THON + Campus Causes Changing the way student groups raise funds For The Kids

THON at Penn State, the world’s largest student-run philanthropy, is expanding its relationship with Campus Causes for THON 2018 after a successful pilot program in 2017.  THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world with over $10,045,478 raised For The Kids in 2017. In their history, THON has raised more than $146 million for Four Diamonds at Penn State Children’s Hospital and their efforts to conquer childhood cancer. To support that effort this year, more than 90 new Campus Causes THON campaigns have already been created by Penn State students. “THON is excited to partner with Campus Causes again this year to continue to empower and provide innovative fundraising opportunities to the 400+ student organizations that fundraise on THON’s behalf,” THON 2018 Executive Director, Andrew Smith said. “Whether you are in State College or across the country, Campus Causes allows everyone to have an impact on the lives of children and families battling childhood cancer.”

After a successful pilot launch, Campus Causes, a division of Newbridge Marketing Group, is broadening its reach to campuses nationwide to help students raise money for their groups, clubs and teams by shopping online. Thanks to recent merchant signings, there are now more than 200 popular brands, including Nike, Apple, Target, Forever 21 and Buffalo Wild Wings, which give a percentage of every purchase made via a Campus Causes campaign to students’ designated causes.  New campaigns were started at more than 70 universities this summer with new launches accelerating during the back-to-school season.

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THON’s Crowning Achievement

From Brian Stickler’s perspective, the crowd was enormous. “Nerve-wracking,” as he put it.

In truth, most of Eisenhower Auditorium’s 2,500 seats were empty. Still, a crowd of several hundred cheering college students surely would be unnerving to a junior Marketing major unaccustomed to performing before an audience of any size.

Brian’s partner, however, was unfazed.

Najah Brown is a Lionette. Penn State’s dance team. They perform at sporting events of all sizes, from volleyball and wrestling to men’s and women’s basketball. And, of course, at Penn State football games.

“Performing at Beaver Stadium in front of 107,000 people helped me prepare for this,” said Brown, a junior Broadcast Journalism major.

This, in this case, was the Penn State Interfraternity Council/Panhellic Dance Marathon Pageant – a long name for an event with a single simple purpose: to crown Mr. and Mrs. THON 2017. Pairs of representatives from the 16 committees that plan, prepare and put on THON – Penn State’s annual fundraising dance marathon weekend to benefit Four Diamonds, which provides support for children battling pediatric cancer and their families – compete in front of judges, and a not insignificant crowd, for the honor of being named Mr. and Mrs. THON. It’s like being named Homecoming King and Queen, if that distinction were tied to an event that has raised more than $136 million since its inception in 1973.Read More »

All in a Day’s Work for THON

For many of the volunteers, working for THON is a year-round commitment. Holly Maitland-McKenna (pictured above) gave Penn State’s annual dance marathon fundraiser one day.

It was a full day. Twenty-four hours worth, from 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26th straight through to 8 p.m. on Friday the 27th. Virtually every second of it spent in the six-lane pool in the Aquatic Center on Penn State’s Harrisburg campus, swimming to raise money for THON 2017.Read More »

Cornell Wild Roses Ultimate

A Campus Causes Early Adopter [“The Biggest Fundraiser We’ve Ever Had”]

Classes, term papers and research projects. Job interviews, volunteering, internships and hanging out with friends. College life is incredibly demanding. If you’re in a student organization or on a sports team, it’s even busier. And if you’re in charge of raising money for that club or team, how do you find the time?

A growing number of student groups and club teams are turning to a platform called Campus Causes to make fundraising easy. Set up an online profile, encourage friends and family to shop through the website for stuff they need anyway and a percentage of sales goes right back to your group. (Here’s how it works.)

One of Campus Causes’ early adopters is a successful ultimate Frisbee squad at Cornell University, the Wild Roses, which got onto the site hoping to raise $500 to help cover team expenses. In a short time, the Roses blew through that goal and set a new one: $1,000.Read More »

The Nuts and Bolts of THON

Eileen Seitz really needed a couch.

Not to sit down, mind you, though she certainly deserved a break. Between the rigors of her student teaching rotation and the demands of her role as Supply Logistics Director for THON – Penn State University’s annual dance marathon fundraiser – she certainly could have used a few minutes of crash time. But with prep time for THON running out, there was no time to put her feet up.Read More »

Austin Sommerer and Tommy Radziminski of Penn State THON

Students Are the Driving Force Behind THON, Penn State’s Mammoth Annual Dance Marathon for Charity

Of all the many bowl games played after college football’s regular season (and there were 42 games this year), the 103-year-old Rose Bowl proudly proclaims itself The Granddaddy of Them All.

The 68-team college basketball tournament that brings March its Madness is known far and wide, even among people who couldn’t tell a Blue Devil from a Blue Demon, as the Big Dance.

But when you talk about actual big dances, there is one undisputed Granddaddy of Them All: THON, the annual 46-hour dance marathon that is as much a fixture on the Penn State University calendar as homecoming or graduation. It’s a tradition that dates back to 1977, and in its 40 years, THON has raised more than $136 million for Four Diamonds, an organization that supports the families of children being treated for cancer at the Penn State Children’s Hospital.Read More »