Get Kids Reading for your School or Library
Raise Money by Reading with Online Reading Fundraisers
What Are Peer to Peer Reading Fundraisers and Challenges?
Reading fundraisers and challenges make great school fundraisers, as they promote literacy and a love of reading in children. Many schools do this via a peer to peer fundraising model where students commit to reading as a means of raising money for a school, library, or Parent Teacher Organization/Parent Teacher Association.
Reading fundraisers should boost reading skills by offering an academic challenge or competition which kids will enjoy. It’s easy to get parents excited about a reading fundraiser, as it’s a healthy fundraiser with no product sales requirements. With reading fundraisers and challenges, kids aren’t spending time fundraising instead of studying or learning, instead, learning is key to this type of fundraising event. Set a reading goal and watch students exceed it!
Organizing the details of a reading fundraiser from beginning to end is easy when powered by our software for crowdfunding events. Reading fundraisers 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 that works well on all devices, to take your fundraising campaign to the next level.
Utilizing Peer to Peer Software for Your Reading-a-thon
Our fundraising software makes planning and managing reading fundraisers simple and effective. Our software is designed for fundraising reading challenges in which students and classrooms collect donations for their school, PTO/PTA, library, or other school groups. Administrators can easily configure the fundraising website creatively to meet your school’s specific needs, and participants will learn and have fun when they personalize their web pages.
Features of our powerful peer to peer crowdfunding software for reading fundraisers include:
- Readers have their own fundraising page which is easily shared via email and social media
- Classrooms or grade levels have fundraising pages that include all participants’ combined fundraising progress
- Fundraising thermometers, leaderboards, and top fundraisers are tracked and displayed on your website (if desired) to promote friendly competition between your participants and help your group reach your fundraising goal
- Mobile giving features such as free text to donate and support for digital wallets
- Privacy features can be enabled, so that last names do not show on your fundraising website
- Off-line donations and checks are easily tracked and entered from a pledge sheet to the software, at no cost
- Administrators can import students or enable easy online registration
- Our Athon component supports per unit of effort pledges based on the amount of time, pages, or books participants read
- Students can log time or books in their online reading log
Basic Logistics for a Reading Fundraiser
Reading-based fundraisers vary from school to school, and customizing the fundraiser for your school and community is important. With a peer to peer reading fundraiser, there are a few options for the basic logistics. Your school or library group should consider these things at the outset:
- Will you provide reading sessions 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. 20-40 minutes per day is perfect for most age groups.
- What is the length of the Reading Challenge? Generally limiting the length of the reading fundraiser 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 reading challenge. However, magazines, comic books, or picture books are generally discouraged during the reading fundraiser. (Of course, books such as Captain Underpants and Diary of a Wimpy Kid which include lots of comics are still great options for young readers.)
Steps to Organize a Reading Fundraiser
Here are the basic steps to getting your reading fundraiser started on the road to success:
- Organize a planning committee. You’ll need a strong leadership team to make the fundraiser successful.
- Event administrators choose a time period for the reading to occur. Some schools have reading sessions 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 (reading minutes, hours, or sessions) for the fundraising unit of effort.
- Decide on your process for recording reading progress. Will students use a reading log or how will you track reading progress?
- Create your reading fundraising website.
- Import students and classrooms or ask them to register online with our easy 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 (via a flat donation) or pledge (per book or other unit) in support of their reading efforts.
- Participation and fundraising progress is 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 prizes are structured in this way to encourage everyone to participate 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 how DoJiggy’s software will help your school or organization encourage your peer-to-peer participants to fundraise and find the right prizes for your school-a-thon.
More Book-Based Fundraising Activities
Make your reading fundraiser the highlight of the school year for children by adding fun reading and book-based fundraising activities and incentives. Adding other activities alongside the main reading-a-thon contest will be more fun for your participants and donors.
Great reading ideas vary according to age group, yet all of these fundraising ideas for schools are brimming with imagination and possibilities. Be creative in advertising on your school blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter pages to generate some chatter around your event.
Host a School Reading Night
To kick off elementary school events, it is a fun idea to have kids show up wearing PJs with their pillows and stuffed animals at school. Have each classroom agree on a favorite book and decorate their doors as giant book covers. The giant book-cover door will open up to find the room decorated as a scene from the book. You could have parents, teachers or community volunteers do the reading. Everyone can then meet in the cafeteria to celebrate the evening with hot chocolate and cookies and read one more story before returning home. This gathering also offers the chance to sell raffle tickets and earn additional income.
Plan a Pop-up Book Store
Invite your favorite local bookstore to hold a book sale at your school the week before your reading challenge. Ask students, teachers, and parents to put together a list of their favorite books or those they wish for their children to read. Supporters may buy books for themselves or donate them to the library. In addition to funds, this type of event generates more interest in reading for the fundraiser. A portion of book sales is donated by the book store as sponsorship to kick off the reading fundraiser.
Reading to the Community Events
Reading fundraisers can take on a community service twist by reading to elderly folks in a nursing home or children in hospitals. Schools can organize a time and location for each classroom to volunteer in a community-based read. Everyone will find this event rewarding, and your students will learn the joy and value of sharing the gift of reading. Your donors will be inspired by the rich layers of service and education you´re bringing forth to the community.
Organize a School Book Exchange
Organize a school-wide book exchange to kick off your reading fundraiser. Ask students to bring in books they’ve already read in exchange for a number created by the event organizers using postcards. Place the books on display in the school library or gymnasium and group them into age categories. The children will choose the books they wish to have with their postcards. Offering some spare postcards to the kids who aren’t able to bring in books is a good idea, to make everyone part of the event.
Start a Book Club
A book club is a way of encouraging your students to read and share their thoughts about each character and story. Inviting students to socialize around reading by setting up book clubs and reading groups to encourage interaction around books greatly enhances students’ comprehension and makes reading more enjoyable.
Find Community Sponsorships
Another fundraising idea is to ask your local and regional bookstores to sponsor your reading event by providing posters, flyers, and paid advertisements in the local newspaper and radio station. They will be happy to be involved and receive some great publicity on your fundraising website for helping to further the education and literacy of the young citizens in their community.
Benefits of Reading Fundraisers
In case you still aren’t convinced that a reading fundraiser is right for your school, PTO, or library fundraiser – take a look at these unmatched benefits of hosting a Reading Challenge or reading fundraiser. Peer to Peer reading events make for an excellent fundraising event for schools and PTOs as they:
- Promote literacy skills and a love of reading books in young readers
- 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 fundraising event
- And of course, are a great way to raise money for your school, school library or group!
School Fundraising Websites
DoJiggy supports fundraising websites for all of the best types of school fundraising campaigns.