I remember raising money when I was at primary school in the 1980s with Jump Rope for Heart. The white skipping rope with the red handles were instantly identifiable, as were skinned knees from falling over on the bitumen. A classic event that lives on.
In a nutshell:
Fundraising ideas: skipping program encouraging health and exercise for kids
Suitable for: all ages and groups, great for large groups
Profit: none, all proceeds to the Heart Foundation
Established in 1983 by The Heart Foundation, Jump Rope for Heart is the ubiquitous Aussie fundraiser that is still pumping decades later. The Heart Foundation estimates that over 90% of all Australian school have been involved at some point over the past thirty years, and every year over 300,000 students take part.
It’s important to note though, that all money raised is donated to the Heart Foundation – this is not a fundraiser for the school itself. However, the Heart Foundation will offer a ‘rebate’ to schools which raise over $1,500: which means they will give the school the equivalent amount in skipping ropes, or you can elect to donate the money back to the Heart Foundation.
The program is very flexible and schools can take part at any point during the year. Schools can elect to the run the program over a number of weeks, with students getting people to sponsor them for being involved.
A detailed Teachers Manual offers lessons such as healthy eating and integrated health which can be tied into classroom lessons. Videos are also provided to teach kids about various skipping tricks (such as Double Dutch) and how to fundraise online.
JRFP will even provide links for students to set up their own fundraising pages so family and friends can sponsor online.
At the end of the program, the school holds a Jump Off Day – where students can showcase any skipping skills they have learned, or there can be a timed skipping session. As far as students are concerned, the focus is on involvement, healthy living and prizes.
When a school raises more than $200, the students within the school become eligible for prizes determined by how much they individually raise. Children who raise $30 will be awarded a JRFH skipping rope. $300 in fundraising will earn you a Maddog skateboard all the way up to a camping pack with tent and inflatable mattresses for skippers raising over $5,000.
What is involved
The program is well established and there are a lot of resources provided, meaning there is minimal work required beyond marketing within the school and providing opportunities for student to skip and practice. Included in the online kit are posters, checklists, newsletter inserts, target posters, videos, participation certificates and more.
It is very easy to register your school online, with a series of easy questions such as how many children are participating, how many sponsorship forms are required and the school’s fundraising goal. A co-ordinator is nominated, you let them know the best way to contact you, and a Jump Off (ie finishing) date is set.
You have the option of asking for JRFH t-shirts and skipping ropes to be sent, although the site reminds users that they are a charity and only to request ropes if there is a genuine need.
You submit online and shortly after a kit will be sent to the school. It is up to the school then to encourage the kids to get sponsors and to program skipping opportunities into the day – such as at lunch time and morning recess.
Cost and profit
For the majority of schools, there is no cost – but there is also no profit. One of the conditions before registering a school is that the JRFH kit is free only if the school raises more than $200, which covers the cost of the materials. If the school raises less than $200, the Heart Foundation will invoice the school for the cost of the kit.
Prizes are only awarded to students if the total raises in excess of $200.
For more information
head to the website at http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/sites/jumpropeforheart/Pages/default.aspx