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LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Thank You Letter Template for Business Donors

Create genuine and effective thank-you letters for business donors to your school fundraisers. Use this template from FutureFund to get started, then send it out using our platform’s built-in messaging system.

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

How to Re-Engage Legacy Donors For Your PTA

Re-establish connection, maintain engagement, and more with this practical guide for re-engaging legacy donors for your PTa. Our team at FutureFund is here to help you understand the value of connecting with past donors and continuing those relationships.

How to Run a Bike-a-Thon Fundraiser

Bike-a-thons are fun and unique. Best of all, they’re great fundraisers. They encourage physical activity while allowing participants to fundraise for their school, extra-curricular, or club.

Here, we’ll show you the A-Z of bike-a-thons, including planning, tracking donations, and ideas on how to organize and promote it.

Bike-a-Thon Guide Table of Contents

1

Step by Step Guide

Everything you need to know about starting a bike-a-thon from A-Z.

2

Bike-a-Thon 101

A quick introduction to what a bike-a-thon is and how it works.

3

What is an "A-Thon" & How Does it Work?

Thon’s can be a powerful fundraising tool.

4

What do you need to run a Bike-a-Thon?

The tools, support, and volunteers you’ll need for a successful bike-a-thon.

5

Using a Bike-a-Thon to Fundraise

How to raise money with bike-a-thons.

6

Templates, Ideas, Tools, & Resources

Kickstart your bike-a-thon using curated templates and tools.

7

Bike-a-Thon Theme Ideas

Feel inspired with our bike-a-thon theme examples.

FutureFund is FREE for Schools

Schools that sign up get full access to all of FutureFund’s features—it’s always free and it always will be.

The Steps to Running Your Bike-A-Thon

Step One: Choose a Date & Theme

  • Choose the date of your Bike-A-Thon three months before the event. Bike-A-Thons usually take place on a single day, so choose a date that doesn’t conflict with other school plans.
  • Make sure your PTA coordinates with the school ahead of time to plan the route, secure any necessary permits, and purchase insurance if necessary.

Bike-A-Thon Planning Infographic and Checklist

Use these templates to keep your Bike-A-Thon planning on track:

Canva Bike-A-Thon Infographic

Canva Running a Bike-A-Thon Checklist

Step Two: Call for Volunteers

  • Put out a call for volunteers two months before the event. Use FutureFund’s built-in messaging system to reach the parents and volunteers most likely to participate.
  • Make sure your call for volunteers clearly states what cause or project the Bike-A-Thon will support.
  • Perform background checks for any volunteers from outside the school who need to be present during the event (if required by your school).

Example Volunteer Positions for Bike-A-Thons

  • Event Coordinator: Oversees all aspects of the bike-a-thon, including planning, execution, and post-event activities.
  • Route Planners: Design the bike route, ensuring it is safe, manageable, and clearly marked.
  • Registration Team: Manages participant sign-ups, distributes race packets, and handles day-of-event registrations.
  • Safety Officers: Ensures all safety protocols are followed, including helmet checks and providing safety guidelines to participants.
  • Start/Finish Line Coordinators: Manages the start and finish line areas, organizes the start of the race, and congratulates participants as they finish.
  • Water Station Volunteers: Set up and manage water and refreshment stations along the route to keep participants hydrated.
  • First Aid Volunteers: Provide basic first aid and coordinate with local emergency services for any medical emergencies.
  • Course Marshals: Positioned along the route to provide directions, encouragement, and assistance as needed.
  • Bike Mechanics: Offers basic bike repair services at the start, along the route, and at the finish line.
  • Food and Beverage Coordinators: Organizes post-event food and beverages for participants and volunteers.
  • Sponsor Liaison: Coordinates with sponsors, ensuring their representation at the event and adherence to any agreements.
  • Cleanup Crew: Responsible for post-event cleanup, ensuring the route and start/finish areas are left tidy
  • Photographer/Videographer: Captures moments from the event for future promotion or as keepsakes for participants.

Step Three: Choose Student Incentives

  • Incentives motivate students to register for your Bike-A-Thon and collect pledges. Each student should have a specific fundraising goal—usually between $300-$500.
  • It’s better to offer incentives to the class or grade that raises the most money than to individual students, as this is a more cost-effective way to motivate groups and can also discourage unhealthy competition. Try an ice cream social or a pizza party for the best results.

Step Four: Create Your Bike-A-Thon’s Campaign

Use FutureFund to create a Pledge-A-Thon campaign and provide your campaign details.

Make sure your campaign has the following elements:

  • A clear and compelling event description and rules, including what the money raised will go towards and what the incentives will be for participating students.
  • A leaderboard that shows the grades and teachers for each participating class, along with how much each has raised. These are fully customizable in FutureFund, so you can create custom categories for each Bike-A-Thon.
  • A template students can use to collect pledges from members of the school community. FutureFund provides a sample template for this in all A-Thon campaigns, which you can modify to include the specific details of your event.

Sample Bike-A-Thon Rules Template

Here’s a Canva template of sample Bike-A-Thon rules. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Rules Template

Step Five: Announce the Event & Sign-Up Students

  • Send out an announcement of your Bike-A-Thon to the school community two weeks before the event begins and request that students sign up to participate.
  • Share the news in as many places as possible—use the school newsletter, morning announcements, and FutureFund’s messaging system to tell everyone why the event is important and how they can be part of it.
  • Use FutureFund to send follow-up messages every other day leading up to the event to encourage participation.
  • The night before the event, send a final reminder to get the school community excited about the event and encourage them to keep offering support.

Initial Email for Student Sign-Ups

Subject: Gear Up for [School Name]’s Annual Bike-A-Thon!

Hello Students,

Pedal into excitement with our upcoming Bike-A-Thon! This event is more than just a bike ride; it’s a fantastic opportunity to show off your cycling skills, support our school, and enjoy a day full of outdoor fun and community spirit.

Why join the Bike-A-Thon?

  • Experience a fun and healthy cycling challenge.
  • Help raise funds for [insert cause or school project].
  • Earn prizes and recognition for your cycling and fundraising efforts.

How to Sign Up:

Getting involved is easy! Just click on this link [insert FutureFund link], follow the registration steps, and you’re set to go. You’ll also receive a link to share with friends and family for pledges based on your cycling achievements.

Whether you’re a cycling enthusiast or just looking for a fun activity, this event is for everyone. Let’s ride together for a great cause!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

[School or Name of School Group]

You can also use this Canva template to keep a copy of your email script handy. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Student Sign-up Email Template

Sample Follow-Up Email to Donors

Subject: Help Us Pedal Towards Success – [School Name] Bike-A-Thon Update!

Dear [Donor’s Name],

Thank you for supporting our Bike-A-Thon! Your contribution is boosting our efforts to provide a memorable experience for our students and reach our fundraising goals for [insert specific goal or cause].

Current Update:

  • [Number of students] enthusiastic riders are ready to hit the pedals!
  • We are [percentage] towards our fundraising target.

There’s still time to support our young cyclists through FutureFund at [insert link]. Your generosity is crucial to our success and greatly appreciated by our entire school community.

With thanks,

[Your Name]

[School or Name of School Group]

You can also use this Canva template to keep a copy of your email script handy. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Donor Email Template

Sample Email for the Final Day Before the Bike-A-Thon

Subject: Ready, Set, Ride! Final Day Before [School Name]’s Bike-A-Thon!

Hello [Name of School] Students & Families!

The big day is almost here! Our Bike-A-Thon is just a day away, and the excitement is building. Our students are ready to cycle their way to fun and success.

Here’s what you need to remember:

  • Last chance to gather pledges! Encourage your friends and family to support you via FutureFund at [insert link].
  • Join us at [Location] on [Date]. Don’t miss the start at [Time] and be sure to cheer for our riders as they cross the finish line!

Let’s make the final push a spectacular one. Your encouragement means the world to our students and helps make a difference in our school community.

Let’s pedal towards a fantastic finish!

See you on the track,

[Your Name]

[School or Name of School Group]

You can also use this Canva template to keep a copy of your email script handy. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Final Week Push Bike-A-Thon Email Template

Templates for Promoting Your Bike-A-Thon

Here are some Canva templates to help you spread awareness for your Bike-A-Thon on social media and in your community! Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Instagram Story

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Instagram Post

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Printable Poster

Example caption: Support [insert school name]’s Bike-A-Thon from [insert date]. Help our school community raise money for [insert cause] by registering to ride!

Step Six: Find Sponsors

Ask local businesses to sponsor the Bike-A-Thon. This can help your PTA reach your fundraising targets while business owners get exposure and positive PR.

Make sure to explain how each sponsor’s contribution will be recognized. For example, you could:

  • Hang a banner in the gym with sponsor logos during the event.
  • Offer branded water bottles or other swag to participants.
  • Add sponsors to your school’s online store using FutureFund.

Types of Sponsorship:

  • Direct donations—either towards your fundraising goal or to help cover the costs of supplies.
  • Corporate matching is where a business makes a donation equal to all or a portion of the funds you raise from the community.
  • Selling sponsorships on FutureFund via advertising on your campaign page.

Step Seven: Host the Bike-A-Thon

Finally, the day of the event will arrive—and if you’ve followed all the steps above, you should have everything you need to make it successful. Here’s a sample event schedule:

Morning Session

  • 6:00 AM – 7:00 AM: Setup and Volunteer Arrival: Volunteers arrive and set up the registration area, start/finish line, refreshment stations, first aid station, and any sponsor booths.
  • 7:00 AM – 8:00 AM: Participant Arrival and Registration: Cyclists arrive, register, collect their race packets, and prepare their bikes.
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM: Opening Ceremony: A brief welcome speech by the event coordinator, safety briefing, and overview of the route and rules.
  • 8:30 AM: Bike-A-Thon Start: The bike-a-thon officially begins. Participants start in waves based on age group or skill level.

During the Event

  • 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM: Bike-A-Thon Main Event: Cyclists ride the designated route. Volunteers at checkpoints offer water, snacks, and encouragement.
  • 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Family Activities: For non-riding attendees, arrange family-friendly activities such as face painting, games, or a mini-fair near the start/finish line.

Afternoon Session

  • 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Lunch and Entertainment: As riders return, they are greeted with lunch, music, and possibly a guest speaker or entertainment.
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Final Riders Return: The course closes, and the final riders complete their ride.
  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Closing Remarks: Thank you speech by the event coordinator, announcement of total funds raised, and closing remarks.
  • 3:00 PM onwards: Cleanup: Volunteers and staff begin cleaning up the venue, taking down signs, and ensuring the route is clear.

Post-Event Tasks

  • The Day After the Event: Send thank-you letters and a final update on funding progress to all donors and volunteers.
  • One Week After the Event: Hold a celebration (pizza party or ice cream social) for the winning class or grade.

Bike-a-Thon 101

What is a Bike-a-Thon?

A bike-a-thon works similarly to a walk-a-thon or jog-a-thon. There is a set course and distance, and participants complete the course. The main difference, of course, is that participants are on bikes instead of on foot.

They can bit a bit more work upfront to organize since bike-a-thons are typically longer distances and require permits for road use. However, bike-a-thons can bring in a lot more donations than a more relaxed walk-a-thon.

Bike-a-Thon Goals & Rules

Treat these as a base and feel free to tailor these to suit your specific event.

Length

The length of the course is the biggest decision to make when planning your bike-a-thon. Remember that the longer the course is, the fewer people who will be able to participate.

However, longer courses often mean bigger donations, so you can choose what works for your school. Any distance between 1 and 10 miles is a good place to start.

Biking Goal

Because bike-a-thons have a set course with a pre-determined route and distance, it should be the participant’s goal to complete the course. You can have prizes for those who finish the course first, but that isn’t required.

Biking Route

Your biking route should be fully paved, typically on a roadway or cycling path. This will make it easier for more people to participate since they won’t need special skills or a specific type of bike.

A continuous bike path often works best. If your local bike paths aren’t long enough, you can also have the event take place on the roads. You will almost definitely need permits for this, so make sure you apply well in advance.

Pledge Collection

Start telling students about the Bike-A-Thon at least two weeks before it starts.

Students should be signed up in your fundraising system so they can gather donations for at least seven days before the fundraiser starts (although it’s still okay to take last-minute sign-ups).

Confirm That Everyone Knows What to Do

On the day the fundraiser starts, be sure to re-explain the rules and encourage students to continue fundraising.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bike-a-Thons

How do I use FutureFund to track my fundraiser’s success?

FutureFund gives you the ability to generate financial reports for fundraising campaigns in just a few clicks. To do this, navigate to Store and click the Reports tab near the top of your screen. Then choose Campaign Summary from the drop-down menu and click Generate Report.

Can volunteers for my Bike-A-Thon sign up automatically through FutureFund?

Yes—FutureFund lets you create a list of the volunteer positions you’ll need to fill, then add a volunteer page to your registration portal so parents can sign up in just a few simple clicks. See the steps for signing up volunteers here.

How does a bike-a-thon work?

Bike-a-thons use a peer-to-peer fundraising format, just like other types of a-thon fundraisers. Participants register for the bike-a-thon and then ask their friends, family, and coworkers to support them with donations or pledges.

In exchange for the donations, the biker participates in the bike-a-thon, which is essentially a bike race. You can customize the course and choose a location and distance that works for your school. Most bike-a-thons take place on pavement, but you can also have a mountain bike-a-thon if that works for your area.

How long is a bike-a-thon?

You can make a bike-a-thon as long or as short as you want. The main thing to consider is who will be participating.

If you want younger students to participate, you should make the course shorter. If high school students or just adults will be participating, then you can make the course longer. With this in mind, you can make your bike-a-thon anywhere from 1 to 10 miles long.

When should you hold a bike-a-thon?

Bike-a-thons can only be held outside, so you should plan yours for the spring, summer, or early fall. For a school fundraiser, this usually means sometime in September, May, or June work best.

What do people need to participate?

To participate in a bike-a-thon, participants need a bike. You may also want to make helmets mandatory for the event, especially if students will be participating. Everything else is up to the riders, although it doesn’t hurt to remind them to bring things like water and snacks.

Are bike-a-thons good fundraisers

Bike-a-thons are good fundraisers. While they might seem intimidating to plan, they have higher donation potential than other a-thons, especially for longer distances. And since participants will be riding along roadways, they raise awareness for your fundraiser too.

FutureFund is FREE for Schools

Schools that sign up get full access to all of FutureFund’s features—it’s always free and it always will be.

What is a “Thon”?

Thon’s Are Fun & Effective Event-Based Fundraisers

An “a-thon” is a peer-to-peer style fundraiser that involves participating in a certain activity and gathering donations for participating in said activity.

The activity can be almost anything, from reading to running to bowling. No matter what activity you choose, the premise is the same. Participants commit to doing the activity (reading a certain amount of books, running a certain distance) and ask their friends, family, and coworkers to support them.

A-thons work great because you reach a huge donor pool through peer-to-peer fundraising. People are also more likely to donate since participants are “working” in return for the donations.

What Do You Need to Run a Bike-a-Thon?

Power it With FutureFund

FutureFund’s built-in pledge campaigns allow you to easily collect money and keep donations/pledges organized. Since parents cover payment processing fees, 100% of the funds raised go to your school!

FutureFund is easy to use - for everyone

FutureFund makes running a bike-a-thon easy for everyone. Easier for PTAs to run, for students and parents to participate, and for donors to donate.

Accept online donations

Instead of dealing with paper pledge forms and cash and cheques, FutureFund takes the process online. Donors can donate instantly online with their credit or debit cards.

A single tool to power your entire Thon!

FutureFund makes it easy to track how the fundraiser is going. Easily view how much money has been raised and more with detailed reporting.

Using a Bike-a-Thon for Fundraising

Consider the below when organizing your bike-a-thon. Spending a bit of time up front getting organized from an admin and donation perspective will save a lot of time and potential frustration later.

Managing and organizing pledges

Each student will sign up as a participant in the fundraiser. Then, they can collect pledges individually by credit or debit card. You can also accept cash pledges, but be mindful of properly storing and tracking cash you collect.

If you are using FutureFund, you can record these pledges and they will automatically count towards the student’s total and the grand total for the fundraiser.

Donor information and donation management

Before launching your fundraiser, confirm what records you need to collect from donors.

If you are using FutureFund, it’s easy for students to sign up, especially if their information is already in the system. You can bulk sign up entire grades or classes. All donor payments are automatically entered into the system, so you can instantly see each student’s total and the grand total.

Make sure you accept online donations

Fundraising campaigns that accept online donations perform much better than fundraisers that only accept cash or check.

If you are using FutureFund, you can accept payments online. Donors are given a donation link and can pay by credit or debit card. Any cash donations can also be noted in the system to be collected later.

Bike-a-Thon Templates & Resources

Planning Resources

Use these templates to keep your Bike-A-Thon planning on track:

Canva Bike-A-Thon Infographic

Canva Running a Bike-A-Thon Checklist

Sample Bike-A-Thon Rules

Participant Eligibility:

  • Open to all students, teachers, and staff of the school.
  • Parents and community members can also participate if they wish. All participants must register for the event via the FutureFund system.

Equipment & Safety:

  • Every participant must have a bicycle in good working condition.
  • Helmets are mandatory for all participants, regardless of age.
  • Additional safety gear such as knee pads, elbow pads, and gloves are recommended but not required.
  • Bicycles will be inspected by the Bike Mechanics team before the start to ensure they are safe for the event.

Route & Duration:

  • The Bike-A-Thon will follow a predetermined, fully paved route, suitable for all skill levels.
  • The length of the course will be clearly marked and communicated to all participants before the event.
  • Participants must stay on the designated route for their safety and the safety of others.

Pledge Collection:

  • Participants are encouraged to collect pledges from friends, family, and community members. Pledges can be based on distance cycled or a flat donation.
  • All pledges should be managed and tracked through the FutureFund system via the links provided to registered participants.

Starting Procedure:

  • Participants will start in waves based on age group or skill level.
  • Participants must be present at the starting line at the designated time for their wave.

During the Event:

  • Course Marshals will be positioned along the route to provide directions, encouragement, and assistance.
  • Water Station Volunteers will provide hydration and refreshment stations along the route.

Completion of the Bike-A-Thon:

  • There is no requirement to complete the course within a certain time. Participants can ride at their own pace.
  • The event will officially end at a specified time, at which point the route will be closed.

Incentives & Recognition:

  • Incentives will be provided for the class or grade that raises the most money, rather than individual rewards.
  • Recognition and awards can be given for various categories such as ‘Most Spirited Rider’, ‘Best Decorated Bike’, etc.

Conduct & Fair Play:

  • Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a safe and respectful manner throughout the event.
  • Unsafe riding, unsportsmanlike behavior, or failure to follow the rules may result in disqualification.

First Aid & Emergencies:

  • First Aid Volunteers will be available along the route and at the start/finish line.
  • In case of an emergency, participants should contact the nearest Course Marshal or First Aid Volunteer.

Weather & Cancellation Policy:

  • The event will go on rain or shine, except in cases of severe weather. Any decision to cancel or postpone the event will be communicated to all registered participants as soon as possible.

Cleanup & Environmental Responsibility:

  • Participants are encouraged to minimize waste and use the recycling facilities provided.
  • Cleanup Crew volunteers will ensure that the route and start/finish areas are left clean and tidy after the event.

Or, here’s a Canva template of sample Bike-A-Thon rules. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Rules Template

Sample Bike-A-Thon Event Description

Unsure of where to start? Use this sample student and parent messaging to get the ball rolling!

Let’s get moving! On [date], [school name] will be hosting a bike-a-thon to help fundraise for [cause]. You can help by joining our bike ride! Parents, each student will be collecting pledges online through FutureFund: [link].

Please spread the word to your family, friends, and coworkers to help make this fundraiser a success!

Set up online pledges with FutureFund

Let parents and supporters donate online with FutureFund’s online pledges. Try it out for free!

Make your donation easily and instantly! Click this [link] to make your donation through secure credit or debit card payment.

If you prefer to donate by cash or check, just donate directly to the student you’re supporting. Thank you for your support!

Sample Bike-A-Thon Email Scripts

Use these Canva email script templates to call out for Bike-A-Thon participants, donations, and to keep your fundraiser top-of-mind. Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Student Sign-up Email Template

Canva Bike-A-Thon Donor Email Template

Canva Final Week Push Bike-A-Thon Email Template

Design Templates for Promoting Your Bike-A-Thon

Use these Canva templates to help you spread awareness for your Bike-A-Thon on social media and in your community! Click “Use template for new design” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your event, change fonts and graphics, and more!

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Instagram Story

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Instagram Post

Canva Bike-A-Thon Template for Printable Poster

Example caption: Support [insert school name]’s Bike-A-Thon from [insert date]. Help our school community raise money for [insert cause] by registering to spell as many words as you can!

Bike-a-Thon Theme Ideas

Tour de France

The Tour de France is the most popular biking event in the world. Get participants in the biking spirit by encouraging them to dress like professional cyclists and represent the country of their choice.

Bike Decorations

Make the event extra engaging with a bike decoration station. Participants can decorate their bikes with streamers, balloons, and other craft supplies to stand out come bike-a-thon time.

Holiday

You can never go wrong with a holiday theme, even for a bike-a-thon. For a fall bike-a-thon, participants can decorate their bikes for a spooky, Halloween-themed ride.

Destination

Some of the most popular bike-a-thons take place in a nearby town or city. If there is an area near you known for its biking routes, consider hosting your event there for a memorable event.

Disney Bike

There’s never a bad time to dress up as your favorite movie character. Participants can dress as their favorite superheroes and more, just remind them that long dresses and capes aren’t great for bike riding.

Neon

Encourage riders to dress up in their brightest colors. As an added bonus, the fluorescent hues will keep them highly visible on their route.

Trusted By Schools Everywhere

FutureFund is used by over 1,000+ organizations, including:

Over

Raised For Our Schools Since 2014

S. Bucceri

Board Clerk for Salisbury Central School

"FutureFund has been a game changer for our school. We love it because it keeps track of all the purchases for fundraisers and field trips and eliminates the need to handle cash and checks."

Made by PTA volunteers and former school faculty

Heather Wright

PTA Member

"The biggest thing we love about FutureFund is how easy it is to keep our group organized! I love the parents directory and volunteer tools because its so easy to get everyone organized and informed!"