A-thons in Fundraising

‘A-thons’ come in all forms, limited only by your imagination!

Participants are sponsored for however many units of the ‘athon ’are completed. Alternatively, sponsors can donate a fixed amount regardless of the outcome.

Some of the more popular ‘A-thons’ include Sport-a-thon, Lap-a-thon, Dance-a-thon, Walk-a-thon and Skip-a-thon, but of course your event does not have to be an athletic event and here are some other ideas that you might not have thought of for your next ‘A-thon’ fundraiser.

Spell-a-thon – Each year level is give a list of grade appropriate spelling words and children can be sponsored per correct word.  It’s also a sneaky way of encouraging kids work on their spelling (just don’t let them know that!)

Read-a-thon –  Students are sponsored per book that they read. One month is an ideal amount of time for your event to run but you can adjust this to suit your situation.

Play-a-thon – A great idea for music students where they can be sponsored for performances either individually or as groups.  Most kids love to perform in front of a crowd so speak to shopping centres and the like to see if performances can be done there.  Flat fee donations would probably work better for this option.

Math-a-thon – Have students sponsored for every maths problem that they solve.  Set a time limit but make sure it’s year level appropriate.

Hoop-a-thon – This can be set up for individuals or as a team effort.  Free throw line or 3 point shots are sponsored and you can either set a time limit (5 or 10 minutes) to sink as many shots as they can or that they can keep shooting until they miss.

Aerobic-a-thon – Pump up the tunes and get sponsored for every five minutes or aerobics that you complete.

Athons can be organised in-house but they do require quite a bit of organisation if starting from scratch. Some can even be set up online or there are fundraising specialists who organise a-thons for you, taking a percentage of the profits. Investigate both options to see which is right for you.

Make it an annual event and the target of beating the previous year’s result becomes an added incentive. You can also run a district or regional competition – one school vs another!

Ask local businesses to sponsor your event – particularly if it “fits” with your chosen ‘a-thon’.  Ask your local book store to sponsor your Read-a-thon, donating prizes for the highest money raiser; for a Swim-a-thon ask your local sports store; or for a Play-a-thon speak to your local music store.

Click here for our list of fundraising A-thons suppliers.

Originally published 15 March, 2015

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