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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 Move-a-Thon Fundraiser

Move-a-thons benefit both your school and the participants. Your school gets to fundraise, and participants get moving; it’s a win-win! Try a move-a-thon next time you need to raise money for your school, extra-curricular program, or club.

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

Move-a-Thon Guide Table of Contents

1

Step by Step Guide

Everything you need to know about starting a Move-A-Thon, from A-Z.

2

Move-a-Thon 101

Learn what makes Move-A-Thons unique and how they’re valuable fundraisers.

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 Move-a-Thon?

The tools, support, and volunteers you’ll need for a successful Move-A-Thon.

5

Using a Move-a-Thon to Fundraise

How to raise money with Move-A-Thons.

6

Templates, Ideas, Tools, & Resources

Kickstart your Move-A-Thon using curated templates and tools.

7

Move-a-Thon Theme Ideas

Get inspired with our Move-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 Step-by-Step Guide to Running a Move-a-Thon

Step One: Choose a Date & Theme

  • Choose the date of your Move-A-Thon three months before the event. Move-A-Thons usually take place on a single day, so choose one that doesn’t conflict with other important events and plan for a time of year when people are unlikely to be away.
  • Make sure your PTA coordinates with the school ahead of time to find a space (like the gym) that can host the event—and cover insurance and custodial needs.
  • Choose a theme for your Move-A-Thon that gets students excited to participate—like superhero costumes, neon outfits, or holidays.

Move-A-Thon Planning Infographic and Checklist

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

Canva Move-A-Thon Infographic

Canva Running a Move-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 Move-A-Thon will support.
  • Perform background checks for any volunteers who need to be on campus during the event (if required by your school).

Example Volunteer Positions for Move-A-Thons

  • Event Coordinator: Oversees the entire event, coordinates with the school and other volunteers, and ensures everything runs smoothly.
  • Movement Moderators: Volunteers who supervise students during the event to make sure they’re playing by the rules and tracking their time accurately.
  • Registration Volunteers: Assists with the sign-up process for participants, helps with check-in and check-out during the event, and distributes participation materials like bib numbers or t-shirts.
  • Refreshment Coordinators: Organize water stations, snacks, and possibly post-event meals for participants and volunteers.
  • Cheer Squad: Motivates participants during the event with cheers, music, and positive energy.
  • Photographers/Videographers: Captures moments from the event for future promotion and as keepsakes for participants.
  • Cleanup Crew: Responsible for post-event cleanup, ensuring the venue is left in good condition.
  • Participant Check-in/Check-out Volunteers: Manages participant flow at the start and end of the event, ensuring everyone is accounted for.
  • Party Planners: Helps plan and host incentive events for students (like pizza parties or ice cream socials) after the event.

Step Three: Choose Student Incentives

  • Incentives motivate students to register for your Move-A-Thon and collect pledges. Each student should have a specific fundraising goal—usually between $100-$300.
  • It’s better to offer incentives to a whole class or group than to individual students, as this is a more cost-effective way to motivate students and can also discourage unhealthy competition. Try an ice cream social or a pizza party for the best results.

Step Four: Create Your Move-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 Move-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 Move-A-Thon Rules Template

Here’s a Canva template of sample Move-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 Move-A-Thon Rules Template

Step Five: Announce the Event & Sign-Up Students

  • Send out an announcement of your Move-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.
  • On the morning of the event, send out a final announcement to get the school community excited about the event and encourage them to keep offering support.

Sample Email for Student Sign-Ups

Subject: Get Moving with the [School Name] Move-A-Thon!

Hello Students,

Get ready to lace up your sneakers for our annual Move-A-Thon! This isn’t just a chance to get active and have fun; it’s also an opportunity to support our beloved school.

Why should you join?

  • Enjoy a day of physical activity and fun.
  • Help raise funds for [insert cause or school project].
  • Earn exciting rewards and recognition for your participation.

How to Sign Up:

It’s easy! Just visit this link and follow the steps: [insert FutureFund link]. You’ll get your link to share with friends and family to collect pledges for your participation.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just love a casual stroll, this event is for everyone. Let’s come together to celebrate fitness and our school community.

On Your Marks, Get Set,

[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 Move-A-Thon Student Sign-up Email Template

Sample Follow-Up Email to Donors

Subject: Your Support Fuels Our Students – [School Name] Move-A-Thon Update!

Dear [Donor’s Name],

As our Move-A-Thon is in full swing, we want to thank you for your generous support. Your contribution isn’t just funding an event; it’s encouraging our students to lead active, healthy lifestyles and helping us reach our goal of [insert specific goal or cause].

Here’s the latest:

  • [Number of students] have signed up to participate!
  • We’re [percentage] of the way to our fundraising target.

Remember, you can still support and promote our event through FutureFund at [insert link]. Your generosity is crucial for our success and greatly appreciated by our entire school community.

With gratitude,

[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 Move-A-Thon Donor Email Template

Sample Email for the Final Week Before the Move-A-Thon

Subject: Final Leg of the [School Name] Move-A-Thon – Keep Moving!

Hello [Name of School] Students & Families!

We’re in the final stretch of our Move-A-Thon, and the energy is incredible! It’s been fantastic to watch our students get active and work towards their fitness goals.

Here’s what you need to know:

Only one week left to get your pledges in! Last-minute donations are still welcome to support our students via FutureFund at [insert link].

Come to support the event on [Date] in [Location], and don’t miss our closing ceremony where we celebrate our achievements and recognize our most active participants!

Let’s give it our all in this final week. Your enthusiasm and support make a real difference in our school and for our students. Let’s finish strong!

Keep Moving,

[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 Move-A-Thon Email Template

Templates for Promoting Your Move-A-Thon

Here are some Canva templates to help you spread awareness for your Move-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 Move-A-Thon Template for Instagram Story

Canva Move-A-Thon Template for Instagram Post

Canva Move-A-Thon Template for Printable Poster

Example caption: Support [insert school name]’s Move-A-Thon from [insert date range]. Help our school community raise money for [insert cause] by registering to move for as many minutes as possible!

Step Six: Find Sponsors

Ask local businesses to sponsor the Move-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 materials 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 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.

Step Seven: Host the Move-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 a success. On your mark, get set, GO!

Morning Kickoff (8:00 AM – 9:00 AM)

  • Official launch announcement to all participants.
  • Gather students, volunteers, and teachers in the school’s outdoor area or gymnasium.
  • Warm-up activities led by selected students or gym teacher.
  • Explanation of the day’s schedule and safety guidelines.

First Activity Session (9:00 AM – 10:30 AM)

  • Students participate in their first chosen movement activity (e.g., running, walking, dance aerobics).
  • Volunteers provide assistance and encouragement while ensuring fair participation.

Mid-Morning Break (10:30 AM – 11:00 AM)

  • Short rest period with healthy snacks and hydration.
  • Quick entertainment or motivational talk to maintain enthusiasm.

Second Activity Session (11:00 AM – 12:30 PM)

  • Continued participation in movement activities.
  • Begin highlighting early achievements and notable efforts over the PA system.

Lunch and Rest Period (12:30 PM – 1:30 PM)

  • Lunch break with options for healthy meals.
  • Rest and relaxation time to recharge for the afternoon session.

Afternoon Activity Session (1:30 PM – 3:00 PM)

  • Resumption of movement activities.
  • Encouragement of final fundraising efforts and participation.

Closing Ceremony (3:00 PM – 4:00 PM)

  • Cool-down session with light stretching led by volunteers.
  • Announcement of total funds raised and distance covered/movement achieved.
  • Recognition of top participants and fundraisers.

Post-Event Wrap-Up (4:00 PM – 5:00 PM)

  • Thank-you notes distributed to participants, volunteers, and donors.
  • Clean-up and post-event meeting with volunteers and staff.
  • Reflection and feedback session with a small group of participants and organizers.

Follow-Up (Next School Day)

  • Share a summary of the event’s success via FutureFund messages or school announcements.
  • Survey students, teachers, and parents for feedback.
  • Use FutureFund’s financial reporting tools to summarize progress and financial outcomes.
  • Begin initial planning for next year’s event based on feedback and lessons learned.

One Week After the Event

  • Hold your pizza party or ice cream social for the grade or class that raised the most money.

Move-a-Thon 101

What is a Move-a-Thon?

A move-a-thon combines the best aspects of popular a-thons like walk-a-thons, jog-a-thons, dance-a-thons, and jump-a-thons. Almost everyone can participate because participants get to choose the activity they do for the a-thon.

It’s also easy for PTAs to organize because participants do the activities in their own time, so there’s a lot less planning.

Move-a-Thon Goals & Rules

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

Length of Time

You can hold your move-a-thon as a 1-day fundraiser or as a self-guided fundraiser over the course of a few weeks.

For a 1-day fundraiser, the event should last at least 2-3 hours. For a self-guided fundraiser, encourage participants to hit a certain amount of movement hours in a given timeframe. For example, you could set a target of 5 hours of movement over 2 weeks.

Movement Goal

If you’re doing a self-guided move-a-thon, it should be the participant’s goal to complete the set amount of movement hours, usually between 5 and 10 hours.

For a 1-day event, participants should try to participate for the whole event, which is typically 2-3 hours (with breaks, of course).

Movement Options

The great thing about move-a-thons is that participants can choose their type of movement. Some activity ideas include:

  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Jump rope
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Skateboarding
  • Etc.

Pledge Collection

Start telling students about the Move-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 Move-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 Move-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 move-a-thon work?

Participants collect donations for participating in the move-a-thon. Like other a-thons, move-a-thons follow a peer-to-peer fundraising model, so you aren’t limited to gathering donations from only the participants.

Each participant asks their family, friends, and coworkers (or parents’ coworkers) for donations, creating a huge network of potential donors. From there, participants engage in the activity of their choice for a set amount of time.

How long is a move-a-thon?

One of the great things about a move-a-thon is that you can customize it for your school’s needs. Elementary schools might make the movement time shorter, whereas high schools might make the movement time longer, for example.

You can hold the move-a-thons over multiple sessions or hold a 1-day event. If you’re doing sessions, plan around 10 sessions of 30 minutes each. For sessions, try to give participants at least 2 weeks to complete the 10 sessions.

When should you hold a move-a-thon?

Move-a-thons can be done indoors or outdoors, so they work almost any time of year. That said, participants will likely have more activity options in the warmer months.

What do people need to participate?

Participants need a willingness to participate, and that’s about it! Because participants choose their activity, they can choose something that requires no equipment, like walking. If participants do need equipment for their activity, they will need to supply it themselves.

Are move-a-thons good fundraisers?

Move-a-thons are great fundraisers for everyone involved. They’re easy to plan and easy to participate in. Plus, they help encourage physical activity, making them a fundraiser everyone wants to support.

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 Move-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 move-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 Move-a-Thon for Fundraising

Consider the below when organizing your move-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.

Move-a-Thon Templates & Resources

Planning Resources

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

Canva Move-A-Thon Infographic

Canva Running a Move-A-Thon Checklist

Sample Move-A-Thon Rules

Participant Registration

  • All students wishing to participate must register by the announced deadline.
  • Parental consent is required for participants under a certain age.

Safety & Conduct

  • All activities should be conducted safely and respectfully.
  • Students must follow the instructions of event coordinators and volunteers.

Pledge Collection

  • Participants are encouraged to collect pledges based on their level of activity (e.g., number of steps, distance, or time spent moving).
  • Pledges should be tracked through the official school fundraising system (FutureFund).

Appropriate Attire

  • Participants should wear comfortable clothing suitable for physical activity and supportive shoes.

Activity Options

  • A range of activities should be offered to cater to different interests and abilities (e.g., walking, dancing, yoga).
  • The event should be inclusive, allowing all students to participate in some way.

Hydration & Nutrition

  • Water and healthy snacks should be available for participants.
  • Breaks should be encouraged to prevent overexertion.

Fair Play & Inclusiveness

  • Participation and effort are more important for this event than competition.
  • Activities should be adaptable to accommodate all skill levels and abilities.

Emergency Procedures

  • First aid kits should be accessible, and a plan should be in place for handling medical emergencies.
  • Volunteers and staff should be briefed on emergency protocols.

Fundraising Goals

  • Encourage students to set realistic fundraising goals.
  • Recognize and celebrate all levels of participation and fundraising achievements.

Spectator & Parental Guidelines

  • Parents and spectators are encouraged to support participants in a positive and respectful manner.
  • Designated areas should be allocated for spectators.

Photography & Media

  • Photos and videos may be taken for promotional purposes.
  • Participants should inform the event coordinator if they do not wish to be photographed or filmed.

Or, here’s a Canva template of sample Move-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 Move-A-Thon Rules Template

Sample Move-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! From [date to date], [school name] will be hosting a move-a-thon to help fundraise for [cause]. You can help by moving with us! 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 Move-A-Thon Email Scripts

Use these Canva email script templates to call out for Move-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 Move-A-Thon Student Sign-up Email Template

Canva Move-A-Thon Donor Email Template

Canva Final Week Push Move-A-Thon Email Template

Design Templates for Promoting Your Move-A-Thon

Use these Canva templates to help you spread awareness for your Move-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 Move-A-Thon Template for Instagram Story

Canva Move-A-Thon Template for Instagram Post

Canva Move-A-Thon Template for Printable Poster

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

Move-a-Thon Theme Ideas

Costumes

Every student has a favorite TV show or movie. Encourage them to dress up as their favorite superhero, princess, or another character.

Neon

Really make your fundraiser stand out with neon outfits. It’s fun and easy for everyone to participate and makes for fantastic photos.

Holiday

You can do a move-a-thon at any time of year and match it with upcoming holidays. In the fall, for example, you can do a spooky move-a-thon for Halloween.

Retro

Whether you’re going for 80s hair or a 70s tracksuit, there are tons of ways to bring retro fun to your move-a-thon. You can pick a certain decade or let participants choose their own.

Sports Teams

Inspire everyone to get moving by dressing up as their favorite athlete or sports team jerseys. It’s also a great way to get people moving as a group.

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!"