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2021 Fundraising Idea: Virtual Fit-Athons The perfect at-home fundraiser for the new year!

With 2020 behind us, it's time to look to 2021 and plan fundraising events that can work for distance learning, in-class learning, and everything in-between! We know that the future is uncertain right now, but we wanted to share one virtual fundraising idea you can depend on: A Virtual Fit-Athon!

The success we have seen from schools in 2020 who used this fundraising idea is very encouraging. Plenty of schools replaced their annual Fun Run with this virtual option, and we even have one entire COMMUNITY do a Town-Wide Fit-Athon.

The Danvers Elementary Schools Virtual Fit-Athon saw incredible donation numbers and tons of student engagement. That's right, an entire community of schools came together to put on an incredible virtual fundraiser! Highlands Elementary School, just one of the schools involved, went from their traditional annual Walk-Athon to a 100% Virtual Fit-Athon this year. They had great success bringing in donations, raising over $10,000 for their school alone!

"The change in format definitely revived interest in our typical Walk-athon, as well as created a sense of unity and community amongst hybrid cohorts and fully remote students… Some much-needed school and town-wide spirit for 2020!” - Highlands Elementary Fundraising Chairperson

How Does a Virtual Fit-Athon Work?

The Virtual Fit-Athon concept is simple. Students watch challenge videos done by the PE teacher (jump rope, parkour, soccer, basketball, hiking/walk, etc.) and complete whatever challenges they would like. Or, they can make up their own challenge! Parents post videos of their child completing these fitness challenges and ask for support from friends and family.

Step 1: Pick Your Fit-Athon Exercise Options

Put some parameters around your fundraiser so it is easy for parents to understand and for students to participate. Ask students to exercise for X amount of minutes per day, or to complete a certain number of X exercise, or to complete a certain distance for running, biking, walking, roller blading, etc. You can also do laps if students are participating from home (could be laps in a neighborhood, local park, or gym).

  • Minutes of dancing, yoga, or online workout class
  • Number of repetitions of jumping jacks, pushups, sit-ups, squats, or a mix of different exercises
  • Distance of cardio such as running, walking, or biking

Step 2: Record Activity & Create Rewards

The most important step of ANY virtual fundraiser is your ability to create an online homebase for your event. This is the place students, parents, and donors will go to interact with your fundraiser. This is also where students will be able to track and share their participation. Your online homebase could be your Parent Group webpage, social media account, or a third-party system like FundHub.

Create a way to track and display student participation on your online homebase. If you use FundHub, you have the option of turning on our Activity Counter. This is a completely adjustable online counter that keeps tabs of each student's participation numbers, as well the school totals.

Once you have a way of tallying student participation, create a system of rewards! These should be for both activity and for donations. So you may have two different tracks of rewards, one that incentivizes meeting exercise goals and one that makes it enticing to meet individual and classroom donation goals.

Step 3: Raise Donations & Share Student Fitness Participation

Know how you're going to raise $$ for your Fit-Athon? By showcasing how much fun the students are having! Encourage parents to take pictures and videos of the kids exercising and share these on social media, through email, or via text when asking for donations.

  • Raise awareness of your fundraiser by having the gym teacher host a live workout class on FB
  • When students reach fitness goals, feature them on your social media page/group
  • Include a hashtag for your fundraising event and always provide links back to your online donation page

Using FundHub, you can have all the online features you need to make your Virtual Fit-Athon a success. Talk to one of our fundraising experts to learn more.

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