A-Thon Fundraising Guides For Schools & PTAs

Running an “A-Thon” is a fun way to raise funds for your school, school club/group, or extra-curricular event. Ready to start your Thon? We can help!

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Step by Step A-Thon Guides

Everything you need to get your A-Thon party started!

What is an “A Thon” & How Do They Work?

what is a read-a-thon?

A 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.

A-Thon FAQs

How does FutureFund support A-Thon fundraisers?

FutureFund has several functions that simplify running A-Thons for volunteers:

 

How do you get an A-Thon started?

Once you know which A-Thon you want to run, the next step is picking your Thon theme, organizing your volunteers (who is going to do what?), and creating your A-Thon rules.

Because FutureFund makes it easy for you to track incoming donations and communicate with your volunteer organizers, your focus is on getting students engaged and excited!

What do you need to run an A-Thon?

The needs of each A-Thon type varies, but in general, you will need:

  • A chosen thon type and theme
  • Parent and/or PTA/PTO volunteers
  • Access to appropriate facilities or event space (if running an activity-based A-Thon, such as a walk-a-thon or swim-a-thon)
  • A tool to capture incoming donations and pledges (FutureFund does this really well!)
  • An interested and engaged student group!

How do A-Thon's raise money?

A-Thon fundraisers make money by leveraging friendly competition with the ability for friends, family, parents, and colleagues to donate money to support A-Thon participants.

For example, using FutureFund’s pledge donation tool, students can accept pledges in exchange for their participation. 

If you’re using FutureFund to power your A-Thon fundraiser, you’ll be happy to know that 100% of funds raised go directly to your school! 

 

What is the best way to manage an A-Thon?

A-Thon’s sound complicated, but really they are about two things:

  • Getting students engaged and involved in some type of activity
  • Campaigning for pledges and donations to fundraise for your school, club, or cause

The best A-Thon’s are the ones that focus on a fun activity, make it easy for people to support participants, and work with students and volunteers to get the word out.

How can you get the word out about an A-Thon?

This important step is also one of the most intimidating: how do you get people interested in your A-Thon? Thanks to social media and savvy students, there are numerous ways you can get people interested:

  • Create a Facebook group and invite participants and volunteers to the group.
  • Use a tool like Canva to create promotional images for Facebook and Instagram; share these with your Thon participants and volunteers so that they can share them on social media.
  • Create shareable emails and social media posts that participants can use to email businesses and ask for donations
  • Work with participants to create short videos promoting your Thon on TikTok and Snapchat.
  • Look for Facebook groups focused on “things happening in…” and post about your A-Thon. Most cities have several groups dedicated to things happening in their area.

Enthusiastic participants are the best way to promote your fundraiser, so keep it fun for everyone involved!

Who is involved in running an A-Thon?

Every A-Thon needs:

  • A lead organizer – the person that knows the plan
  • Supporting volunteers – smaller A-Thons won’t need as much support, where as a jog-a-thon with 200 participants will need a dozen or more volunteers
    • Someone to manage donations (FutureFund makes it easy to organize payments, including cash/checks), but you’ll need someone inc charge of  managing this 
    • People to support setup, cleaning, and teardown – most in-person events will require signage, tables/chairs/etc., and another setup. 
    • People to promote the event via social media, email, and more
  • Engaged participants – students that want to be involved and are excited to fundraise

 A-Thon fundraisers are a team effort!

How much money can I raise with an A-Thon?

A-Thon fundraisers can make thousands of dollars! FutureFund helps A-Thon fundraisers by:

  • Allowing you to accept and manage all forms of payment (online debit, credit card, and cash)
  • Automatically organizing donations 
  • Donators pay transaction fees, so your school gets 100% of all donations

What does it cost to run an A-Thon?

A-Thons can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand or more – it depends on the type of A-Thon you are running and how elaborate you want to be.

A math-a-thon, for example, is quite affordable because it does not require renting space (you can do it in the school gym), rented or purchased equipment, or expensive decorations.

 

How is money collected?

FutureFund allows your fundraiser to accept online debit, credit card, checks, or cash (you collect cash/checks and input amounts into FutureFund).