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DM at San Diego State University Receives National Campaign Activation Award

Dance Marathon at San Diego State University (DM at SDSU) was recently awarded the Campaign Activation Award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The Campaign Activation Award recognizes an outstanding campaign implemented by a dance marathon program that utilizes targeted efforts and provides unique content to increase awareness, participation, and engagement for a dance marathon program.

DM at SDSU faced a difficult challenge, they have successfully exceeded their fundraising goal for the past years. They wanted to combat the complacent fundraiser. They came up with a new goal of $321,000 to increase their total from the previous year by over $78,000, which would be a 32% increase.

To help reach their goal of $321,000 they activated a marketing campaign under the name “#countdowntoDM,” playing off of the countdown “3…2…1.”  The goal of their campaign was to recognize the excitement behind counting down to a big event, to create hype and relate the countdown back to the dancer. DM at SDSU launched their campaign with a video highlighting significant countdowns — an athlete preparing for an event, a nurse administering treatment, SDSU students having fun on campus, a kiddo playing at a park and a Dance Marathon fundraising total reveal. The video successfully created excitement for the Big Event and instilled an eagerness to fundraise on campus.

#CountdowntoDM

3, 2, 1, GO. SDSU, will you #CountdowntoDM with us?

Posted by Dance Marathon at SDSU on Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Throughout the year, every form of communication — triggered notifications, email blasts and social media posts — included #CountdowntoDM. Participants and board members continued to spread the momentum by using the tag themselves. They incorporated the campaign into marketing content, fundraising materials and smaller-scale fundraising pushes.

During DM at SDSU’s Miracle Week, participants were given fundraising templates that asked for donations of $3, $2, $1 or $32.10. This #CountdowntoDM campaign sparked many creative fundraising ideas in participants, helping DM at SDSU exceed their fundraising goal of $32,100 during the week.

3, 2, 1— Fundraising Day is here! Today we are fueling the rocket to $32,100! If every dancer raises just $20 we can reach this goal!

Posted by Dance Marathon at SDSU on Thursday, November 1, 2018

3, 2, 1– Happy New Year! Countdown to 2019 with a #CountdownToDM fundraising challenge! Share with your friends and family, collect donations in these amounts and you will raise $20 for the kids!

Posted by Dance Marathon at SDSU on Monday, December 31, 2018

The campaign also helped participants and donors conceptualize the concept of Dance Marathon, by counting down to different elements throughout the year and explaining what they were. Dance Marathon is relatively new on SDSU’s large campus, so this was an extremely important feat to accomplish. The #CountdowntoDM campaign also started conversations between returning participants and new participants, as new participants wanted to know why Dance Marathon was worth counting down to.

As a year-long campaign, “#countdowntoDM,” was a huge success for DM at SDSU. Increasing year-over-year fundraising total by 33%, the total number of participants up by 12%, and the average raised per participant by 18%. On their Instagram, they saw 105 public posts using #CountdowntoDM, showing growth of over 200% from the previously best-performing trackable hashtag. DM at SDSU also exceeded their fundraising goal of $321,000, becoming the highest performing Dance Marathon out of all the programs on the west coast.

Dance Marathon at San Diego State University receiving the Campaign Activation Award at the Dance Marathon Leadership Conference on July 20.


Miracle Network Dance Marathon is an international movement, involving over 400 colleges, universities and K-12 schools across North America that fundraise for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since its inception in 1991, Miracle Network Dance Marathon has raised more than $250 million–ensuring that no child or family fights pediatric illness or injury alone.

Learn more about Miracle Network Dance Marathon:

Facebook – Instagram – Website – Blog – YouTube