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.
Here, we’ll show you the A-Z of math-a-thons, including planning, tracking donations, and ideas on how to organize and promote it.
Math-a-Thon Guide Table of Contents
A quick introduction to what a math-a-thon is and how it works.
What is an "A-Thon" & How Does it Work?
Thon’s can be a powerful fundraising tool.
What do you need to run a Math-a-Thon?
The tools, support, and volunteers you’ll need for a successful Math-a-Thon.
Using a Math-a-Thon to Fundraise
How to raise money with math-a-thons.
Templates, Ideas, Tools, & Resources
Kickstart your math-a-thon using curated templates and tools.
Math-a-Thon Theme Ideas
Feel inspired with our math-a-thon theme examples.
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 Goals & Rules
Treat these as a base and feel free to tailor these to suit your specific event.
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.
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.
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:
- 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
- Start telling students about the math-a-thon at least 10 days before it starts.
- Students should be signed up in your fundraising system and gathering donations at least 7 days before the fundraiser starts.
- On the day the fundraiser starts, be sure to re-explain the rules and encourage students to continue fundraising.
- Halfway through the math-a-thon, remind students how many days they have left to finish their math problems.
Frequently Asked Questions About Math-a-Thons
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 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 Math-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 math-a-thon easy for everyone. Easier for PTAs and PTOs 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 Math-a-Thon for Fundraising
Consider the below when organizing your math-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.
Math-a-Thon Templates & Resources
Sample math-a-thon rules
These rules are a great starting point for organizing your math-a-thon.
To participate in the math-a-thon, you must sign up by [date]. Then, the math-a-thon starts on [date], which means you have until [date] to finish your problems! Make sure to tell your family that you’re fundraising, so they can donate (ask your parents for help, so they can ask their friends and coworkers too!).
All donations will be collected through FutureFund through this link: [link].
Sample math-a-thon event description
Unsure of where to start? Use this sample student and parent messaging to get the ball rolling!
Let’s get solving! Starting [date], [school name] will be hosting a math-a-thon to help fundraise for [cause]. You can help by doing as much math as you can! 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!
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