The 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge Toolkit

Looking for ways to make sure your participation in the Marquette Challenge is fun and successful? Use the Marquette Challenge Toolkit resources and templates below and check out some event inspiration.

Start Fundraising

Learn more about fundraising activities and events that can make your Challenge year a success.

There are many good reasons to fundraise for the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. In addition to supporting physical therapy research and your future profession, you can win prizes including: co-hosting rights for next year’s challenge; tickets and travel to the Foundation’s events at the American Physical Therapy Association’s NEXT Conference and National Student Conclave; and recognition in national publications and the Foundation’s website.

To get started, identify a lead “Challenge Coordinator” and a team to help organize all fundraising events, materials, and promotions. Consult with your Program Director about how your department can participate in the Challenge. Students are advised to consult with their program director/chair regarding student interest in supporting the Foundation.

The Foundation offers resources — including templates, tips and letters of support — and you can connect with other coordinators in the Marquette Challenge Facebook group.

From penny wars to continuing education courses, Marquette Challenge student fundraisers organize hundreds of events across the U.S. each year. Some examples of the creative fundraisers held in past years include the following:

  • Virginia Commonwealth University raised $1,389.95 by working with their local Chipotle to organize a night where a percent of sales benefited the Marquette Challenge.
  • Students at the University of Pittsburgh host a number of continuing education courses throughout the year.
  • Mayo School of Health Sciences students organized a “Putts for PT” golf tournament, raising $4,000.
  • Drexel University truly got creative! Students created and sold their own art prints with proceeds benefiting the Challenge.
  • New York University and Washington University in St. Louis both organize 5 to 10K races to support the Challenge.
  • The University of St. Augustine in Texas hosted a Mardi Gras themed crawfish boil.

Planning ahead for a full year of activities can help keep the Challenge interesting for students and provide plenty of time to promote events. Consider these month-by-month fundraisers as part of your fundraising calendar.

September Challenge

Host a back-to-school cookout to celebrate being back on campus with your favorite classmates, faculty and staff. Whether you fire up the grill for traditional burgers and hotdogs or put your own spin on events with crawfish, taco night, ice cream sundae bars, or s’mores, this event is sure to make the crowd happy.

October Challenge

Organize a community event and connect with your neighbors. It’s no secret that many physical therapist and physical therapist assistants chose the profession because they wanted to connect with people in their community in a meaningful way. Organize a fitness event (such as a yoga class) led by students or local instructors, host a “rent a PT” service day, or organize a rummage sale that your wider community will get excited about!

November Challenge

Host a percentage night by reaching out to the manager of a local restaurant or chain to arrange a percentage of sales to benefit your Challenge fundraising efforts. Be ready to hand out flyers around campus and at the door! This is a quick and easy way to fundraise for the Challenge. Some chains that may hold fundraisers in your community include Chipotle, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, California Pizza Kitchen, Panera Bread, and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Winter Challenge

Hosting an event during these winter months can help you stay connected with your fellow student fundraisers and keep your momentum going. Consider a winter or holiday-themed event like caroling, selling hot chocolate, or hosting an ugly sweater party in December and January.

February Challenge

Heat up the remaining weeks of winter with a competitive event. You could host a trivia night, cook-off, coin wars, a game night, a talent show, and more! Make teams for a little friendly competition to spark some fire and raise some funds for the Challenge.

March Challenge

For the final monthly challenge, organize a bracket competition or sports tournament. You could arrange a bracket for March Madness or a favorite reality TV show, or organize team-based events like a volleyball tournament, basketball game, or golf outing.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy works with EverydayHero, a fundraising platform you can use to easily gather donations for your cause, for those who wish to create a crowdfunding donation site. Please be advised, EverydayHero is not an event management platform. It cannot take registration fees or support ticketing for your event.

To use EverydayHero, follow the instructions below:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “sign up” in the top right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Create a title for your fundraiser in the page title field.
  4. Enter your fundraising goal in the “raise target” field.
  5. In the charity field, click on the magnifying glass. From there enter “Foundation for Physical Therapy” in the search for charity field. After selecting the charity, you will return to the sign up page where you will see the Foundation name in the charity box.
  6. A list of events will appear, you can skip these and click on “I’m doing my own thing” under the list of events.
  7. Enter your name. You can elect to search for and include your address, but it is not required.
  8. Read through and agree to EverydayHero’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
  9. Click “create with Facebook” to use your Facebook login or create an email login.
  10. Complete the event pages and add a page photo to help your fundraising efforts. You can also add “my story.”
  11. Share! You can share on Facebook directly from EverydayHero.
  12. The last step asks if you would like to kick off your fundraiser by making a donation.

A few notes:

  • You can edit your page at any point, by clicking on “Edit This Supporter Page.”
  • If you are a part of a larger fundraiser, you can connect by joining an existing team or creating a new team.
  • Add donations you receive outside of EverydayHero by selecting “Add offline donations.”
  • You can choose to create a leaderboard in the lower right. Add a brief description, select a photo, change the background, etc. to make it your own.
  • On the main page you can post photos, a personalized update, or a fitness update. Be creative!

For any questions on how to use Everyday Hero, please contact Emil at

  1. Use the “submit your event” form on the Foundation event page to have your event added to the calendar. Be sure to include all the information needed — date, time, location, and registration links. The Foundation will share your event on social media and on our website.
  2. Promote your event on campus and in your community. Post flyers, ask professors to share announcements during class, reach out to your student media department, and share events on social media. For additional support with promotion, contact Foundation staff at
  3. Reach out to local press. Use the attached sample media advisory. A media advisory is shorter than a press release. It provides basic details of your event and is perfect for sending to your local media vehicles, such as a community newspaper, local talk radio, or an online events calendar.
  4. Use your networks. Be sure to share the details of your fun Challenge event with friends and family.


  • Registration deadline for American Physical Therapy Association’s National Student Conclave is Friday, September 28, 2018
  • 2018-2019 Marquette Challenge Toolkit is released to physical therapist and physical therapist assistant assistants


  • Student coordinators selected and fundraising plan prepared
  • Students solicit sponsors, develop promotional materials
  • Recognize, thank, and invite sponsors to events
  • APTA National Student Conclave held in Providence, RI, from October 11-13, 2018
  • PT Pub Night/Pitt-Marquette Challenge at National Student Conclave on October 11 from 6pm to 10pm at G-Pub.


  • Hold fall fundraising activities


  • Wrap up fall fundraising, determine results, and mail initial donations to the Foundation at 1111 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314.


  • Confirm plans and connect with leaders and sponsors for spring fundraising


  • Winter fundraising and promotion for events
  • Connect with Foundation staff exhibiting at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in Washington, DC, from January 23-26


  • Conduct spring fundraising activities
  • Mail additional donations to Foundation


  • Wrap up fundraising activities
  • Send final donations to Foundation by Deadline of April 18, 2019


  • Foundation notifies winning schools
  • Schools inform Foundation of names of students to represent school at awards ceremony at APTA NEXT Conference


  • Foundation Awards Luncheon and PT Party 40th Anniversary held June 13, 2019.

*Please note: Challenge donations may be sent to the Foundation at any time throughout the year. It is not necessary to hold donations and send them all in April. The Foundation will track totals for each school and is happy to give your school an update on your total raised at any time during the year.

If mailing donations after April 18, 2019, please inform the Foundation as soon as possible at 

The Foundation does have a third-party fundraising policy. While the Foundation is the recipient of donations raised through third-party fundraising events, the Foundation does not host the events and is not responsible for costs associated with the events or for obtaining necessary permits, licenses, and insurance for required events. In naming the event or promotion, the Foundation can be listed as the beneficiary of an event. For example, organizers may not refer to the event as the Foundation Bowl-a-Thon; instead, the event could be promoted as the Bowl-a-Thon to benefit the Foundation. For the full text of the third-party fundraising policies, visit the Challenge FAQ’s page.

Additionally, regulations governing raffles and auctions vary from state to state. Please check with your State Attorney General’s office for local regulations.

McKayla Figueroa, Sara Reis, Grace Perian are this year’s Challenge coordinators. They can be reached through

Emil Trinidad, Annual Giving & Events Associate at 703/706-3387 or

Get Social

Spread the word about the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge!

  1. Plan ahead. Set your goal and make a timeline.
  2. Use social media to reach out through posts and direct messages.
  3. Ask for a set donation amount to help you reach your goal, or, if you aren’t ready to start asking for donations directly, start by talking about your participation until you feel more confident.
  4. Talk about the value of what you’re doing and why it’s important to you.
  5. Follow up – thank your donors and let them know when you’ve reached your goals.

This year, I’m part of a team that is taking part in the Pitt-Marquette Challenge. I’m writing to you today because I need help reaching my goal.

The Pitt-Marquette Challenge is a grassroots, student-led fundraiser that raises money for the Foundation for Physical Therapy – the only national nonprofit solely dedicated to funding physical therapy research and new researchers. Research helps improve the physical therapy profession and show the value of physical therapy services.

I’m participating in the Pitt-Marquette Challenge because I care about the future of the profession and the patients whose lives are made better by physical therapy. Every donation makes it possible to fund scholarships, fellowships and research grants. We’re investing in the future of physical therapy!

Please help me reach my goal with a $20 gift. Visit to make a donation. Don’t forget to select my school so that we’ll receive credit for the gift!

Thank you for your support.


[your name]

Thank you so much for making a contribution towards my goal for the Pitt-Marquette Challenge. It really means a lot to me that you stepped up to support the future of the physical therapy profession.

The Foundation for Physical Therapy’s next steps will be to apply your gift towards finding the best qualified researchers and support their work. Since 1979, the Challenge has raised more than $4 million resulting in 26 research grants and scholarships. To learn more about the impact your donation has, visit

Thank you again!

Kind regards,

[your name]

My school is taking part in the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge! Each year, hundreds of physical therapy and physical therapy assistant students hold events across the U.S. to invest in our future profession. Donations will go to the Foundation for Physical Therapy – the only national nonprofit solely dedicated to supporting physical therapy research and new researchers. Help me reach my goal at

Every donation for @Challenge4pt – big or small – makes it possible to fund @Foundation4PT scholarships, fellowships and research grants. Help me reach my Pitt-Marquette Challenge goal at

Since 1979, the Pitt-Marquette Challenge has raised more than $4 million for #physicaltherapy research. This year I’m making my contribution by raising money for @Challenge4PT. Show your support at

I’m taking the Challenge.

Each year, hundreds of physical therapists (PT) and physical therapist assistant (PTA) students, with the support of their program directors and community, hold fundraisers across the U.S. Through this grassroots, student-led effort, more than $4 million dollars have been raised for the Foundation for Physical Therapy – the only national nonprofit solely dedicated to supporting physical therapy research and new researchers.

When students participate in the Pitt-Marquette Challenge at any level, they make an investment that strengthens their future profession. Every donation, big or small, makes it possible to fund scholarships, fellowships, and research grants.

The Foundation’s unique focus is physical therapy research. Using a grant and scholarship review process modeled after the National Institutes of Health, applicants are reviewed by a volunteer scientific review committee. Through this process, the Foundation identifies the best qualified applicants who go on to enrich the physical therapy profession with evidence and validate the value of physical therapy services.

Many of today’s leading physical therapy researchers, clinicians, and academicians began their careers with support from the Foundation.

This work is important to me because I know physical therapy helps create a more mobile future for many people in need and I know research is an investment in this profession.

You can help by making a donation at

Press and Media

Use these resources to reach out to the local media and be prepared to talk about your fundraising efforts.

Use this Fact Sheet to talk about the Marquette Challenge, the Foundation for Physical Therapy, and physical therapy research. If you have additional questions or need additional support for talking about the Marquette Challenge, contact the Foundation’s communications department at

Download the PDF (564 KB)

A media advisory is like a shortened version of a press release used to notify members of the media about upcoming events. Use this media advisory template to notify local media about your upcoming events. This media advisory can be distributed to campus media outlets — such as email lists, newspapers, and radio — or to community outlets such as city papers, local talk radio stations, online event calendars, etc.

Download the Word Document (60KB)


Use these social media profile and banner pictures to tell your network of friends and family about your support for the 2018-2019 Pitt-Marquette Challenge.





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Challenge Competition

Physical therapist and physical therapist assistant students across the U.S. host creative competitive fundraisers for the Marquette Challenge each year. These fundraising events connect students with physical therapy research in a meaningful way and make it possible for the Foundation to fund scholarships, fellowships, and research grants.

  • Competitive trivia night

  • Field games and outdoor contests

  • Team treasure hunts

  • Gaming events

  • Chili cook off

Get Moving for PT

The Marquette Challenge benefits the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research, a nonprofit that funds physical therapy research to optimize health and movement. Challenge events that get the community moving are a great fit. Some outdoor events, like a 5K, require permits and permissions. Others, like a dance or yoga class, can be led by an instructor who can help you organize your event.

  • Run for PT 5k or 10k

  • Outdoor bicycling course or indoor spin class

  • Volleyball tournament

  • Basketball or softball game

  • Yoga class

  • Golf or putting tournament

Keep Learning for PT

Continuing education courses and community classes are another great fit for Marquette Challenge fundraisers. Supportive faculty and staff may be able to support the organization of an approved continuing education course. However, students can also organize non-accredited classes for the community at large.

  • Continuing education courses

  • Painting or printmaking courses

  • Cooking or baking classes

  • Documentary screening

  • Craft or needlework night

A Night on the Town

The impact the Marquette Challenge has had on physical therapy research is cause for celebration. With more than $4 million raised and 26 research grants and scholarships, the Marquette Challenge raises more funds each year than any other Foundation for Physical Therapy activity. Kick back and throw a party to generate donations this year.

  • Masquerade or costume contest

  • Ugly holiday sweater party

  • Photo or art exhibition

  • Silent auction

  • Elegant dinner or wine tour