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Best a-thons you need to run this year

March 13, 2024

Best a-thons you need to run this year

With all the planning, preparation, and promotion that go into a school fundraiser, you want to do whatever you can to make sure it’s as successful as possible. Reaching your fundraising goal is obviously the priority, but you also want your participants to have a great experience.

A-thons have been a tried and true PTA/PTO and booster club fundraiser for ages because they get the school community involved and excited, which is key to raising money. PTAs, PTOs, and Booster Clubs use a-thon fundraisers to challenge participants to engage in a particular activity for as long as possible. The longer someone does the activity, the more money they raise.

You’ve definitely heard of (and maybe even participated in) traditional a-thons like a walk-a-thon, reading-a-thon, and dance-a-thon. They’ve been the go-to a-thons for a long time. But if you want to shake things up and breathe some new life and excitement into your a-thon this year, there are tons of unique, creative, fun a-thon fundraisers you can do.


Combine your fundraiser with a volunteer event that focuses on beautifying a public green space in your community and you get a green-a-thon. Select a high-profile spot in your area that could use some extra attention and give it the TLC it needs including litter clean-up, landscaping, and accessibility. 

Involve local businesses by asking for donations and have participants get pledges from the community. Depending on how you plan to enhance the space, you can have donors pledge for various activities:

  • Time spent participating
  • Bags of litter collected
  • Bags of leaves raked
  • Flowers planted


Perfect for school kids of all ages, a write-a-thon encourages creative writing skills and storytelling. You can keep your timeline flexible and run your write-a-thon over a short or long period of time, with the goal to get student participants to flex their imaginations and use their words to write great stories.

A write-a-thon is also a great way to bring out your students’ artistic side by getting them involved in design around the story, from the cover art to illustrations throughout.

Donors can pledge based on the amount a participant writes in words or pages, or they can pledge using a different measure that makes sense for your write-a-thon. You can select the best-of-the-bunch story for printing, binding, and selling to raise additional funds.


While it’s especially fitting for booster clubs of certain sports, you can also run a kick-a-thon that gets students who aren’t part of a team excited. Consider these variations on the kick-a-thon theme:


There are tons of ways to spin a soccer kick-a-thon! Play a marathon match and collect pledges based on player minutes or focus on drills instead with pledges for goals scored.


Put a twist on a traditional swim-a-thon and focus on the feet only with a swim kick-a-thon. Participants propel themselves by kicking only and collect pledges based on how long they’re in the water or how many laps they do.

Martial arts

If you’ve got a taekwondo, karate, or kickboxing club, you’ve got participants ready to kick their way into an awesome kick-a-thon fundraiser.


Broaden the number of participants for your kick-a-thon with an epic game of a classic fan favorite, kickball. Have donors pledge based on the number of times a participant gets on base or scores a home run.


A great option for an arts-based booster club fundraiser is a play-a-thon. Marching bands and other music-focused organizations can run a play-a-thon that gets participants to collect pledges based on the length of time they play. 

Organizations focused on theatrical performances can run a play-a-thon that has participants reading monologues, doing improv and stand-up routines, and putting on micro-plays with donors pledging their support in various ways. 

The best part about these types of play-a-thons is they are great for opening up to audiences and selling admission tickets for an extra boost to your fundraising goals.

Make your a-thon fundraiser successful

Whichever a-thon fundraiser you choose, you want to make sure you nail the planning, execution, and follow-up so you can easily reach your fundraising goal. Make things easier by downloading our a-thon fundraiser playbook and get step-by-step guidance from start to finish.