Best Virtual School Fundraising Ideas: Host a Jog-a-thon!

School jog-a-thons are more popular than ever.  With the Centers for Disease Control’s recommendations for practicing social distancing, schools need to rethink how they can host successful and safe fundraisers.  A jog-a-thon is one of the best school fundraisers that can be virtual using the right software, management, and other social-distancing solutions. 


Jog-a-thons are fundraising events where participants set a fundraising goal to jog or walk a certain number of laps around a predetermined distance in exchange for a donation per lap or a fixed donation amount.  


A jog-a-thon satisfies the unique needs of both donors and fundraisers, and here is why:

  1. Accessibility to diverse audiences, both the young and the elderly.
  2. Do not require expertise.
  3. Demand minimal event planning with the right fundraising software management tool.
  4. Attract faithful supporters and new donors.
  5. Are easy to expand on. Since most fundraising events are multi-faceted, jog-a-thons are ideal fundraisers that can be supplemented with a sponsored health fair, live music, great food, family-friendly activities, or a raffle to raise more dollars.


The main challenges associated with hosting a school jog-a-thon include:

  1. Overall event coordination. 
  2. Tracking each participant’s laps to correctly bill sponsors per lap.  

While social distancing and virtual schooling now offer additional challenges, they are hardly insurmountable.


Let’s say you’ve decided to host a jog-a-thon for your elementary school. Now, imagine 100 cute, short, tall, funny, loud, friendly, maybe even cranky kids, grades 3-5, jogging around in laps together to raise money for chrome books and other school supplies. As an event planner, some of the questions you should be asking yourself to host a successful jog-a-thon for these tiny humans include: 

  • What is my budget for the event?
  • What is my fundraising goal? 

Now, let’s say you have a gross fundraising goal of $25,000. To meet this fundraising goal, you will need each tiny human to average at least ten laps and multiply that by an average of 5 donors per child, at $5 per lap. By this logic, your fundraising goal of $25,000 is within reach, but there are many other event details to consider!

For example: 

  • How am I going to track each lap per each participant?
  • How will I bill each sponsor for each lap?
  • When and how often will I 
  • What peer-to-peer fundraising platform should I use to communicate with parents, family, and friends about participating? 
  • What incentives should I offer each child to jog as many laps as possible? How can I track what I have promised?
  • Who will donate water and healthy snacks for the event day?
  • What rules should I enforce for participation?
  • Who will coordinate paramedics or police presence?
  • Where will the event take place?
  • Who will be our event spokesperson? 

While some of these questions may still apply for a virtual COVID safe event, a successful jog-a-thon requires excellent communication, tracking, and coordination.  Blue Sky Collaborative’s SWEET! peer-to-peer fundraising platform can help!


SWEET! is the culmination of decades of research and client feedback. It offers:

  • Classroom and student fundraising pages.
  • User-friendly forms that are 100% configurable to your needs.
  • Custom communication tools.
  • Branding and design that is an extension of your school website.
  • Downloadable reports to make it easy to track and share results.
  • Economic and competitive pricing.

To learn more about how we can help, visit our website or call us at (p) (800) 330-4109 ext. 803.