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LoboTHON at UNM Named National Most Improved Dance Marathon

LoboTHON at the University of New Mexico was recently awarded the Most Improved Dance Marathon Award at the Miracle Network Dance Marathon Leadership Conference in July. The award recognizes an organization that has taken significant steps to increase funds raised for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and overall participation and/or improve the execution of event or year-round programming.

LoboTHON receives the Most Improved Dance Marathon Award at DMLC 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

LoboTHON sought to reach new heights as a dance marathon by focusing on five main areas: campaign activation, participant recruitment, participant fundraising, alumni relations, and partnerships with departments at their university.

Campaign Activation:

With the creation of their annual campaign, LoboTHON inspired their campus to engage through cause connection and local significance, which is especially relevant as their hospital is located on their own campus. They aimed to “Redefine Possibilities on the Route to $66,000.” This number was inspired not only by the 66,000 children are treated at UNM Children’s Hospital annually, but also by the fact that their campus lies on the historic Route 66.


In the past four years, LoboTHON has striven to fight for more tomorrows for the kids of today. This year, we will continue the fight for the 66,000 children treated annually at UNM Children's Hospital. Together, we will #RedefinePossibilities as individuals, as an organization, and as a community on our Route to $66,000.

Posted by LoboTHON on Monday, November 6, 2017

Participant Recruitment:

LoboTHON experienced a 47.5% increase in participant recruitment. In 2017, 541 participants were registered compared to 798 participants in 2018. Throughout the year, their organization worked to recruit students for their committee and maintained a presence at events on campus to better connect with potential student participants. LoboTHON expanded its reach by holding events such as an FTKarnival in front of one of their dining halls to appeal to on-campus residents. They successfully registered students at various University of New Mexico functions including New Student Orientation’s Discover Fair, where they registered approximately 100 incoming freshmen through a free registration promotion, UNM’s Welcome Back, and Friday Night Live.

Participant Fundraising:

LoboTHON realized a critical component of reaching their goal of $66,000 was engaging their student participants in fundraising. Knowing they were recruiting more dancers than LoboTHON had ever seen, they added an additional Dancer Fundraising Director position on their executive board to help communicate with participants and teach them how to fundraise.

They also developed a Miracle Milestones fundraising incentives program. On their Donor Drive fundraising page, they created custom badges that dancers could earn after achieving certain personal fundraising marks.

Instead of requiring a higher fundraising minimum to enter the Dance Marathon event, participants needed to have at least $10 raised to receive lunch and dinner at the event. All of this helped LoboTHON’s participants fundraise an average of $92.67, up from the previous year’s average of $70.69. They also had 61% of their registered participants fundraising, up from 51% in 2017.

Alumni Association:

The LoboTHON executive board believed they were ready to facilitate the creation of a LoboTHON Alumni Association. They envisioned a group that would operate independently to recruit former members of LoboTHON and hold events that inspired alumni to engage and support the undergraduate organization. In its first year, LoboTHON’s Alumni Association was able to create their own executive board made up of three alumni. They held a brewery dine-to-donate and created a mentorship program to help undergraduates.

LoboTHON is proud to announce our Alumni Association! Check out the video below to learn how LoboTHON involvement extends beyond undergrad AND check out their first event this Sunday at The 377 Brewery (4 PM – 8 PM), where $1 from every beer will be donated to LoboTHON!

Posted by LoboTHON on Thursday, November 2, 2017

University Partnerships:

LoboTHON wanted to revamp the feel of their fifth annual Dance Marathon event. In previous years, the event was held in an older, outdated gymnasium that didn’t have the professional feel their organization was looking for. They worked hard to find a new venue, forging campus partnerships, and secured a space in the Student Union Building which resulted in a very professional and meaningful experience. These partnerships also resulted in additional campus buy-in, including a specific fundraising challenge from the university’s interim President, Chaouki Abdallah, and a speaking role at the event from our brand new University President, Garnett Stokes.

The University of Mexico Men’s Basketball Director of Basketball Operations and the LoboTHON committee partnered together to develop and execute the first UNM Men’s Basketball pre-season scrimmage, the Cherry/Silver Scrimmage, an event that had not occurred on campus for several decades. The purpose of the event was to build anticipation and excitement for the upcoming basketball season while raising awareness for LoboTHON. They even had the basketball team’s head coach pledge to donate $1 per student attendee. In addition, LoboTHON was able to introduce several of their local miracle kids to the audience in an on-court announcement.

We're going, are you? Lobo Men's Basketball Cherry Silver Game?️ Thurs. Oct. 5 ⏱️ 4 P.M.? Johnson Gym

Posted by LoboTHON on Tuesday, October 3, 2017

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:

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