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How to Run a Math-a-Thon Fundraiser

Math-a-thons are the perfect fundraiser. They encourage kids to do more math while fundraising for their school, extra-curricular, or club at the same time.

This page outlines the A-Z of math-a-thons, including planning, tracking donations, and tips for organizing and promoting the fundraiser.

students participating in a math a thonmath a thon

Math-a-Thon Guide

Table of Contents

parents tracking the fundraising goals for a hit a thon

Math-a-Thon 101

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

what is a read-a-thon

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

An “a-thon” can be a powerful fundraising tool (and a lot of fun, too!)

what do you need to run a read-a-thon?

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

Learn what it takes to run a successful math-a-thon.

using a read-a-thon to fundraise

Using a Math-a-Thon to Fundraise

How to raise money with math-a-thons.

read-a-thon tools and resources

Math-a-Thon Templates, Tools, & Resources

See how FutureFund makes managing math-a-thon pledges effortless.

teacher working on a chalkboard during a math a thon

Start Your Math-a-Thon With FutureFund

Our integrated pledge campaign fundraising tool allows you to collect donations (via cash, debit, or credit) and easily manage fundraising progress. Get started for free.

Math-a-Thon 101: A Quick Guide

What is a Math-a-Thon?

A math-a-thon works similarly to a read-a-thon. Students commit to doing a certain amount of math problems in exchange for pledges.

Math-a-thons work great because most donors are happy to support kids doing more math. It’s typically easy for students to collect donations.

Math-a-Thon FAQ

How does a math-a-thon work?

Donors give students pledges, and in return, students solve math problems. For example, a student’s aunt could donate $1 for every math problem solved. Or maybe a family friend donates $20 to support the student.

The exact “rules” can vary based on what works for your school. The most important thing is that students do more math than normal. You can also choose whether students do the math problems at home, at school, or both.

How long does a math-a-thon last?

How long you make your math-a-thon is totally up to you. That said, if students are doing the math at school, you’ll want to have at least 10 sessions. Depending on the student’s grade, these sessions should be between 15 minutes to 1 hour.

If the students are working on the math problems at home, somewhere between 10 days and 2 weeks is the right amount of time. You want to give students enough time to complete their problems, but not so long they forget about them.

When should you hold a math-a-thon?

Math-a-thons can be held at almost any time of the year since they aren’t weather-dependent. Late fall or early winter is typically the ideal time.

That way, students have time to learn how to solve the math problems for their grade, but it’s not so late in the year that students aren’t interested in participating.

What problems should students solve?

A math-a-thon should be based around a student’s grade level. The math problems should be based on what they’re learning in math class and similar to the worksheets they do regularly. 

To make sure the problems are the right fit, you should work with the students’ teachers to customize math problems for every grade.

Are math-a-thons good fundraisers?

Math-a-thons are unique while still being easy to plan and participate in, so they make great fundraisers. It’s also relatively easy for students to collect donations since almost everyone can agree math skills are important. They check all the boxes for a successful fundraiser.

What is an “A Thon”?

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.

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

Community raising money for school

Use FutureFund to Power It

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

Easy for Everyone

Any good fundraiser needs to be easy to plan, participate in, and most importantly, get donations. FutureFund makes planning and running a math-a-thon as easy as possible.

Donate Online

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

All-in-One

Always know how the fundraiser is going. Easily view how much money has been raised and more with detailed reporting.

Using a Math-a-Thon for Fundraising

Managing & Organizing Pledges

Each student will sign up as a participant in the fundraiser. Then, they can collect pledges individually by credit or debit card. These pledges will be recorded in FutureFund and will count towards the student’s total and the grand total for the fundraiser.

Paperwork & Donor Payment Management

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.

Using FutureFund to Accept Online Donations

Donors don’t need to have cash or a checkbook handy to donate. They can easily donate through an emailable donation link and pay by credit or debit card. Any cash donations can also be noted in the system to be collected later.

using future fund for fundraising
goals and rules

Math-a-Thon Goals & Rules

Length of Time

Math-a-thons can last anywhere from 10 days to 1 month. That said, the ideal amount of time is usually between 10 days and 2 weeks.

Math Goal

The math goal should change depending on the student’s grade the duration of the math-a-thon. Generally speaking, students should set a goal of at least 10 math sessions during the fundraiser.

Math Problems

Each grade should have a list of math problems. For younger grades, you can keep the questions as simple addition and subtraction. For older grades, you can incorporate more complex questions, like word problems and algebra.

Recommended Starting Rules

For a successful math-a-thon, make sure to:

  1. Decide the following before you start telling students about the math-a-thon:
      • The dates and length
      • The math goal
      • The math problems
      • The theme
  2. Start telling students about the math-a-thon at least 10 days before it starts. 
  3. Students should be signed up in your fundraising system and gathering donations at least 7 days before the fundraiser starts.
  4. On the day the fundraiser starts, be sure to re-explain the rules and encourage students to continue fundraising.
  5. Halfway through the math-a-thon, remind students how many days they have left to finish their math problems.

Math-a-Thon Templates & Resources

read a thon templates
sample read-a-thon rules

Sample Math-a-Thon Rules

These rules are a great starting point for organizing your math-a-thon.

sample read-a-thon description

Sample Math-a-Thon Event Description

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

online pledges w/ futurefund

Set Up Online Pledges With FutureFund

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

Find Other Fundraiser
Ideas & Guides

How to Run a Jump-a-Thon Fundraiser

How to Run a Jump-a-Thon Fundraiser

Jump-a-Thon fundraisers are great ways to raise money while also being active. See how a jump-a-thon works & what you’ll need to run one in our in-depth guide.

How to Run a Spell-a-Thon Fundraiser

How to Run a Spell-a-Thon Fundraiser

Spell-a-Thon fundraisers are great ways to raise money while also practicing academics. See how a spell-a-thon works & what you’ll need to run one here.