How to Run a Sing-a-Thon Fundraiser
Sing-a-thons are out-of-the-box fundraisers that are engaging and effective. Participants have fun and help fundraise for their school, extra-curricular program, or club.
Here, we’ll show you the A-Z of sing-a-thons, including planning, tracking donations, and ideas on how to organize and promote it.
Sing-a-Thon Guide Table of Contents
A quick introduction to what a sing-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 Sing-a-Thon?
The tools, support, and volunteers you’ll need for a successful Sing-a-Thon.
Using a Sing-a-Thon to Fundraise
How to raise money with sing-a-thons.
Templates, Ideas, Tools, & Resources
Kickstart your sing-a-thon using curated templates and tools.
Sing-a-Thon Theme Ideas
Feel inspired with our Sing-a-thon theme examples.
What is a Sing-a-Thon?
Sing-a-thons are unique, but they follow the same basic format as other a-thons, like read-a-thons or dance-a-thons. Participants sing for a certain amount of time and gather donations in the form of pledges.
You can build a sing-a-thon into a school concert and turn it into a fundraising opportunity. Because the money is going back to the school, most people are happy to support it.
Sing-a-Thon Goals & Rules
Treat these as a base and feel free to tailor these to suit your specific event.
Sing-a-thons can follow a few different formats: a one-time event, multiple singing sessions, or virtually/at-home. Most sing-a-thons are held as one-time events, similar to any concert.
As a one-time event, the sing-a-thon should last between 2 and 4 hours. If you’re doing your event in multiple sessions or at home, then the event can be anywhere from 4 to 10 hours.
The goal will be largely dependent on the length of your sing-a-thon. A one-time event should have a shorter time goal than multiple sessions or an at-home event, for example.
Typically, singers should set a goal of singing at least 1 hour per session. For one-time events, participants should try and sing for at least 2-3 hours.
Sing-a-thons draw a crowd, which makes it a great opportunity for sponsors. In exchange for advertising and recognition, ask sponsors for donations in the form of money or supplies.
If you’re looking for a virtual fundraiser, sing-a-thons can easily be held online through a video call. Alternatively, you don’t need to host an event at all, and participants can simply track their singing time at home.
Recommended Starting Rules
Follow these steps for a successful sing-a-thon:
- Before you start telling students about the sing-a-thon, you should decide the following:
- Date(s) of the sing-a-thon
- Duration of the sing-a-thon
- The song list and theme (if you have one)
- Start telling students about the sing-a-thon at least 1 month before it starts, especially if the event is on the weekend.
- 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sing-a-Thons
How does a sing-a-thon work?
A sing-a-thon is a type of peer-to-peer fundraiser. In exchange for their time singing, people pledge donations to the singers. Donors can be family, friends, and coworkers (or parents’ coworkers).
The exact rules for your sing-a-thon are totally up to you, so you can customize the event to fit your school. Sing-a-thons can be done as one continuous event, split into sessions, or at-home.
How long does a sing-a-thon last?
Most sing-a-thons are between 2 and 10 hours. There are a few different ways you can split the time:
- As one continuous event
- As separate sessions, over the course of a week or two
- As an individual, at-home event
When should you hold a sing-a-thon?
Sing-a-thons can be held any time of year. However, since sing-a-thons are usually held inside, they’re a great winter fundraiser. That way, you can save the summer months for fundraisers that can only be held outside.
What do you need for a sing-a-thon?
Sing-a-thons require a bit of event coordination. You’ll want to look into the following at least a few months in advance:
- An event venue (your school gym can work for this)
- Sound system
Are sing-a-thons good fundraisers?
Sing-a-thons are great fundraisers, especially if your school has a music program, choir, or musically-talented students. If your students are passionate about singing, this is an excellent way for them to show off their skills and raise money doing it.
You can also gather donations through ticket sales and pledges, increasing the fundraising potential.
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 Sing-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 sing-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 Sing-a-Thon for Fundraising
Consider the below when organizing your sing-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.
Sing-a-Thon Templates & Resources
Sample Sing-a-Thon Rules
These rules are a great starting point for organizing your sing-a-thon.
To participate in the sing-a-thon, you must sign up by [date]. Then, the sing-a-thon is on [date], so be ready to have your voice heard! 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 Sing-a-Thon Event Description
Unsure of where to start? Use this sample student and parent messaging to get the ball rolling!
Join us for our sing-a-thon! On [date], [school name] will be hosting a sing-a-thon to help fundraise for [cause]. You can help by singing as much 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!
Sing-a-Thon Theme Ideas
A holiday or Christmas concert is a classic theme, and it works great for sing-a-thons. Incorporate Christmas carols and songs for other holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
Blast from the Past
This historical theme allows you to incorporate songs from any era. You can even take guests through the decades with songs from the past to the present.
Past or Future
Take students to another time with books that take place in the past or future. You can even choose books based on what they’re learning in history class as an added learning opportunity.
They call classical music classical for a reason. You can’t go wrong with classic songs by composers like Mozart and Beethoven.
Around the World
Take a trip around the world without leaving home. Choose songs from around the world and take guests on a musical journey.
This theme lets you have fun with your sing-a-thon fundraiser. Choose funny, goofy songs to entertain both your singers and your guests.
You can pick almost any music genre for your sing-a-thon: county, pop, hip hop, and more. Just make sure you can find clean versions of the songs you choose.
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