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Virtual 'a-thon' Fundraisers for Schools
Virtual 'a-thon' Fundraisers for Schools

Make any school fundraiser completely virtual & social-distancing friendly

Rodrigo Ramos avatar
Written by Rodrigo Ramos
Updated over a week ago

Virtual 'a-thon' Fundraisers for Schools

99Pledges runs thousands of successful fundraisers every year.

Now more than ever, we're seeing schools adapt their annual "a-thon" fundraisers to be 100% virtual. They encourage participants to do activities at home safely (social distancing) while raising much needed funds for their school.

Our platform has made this possible for schools, sports leagues/teams, music groups & more in all 50 states in the US. We invite you to join the 99Pledges family to see these game-changing results for yourself and your organization!

We make it super easy on you (as the coordinator), your students/parents, and your donors. Each student will have their own online pledge page (we set up in minutes) that can easily be shared by email, Facebook, Twitter, and text message. This makes it simple for family & friends to support them (which often doubles or triples the amount raised).

We're sure your first question will be, "How much does this all cost?", so let's settle that now: 99Pledges is Free. $0 Startup costs. 0% Platform fee. No Contracts.

Go here if you're looking for a Sports & Music Fundraising version of this article.

Adapt Your Fundraiser to be Completely Virtual

These are just examples to get you started. We would love for you to take these ideas and build upon them to make them your very own!

Also, see below to get specific ideas from a few of the schools we've worked with.

At the end of the day, the focus is to get students active and engaged whether that's physically and/or mentally.

πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ Fun Runs, Jog-a-thons, & Walk-a-thons become Stay-Fit-a-thons, Move-a-thons, Excercise-a-thons.

  • Motivate students to exercise at home (around neighborhood) by completing a number of activities.

  • Activity ideas: Running, Jogging, Walking, Biking, Dancing, Jump Roping, Skipping, Playing Sports.

πŸ“š Read/Spell/Math a-thons simply become Virtual Read/Spell/Math a-thons.

  • Read-a-thon: Students choose their books and track their minutes read at home for a 2-week period.

  • Spell-a-thon: Students receive a spelling test during distance learning class or their parents give them the spelling test. Then, count how many words were spelled correctly.

  • Math-a-thon: Students receive a math worksheet at home based on their grade level and count how many math problems were solved correctly.

You can read more about all of these fundraisers on our Fundraising Ideas Page.

Want to keep it super simple? We can set you up with a Virtual Pledge Drive.

Making Donations Through 99Pledges is Easy Breezy

Traditionally, you have your supporters pull out their checkbook, envelope, and stamp to mail a donation. We help you make it hassle-free for them with an easy & secure online donation while they sit in the comfort of their home (Oh, and by the way.. our records show supporters donate 25% more through an online donation as opposed to cash/check).

Also, pledge pages are mobile-friendly, so they can make a quick donation while waiting in line at their local grocery store.

Supporters will be able to donate online by giving a flat donation (e.g. $30, $60, $100, etc.). And depending on the type of fundraiser, you can enable an option for supporters to also make a performance-based pledge (e.g. $2 per-activity for Move-a-thon, $3 per-minute for Read-a-thon, $5 per-word for Spell-a-thon, $8 per-problem for Math-a-thon, etc).

After donating, they will automatically receive a thank you note and receipt (if you are a 501c3 nonprofit organization, you can include Tax ID in the receipt).

Here's a sample of what your virtual fundraising process could look like:

  1. Set up your fundraiser page with 99Pledges for free.

  2. Announce the fundraiser to students/parents (without pressuring to participate).

  3. Watch your donations roll in!

  4. During your virtual event, have families email pictures & videos that you'll post on your organization's website or have them post on your community page (e.g. Facebook Group Page).

  5. You get paid!

Our Schools

Valor Christian Academy

  • Transitioned annual Jog-a-thon to a Stay-Fit-a-thon, where they invited students & families to complete a 20-minute fitness challenge at home.

  • Challenges: Run/Walk/Bike, Jump Rope, Dance Tutorials, Kids Workout, & more.

  • Encouraged families to post pictures and videos on their Facebook School Group page

  • Due to the pandemic & financial hardships, VC Academy notified supporters that it was completely understandable if they wanted to withdraw their pledge.

  • Read more about their experience with us.

Assumption-St. Bridget School

  • Adapted annual Walk-a-thon to a Virtual Walk-a-thon.

  • Had students route out their own map to walk for the school.

  • Funds are being used to support operating budget and help fund teacher salaries, student success services, enrichment classes and more.

Glen Park School

  • Re-imagined their annual Rainbow Run-a-thon into a Rainbow ReCreate-a-thon.

  • Held daily challenges for students that included reading, STEM, community outreach, and exercising.

  • Using funds to prepare an unprecedented return-to-school program and shore up support to meet diverse student needs.

We've also had schools set up Virtual Read-a-thons:

  • Chabot Elementary raised $79K (close to double the amount from last year) with students reading an average of 1,300 minutes for a 2 week long Read-a-thon.

  • Colonial Elementary raised $36K at the start of the year with their first-ever Read-a-thon. Then, they followed up with a Quarantine Read-a-thon to support their city's local economy.

  • St. Francis - St. Stephen School raised $5,352 with 99 students that went directly to their financial aid fund to support returning & newly enrolled students.

In an effort to navigate distance learning for the upcoming school year, schools are using funds for technology & other needs:

  • St. Aloysius School, Willett Elementary, Cadence Park Elementary, & St. Michael School (among many others) held Virtual Jog/Move a-thons. They are using their funds to have Chromebooks for all students and new Virtual Learning Technology.

  • BASIS Chandler Primary held a Math-a-thon to raise funds for their Annual Teacher Fund.

  • Smyrna Elementary is using funds to build an outdoor classroom.

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