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12+ Inspiring Athon Fundraisers Worth Trying at Your School

12 Cool School Athon Fundraisers That Are Totally Worth Doing

From silent discos to glow runs, we look at successful school fundraisers across the country.

by Kerri Beauchesne


Get Movin’ Fundraising
Brought to you by our friends at Get Movin’ Fundraising! Plan, promote, and track your next Fun Run, Read-Athon, and more, right from your phone. With Get Movin’ you get custom donation tools, a former parent group leader to guide you, and the most profit for your school! Learn more.


Looking for a way to raise a whole lot of money for your school while kids get to have fun doing something they love? Try an athon fundraiser! Athons are great because they can be academically focused (reading, STEAM) or fun and fitness focused (like a bubble run or a glow danceathon). Get inspired by these schools who were able to raise a ton of money with an unforgettable athon fundraiser!

Bubble Run

Laurel Elementary hosted a Leapin’ Lions Bubble Run and raised over $28,000! They used bubbles at the start and finish line and provided huge bubble wands for students to play with after the run.

Your group may want to consider investing in a foam machine that can be used for bubble runs as well as field day and foam parties, a popular incentive for hitting school fundraiser goals. If you have some budget, parent group leaders in our community strongly recommend the Foam Daddy Cannon (you'll need this stand, too) and hypoallergenic Foam Daddy gel solution (tip: 1 gallon makes 400 gallons of foam, which lasts around 2.5 to 3.5 hours). 

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Calvin Smith PTA combined fun and learning with a focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Students completed various STEAM activities and racked up an impressive 26,837 STEAM minutes! They smashed their $15,000 goal, raising a total of $16,770. Even the principal got in on the fun, promising to let students style and dye their hair if the schoolwide goal was met!


Glow Danceathon

Kick your elementary or middle school dance up a notch with a glow-in-the-dark danceathon (here's everything you'll need, from decor and supplies to Canva templates)! Panther Run Elementary PTA in Wellington, Florida, raised over $40,000, and students got to participate in a fun glow party. 


Glow Run

A glow run can be held in the gym during recess or after hours, or outside on school grounds at night. Pershing School's first-ever Glow Run was a high-energy, neon-inspired extravaganza that turned recess into an unforgettable event. While they set a goal of $13,000, they were able to raise $20,448. Students who raised at least $250 were given the chance to silly string school staff! Get glow run tips and tools


Silent Disco

Clark Elementary PTO in Paducah, Kentucky, hosted a Silent Disco themed fundraiser for their school. The PTO transformed the school into a glowing disco, and students received glow sticks and glowing LED headphones to dance to music played by the DJ.


A post shared by Tara Bowling (@tara_bowling)


Color Run

Saint Finbar Parish School held a successful Spring Color Run and raised over $45,000 (double their original goal!). Get color run planning tips (including the color powder our community of PTO and PTA leaders swear by!).


Reading Pledge Drive

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School had a record-breaking readathon, raising an astonishing $79,530! Their "reading buddies" program helped to foster a sense of community and love for reading by pairing together older and younger students. More reading pledge drive tips


A post shared by OLPH School (@olphschoolscv)



Medlock Bridge Elementary PTO in Johns Creek, Georgia, had a goal of $42,000 and raised $46,036 with their "Runapalooza" themed fun run! All students were treated to a science show for their reward party. 


Nacho Average Walkathon

Hickory Elementary PTO really spiced up their walkathon and raised $23,697! Every grade got to groove at a celebratory dance party during the walkathon. Classes had themed names, like "Ervin’s Exciting Enchiladas” to “Gunn’s Guacamole Guys + Gals”.


Viper Ninja Warrior Course

Val Vista Academy in Gilbert, AZ hosted their annual Viper Ninja Warrior event, a fun challenging obstacle course designed for kids of all abilities with obstacles, activities, and lots of smiles to go along with kids’ awesome feelings of accomplishment! With a goal of raising $30,000, Val Vista Academy is hoping to purchase a portable PA system, fulfill teacher wish lists, host special school wide presentations, and fund student field trips. Good luck, Vipers!


Comet Challenge Water Balloon Gauntlet

Carillon PTA hosted a water balloon gauntlet for all students who raised $100 during Carillon Elementary’s 4th annual Comet Challenge. With a goal of $50,000, they were able to raise $63,367. What a fun add-on to an athon event to raise even more funds! 


Screen Free Readathon 

Friends of Willow Tree encouraged families to go screen free for a month and to read, read, read! The minutes that kids read (or that parents read to kids) were easily tracked using the online activity counter on Get Movin's FundHub. 


Bear Run

Schwarzkopf Elementary had a goal for $30,000 for their Bear Run event, and raised an incredible $46,617! Students who raised $300 earned a ticket to the "Bear Cave" - a wonderland of indoor games! - and the top seven fundraising earners got the chance to swap roles with a staff member for the day!


Seuss on the Loose Obstacle Run

Silver Ridge Elementary in Davie, Florida, raised over $70,000 during their Seuss on the Loose Obstacle Run! Classrooms who met their fundraising goals got to experience a glow-in-the-dark party.


Get more athon fundraising ideas, tips, and resources in PTO Today's Athon Fundraising Hub. 👉


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