a theme, or a photo booth.

7. Thank your dancers and sponsors.

It’s important to thank the people that made it all happen: the dancers and sponsors. Without them, there would have been no dance-a-thon, so you want to make sure they know how much you appreciate their support.

Get creative here! Yes, emails, social media posts, and thank you notes work fine, but a special dance thank you video would be even more fun and on-theme.

More Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Resources

Still confused about what peer-to-peer fundraising is and how it relates to your dance-a-thon fundraiser? Take a look at these handy resources: