IMC's Cause Marketing Initiative partners with Dress for Success

A team of Integrated Marketing Communications students will participate in the Dress For Success Power Walk. Through Medill's Cause Marketing Initiative, a group of students have been working to promote the non-profit, primarily through social media. 

Dress for Success (DFS) provides women with clothing to wear to job interviews. They also provide encouragement in the job search process and clothing to wear as women begin their job. 

The Power Walk is a 5K walk to raise money to purchase dress clothing for women to wear to job interviews. It is also an opportunity for DFS to inform more people about their purpose. The walk starts at 9:30 a.m. on May 11 in Chicago’s Diversey Harbor with other activities before and after. 

“What they need is donations,” Sophia Park (IMC13), a student volunteer for DFS, said. “They have very limited resources and staffs.” 

All donations received are used to help the women get the attire needed. In addition to the walk, there is a health fair, healthy eating workshop, Zumba class and yoga. The overall goal for the walk is $30,000 and the IMC team’s goal is $250. 

Medill's Cause Marketing Initiative, or CMI, is a cooperation between non-profit companies and IMC graduate students in which the students donate the skills they are learning in IMC to develop marketing and social media strategies for the non-profits. The program began five years ago. Around 35 students participate, working with seven non-profits, according, to CMI’s assistant public relations director Leigh Lovett (IMC13). 

This is the first time DFS is working with CMI.

The students working with DFS have been involved in promoting the walk and writing newsletters for the organization. They have been creating social media and marketing campaigns to raise awareness and support.

“I thought what they did was really a clever way to help women,” Park said. 

Hosting the Power Walk also creates networking opportunities between organizers and people. An additional goal is to build relationships between the women DFS helps and the volunteers. 

Amanda Flott, director of operations for the DFS central region, anticipates 150 walkers for the Chicago walk with 200 to 250 women attending the event. The American Health Association and American Diabetes Association will be on hand to provide services during the health fair promotion. 

“We’re asking them to assist with outreach and general promotion of this event in the Evanston area,” Flott said. 

Those interested in helping with the Power Walk can register onsite or online at and can make a donation through the website. For more information about CMI, visit