What are Readathon Fundraisers?
A readathon fundraiser is a peer-to-peer fundraising event where participants (generally students) commit to reading as a means of raising money for a school, library or Parent Teacher Organization/Parent Teacher Association (PTO). Readathons are great school fundraisers, as they promote literacy and a love of reading in children. They offer an academic challenge or competition which kids will enjoy. It’s also easy to get parents excited about a readathon, as it’s a healthy fundraiser with no product sales requirements. With readathons, kids aren’t spending time fundraising instead of studying or learning, instead, learning is key to this type of fundraising event.
Organizing the details of a reading fundraiser from beginning to end is easy when powered by DoJiggy’s software for crowdfunding events. Readathons are a great choice for school fundraising events in which parents and PTO groups, school administrators or even children can take the lead in setting up the campaign. And with our state-of-the-art software, your school or PTO will have a fully responsive fundraising website which works well on all devices, to take your fundraising campaign to the next level.
Utilizing Software for Your Readathon Fundraiser
Our fundraising software makes planning and managing reading fundraisers simple and effective. Our software is designed for fundraising readathons and reading challenges in which students and classrooms collect donations for their school, PTO, or other school group. You’ll be able to easily configure your fundraising website creatively to meet your school’s specific needs, and your participants will learn and have fun when they personalize their web pages. Plus, DoJiggy is the only leading provider of readathon software that does not take a percentage of your fundraising dollars. We charge a fair software price and allow you to keep as much of your profits as possible.
Features of our powerful readathon software include:
- Readers have their own fundraising page which is easily shared via email and social media
- Classrooms or grade levels have fundraising pages which include all participants’ combined fundraising progress
- Fundraising thermometers, Leaderboards and top fundraisers are tracked and displayed on your website (if desired) to promote competition between your participants and help you raise more
- Privacy features are enabled, so that last names do not show on your walk website and student pages are not indexed in Google
- Off-line donations and checks are easily tracked and entered from a pledge form to the software, at no additional cost
- Administrators can import students or enable the easy registration for schools page
- We support per unit of effort pledges based on the amount of time, pages or books participants read
Basic Logistics for a Readathon Fundraiser
Reading-based fundraisers vary from school to school, and customizing the fundraiser for your school and community is important. With a readathon, there are a few options for the basic logistics. Your school should consider these things at the outset:
- Will we provide reading time during school or will kids be asked to read as many books as possible during the specified reading period? It’s best to provide reading time at school so that everyone participates. 20-30 minutes per day is perfect for most age groups.
- What is the length of the readathon or Reading Challenge? Generally limiting the length of the readathon from 1-2 weeks is best. Your goal is to keep motivation high and spreading the event out for too long can be discouraging. Still, why limit the reading to just one day? Give kids the time to get excited and promote the fundraiser.
- Will students be assigned specific books to read or will they select their own books? Kids generally get to select their own books and read what they want during a readathon. However, magazines, comic books or picture books are generally discouraged during the readathon fundraiser.
Steps to Organize a Readathon Fundraiser
Here are the basic steps to getting your readathon started on the road to success:
- Organize a readathon planning committee. You’ll need a strong leadership team to make the event successful.
- Event administrators choose a time period for the reading to occur. Some schools have reading periods within the school day, while others encourage students to read as many books as possible during the designated time period.
- Decide if your school will count chapters, pages, or reading periods (hours or sessions) with your readathon.
- Decide on your process for recording reading progress. Will students need a reading log or how will you track reading progress?
- Create your readathon fundraising website with DoJiggy.
- Import students and classrooms or ask them to register online with our Easy School registration page to create their personal fundraising pages.
- Students send links to their fundraising pages via email and social media (Twitter, Facebook and more) and get supporters who donate or pledge (per page or book) in support of their reading efforts.
- Participation and fundraising progress are tracked throughout the event with our software.
- Leaderboards and fundraising thermometers are posted with top fundraisers and classrooms to motivate students.
- Administrators wrap up the event by calculating pledges and off-line donations.
- Top fundraisers and classrooms are awarded prizes.
Speaking of Prizes…
Kids love prizes of all kinds and will work hard to earn even very small prizes. We recommend that Readathon prizes are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participant and not leave anyone behind:
- Participation – Students receive a small prize (ie pencil, sticker or choice from a treasure box of small items) for registering as a reader on your crowdfunding website.
- $100 or Other Attainable Level – Students receive a free t-shirt, hat or other memorabilia or school spirit award when they reach this level of fundraising. Some schools also include a raffle option here; anyone reaching the goal is entered into a raffle for prizes.
- Top Student Fundraisers – The top three school fundraisers receive large prizes, like $50 and $100 gift cards.
- Classroom with 100% Participation – When everyone in the classroom has registered or collected at least one donation, students receive extra recess or dress down day. These are free prizes that do not cost your school any money, but are very popular with kids.
- Top Fundraising Classrooms – For the top one or two fundraising classrooms, students receive a pizza party or similar luncheon event.
Read more about our how software will help your school or organization encourage your peer-to-peer participants to fundraise.
Benefits of Readathons and Reading Fundraisers
And in case you still aren’t convinced that a readathon fundraiser is right for your school, library or PTO fundraiser – take a a look at these unmatched benefits of hosting a Reading Challenge or reading fundraiser. Readathons are an excellent fundraising event for schools and PTOs as they:
- Promote literacy and a love of reading books for children
- Are a healthy fundraiser – no candy bars or cookie dough involved
- Encourage parents to read with younger children, strengthening the parent-child bond
- Are a low cost, easy to organize event
- And of course, are a great way to raise money for your school or group!
Readathon Ideas for Schools & More School Fundraising Resources
Make your readathon fundraising event the highlight of the school year for children by adding fun reading and book based fundraising activities and incentives. Great readathon ideas vary according to age groups, yet all of the readathon ideas for schools in this popular blog are brimming with imagination.