Maximizing Hours Read
- the number of participating readers
- the number of hours read per participating reader.
Incentives to Read
People invest money and/or time in things where there is some incentive to do so. At the most simple level we could have an incentive in the form of some $amount to be donated for every hour read.
When thinking of incentives, however, we have to keep in mind that incentives are only as effective as the target audience values them. One way to increase the attractiveness of the incentives is to present them from various perspectives. For example, one can discuss incentives from the perspective of $dollars per hour read. Another way is to present them from the perspective of lives changed/saved per “n” hours read.
Bonus Incentives for Milestone Attainment
- achieving a certain number of hours read per individual (or group), such as 10 hours read per individual or 20 hours read, etc. will result in a one-time bonus donation amount. For example, upon reaching 20 hours read a reader might qualify to have an additional $x amount donated in their name. There can also be various bonuses for different levels. For example, a bonus upon reaching 10 hours read and another at 20 hour read, etc.
- or, every hour beyond a certain number of hours read per individual (or group) milestone, will result in a bonus amount being added to the donation for each subsequent hour read.
- or an even more powerful milestone incentive would be that when one passes a certain milestone, every hour for that individual will have a greater value. For example: upon reaching 20 hours read, every hour they read in the future AND every hour they have read thus far will be worth 110 percent of the incentive original amount.
A Competitive Environment
- a bonus incentive for the top 3 readers who achieve the greatest number of hours read for each class or school or sate, etc.
- a bonus incentive for the first “n” readers to achieve “x” hours read during the read-a-thon.
- a bonus incentive for the class within a school or school within a district, etc. that has the highest average hours read per reader
- a bonus incentive for the class within a school, school within a district, state, etc.that have the highest percent of students participating in the read-a-thon by submitting more than 1 hour read (as against total number of students registered to the class, school, etc.).
- a bonus incentive for the class within a school, school within a district, state, etc.that have the highest percent of students reading 20 or more hours (as against total number of students registered to the class, school, etc.).
Bragging Rights Incentives
At the end of the read-a-thon we recommend each community organize a post-read-a-thon local awards ceremony (perhaps organized by a local Rotary club). By announcing in advance of the awards, we can create some additional incentive effect on local readers.
Honorable mention type rewards with certificates can definitely serve as a local incentive for some readers.
The incentives we have discussed so far provide a degree of local bragging rights, but nothing of a level that would cause young people to be running to one another with, “did you hear?…”. With some creative solutions, we can achieve such a degree of bragging rights incentives; for example, via some Celebrity-related incentives.
- a personalized picture signed by a celebrity
- a CD or piece of clothing or signed CD
- a meeting with a celebrity
Getting out the word
Incentives are only effective when the target audience knows about them and deems them to be valuable. This means we need to plan effective communication campaigns to get the word about the various incentives out to the intended audience.
The plan calls for focusing on generating global and/or national news and then arranging for these news stories to be amplified locally via local Rotary clubs and the like. The repetitive mentions (every time an organization or person of influence endorses the initiative or a planning milestone is passed, etc.).