MS Readathon

2020 FIA Campaign of the Year & Impact through Events

The challenge

In 2017, the MS Readathon was ready to turn its final page, with the campaign experiencing a steep decline over the last 10 years. In 2017 the campaign had only 1,400 participants and raised $149,053 gross income. With campaign expenses of $70,228, the campaign was barely covering costs.

Our approach

We helped develop a three-year strategic plan to reinvent the MS Readathon based on market research which indicated a strong receptivity to the MS Readathon brand, especially among primary school aged children.

The new MS Readathon strategy included a fresh campaign proposition and a digital-first multi-channel approach to fundraising. Some key features of the digital campaign included introduction of badges, fundraising tiers, incentives and customized avatars that participants could select as their profile picture on their fundraising page.

The results

A focus on providing children with a fun digital experience has reinvigorated the MS Readathon and set it up for long-term success.

  • Increased income by 733% in two years
  • Increased participation by 1392% in two years
  • From 1400 participants in 2017 to 45,788 participants in 2020
  • $3.2m gross income
  • FIA Award 2020 for Impact Through Events & Most Outstanding Fundraising Project

The client

MS provides information, advice, services and support for people living with multiple sclerosis The MS Readathon is Australia’s oldest children’s fundraising campaign and has been inspiring children around Australia to read and support people with MS for over 40 years.


By focusing on innovative digital strategies, the MS Readathon has taken a traditional fundraising campaign and brought it into the modern world for tech savvy kids.