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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I run a Readathon?

I want to run Readathon – what do I do?
When should I run Readathon?
How long does Readathon take?
What will I get when I register?
When will I get my Readathon resource pack?
I can’t run Readathon after all, as things have changed. What should I do with my pack?
I have an old Readathon pack – can I still use it?
I don’t have enough sponsor cards and / or bookmarks for all my pupils – what do I do?
I’d like to give the children who raised the most a special certificate - where can I get one?

We've run our Readathon - what do we do now?

How do I send you the money?
I have collected a lot of sponsorship money in cash. How do I get it to you?
Where can I find a paying-in form?
Do you need all the sponsorship cards?
Does it matter if the totals on the sponsorship cards don’t match the total money 
I can’t find the envelopes you sent me - how do I send things back to you?
Will I automatically be registered for next year? 
Some money has come in late – can I still send it to you?

Where does the money go?

How is the money split between ReadWell, CLIC Sargent and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity?
Do you plan to change how much you give to charities?
Who pays for the free books that you give to schools?
Our school already has a well-stocked library and doesn’t need free books - can we donate their value to the charities instead?
How much of the money raised by the children goes to the charities?
Why do you need reserves – can't you just give this money to the charities at the end of the year?

How do I run a Readathon?

  • I want to run Readathon – what do I do?
    Just click here to register and we'll send you your free resource pack!
  • When should I run Readathon?
    Any time you like! Just pick a time that suits your school and your plans - term time, school holidays or around a particular event such as World Book Day or Children’s Book Week.
  • How long does Readathon take?
    As long as you want! We’ve had Readathons from 24 hours to an entire term! Most schools tend to run Readathon over three or four weeks during term time, or over the school holidays including half term, but it’s up to you.
  • What will I get when I register?
    First, an acknowledgement by email or post to confirm your order. Then at the appropriate time, send you a big orange box – your Readathon resource pack. In it will be all you need to set up and run your Readathon. Once you have sent us your sponsorship money, you will receive a thank you pack and book voucher.
  • When will I get my Readathon resource pack?
    If you’ve registered before the term in which you plan to run your Readathon, it will arrive at the beginning of the term in which you’re going to run it. If you’ve registered during the term in which you'll run it, you should get it within 7 working days of our receipt of your order.  It may take a little longer at peak times, e.g. in the run up to Children’s Book Week or World Book Day.  (It help to give us as much notice as you can!)
  • I can’t run Readathon after all, as things have changed. What should I do with my pack?
    Don’t worry – we understand. Please keep the pack in case you or a colleague can run Readathon in future. It’s not economical to send it back. 
  • I have an old Readathon pack – can I still use it?
    Yes - but only the current incentive scheme will apply (but we think it is our best ever! - a free book voucher worth 20% of your sponsorship total!)   
  • I don’t have enough sponsor cards and / or bookmarks for all my pupils – what do I do?
    No problem – just give us a call on 0870 240 1124 or email us at reading@readathon.org. Tell us how many extras you need for each age group (infants, juniors or secondary) and we’ll send them out to you straight away.
  • I'd like to give the children who raised the most a special certificate. Where can I get one?
  • You can download a certificate here.  You might also like to give certificates to those who read the most or whose attitude to reading was the most improved or indeed to all who took part. 
  • We've run our Readathon – what do we do now?

    How do I send you the money?

    • In your resource pack, towards the back of the ring binder, there's a form headed 'How to send us your sponsorship money' and in the back pocket an envelope marked 'sponsorship money'.  Put your completed form, with your school cheque and any parents' cheques (which must be payable to 'Readathon') into this envelope, then put the envelope with your completed sponsorship cards in the Freepost-labelled jiffy bag, also in the back pocket of the folder. Then just post it - no stamp required!

    • I have collected a lot of sponsorship money in cash. How do I get it to you?

      Ask your finance office to turn it into a cheque payable to ‘Readathon’. Please do not send cash!

    • I can’t find my paying-in form - how do I send my money back to you?

      You can here and print another copy - or just send us your cheque(s) with a school compliments slip so we know which school to send your thank-you pack to!

    • Do you need all the sponsorship cards back?

      Yes, please!  We need them to be able to claim Gift Aid. Last year alone, we raised an additional £46,000 through Gift Aid – all down to those little cards!

    • Does it matter if the totals on the sponsorship cards don’t match the total money submitted ?

      Don’t worry, just send us the money you have collected.

    • I can’t find the envelopes you sent me - how do I send things back to you?

      Any envelope is fine, just as long as the sponsorship cards and cheques are securely packaged up. You are welcome to use our freepost address: Freepost RSSA-XLTA-XBSY, Readathon, Unit 26, Nailsworth Mills Estate, Avening Road, Nailsworth, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL6 0BS.  

    • Will I automatically be registered for next year?

      No - most schools love it so much they do it every year! Staff details and schools rolls often change from year to year, so we ask you to re-register each year to make sure we get our details right!  To make life easier for you, there'll be a pre-printed, reply-paid registration card in your thank-you pack - just fill in the blanks and send it back and we’ll set up your order ready for next year.

    • Some money has come in late – can I still send it to you?

      Yes, no problem. We will add the money to your school’s total and send you a new certificate for your overall total. You will also get an additional Scholastic Book Clubs voucher for the additional amount you send in. 

    Where does the money go?

    • How is the money split between ReadWell, CLIC Sargent, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Together for Short Lives?

    • We use a proportion of the funds to run ReadWell which provides books and storytellers for children in hospital. The remainder is split between CLIC Sargent, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Together for Short Lives as agreed by our board of trustees. We have supported CLIC Sargent and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Chidlren's Charity for many years – CLIC Sargent since the late 1980s and Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity since its launch in 1991.

    • Do you plan to change how much you give to charities?

      Becoming a charity in 2009 increased some of our administrative costs in that financial year. As we can now claim Gift Aid directly on all the eligible donations made, the long-term benefits of becoming a charity in our own right are clear. In 2009 Gift Aid alone contributed around seven per cent of our income.

      Readathon has invested significantly in the organisation over the last two years. This investment has been vital to help us achieve long-term, continued growth which in turn will enable us to increase our support of our chosen charities in the future.

      As Readathon increases its success in encouraging schools to run Readathon, more children will be reading for pleasure. This will increase our fundraising, enabling us to give even more money to our selected charity partners.

    • Who pays for the free books to be given to schools?

      We are in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs, who share the costs of the free books offer with us. This incentive scheme has become an important part of what we offer schools, now more than ever, as school budgets come under increasing pressure. Combined with the cuts in library services, it is important we do all we can to ensure children can access the best reading materials in school.

      We chose Scholastic Books Clubs as they offer a range of books suitable for all ages and abilities from all publishers. This means schools are free to choose from a wide range of fiction, non-fiction and educational titles.

    • What about schools who have well-stocked libraries and don’t really want free books?

      We realise some schools would rather not receive free books – this is absolutely fine. These schools can donate their free book vouchers to ReadWell. ReadWell brings books and storytelling to children in hospital.

      To donate your books, simply contact us on 0845 606 1151 or email reading@readathon.org.

    • How much of the money raised by the children goes to the charities?

      It varies according to how many schools have taken part, how much they have sent in to us and the overall costs of running Readathon each year. We have two charitable aims – getting more children to read for pleasure and helping seriously ill children.

      We invite CLIC Sargent, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Together for Short Lives to apply for funding for specific projects that will directly benefit seriously ill children. These applications are reviewed by our board of trustees and grants are awareded in line with our charitable objectives. In 2013/2014 we spent just 2 per cent on charity governance.

    • Why do you need reserves – can't you just give this money to the charities at the end of the year?

    • Any organisation needs reserves to meet its ongoing operational costs. We aim to maintain our reserves at a level which covers our operational costs for a period of approximately four months. This ensures we can meet all our financial obligations at any time.