School Jog-a-thon – a great school fundraising event

jogathon-photo1I recently attended my son’s school jog-a-thon (variation of a walk-a-thon fundraiser) and I must say, this was such a fun school fundraising event! The kids were so excited. The entire school participated, but the way they arranged it made it very manageable for volunteers and students. The grades 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.

jogathon-photo2The event organizers made the school fundraiser very appropriate for each grade level and fun for the students. For example, for the kindergarten group, they had characters jogging alongside the kids. Humpty dumpty was there (I’m sure all students were happy to see that they were faster than the slow-moving egg sitting on the wall), and there were characters like IronMan who ran along side the children and gave them high-fives, keeping them motivated. Even warm-up time was fun with marines leading stretches and jumping jacks.

The students ran for 20 minutes straight, taking breaks when they needed to. There was a large clock on display to count-down the time, thus motivating 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 8 laps).

jogathon-photo3Students were encouraged to raise a total of $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 (i.e. $100) and then rewarding students for accomplishing it helps make them feel good about their achievement. They also got their name announced over the load speaker at the event and got to go to a prize table to choose their prize, making them feel special. There were also larger prizes for students and classes that raised the most funds.

One thing that I did not particularly like about the school fundraiser was the online 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. However, the link we had to send to family 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 really had no idea how much he had raised or if he had even accomplished his goal until the day of the event) – These features are available if using a solution like DoJiggy Pledge Software that provides personal fundraising pages for participants.

Overall I was very pleased with the event and especially my son’s enthusiasm for participating in the fundraiser. Here are some more great school fundraising ideas.