The dance routines, posters and brightly colored tutus of recruitment for the UNC Dance Marathon aren't gone yet — this year, Carolina for the Kids is adding a second round of publicity for its annual event and taking it digital.
The fundraising initiative, which takes place in March, has become a UNC tradition that involves campus dance teams and a cappella groups, while also raising money for the UNC Children’s Hospital.
This year, CFTK is taking its UNC Dance Marathon Recruitment to social media. In addition to its week in the Pit in early November, the group will be recruiting dancers online the week of Feb. 17 to 21. The UNC Dance Marathon will be next month on March 20 and 21.
Carolina For the Kids helps the patients and families of patients in the UNC Children’s Hospital through initiatives including its For the Kids Fund, Parents’ Night Out, support for The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill and other projects throughout the UNC Children’s Hospital.
Kalina MacKay, public relations chairperson for CFTK, said she believes the week of digital recruitment will help boost the number of dancers committed to attending the event.
“One of the biggest things we run into in November is people saying ‘I don’t know what I’m doing in March so I can’t plan that far in advance,'" Mackay said, "And then by the time March rolls around there’s always a group of people who wished they had signed up. So I wanted to do a second round of recruitment.”
Emily Arnold, CFTK’s events coordinator, said she believes the week of digital recruitment will help reach a wider audience.
“I know for me personally, I’m a business major so I rarely, if ever, come to North Campus," Arnold said. "So for me, sharing my story on social media, a lot of my business school friends will be seeing posts about the Dance Marathon for possibly the first time ever.”
Throughout the week, CFTK members will be sharing their reasons for joining CFTK and participating in the Dance Marathon to encourage their friends and followers to sign up, as well.
Nicole Wesche, a CFTK public relations committee member, said she thinks digital recruitment could encourage people to use the Dance Marathon as a bonding experience.
“I think someone is a lot more likely to sign up for the marathon when someone they know and like is asking them to do it," Wesche said. "Because then they can see it and go together and make that a shared experience.”
The group had a similar initiative in 2019 when CFTK members chose a day in January to fill their social media accounts with promotional material for the Dance Marathon. Because the group saw a small increase in registration for the event from that single day, Arnold said, the executive board decided to extend the day to an entire week.
Dancer fundraising accounts for a large portion of the group's total funds, Arnold said.
“When you have more dancers, that’s more money raised and more money raised is more families you can help in the hospitals," Arnold said. "That’s more meals you can serve in the hospital. That’s more grants you can fund. That’s more research that’s getting done.”
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.