Every $Dollar used TWICE!

Every $dollar in this initiative is used twice:
  1. as an incentive to encourage readers to maximize the number of hours they read.
  2. to provide food as an incentive to get poor children attending school.

Maximizing Funds Raised

We are planning to use a multi-level strategy for fundraising:
  • a large number of experienced local fundraisers in almost every community around the world (e.g. local Rotary clubs)
  • engaging the young people who intend to be participants in the read-a-thon
  • reaching out to philanthropists, celebrities and other people of influence to champion or otherwise support this high-profile initiative. This could be especially valuable if it results in matching fund offers.

An Army of Local Fundraisers

This initiative originated with a Rotary Youth Club. It is expected that a significant number of the 65,000 Rotary and affiliated Rotary Youth clubs around the world will support this initiative at the local level. Rotary clubs have years of experience in local fundraising.

Engaging Youth in the Fundraising Effort

Engaging local youth in the fundraising effort has multiple benefits:
  • it deepens the connection between the youth who will be the readers and the bigger purpose of the read-a-thon (which should provide motivation to maximize the hours read by youth that participate in drumming up local support for the read-a-thon)
  • It gives the participating youth more of a stakeholder position.
  • young people that will be participating in the read-a-thon can be especially effective in building local support

Global Philanthropist/Celebrity Donations

There are many large philanthropists that make large donations or even have programs that are dedicated to the causes of child hunger and child literacy. Our plan is to focus on showing them how we are supporting the attainment of THEIR goals.  

Matching Funds as a Fundraising Incentive

We see opportunities to use donations pledges from major donors as a way to incentivize other fundraising efforts. For example by declaring them to be matching fund pledges. 

This can make donating more attractive to large donors because they see their donations helping to encourage other donations and therefore increasing the impact of their donation. It also serves to encourage fundraisers to work even harder in getting pledges because each pledge is worth double or triple its face value.

Don't pay until after the results are delivered

Many x-a-thons are only about fundraising for some cause other than the read-a-thon. In our case, a major goal of the read-a-thon is to get tens of millions of young people reading over an extended period of a month. For that aspect of the initiative, donors do not pay until after the results have been delivered.

Getting the attention of global philanthropists

While there are some philanthropists that are primarily for the publicity benefit it brings them, there are many who are truly committed to the causes they support. The challenge, however, is how to get them to be aware that we have an effective program that supports the attainment of their goals.

We strongly believe that there are many philanthropists, who, if they knew of this initiative would want to support it. We therefore seek to maximize every publicity opportunity we can in the hopes that some will approach us offering to help.

Once we have achieved a certain degree of public attention, we have plans to leverage other opportunities for getting the attention of philanthropists VIPs.

Associative Marketing Campaign

If we achieve the degree of publicity we hope to, this initiative would be a great opportunity for other organizations and corporations to associate themselves with. Either by donating to the read-a-thon incentive fund or by supporting the initiative in other ways (such as in-kind services: providing food, transportation support, local staff support, etc.).

Supporting Publicity Campaign

Every announcement of another organization or celebrity, etc. supporting the initiative is good reinforcing publicity for the initiative. Every announcement of another supporter for the initiative gets other organizations to think about also being involved or at least makes it easier for others to say yes to supporting the initiative (and for some might even make it more difficult for them to say no).

Publicizing their support for a popular initiative is good Public relations for potential partners, allies and champions.

Due to the shortness of time, this component of the initiative might not achieve its maximum potential this year. However, every success this year will make it that much easier to recruit partners, allies and champions for the initiative next year. Heightened awareness of the media should also increase publicity related to the initiative in subsequent years.