I recently attended my son’s school jog-a-thon and I must say, this was such a fun elementary school fundraising event! The kids were so excited and loved the day. The entire school participated and school spirit was bolstered in this way. The manner in which the event administrators arranged the jog-a-thon made it very manageable for volunteer parents and students alike. Here is what I learned from attending my son’s school jog-a-thon.
How a School Jog-a-thon Works
This jog-a-thon, like many school Run/Walk fundraising events, was organized by the school PTA. PTA event organizers had the goal of making money while making the jog-a-thon appropriate for each grade level and fun for the students. They did just that! For example, in the kindergarten group, they had superheroes and characters jogging alongside the kids. Humpty Dumpty was there (I’m sure all of the students were happy to see that they were faster than the slow-moving egg sitting on the wall), and there were characters like Iron Man who ran alongside the children and gave them high-fives, keeping them motivated. Even warm-up time was made fun with marines leading stretches and jumping jacks.
Each grade level participated in the school jog-a-thon at different times. For example, the kindergarten classes’ jog began at 9:05 am. The classes gathered on the football field and water stations were set up at each corner. After the kindergartners completed their jog, the next classes began.
The students ran, jogged, or walked for 20 minutes straight, taking breaks when they needed to. There was a large clock on display to count down the time, thus motivating the kids to keep going for the entire 20 minutes. Each time they completed a lap, volunteers punched a hole punch in their running bib – this allowed them to track completed laps for donors who chose to give pledge donations by contributing a set amount per lap completed. My son completed eight laps!
Students were encouraged to raise a total of at least $30 each, yet if they raised more than $100, they received a prize. This really motivated my son (along with many other children). Setting a financial goal and then rewarding students for accomplishing it helps make them feel good about their achievement. They got their name announced over the loudspeaker at the event and got to go to a prize table to choose their jog-a-thon prize, making them feel special. There were also larger prizes for students and classes that raised the most funds.
Overall I was very pleased with the school jog-a-thon event and especially my son’s enthusiasm for participating in the fundraiser. The one thing that I did not particularly like about the school fundraiser was the fundraising website they used for collecting donations. Since most of our family lives far away, we had to solicit donations by sending email requests to friends and family. (The school also distributed a pledge sheet or pledge form to each student.) However, the link we had to send to family and sponsors led to a very generic page that was not very user-friendly. There was absolutely no ability to personalize the page, so donors had no idea which student they were contributing to. I think it would have been fun to have a personal fundraising page where we could add a picture of my son, a description of the purpose of the fundraiser, and then set a goal and track his fundraising progress as people made donations. We could not easily solicit pledges by lap as there was no reporting for this, only straight donations. We really had no idea how much he had raised or if he had even accomplished his goal until the day of the event. Also, although the fundraiser was a great success in many ways, it really did not raise that much money for the school.
DoJiggy Crowdfunding Software provides fundraising pages for jog-a-thon participants and classrooms, allowing schools to raise 2-3 times more money on school jog-a-thon and crowdfunding events.
Our P2P Crowdfunding Software for school jog-a-thons includes:
- Personal fundraising pages for participants and classrooms
- Easy participant registration or student import options
- Student online privacy features
- Social media share links on all pages
- Leaderboards and fundraising thermometers to further encourage competition
- Ability to accept secure donations or pledges (per lap or other distance)
- Cash and off-line donation or pledge entry (at no additional cost) for students/parents and administrators
- Prize management system with prize widgets on pages
- Secure, integrated credit card payments by Stripe
- Sponsor sales and promotion for local businesses
- Customizable, mobile-responsive website templates
Organizing a School Jog-a-thon or Walkathon in 5 Steps
Step 1: Assemble a Jog-a-thon Leadership Team
Successful Jog-a-thon and Fun Run events hinge on the recruitment and action of a strong leadership team. Don’t try to go it alone – get a committee in place to help with all of the race logistics. Many parents will get excited about being part of this type of active fundraiser.
Step 2: Determine Walkathon Logistics & Financial Goals
This step includes determining the date and location of your fundraising jog-a-thon, fundraising budget and goals, and the like. Will you include an obstacle course or after-party?
Step 3: Implement Jog-a-thon Software
Peer-to-peer crowdfunding software is a must for school jog-a-thons. Don’t limit your success with paper pledge sheets. DoJiggy offers the best, most affordable jog and walk-a-thon software in the industry. Ready to get started?
Step 4: Motivate Students
The nice thing about a school jog-a-thon is that you already have a large number of participants in your students and staff. Still, marketing and promotion will serve an important purpose in raising awareness and motivating participants and donors for the walk. And don’t forget the prizes – kids will work hard for very small rewards.
Step 5: Manage Donations and Pledges Online
One of the most important considerations when planning a school jog-a-thon is how to successfully and securely manage donations and pledges. Our crowdfunding software has you covered.