Festive Fundraisers How to get into the season with your next fundraising event!

How to Pull Off the Perfect Fall or Winter Themed Fundraiser at Your School

The Fall and Winter festivities are right around the corner, and we have some great ideas for your next seasonal Fun Run or other Athon event.

These physical fitness-driven fundraisers will bring in some extra money before the end of the year or event enough to meet your entire Parent Group budget! Plus, these are great opportunities for getting the community involved through local sponsorship.

Whether you’re looking to add some extra holiday flair to your fundraiser or you’re starting from scratch, we’re here to help every step (or trot!) of the way.

October Fundraiser Ideas

  • Monster Dash
  • Spooky Sprint
  • Glow Fun Run
  • Superhero Dash

October is the perfect time to add some spooky fun to your fundraiser! A Monster Dash or other Halloween theme is a silly way to make your Fun Run or other athon fundraiser a part of the spooky celebrations at your school.

  1. Allow students to dress up in their Halloween costumes for the Fun Run (just make sure masks, shoes and long costumes don’t get in the way of being active!)
  2. Play festive music like The Monster Mash, the Ghostbuster’s theme song, and Michael Jackson's Thriller during the run.
  3. Serve healthy snacks with a spooky twist for after the run, like halved bananas with chocolate chips for eyes to look like ghosts or broomsticks made from cheese sticks & pretzels.
  4. Create Halloween-themed incentives, like a classic spooky movie with popcorn, or tickets to local Halloween events (Zoo Boo, for example).
  5. Get the principal involved by getting toilet paper and having the students help wrap him up like a mummy for the event!

Example: Pike Primary's 2018 Pirate FunD Run

Pike Primary Pirates take advantage of the festive, silly season by hosting a Pirate themed FunD Run! Not only is this their mascot, but it is also appropriate for the costume-wearing month of October. They celebrated meeting their donation goals by having a crazy hair day and a wacky tacky dress up day!

Pike Primary celebrates meeting their first donation goals with wacky hair day!

Example: CTA Liberty Elementary 2018 Sweet Read-Athon

Not only is it the season for dressing up, but it's also the time for sweets! CTA Liberty is hosting a read-athon and giving away golden tickets to students who raise $300 or more in donations! These tickets allow students to take a limo ride to Sweeties - a massive emporium of old-school & current sweet treats! Their sweet theme is tied into their huge student incentive and it is a part of their fundraising goal to raise donations to "sweeten up their playground." This is a great example of using the October season of sweets as part of your fundraising theme.

In the spirit of their sweet read-athon, this desk was converted to a Hershey's Kiss!

November Fundraiser Ideas

  • Turkey Trot
  • Gobbler Gallop
  • Color Fun Run
  • Rake-Athon

Turkey Trots and other Thanksgiving/Fall themed fundraisers are an excellent way to shed some calories and promote a healthy lifestyle! Students can get in some much-needed exercise before indulging in yummy holiday fare.

  1. Have students dress up like pilgrims or turkeys on event day. They could even make hats as an art project during school.
  2. Rent a turkey costume for the principal or gym teacher to wear during the event.
  3. Create an fundraising incentive for the school if the fundraising goal is reached for the principal to dress up like a Turkey for the event or for a whole day at school after the event.
  4. Serve apples or cider as a healthy snack for students when the trot is over.

Since this holiday is all about coming together make this fundraiser a family event! Encourage moms, dads, brothers and sisters to join in the fun on the day of the fundraiser, bring a dish to pass and after the event everyone can partake in a potluck style feast!

  • Consider having this Fun Run during the second half of the school day, or even during the weekend, so it doesn’t cut too much into class time.
  • Get the community involved by offering restaurants, bakeries and other food providers exposure and advertising if they give to your fundraiser and bring something for the meal.

Example: Isbister Elementary 2018 Color Run

Fall is the perfect time to host a Color Run!

Color Runs are an easily recognizable event that typically take place in the summer or in the fall - just the mention of hosting a Color Run will immediately elevate your athon fundraiser and have the potential to grow participation and donations!

The music, the color, the running, the dancing and jumping and fun make your event a memorable experience that everyone will want to be a part of – whether that be students running, parents volunteering, or community members donating to your cause! Isbister Elementary is hosting their Color Run at the end of September - but they have already almost met their donation goal!

Example: Violet Elementary 2016 Turkey Trot

Violet Elementary made sure their first annual Walk-Athon was a success by giving it the perfect fall theme - a Turkey Trot! They exceeded their fundraising goal and have teamed up with us for the past three years following their initial success!

December Fundraiser Ideas

  • Jingle Jog-Athon
  • Reindeer Read-Athon
  • Snowy Sprint
  • Bubble Run
  • Foam Run

Early December is a great time for this fun, fitness event! The Jingle Jog or other winter-themed fundraiser is a great way to host an end-of-the-year fundraiser before Christmas/Holiday break!

For Schools That Don't Get Snow: If you're school is in an area that doesn't get snow, consider hosting a Bubble Run or Foam Run. These fundraisers mimic the experience of jumping and playing in the snow. You can still let students dress up for the holiday season and give out seasonal treats!

For Schools That Get Snow: Did snow come early this year? Is there already frost on the ground, but you are planning an outdoor Fun Run? Why not make it a Snow Sprint and get the kids excited to throw on their snow gear, do a few laps and end with a cup of hot cocoa?

  1. Encourage students to bundle up with scarves, hats and gloves so they stay warm but still get to run around outside.
  2. Offer fun, winter incentives like sleds, passes to local ski parks, and packs of holiday-themed movies.
  3. End the run with sugar-free hot cocoa and homemade cookies (or granola bars, to keep it healthy!)
  4. Students and parent attendees can dress up like elves, candy canes, gingerbread men, funny holiday socks or other holiday attire.
  5. Have a staff member dress up in a Grinch costume on event day and have all the elves (students) "Chase the Grinch!”
  6. Use small candy canes to count laps.

Example: Sycamore Elementary 2017 Bubble Run

Sycamore Elementary had an amazing Bubble Fun Run in 2017! They hosted their fundraiser in September, but it could have easily worked as a winter event - especially since they are in a part of California that rarely sees snow.

This was the 5th year in the row they have worked with us: The 1st year they raised $10K, the 2nd year $13K, the 3rd year $13K, and for the last two years they have raised over $21K! With their Bubble Run, they used a bubble machine to blast students with bubbles as they ran around the outdoor track. This fundraiser is so successful that they plan to host it again this year!

We hope you enjoyed these ideas and that you found them helpful in making your next fundraiser a festive experience!

If you're ready to create a festive fundraiser for your school and are looking for some help, let us know!

Created By
The Get Movin' Crew


Created with images by rawpixel - "untitled image" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • Jakob Owens - "Pumpkin Girl" • GLady - "girl colorful happy cool person laughing funny" • Victoria_Borodinova - "baby winter outdoors" • ddimitrova - "kid soap bubbles child" • Rebelsaurus (Katie Harp) - "Halloween Party Flat Lay Styled Stock"