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Our Free School Fundraiser Participation Waiver Form Template

Our Free School Fundraiser Participation Waiver Form Template

It’s easier than ever for students to sign up for your school fundraiser activities, thanks to this participation waiver form template for schools and PTAs! Download it here, then use the instructions provided to upload it to your FutureFund campaigns.

Using FutureFund for Ticketing

Using FutureFund for Ticketing

Use FutureFund to streamline ticketing for sporting events, performing arts, school dances, and more with this guide from our team that includes steps and best practices.

Published on April 19, 2022

Guide: How To Run a School Fun Run

School fun runs can be some of the most effective fundraisers, as long as they’re organized properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making your fun run a success with FutureFund, including tips on using the platform to organize volunteers and collect pledges.
Young school students running during school fun run fundraiser


  • Choose a date and theme for your fun run, considering the weather and potentially aligning it with a holiday. Plan an age-appropriate route that’s not too challenging to ensure student participation.
  • Utilize FutureFund’s messaging system to reach out to parents and community members for various volunteer roles like race director, course marshals, and first aid personnel.
  • Use FutureFund to create an A-Thon pledge campaign for your fun run. Students who register for the event receive unique links to collect donations.
  • Announce the run through various school channels and sign up students. Seek local business sponsorships for additional support and exposure.
  • On the day of the event, ensure all preparations are complete. Use FutureFund to track collected pledges and analyze the fundraiser’s success for future improvement.

Fun runs are some of the best ways to raise money for your school group—they’re popular, relatively easy to organize, and they promote good health and fitness habits for the students who participate. Here’s a step-by-step guide from our team at FutureFund to help you run your fun runs more efficiently, including tips on how to organize it, find the volunteers you need, and collect donations from the community so that you can meet your goals.

Run Your Fun Run with FutureFund

Our platform comes with powerful tools that can help you make every fun run a record-breaking success. These include:

  • A-Thon campaign templates that make it easy for participants to register and collect pledges.
  • A built-in messaging system you can use to announce the fundraiser and provide details.
  • Tools to create volunteer sign-up lists that engage parents and get the community involved.
  • Financial reporting tools to help you track your earnings, stay compliant, and plan future fundraisers more effectively.

Get started with FutureFund today or book a demo to see how it can work for you.

Table of Contents

What is a Fun Run Fundraiser?

A fun run is a friendly race organized to raise funds for charity. Runners are often encouraged to wear costumes or themed clothing, which can be a great way to encourage student participation.

The point of a fun run is to rally the community for a good cause and enjoy the experience, so the best fun runs are planned with accessibility in mind and open to runners of all skill levels.

Fun runs can be found in various forms, such as color runs, where colored powder is thrown on participants, or obstacle runs, which include different physical challenges along the route.

A-Thon Campaigns for Fun Run Fundraisers

FutureFund can create many different types of fundraisers. For fun runs, the best way to structure the event is to make it an A-Thon.

An A-Thon fundraiser is a special kind of pledge campaign you can run in FutureFund. Once you create the campaign for the event, students who sign up to participate each get a link they can use to collect donations from family and friends.

Find step-by-step instructions for successful pledge campaigns here.

Tip: The link you’ll share when you create the campaign is what you’ll use to sign up student participants. When they register for the event, they’ll each get their own unique link that they can use to raise money.

Close-up of feet on high school student participating in fun run

How to Run a Fun Run Fundraiser: Step-by-Step

Step One: Choose a Date & Theme

  • Choose the date of your run three months before the event.
  • Have your PTA coordinate with the school to ensure all administrative bases are covered. This includes purchasing insurance, arranging janitorial services, etc.
  • Most fun runs take place outdoors—so unless you plan to have students run laps in the gym, aim for a time of year when the weather will support the event.
  • Consider giving your event a theme, especially if it falls on or around a calendar holiday! Halloween is a popular holiday to plan fun runs around since many students will enjoy running in costume.
Graphic of fun run route through city

Step Two: Plan the Route

  • Most fun runs take place on school grounds. This removes the need for chaperones, permits, etc. and makes planning the event more cost-effective.
  • Make sure to plan an age-and-skill-appropriate distance. High-school students might be okay to run a few miles, but that’s probably expecting too much for third-graders.
  • Make sure the terrain for your run isn’t too grueling—the goal is to have as many students as possible participating and collecting pledges, so a fun run that’s too challenging for all but the most athletic students isn’t as likely to be successful.

Step Three: 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 the fun run is for, when and where it’s happening, and what positions need to be filled.
  • Perform background checks for anyone who needs to be on campus for the event if your school requires it.

Example Volunteer Positions for Fun Runs

  • Race Director: Oversees the event, coordinates other volunteers, and ensures all aspects of the race are managed effectively.
  • Course Marshals: Provide directions to runners along the course and ensure everyone stays on the correct path.
  • Registration Staff: Help with pre-race registration and hand out race packets, bib numbers, and t-shirts to participants.
  • Start/Finish Line Crew: Assist in setting up and managing the start and finish lines, including timing services and crowd control.
  • Water Station Attendants: Set up and manage water stations along the course to provide hydration for runners.
  • First Aid/Medical Personnel: Provide medical assistance in case of emergencies or injuries.
  • Clean-Up Crew: Responsible for post-event clean-up, ensuring the area is left clean and tidy.
  • Photographers/Videographers: Capture moments during the race for promotional or personal use.
  • Safety and Risk Management: Monitor safety aspects and coordinate with local authorities if needed

Step Four: Determine Incentives for Students

  • Incentives motivate students to register for your fun run and collect pledges. Each student should have a specific fundraising goal—usually between $200-$500.
  • Instead of individual prizes, consider group rewards like pizza parties or ice cream socials. These prevent unhealthy kinds of competition, tend to be more memorable and eco-friendly than providing cheap trinkets, and are cost-effective ways to reward all students in a grade or class for their efforts.
Sample email template for school fun run created with FutureFund

Step Five: Create Your Fun Run’s Campaign

  • Use FutureFund to create a Pledge-A-Thon campaign and add your campaign details.
  • Make sure your campaign has the following elements:
    • A clear and compelling event description, 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 fun runs involving older students (i.e. different teams for high schoolers, etc.).
    • 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.

Step Six: Announce the Run & Sign-Up Students

  • Broadcast an announcement of your fun run to the school community two weeks before the event and call for students to sign up.
  • Put out the word in as many places as you can—make use of the school newsletter, morning announcements, and send messages with FutureFund that tell everyone why the event is important and how they can participate.
  • Use FutureFund to send follow-up messages every other day leading up to the run to encourage participation.
  • The day before the event, send one final message to the entire school community inviting friends and family to come watch the run—and to make their final donations.

Sample Campaign Materials: Emails, Social Posts, & More

Here are a few examples of resources you can use to promote your fun run:

Sample Email for Student Sign-Ups

Subject: Join the [School Name] Fun Run! Let’s Make a Difference Together

Hello Students,

Get ready to lace up your running shoes! Our annual Fun Run is just two weeks away, and we want YOU to be a part of it. This event isn’t just about having fun and staying fit; it’s also about making a positive impact in our community.

Why should you join?

Stay active and have fun with your friends.

Help raise funds for [insert cause or school project].

Receive a special participant badge and certificate.

How to Sign Up:

Registering is easy! Just visit this link and follow the instructions: [insert FutureFund link]

Remember, this event is for everyone, regardless of your running experience. Let’s come together for a day of fun, fitness, and fundraising.

See you at the starting line,

[Your Name]
[School or Name of School Group]

Sample Follow-Up Email to Donors

Subject: Your Support Makes a Difference – [School Name] Fun Run Update!

Dear [Donor’s Name],

As our Fun Run approaches, we wanted to extend our heartfelt thanks for your generous support. Your contribution is helping to make this event a success and bringing us closer to achieving our goal of [insert specific goal or cause].

Here’s a quick update:

[Number of students] have already signed up to run!

We’re [percentage] of the way to our fundraising target.

Every step our students take is a step towards making a difference.

Remember, it’s not too late to spread the word! Share our event with friends and family, and let them know they can still contribute through FutureFund at [insert link].

Thank you once again for being a crucial part of our school community. Your support is inspiring our students to do their best.

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

[School or Name of School Group]

Sample Email for the Day Before the Run

Subject: Tomorrow’s the Day—Get Set & Go For a Good Cause!

Hello [Name of School] Students & Families!

The big day is almost here! Our Fun Run is tomorrow, and the excitement is palpable. We can’t wait to see our students shine and our community come together for this amazing event.

Here’s what you need to know:

Event starts at [time] at [location].

Friends and family are welcome to cheer on our runners [Note: only say this if this is allowed at your school or district]!

Last-minute donations can still be made through FutureFund at [insert link].

Let’s make this a day to remember! Your enthusiasm and support mean the world to us and to our students. Together, we’re not just running; we’re making strides towards a better future.

See you at the finish line,

[Your Name]

[School or Name of School Group]

Template for Instagram

Here’s a Canva template to help you spread awareness for your Fun Run on social media! Click “File” and “Make a Copy” to create an editable version, then add custom information for your run, change fonts, graphics, and more!

Instagram Template

Step Seven: Find Sponsors

  • Ask local businesses to sponsor the fun run. This can help your PTA reach your fundraising targets while providing them with exposure and positive PR.
  • Make sure to explain how each sponsor’s contribution will be recognized. For example, you could put their logos on a banner to display during the event, t-shirts for the runners, or on your school’s online store.

Types of Sponsorship:

  • Direct donations—either towards your fundraising goal or to help cover the costs of supplies and equipment.
  • 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.
Students participating in fun run on grassy field

Step Eight: Host the Run

Finally, the day of the run will arrive—and if you’ve followed all the steps above, you should have everything you need to make it a success. On your mark, get set, GO!

Organization will be the key to making the day a success, so it’s best to have an itinerary for your run. Below, we’ve provided an example of what yours might include.

Notes: In this plan, the day is broken up into two-hour slots where different grades run in groups of two. Volunteers are grouped into shifts based on the grades they’ll be supporting, and parents show up to watch the run that includes their children. Distances are recorded by providing color-coded bracelets to each runner when they complete a lap or hit a checkpoint.

Pre-Event Preparations

  • 6:00 AM – 7:00 AM: Setup team arrives to prepare the track and event area.
  • 7:00 AM – 7:30 AM: Volunteers for the first shift arrive and are briefed.
  • 7:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Music starts playing to set the tone for the event. MC begins making announcements and guiding early arrivals.

Event Schedule

  • 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Grades 1 & 2 Run
    • Volunteers for this shift arrive by 7:30 AM.
    • Parents and spectators for this group arrive by 7:45 AM.
  • 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Grades 3 & 4 Run
    • Volunteers for this shift arrive by 9:30 AM.
    • Parents and spectators for this group arrive by 9:45 AM.
  • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Lunch Break
  • 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Grades 5 & 6 Run
    • Volunteers for this shift arrive by 12:30 PM.
    • Parents and spectators for this group arrive by 12:45 PM.


  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Award Ceremony
    • Recognize grades or classes with the most bracelets collected
    • Thank you speech by the principal or PTA chair.
  • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Clean-up and breakdown by the final shift of volunteers.
  • Thank you emails sent to parents that night or the following morning.
  • Pizza party or ice cream social for winning class or grade to be held the following week.

Remember to track and record all the money you’ve collected so that you can analyze the results of your fun run and take steps to make the next one even more successful. If you’re running your campaign with FutureFund, the pledges you collect are automatically entered into the system (see the FAQ below for more details).

Make Your Fun Run Fantastic with FutureFund

Fun runs need to be planned in advance—but when you use the right tools and strategies, they can check all the right boxes: engaging parent volunteers, helping students have a great time, and of course, reaching important financial targets for your school group.

Get started with FutureFund today to find out how to plan a fun run that gets everyone in your school up and running for a good cause, and check out the FAQ below to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 fun run 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.

Where can I find themes and inspiration for my fun runs?

We’ve got plenty of ideas on how to make your fun run interesting and memorable! Here are a few to help you get started:

  • Color Run: Participants are doused with colored powder at various points of the race, creating a vibrant and colorful experience.
  • Zombie Run: Runners are chased by volunteers dressed as zombies, adding a thrilling and playful element to the race. This one’s great for Halloween!
  • Superhero Run: Participants dress up as their favorite superheroes, making for a fun and visually exciting event.
  • Bubble Run: The course features bubble stations, where runners go through foam bogs filled with colored bubbles.
  • Glow Run: A night-time run where participants and the course are decked out in glow sticks and neon lights.
  • Mud Run: An obstacle course-style run that includes muddy pits, water slides, and other messy challenges.
  • Ugly Sweater Run: Runners wear their ugliest Christmas sweaters, often held during the holiday season.
  • Pajama Run: Participants race in their pajamas, often to support charities related to sleep health or children’s bedtime needs.

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