Monique B. Jones with NUDM 2017 Executive Co-Chairs Jenny Halpern and Ian Pappas at the ECF Grant Awards and Celebration on May 26, 2016.

partnering for Evanston's future: NUDM and ECF

Since 1998, Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) and ECF have been partners, working together to make Evanston a more just, vibrant, and inclusive community. For 19 years, ECF has been the secondary beneficiary of one of the nation’s most successful student philanthropies. 

NUDM has awarded ECF over $1 million over the years, making NUDM one of the Foundation’s top four donors. 

nudm 2017 underway

As NUDM kicked-off on Friday evening, March 3, ECF's President/CEO Monique B. Jones talked with NU reporters — “It’s a partnership of mutual support. We get to witness DM’s energy – which is hopeful for us. And they get to see our long-term work, which helps inform where they want to go in life.” Read the full-story.

designating ECF as NUDM's secondary beneficiary

In 2016, ECF received $102,228. These funds support ECF’s grants and programs, with the majority in the Responsive Grants pool, significantly increasing the Foundation’s ability to fund the best investments for Evanston’s future.

NUDM funds have also allowed ECF to respond creatively to the community’s challenges and new ideas by seeding our Community Catalyst grants beginning in 2013, which respond quickly and nimbly to emergency and new ideas and advance strategic initiatives throughout the year.

partnership is more than money

The NUDM and ECF partnership is about more than money. Each year, the NUDM Executive Co-Chairs, serve on ECF’s Responsive Grants committee, sharing their insights to help select the strongest proposals. NUDM 2016 co-chairs, Kevin Harris and Arielle Miller, served on the 2016 Responsive Grants committee. Throughout the year, NUDMers help out at the Foundation’s annual benefit and support ECF’s program work.

During the months leading up to the March DM weekend, executive board members and dancers volunteer for organizations funded by Responsive Grants — bringing needed support to organizations and providing NU students with opportunities to know Evanston better and get nonprofit experience.

The 2017 NUDM primary beneficiary, GiGi's Playhouse, is a nonprofit organization that provides free therapeutic programming and support to individuals with Down syndrome. NUDM is excited for the service opportunities presented by partnering with GiGi’s. Students will be able to continuously engage in service by becoming literacy and math tutors for individuals with Down syndrome and by participating in events like GiGi’s annual 5k and GiGiFest. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in ECF service events alongside individuals from GiGi’s. Read the complete NUDM announcement as it appeared on

Together, NUDM and ECF strengthen each other’s work — and strengthen the community. It’s exciting to dance into the future together!