Fundraising terms can have many meanings. We put together a fundraising glossary of terms and definitions for fundraisers and nonprofit professionals.

What is peer to peer fundraising?

Peer to peer fundraising is a way for supporters of a charity to raise money and awareness by voluntarily raising money within their own network of friends and family. Similar to crowdfunding, organizations engage many donors pledging small amounts of money. Unlike crowdfunding, peer to peer uses a multi-tiered approach where individuals can create personal fundraising pages to support your cause, enlisting friends and family to reach their personal fundraising goal.

What is a Mutt Strut?

A Mutt Strut is dog-friendly walk or run where pets, caregivers and their friends, fans and family complete a route. This often ends in a festival or party with animal friendly vendors and events. This sort of fundraiser is great for animal or children’s charities. Sponsors provide revenue and often cover the organizational costs. Like fun runs, mutt struts can include novelty categories, such as wearing costumes or using themes.

What is a pledge event?

A pledge event is an event like a walk or run or something that allows individual participants to raise money for a cause. Fundraising can be raised on the number of things a participant does like miles walked or biked, hoops thrown or pages read (see read-a-thon below). People can pledge an amount for each mile, hoop or page. They are incredibly successful, both because people like taking part – they enjoy the experience and challenge – and because friends asking friends results in more, and higher donations.

What is a bike-a-thon?

A bike-a-thon (bikeathon) is a fundraising event that works just like a walk-a-thon, however instead of walking, participants are biking for a cause. Participants bike a predetermined course and commit to raising money for an organization. Bike-a-thons work well because almost everyone knows how to ride a bike and they are an easy family event. Bikers may collect pledges per completed mile or contributors may choose to donate a set amount.

What is a fun run?

A fun run is a friendly race that involves either road running or cross country running with participants taking part for their own enjoyment rather than competition. A fun run is especially good for fundraising with sponsors providing the revenue to cover organizational costs. Fun runs can include novelty categories, such as wearing costumes, and age categories for children, teens, and older adults. Fun runs can also be included as a side event to a marathon or other more competitive races. Motorcycle, snowmobile and other vehicle events are also sometimes categorized as “fun runs.”

What is a bowl-a-thon?

A bowl-a-thon is a pledge event where groups of people will solicit pledges from friends and family, gather at a local bowling alley for three games of bowling and play to raising money for a specific charity or cause. Some advantages of a bowling fundraiser are the minimal preparation and low upfront costs: the bowling alley can provide most everything you need, so all you need to do is show up and bring along plenty of other participants. The number of attendees is only limited by the size of the bowling alley hosting your event.

What is a walk-a-thon?

A walk-a-thon (walkathon or sponsored walk) is a type of fundraiser where participants raise money by collecting donations or pledges for walking a predetermined distance or course. They are similar in format to other physical activity based fundraising events such as marathons and cycling races, but are usually non-competitive and lower intensity. The low intensity model is ideal for mobilizing broad-based community support, and as a result Walkathons usually target participants from a wide range of ages and economic backgrounds.

What is crowdfunding?

Crowdfunding is raising money for your cause by soliciting a small amount of money from a large amount of donors. Crowdfunding usually takes place online.

What is a color run fundraiser?

A color run fundraiser is fun alternative to a traditional jog-a-thon or walk-a-thon for any school or organization. It’s an enjoyable and healthy outdoor event that encourages people to participate and raise funds. The difference is that participants are given a packet of color powder to use as they want. You can provide the color powder packets to parents and spectators for a fee encourage their participation and raise additional funds.

What is a read-a-thon fundraiser?

A read-a-thon fundraiser is an event where students pledge to read a certain number of pages or hours when they sign up. Donors pledge to give a fixed amount or an amount based on the final tally of pages or minutes read. Once the reading deadline passes, students enter the total number of pages or minutes they’ve read and pledges can be fulfilled based on the final number.

Client Testimonials

When I think of our first year with Blue Sky Collaborative, our goal was $10,000. The most we had ever raised from an event before then was about $2500. We felt the $10k goal was such a stretch. And here we are, setting a goal of $75k. We believe that finding Blue Sky Collaborative was… Read more “Finding Blue Sky Collaborative was such an important step in our path”

Pat Cattolico
Blue Sky Glossary - Fundraising Types
What is a color run?