Go beyond your run-of-the-mill school fun run fundraiser with these wacky and fun -athon ideas to make your next pledge fundraiser your most profitable. No matter what kind of -athon you can think up, 99Pledges can help you raise more cash with much less work. Spread the word online and stop chasing down pledge forms and checks. Your #ptolife just got a lot easier!

Chessathon


IconicBestiary/Thinkstock

How about holding an all-night chess tournament? Just when everyone starts to doze off, liven things up with a life-size game! Each player wears a headband with a sign saying what “piece” they’re playing as. Students can invite friends, parents, or relatives using 99Pledges’ email share function. Check and mate!

Serveathon


nadia_bormotova/Thinkstock

Have your budding volleyball players see how many serves they can make over the net—while blindfolded! Individual student pledge pages make it simple for people to sponsor a player with a flat or per-serve donation.

Random Acts of Kindness-athon


Vrabelpeter1/Thinkstock

Helping friends and strangers is the goal, whether it’s baking cookies for a neighbor or building a buddy bench. You can decide whether pledges are per cookie, per neighbor, or per anything else you can think of.

Juggleathon


Damedeeso/Thinkstock

Do your soccer players aspire to David Beckham’s mad foot skills on the pitch? Challenge young strikers to improve their juggling—with knees and feet, natch—while supporting a worthwhile cause (new nets for a hurricane-damaged school in Puerto Rico, for instance). The whole team can set personal and team juggling goals and have some fun trying to meet (or beat) them. The team will keep an average of 95 percent of money raised for the cause.

Spellathon


edwardsamuel/123RF

Test kids’ (and parents!) spelling and pronunciation skills with a twist on the tried-and-true spelling bee. Plan a students and parents spellathon and download 99Pledges’ handy spellathon word list for kids to study. Then surprise the grown-ups on the day of the event by giving them words from the National Spelling Bee list. Can you spell S‑U‑C‑C‑E‑S‑S?

Cleanathon


BILEVICHOLGA/THINKSTOCK

Nothing says good, clean fun like getting dirty for an important cause. Share a park or playground cleanup project on your social channels to ask for donations and recruit more volunteers. Facebook and Twitter share buttons make it easy to spread the word with your network.

Liftathon


Nastco/Thinkstock

Plan an event with a holiday theme, like a Thanksgiving morning Turkey Liftathon! Adults do some serious lifting while kids do a “turkey press” (Cornish game hens attached to a PVC pipe). Make it simple by asking all those relations staying at your house to sponsor and pay online via credit card or PayPal. You have a feast to cook—you don’t have time to mess with pledge forms and checks.

Skiathon


Polina-Petrenko/Thinkstock

Who’s cooler on the slopes, skiers or boarders? Let your future Olympic downhillers slalom and slide their way toward a fundraising goal. While you’re sipping hot chocolate in the lodge, 99Pledges will tally up the runs and take care of the reporting for you.

Danceathon


Melanie Lemahieu/123RF

Want the kids to challenge the school principal to a flossing competition? Follow these steps for a successful danceathon: Choose a theme, schedule the school gym, start publicizing early, enlist a lot of volunteers (because 24 hours is a loooooong time), find a DJ or volunteer with a variety of music, line up lots of food and drinks, and schedule breaks. Don’t forget to sign up the principal for dance lessons!

Beardathon


max-kegfire/Thinkstock

Celebrate whiskers of any length or bushiness! Post progress photos of your beard awesomeness to Facebook to promote your cause and encourage even more family and friends to donate online.

BookTube-athon


onetouchspark/Thinkstock

Every July, this quirky online book group creates a week of challenges like “let a coin toss decide your first read,” “read and watch a book to movie adaptation,” and “read a book with green on the cover.” There’s nothing parents need to set up—your kids can complete all the challenges and share titles (and video book reports?) on their personal pages.

Gameathon

We all know how important play is to a child’s development, but who has time, right? Take a Chance card and host an imaginative gameathon. If you’re not sure how to get started, a 99Pledges dedicated success manager can help you strategize.

Readathon


Dmytro Pauk/123RF

Combine your school’s readathon with a book swap—you get to clean out bookshelves at home and the kids will love bringing home their “new to them” books.

Throwathon


be_low/Thinkstock

Basketball free throws, clay pot throws, javelin throws, judo throws, knit throw blankets—you name it, you can -athon it on the 99Pledges platform. It’s the perfect place to create whatever kind of pledge fundraiser you can dream up!

Designathon


Deagreez/Thinkstock

Give kids a problem to solve—like, oh, maybe how to protect sensitive bare feet while walking across a floor strewn with Legos—and let them get to work! Share photos of all the inventions on social media and your sponsors might even start investing.

Hackathon


nadia_bormotova/Thinkstock

If you’ve ever said “There should be an app for that,” a hackathon event might be right for you. It’s similar to a designathon, but this is creative coding problem-solving in a fun group setting. Likeminded donors can even pledge support from their mobile devices.

Canathon


Blueringmedia/Thinkstock

Turn your school’s students into holiday food elves to benefit your local food pantry. Dress up in cute hats and collect canned goods and other nonperishables for the community. Parents, neighbors, and friends across the country can pledge a certain amount per can and help brighten someone’s holiday.

Whatever -athon you decide to try, 99Pledges can help make it a success with individual participant pages, email and social share functions, web and mobile acccessiblity, and automated tracking functions. If your event raises $15,000 or more, 99Pledges will donate 6 Kindle Fires to your group!

Main image photo credit: Deagreez/Thinkstock