A-thon campaign playbook

Get creative and tap in to your supporters' unique interests by hosting an A-thon campaign. Follow the playbook to organize a successful A-thon campaign on CrowdRise.

Derived from the word “marathon,” an A-thon campaign involves doing a certain activity to accomplish a certain goal or for an extended amount of time. Common fundraising examples might include a dance-a-thon, yoga-thon, read-a-thon or code-a-thon.

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Why run an A-thon campaign?

Mix up your usual fundraising events like 5ks and capital campaigns with a new type of creative event tailored to your supporters’ interests. Because A-thons involve an extended period of time doing an activity, fundraisers have the opportunity to ask for donations based on how long they will be participating. For example, a fundraiser might ask for donors to pledge $20 for every hour she is dancing at the dance-a-thon.

Strategic Functionality

Incorporate the functionality listed below to craft the perfect A-thon campaign, leveraging the best practices we’ve included for each feature.

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Registration/Ticketing

Collect an upfront participation fee and manage participant signups by adding CrowdRise Registration/Ticketing to your campaign.

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How to make the most of it:

  • Encourage supporters to get involved early by setting variable registration prices, such as “Early Bird” or “Late Registrant”. For example, set your initial price to $20, then up the price to $30 one month out from the A-thon.
  • Implement Promo Codes to give discounts on ticket prices, such as for returning participants or sponsors.
  • Add a ticket option for ‘Virtual Participant’ for participants who support your cause but aren’t in the area to attend.
  • Allow multiple registrants to register at once by enabling Group Registration. This makes checkout fast and easy for groups like families.

Click Here for detailed instructions on how to add registration/ticketing to your campaign.

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Multiple Team Fundraising

Allowing participants to fundraise in groups will help spur friendly competition. Recruit teams of a-thoners to form groups and compete against other teams for who can raise the most money. Each team member gets his/her own campaign page to reach out to their own networks.

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How to make the most of it:

  • Message your supporters to encourage them to gather their family, coworkers, book club, or college roomates to fundraise and attend your event.
  • Provide incentives* for team captains to recruit more people to their team. For example, recognize the largest team or the team that raises the most money at the awards ceremony.

Click here for specific instructions on how to add teams to your campaign.

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Text-to-donate/register

Allow your supporters to text a keyword of your choice to receive a link to your campaign.

Text to Donate

How to make the most of it:

  • Choose a short, relevant keyword to remind your participants of your cause.
  • Share your trigger word everywhere you can. For example: social media, event invitations, and event banners.
  • Set up your keyword to link directly into your registration flow for a speedy transaction.

Read more about setting up Text to Donate Here.

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Incentives, Contests/Sweepstakes**

Give participants extra incentive to raise money for your cause with giveaways and chances to win prizes.

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How to make the most of it:

  • We find that experiential prizes work best as incentives-- especially those that make fundraisers feel extra valued like after party tickets or an exclusive dinner before the a-thon.
  • Reach out to your sponsors or board members to ask for donations that could make donor or fundraiser incentives.
  • Be sure to spread the word about your incentive as a part of your campaign messaging plan.

View a full menu of contests and sweepstakes Here.

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Fundraising Minimums

Anticipate donation volume and stay under budget with confidence by setting a minimum amount each participant must fundraise in order to join your event.

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How to make the most of it:

  • Consider your audience, goals, and registration pricing when setting fundraising minimums. Increase the minimum amount for events for which you would charge a higher ticket price.
  • Set checkpoints for fundraisers, which are incremental and more-attainable monetary goals along the way to a larger goal. Checkpoints make fundraising for a big goal seem a lot less daunting!
  • Send reminders throughout your campaign to participants with a minimum, and consider sending a personal congratulations once they meet their goal.

See here for specific instructions on how to set a fundraising minimum

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*Feature available to nonprofits who have purchased a subscription or Add-on

**All incentives, contests/sweepstakes must be written and approved by CrowdRise. Contact NPOsupport@gofundme.com or your Success Specialist for more information.

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Check out other campaign Playbooks:

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