Dancer Fundraising Guide

Does reaching your dancer minimum of $120 seem impossible?

If you are in need of a little Fundraising 101 - look no further! Making miracles For The Kids is simple, and Terp Thon provides numerous opportunities throughout the year to help make meeting your dancer minimum a breeze. Check out some of our top fundraising methods and you can fundraise over $120 in no time!

Donor Drive is your online fundraising headquarters! Visit the site to make a donation, register for Terp Thon, or check out your personal fundraising page. Are you a fan of Venmo? Your donors can donate to you using Venmo by venmoing @TerpThon and writing "Donation for [name of participant]" as the message!

Don't forget to thank your donors! Use the Donor Stewardship Kit to make sure they know how much you and the kids at Children's National appreciate them.

General Tips and Tricks

Want to know how to make this year your best year of fundraising yet? Try out these tips and see your Donor Drive totals skyrocket:
  • Shorten your Donor Drive url link at ter.ps
  • Post your link on social media--make a Facebook post sharing your "why" and include your shortened url!
  • Use the bio sections of social media profiles to include your link to Donor Drive
  • Ask your parents' companies to support Terp Thon
  • Send personal emails/letters/calls to family and friends
  • Go canning!
  • Personalize your pitch
  • Share what donations help the hospital buy FTK!
  • Share Miracle Kid stories or personal stories about your experience with Terp Thon!
  • Anytime you get a donation, send a thank you email through Donor Drive or send a personal thank you!


The term "canning" is the word that Dance Marathoners use when we refer to canister solicitation. This is an incredibly valuable tool in your fundraising efforts when done properly. We will provide you with the canning materials, and an internal Terp Thon member will accompany you to assist as well.

Some canning tips and guidelines!

  1. Know your stuff. Know what Terp Thon is and what we do. The internal members canning with you will give you a small spiel before you begin, and we will provide small strips with a Terp Thon elevator pitch as well.
  2. Wear Terp Thon gear. If you have it, flaunt it! If not, ask a friend if you may borrow a shirt. Then again, you could always buy one through us, FTK as usual!
  3. Have fun! People want to donate to fun, outgoing, and passionate people. Going along with the last tip, we actually find that people who wear costumes tend to pull in the most money #ForTheKids.
  4. Be polite. Don't overwhelm people or bug them. If they don't want to donate, they'll either make it perfectly clear or you'll just get the feeling. Either way, know which direction to take the conversation. Reply with: "Thanks for listening, check out www.TerpThon.org and like us on Facebook. Have a good day!"
  5. Please remember you are representing Terp Thon, Children's National, Children's Miracle Network Hopsitals, and the University of Maryland while canning. We are a professional organization raising money for children, so keep it appropriate!

FUNdraising Tips and Tricks

There are countless way to fundraise on your own and with friends! Crush your goal on Donor Drive this year by trying some of these methods:
  • Post silly or embarrassing pictures on people’s Facebook walls for donations or temporarily change your profile picture to something silly!
  • Set up a coin jar in any high traffic area - your kitchen, cup holder in the family cars, even your apartment or residence hall
  • Do an embarrassing dare (like eat a really hot pepper) for small donations
  • Tag people in your organization's Facebook group or GroupMe and ask for small donations of $1-$5
  • Try a fancy dinner with friends - everyone can pitch in a few dollars towards your Donor Drive!
  • Chauffeur friends for donations
  • Ask for donations on your birthday and make a Facebook post about it!
  • Deliver snacks or meals to friends during finals FTK
  • Movie Night - charge friends or neighbors a few dollars to watch a new movie! Snacks included!
  • Participate in Psych studies on campus - there is no easier way to make fast cash to put towards Terp Thon!

Sample Donation Posts

Sample Text Post

Hey! This year I am standing on my feet for 12 hours with Terp Thon to support the patients and families at Children's National Health System! I have set a goal to raise [Your Fundraising Goal] to help Terp Thon reach their goal of raising $1.1 million. Please consider supporting me by donating at [Personal Fundraising Page]!

Sample Tweet

Please consider supporting Terp Thon's 1.1 Million Dollar Movement by donating today! Visit ter.ps/TerpThon17 #TerpThon #BelieveWeAreMore

Sample Facebook Post

This year, Terp Thon is setting a goal of 1.1 million dollars For The Kids at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C.! On March 4th, I will stand on my feet for 12 hours to support the patients and families at the hospital! Please help us reach this momentous goal by donating to me at [Personal Fundraising Page]!

Sample Email

Hello [Donor Name]!

On Saturday, March 3rd, I will stand on my feet for 12 hours at Terp Thon, University of Maryland’s Dance Marathon that benefits Children’s National Health System.

Terp Thon is a student organization that works year-round to raise funds and awareness for Children's National in Washington D.C. Our efforts culminate in our annual Dance Marathon, where we reveal our fundraising total for the year and celebrate with Miracle Families from the hospital. We have set a goal to raise 1.1 million dollars to make miracles possible for kids like Samerya.

Samerya was born with FSGS/Nephrotic Syndrome, which is disease of the kidneys. Despite her condition, she continually inspires us to live life to the fullest each and every day. She stole the show at our Dance Marathon last year with her dance moves and bubbly personality. When she grows up, she wants to be a nurse just like the ones who treated her at Children’s National!

I am participating in Terp Thon to help make a difference in the lives of others, and I am asking you to join me in supporting this cause. Terp Thon is only successful because of the incredible help of family and friends.

Donations to the hospital can provide patients with:
  • 10 toiletry kits for families whose children are unexpectedly admitted to the hospital ($50)
  • 7 Meal tickets for families who can’t afford to eat in the cafeteria while they’re staying in the hospital ($100)
  • A one-night stay in a nearby hotel for out-of-town families ($250)
  • 7 hypothermia blankets ($500)

You can donate to my personal fundraising page here: [enter fundraising page URL]

Any contribution will help, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.

Thank you in advance for supporting me, Terp Thon, and most importantly, the patients and families at Children’s National Health System!

For The Kids,
[Your Name]

Have questions, comments, or concerns about reaching your dancer minimum or want some advice to set up a fundraiser for your team? Contact Elizabeth McKinley, our Fundraising Chair, and she will be happy to help!