Fundraising & Fancy Footwork
When Sammy Zweben organized DANCE 4a CAUSE’s first fundraiser 12 years ago, she had no idea how much it would grow. What started as a modest event in a dance studio involving choreography and canned food has since grown to a big deal in New Jersey—DANCE 4a CAUSE has gone on to raise almost $150,000 for charity!
Sammy initially started putting on fundraisers after seeing her cousins’ work with non-profit organizations. Driven by the desire to make a difference in the world (“even a small one”), Sammy decided to reach out to the dance classes she taught and organized an event to bring people together and raise money for a good cause. “I wanted my students to create their own dances, put together a costume, cut music on their own even if it frustrated them, and ask people—preferably other than their parents—for a donation in a creative way so we could put on a show to raise money,” says Sammy. “We had a few raffle baskets, and a couple donated food items and I put on the first ever DANCE 4a CAUSE in a dance studio. We invited people to come and donate money, enjoy the self-choreography and raise money for a good cause.”
Since that first charity performance, DANCE 4a CAUSE has found its footing beyond the dance studio. Working with multiple charities and causes over the years such as Susan G. Komen©, The Andréa Rizzo Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish© Foundation, DANCE 4a CAUSE’s impact has been felt across the country. Describing this evolution, Sammy says DANCE 4a CAUSE “changed from a very small event to a larger event that took place at the Make-A-Wish© castle in New Jersey. It went from raising only $1,500 in the first year to over $23,000 in an event.”
Having made the leap outside the dance studio and organizing fundraisers beyond the local community, it was time for DANCE 4a CAUSE to try the internet. With 12 years of growth and success, it made sense to create a fundraiser that would carry on with their cause while also celebrating their impact. “My friend works for Custom Ink and let me know how wonderful your company is and how they have this wonderful community outreach program. She suggested hosting an online fundraiser. I am so happy I did,” says Sammy.
While Sammy already had a logo in mind for the DANCE 4a CAUSE custom shirts, Custom Ink Fundraising was able to take care of everything else. From setting up the actual fundraiser with its own website to handling the printing and shipping of all the shirts ordered and collecting the donations, Custom Ink had it covered. “My experience with Custom Ink was easy, supportive and successful,” says Sammy. “I would use Custom Ink again and again.” In addition to being able to donate additional money, Custom Ink Fundraiser pages allow supporters to leave comments. Reading these meaningful messages is inspiring for the cause, and serves as great motivation. Supporters can also choose to leave a donation without receiving any sort of apparel, directly aiding the charity.
your own t-shirt fundraiser
Pick a great cause and a name.
Choose a bold color combination.
Create your design.
Set up the fundraiser.
Tell everyone you know.
With a wide array of products available, DANCE 4a CAUSE could offer donors options beyond the usual custom shirts—options like the Agusta Women’s All Sport Performance Sports Bra. Even though DANCE 4a CAUSE raises money outside of the dance community now, it still plays a large role in all its achievements. Organizing a fundraiser with the ability to print on items that appeal to a wide audience is important when spreading awareness for one’s cause. Being able to find this audience helped DANCE 4a CAUSE raise $2,000 for Make-A-Wish!
The custom DANCE 4a CAUSE apparel from the fundraiser was a hit. “Everyone loved the custom gear! Only good things were said!” says Sammy. In addition to the donors being able to showcase their support through the custom apparel, it helps towards the future fundraisers. “It’s so nice for my supporters to have DANCE 4a CAUSE apparel when coming to all of the different charity events that we hold through the year. I believe it helps identify the volunteers and allows others to ask for assistance when needed,” Sammy explains.
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Monday morning mood = grateful 💙🍀💙 Our online fundraiser was a huge success thanks to our supporters and @customink ❤️ Thanks to everyone who ordered apparel and sent in donations! @makeawishnj is very grateful. Here are friends Reagan, Lily, Ava and Caitlin enjoying their new shirts👚👚👚👚. PLEASE SEND US PIX OF YOU IN YOUR NEW GEAR! 📸 @sammyzweben @allaboutgab @dance4acause08 #charity #adozenyearsofgivingback @arkornick @sarah.ham.anderson @ava.wahler @tbatt24glossy_girlz @caitlin_dancer15 @baileygump17 👕👕👕👕
The visibility that custom apparel brings allows the community to easily represent the DANCE 4a CAUSE mission. The eye-catching design sparks conversation and generates interest. As Sammy says, “It’s also a nice reminder of supporting such a great cause. I absolutely believe that people see the items and want to know more.”
You can find more information about DANCE 4a CAUSE at their Instagram and Facebook accounts.