Reading Fundraiser

Doing a reading fundraiser or read-a-thon is a great way for schools to raise money. These reading fundraiser ideas show you several ways to raise money for your school while helping all the children improve their reading skills.

Reading Fundraiser Ideas For Schools

In general, a read-a-thon works just like a walk-a-thon or jog-a-thon where children raise money from pledges based on how many laps around the school track they complete. These pledges come from family members and friends with each family responsible for collecting and submitting the pledged amounts back to the teacher.

As far as fundraising ideas profit margins go, these walking, jogging, or reading fundraisers work very well because all of the money goes directly to the school. Plus, there is no selling required by the children or parents except for getting some pledges for the activity.

So, in a basic read-a-thon fundraiser, everything is done the same way as with a walk-a-thon. Paper forms are used to track reading assignments, completed reading, amounts pledged, and amounts collected.

A better reading fundraiser idea though is to move all that pledging and tracking activity online. That makes it easier for both the parents and their teachers. Plus, it also provides an easy way to collect the pledges and to incentivize the reading activity through gamification.

While the companies that provide this type of online assistance for reading fundraisers do keep a portion of the funds collected, they also make it easier for families to get pledges from relatives who don’t live nearby and provide them a way to get reading progress updates.

In addition, the children earn points for each reading assignment completed. Those point totals are reflected in their reading profile and badges or avatars are used to reflect performance status.

Plus, teachers can view reading  performance levels online and see how well children performed on reading comprehension assessments of what they have read.

And, PTA or PTO fundraising coordinators can view how much the reading fundraiser has raised so far. And as previously discussed, an online read-a-thon has an excellent fundraising profit margin, which after fees is roughly 75% to 85% of the total revenue, all of which is collected through the online pledge system and directly deposited into the school’s PTA or PTO bank account.

A reading fundraiser can be conducted in as little as two weeks, but it’s better to run it for a month or two in order to get the maximum educational benefit from the read-a-thon. Schools can also conduct a summertime reading fundraiser spread out over three months. Talk about a great school fundraiser that puts plenty of money into PTA/PTO coffers right at the start of the school year!

Online School Reading Fundraiser Companies

There are two major companies that conduct a reading fundraiser online for schools:

  • Learn2Earn – Charges a 15% fee, uses at-home reading assignments, does not provide incentive prizes
  • Read-A-Thon – Charges a 25% fee, uses in-class reading assignments, provides reading prize incentives

The Learn 2 Earn reading fundraiser lets teachers or administrators select which books children should read on their own time and uses owl-based avatars and  a “Whoo’s Reading” chart to provide daily teacher feedback. For young children, there is also a program for parents to read to children so they earn point. There is also a program for beginning readers that provides points for young readers who read in tandem with their parents.

The Read-A-Thon fundraiser require ten 30-minute reading sessions in the classroom and pledges are set at $2.50 per session. Teacher or administrators select the books to be read in the classroom.

Both reading fundraiser companies provide all the necessary promotional materials and social media sharing tools, plus handle all the pledge collection activities.

So, how much can your school raise with a reading fundraiser. It depends because its going to vary with the duration of the reading program, the participation level and the pledge level. Both companies say that $50 per active reading fundraiser participant is a reasonable amount to expect.

When you compare that with other fundraising ideas profit margins, you can see that this type of school reading fundraiser ideas are a very worthwhile activity. And it goes without saying that anything that helps improve children’s reading skills and makes them proud to be a reader is a very good thing indeed.

While these reading fundraisers are geared toward grades K-8, there are some high schools that use these reading activities as a way to raise additional funds as well. With a lot of high schools now assigning incoming freshmen a summer reading list, it makes economic sense to incentivize that as well.

Regardless of which of the reading fundraiser ideas you choose, this is one school fundraiser that benefits everyone.