How to Host a Read-A-Thon

Hosting a Read-A-Thon fundraiser, also known as a reading fundraiser or reading marathon, can be a fun and engaging way to foster a love for literature while supporting your school, library, or community organization. Whether you're aiming to raise funds for new books, literacy programs, or charitable causes, a reading-themed event can captivate participants of all ages and backgrounds.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide step by step instructions to set up a readathon using the platform.

1Register for a free account

There is no cost to create an account for you or for parents or students. homepage

2Create a fundraiser

Once logged in, click on your avatar and select the "Start New Fundraiser" option. dashboard when first logging in

3Enter school information

If your school or organization is a 501(c)(3), enter the business name and EIN, so donors will receive donation receipts and corporate matching instructions. We recommend 2-3 weeks for the duration of your event.

Fundraiser settings page

4Set participant goals

You can set a fundraising goal for the school and for each participant, as well a goal for the target number of minutes read. You can later override these on the class level and parents can set their own goals if they choose.

More fundraiser settings

5Enable leaderboards

You have the option to enable leaderboards, either by class or by individual, which we recommend to help promote healthy competition. Students only see their own name on the individual leaderboards and parents can still opt out of them if they prefer.

Even more fundraiser settings

6Select payment method

Choose how you want to receiving the proceeds from the donations. Your options are PayPal or direct to your bank account. View our pricing page to learn more about the differences

Payment method options

7Add classes

You only need to add the classes that will be participating in your fundraiser and individual student names as they will add themselves. For each class, you set the grade level, teacher's name, and donation and reading goals for each student in the class.

Add class participating in Read-A-Thon

8Invite parents

We provide an email template that you can use to send to parents inviting them to register for your Read-A-Thon, but feel free to edit it however you choose. The key is to provide parents with the 6-digit "Fundraiser Code".

Send invitations to parents inviting them to register for the Read-A-Thon

9Parents create student profiles

Parents can then register for a free account in their name and then create profiles for their children.

Parents create student profile

10Select classes and goals

When setting up the profile, parents select the class and student goals. If set, these goals take priority over the school or class goals. If individual leaderboards are enabled for your fundraiser, parents can choose whether they want their students to participate in them.

Settings fundraiser settings for student profile

11Student record time previously read

Students can then record the time they spent reading in their account. We provide reading logs so students can keep track of reading time in class or away from home.

Student record reading time online

12Or use stopwatch to track time

If they prefer, students can use online stopwatches to more easily track the time they read.

Stopwatch to record reading time

13View charts showing reading progress

Students see charts showing their reading time as well as motivational messages to encourage them to continue to record time throughout the event.

Read-A-Thon dashboard showing charts
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