Readathon Opportunity

Raise a Reader ProgramWe’re going to deviate from walkathons and talk about readathons.   A readathon  (or read a thon) is geared to kids ranging from the earliest readers all the way through high school.  Readers gather pledges based on how many minutes they read, much like walkathon-ers gather pledges for laps they walk.

Schools and other groups wishing to to host a readathon should definitely take advantage of the Raise a Reader Program, sponsored by the International Reading Association, Parents magazine, and Parents.com.  While technically not designed specifically for readathons, the program happens to be ideal.  Benefits:

  • The program allows students to log their reading minutes as they devour books throughout the spring, using a free service provided by BigTent.
  • Students who log reading minutes will be entered for individual prizes
  • The free program includes a personalized school page where you, your students, and parents can watch your school’s progress
  • One winning school with the most logged minutes per student will receive a $5,000 library grant.

Click here to get more info and sign up before February 28. The reading begins on March 8.  Raise funds, raise readers, raise school spirit all at once.

One Kid, One Bike, Big Success

Check this out from today’s ABC News:

“A young British schoolboy has raised more than 100,000 pounds ($160,000) Monday for Haiti’s relief effort by cycling round his local park.”

Two thoughts for even the smallest walkathons (or bikeathons):

  1. Yes, you can do this!
  2. He took donations via a web page.  Go online to maximize your fundraising and also so your walkathon can catch on “virally”, where friends tell friends who tell friends.

Read more…  UK 7-Year-Old Raises Tens of Thousands for Haiti – ABC News.

DoJiggy Grant Applications Due Nov 15

Here is a great opportunity for extra funds for your group.  Since walkathons are one of DoJiggy’s specialties, I think that if you’re planning a walkathon you may stand a good chance at winning one of their grants.   Application are due Nov. 15.    From their press release:

Boulder, CO (Oct. 27, 2009) – Online fundraising software services provider, DoJiggy, today announced a call for grant proposals for their DoJiggy Giving™ program. DoJiggy Giving supports nonprofits and community organizations through the donation of in-kind software services as well as a percentage of the company’s annual profits. This year the company plans to award five or more organizations with cash grants in the amount of $500 – $1,000.

For more info from DoJiggy, plus the application form…

Just for disclosure, I am not an affiliate of DoJiggy but took a look at their software.  It could be a nice tool for you to organize your event, worth a look.  For more info on software, see my older post, Online Fundraising Tools for Walkathons.

Go for it!  Somebody has to win so it might as well be you, right?

Walkathon Concessions Tips

ConcessionsIf your walkathon event lasts more than an hour or two, you can make a bundle from concessions!  A couple tips:

  • Get donations from local vendors as part of your sponsors program, in exchange for plenty of publicity.  You may be able to get much of your walkathon concessions inventory for free.
  • Be sure to keep an exact tally of what you purchased and how much of it you actually sold.  If you have a walkathon every year, you can use those records to vastly reduce wasted food.   You can even keep your records in a spreadsheet on Google Docs so that any new concessions chair can easily have access to all the old info.
  • If you offer freebie items like popsicles or hot dogs, you can use the walkathon lap card to keep track of what the walker has already received and what they still have coming.

Let’s Talk about Planning Walkathons!

shoe2Roger Carr, author of Charity Walks Blog, has invited me as his first guest on the Charity Event Success radio show. The interview will take place on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at 2 p.m. Eastern. We will be discussing the topic of Planning for a Successful Walkathon. There are several ways to listen to the conversation:

* Call (347) 850-8340 to listen to the show live

* Listen to the streamed show from the host webpage at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/charity-event-success

* Listen to an archive of the interview will be available immediately following the show at Roger’s blog.

Be sure to leave a comment on the show page when you visit.

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