Terp Thon gets closer to $1.1 million goal with Zero to Hero fundraising campaign

Terp Thon Planning Team members stationed in the lobby of Landmark to hand out free donuts and coffee to new dancers and to people participating in the fundraising campaign.

By Jamie Kerner

Terp Thon challenged its dancers to a day of fundraising and soliciting donations “For The Kids” as part of their Zero to Hero fundraising campaign on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

The Zero to Hero fundraising campaign is one of many push-days Terp Thon coordinates prior to its annual Dance Marathon in an effort to help reach their yearly fundraising goal. This year, the goal $1.1 million.

Instead of setting a monetary goal for Tuesday’s campaign, Terp Thon wanted to see how many of its registered dancers could collect donations. At the end of the day, 446 people received at least one donation and became “heroes.”

Throughout the day, members of Terp Thon’s planning committee were stationed in the lobby of the Landmark College Park apartment building giving out free donuts and coffee if they registered to be a dancer or engaged in fundraising.

Terp Thon members used more than food to incentivize donations. Terp Thon Morale Chair Amy Gill, a senior marketing and communications major, said she finds the mobile payment app Venmo a useful fundraising tool, which she used to her advantage during the campaign.

“Venmo requesting your friends, and then in the comment section saying what it’s for, what Terp Thon is and what their donation is impacting,” Gill said.

A matching campaign was launched around 5:30 p.m., doubling all online donations up to $100 until funds ran out.

Dancers were encouraged to use various forms of social media to reach out to their networks of family and friends in order to fundraise.

Alex Walh, a junior bioengineering major and Terp Thon Recruitment Chair, gave his friends incentives to donate throughout the campaign, a fundraising tactic he finds to be the most effective.

“Say you’ll post a bunch of funny pictures of yourself from when you were in middle school on social media if they donate to you, or offer to bake people cookies if they give you a donation,” Walh said.

The Zero to Hero campaign is the first fundraiser to follow their recent recruitment push, Save Up To Save Lives, where 619 dancers joined Dance Marathon.

Lexi Sugar, a freshman multiplatform journalism major who participated in fundraising during the Zero to Hero campaign, is one of the new dancers using social media to reach people.

“Personally, I am extremely active on social media,” Sugar said. “In terms of Terp Thon, I decided to use Instagram’s new font and ‘gif’ feature in order to creatively lure an audience to my Terp Thon fundraising page.”

Sugar also posted a lengthy status to Facebook in attempt to draw people to her fundraising page but did not find it as effective. At the end of the campaign, she successfully raised $225 in one day, surpassing her original goal of $100.


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