School libraries are easy targets for budget cuts these days. And that’s a shame. Not too long ago the school library was one of the greatest resources available to students. So many schools have now begun to research ways to raise money for their libraries.
While there are many library fundraising ideas, holding a read-a-thon might make the most sense. That is especially true for elementary school fundraisers. Here are some basic ideas for your read-a-thon:
Define a specific time period to hold your fundraiser. We would suggest you hold your read-a-thon for 30 days or a complete calendar month. Challenge the students first to read as many books as possible during the event.
Make it an event including a big kick-off and lots of exciting promotional activities. Come up with a great prize list for the winners. Long before the reading period comes to get the kids to write lists of people who would support them in their reading efforts.
Tease these supporters by asking them if they would be proud of the student if they read 5 books in one month. Then send a letter asking their thoughts on a 10-book month.
Finally, send a note asking for them to make a donation or pledge for each book read to provide an incentive for the student to read the books. Have your promotional material focus on the student and the benefits of reading as opposed to the fact that you are holding a library fundraiser. Make sure you include the prizes being offered to the students that read the most books and raise the most money.
While you are holding your read-a-thon give students little rewards for reaching certain targets. For example, they might get extra playground time when they have read five books. Think of different free incentives that you can offer. Some times the free things are more exciting than the prizes you purchase.
Try to get everyone in the school to participate and offer some prize for simply reading a single book and getting a single pledge. Imagine the amount of money that can be raised is each student in a 500 student school got a dollar a book pledge from 10 different people and read 10 books.
You do the math.