HighlanderThon is a 12-hour Miracle Network Dance Marathon at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a movement activating over 350 university and high schools across North America. Students involved in planning for the dance marathon event spend a year gaining leadership, teamwork, and nonprofit business experience while raising funds for their local children's hospitals as part of the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
In 2014, I helped start HighlanderThon at my school (NJIT) as the Public Relations Chairman, in charge of creating and establishing our identity on campus. In our first year, we raised $16,420.01 for the children and families treated at Children's Specialized Hospital - breaking the record for the most money raised by any first year dance marathon program in the state of New Jersey. The following year I took the position of Finance Director, when we made a 28% increase - raising $20,591.02 for the kids.
To help us define the core values of the organization, we began by starting with the "why" and utilizing Simon Sinek's golden circle. Following this methodology, we were able to come up with the mission statement, the purpose statement, the vision statement, and the values of the organization.
Our strategies were grounded in a deep understanding of our users to help us effectively deliver a great experience. This was done by making them a central focus during every step of the process. Our insights were based on what our users need, how they think, and why they behave the way they do. We identified that our users and classified them into four major groups: participants, volunteers, donors, and sponsors.
Student dancers looking to party with a purpose for the kids!
Students who enjoy helping out and doing community service.
Friends and families of participants who wish to donate to the cause.
Large and local businesses seeking to affiliate with the cause.
I utilized my committee to create collaborative moodboard. A moodboard is a compilation of various types of media which adhere to certain emotions, which we felt were relevant to our events. We shared pictures, music, videos, websites, articles, anything that helped demonstrate what our users would experience, mostly focusing on our partipants and volunteers.
The moodboard allowed us to not only align our vision, but to also visualize and get a feel for it. It hinted a highly energetic, vibrant experience that would spark something within our community. From which, we came up with our slogan, "Ignite the Hype." It also contributed in helping us pick out our colors and typography to get us started on building our visual identity for HighlanderThon.
Building a visual identity plays a critical role in how our internal and external stakeholders perceive our brand and our organization. We took the ideas we observed and examined from the moodboard to incorporate an identity that is persistent with our values and vision.
HighlanderThon Event Badge and Logo
Visual Communication Style Guide
Maintaining consistency with the style guide everywhere we go and with everything we do!
Executive Team Polos
Providing structure to the website using wireframes and prototypes.