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How Does a Phone Detox Challenge Work?

What does a phone detox challenge look like?

Essentially, a phone detox challenge asks students to volunteer to stay off of their phones or social media and record the hours they spend offline. Students collect pledges, log their hours, then earn donations for your school.

Here’s a more in-depth look at the process of a phone detox challenge:

  1. Your school signs up for a pledge fundraising website and sets up a main campaign page for your challenge.
  2. You promote the challenge to students and explain how it works.
  3. Students sign up to go phone or social media-free. When they sign up, they each receive their own personal campaign page to raise funds.
  4. Students collect pledges for donations from friends and family. Supporters pledge to donate a small amount of money for each hour that the student stays off of their phone. 
  5. Students take time away from their screens at their own pace and log the hours.
  6. Your school collects donations based on each student’s total number of hours logged at the end of the campaign. 

That’s it! This fundraiser is simple and low-cost, and it promotes healthier online habits for your students. 

Who participates in the challenge?

The main participants of a phone detox challenge are students. This fundraiser works best for high school students, but younger students with phones can participate as well. If you want to add extra excitement, teachers and members of administration can also join the challenge!

No matter what, participation should be on a volunteer basis. Students get to decide whether or not they participate, for how long, and in what way. 

How do you collect donations?

Phone detox challenges raise money similarly to read-a-thons and other types of pledge fundraisers, by:

  • Setting up individual campaign pages for volunteer peer-to-peer fundraisers (in this case, students).
  • Having students collect pledges for donations based on phone usage.
  • Collecting the pledged donations for each hour students spend off their phone.

The more students who participate and the more hours they spend offline, the more money you’ll raise for your school. The pledges may be in small numbers, but they can add up quickly! 

Phone Detox Challenge Benefits for Students

This fundraiser is a great choice for schools because of the benefits it offers students. Here are just a few:

  • It’s an opportunity for more open mental health discussions. Many students struggle with mental health concerns brought on by the comparison, negativity, and bullying on social media. By letting students regulate their time spent on social media, you can make space for open discussions about mental health at school.
  • Students can improve their relationships with social media. Through this fundraiser, students learn that they have the ability to limit their time on social media whenever they choose to.
  • Less phone usage frees up time for other hobbies. There are likely a lot of hobbies and activities that students want to try or spend more time on. Cutting phone usage gives them more time to explore these avenues. 
  • Students have freedom and control over their habits. They decide when and how many hours to go phone-free throughout the challenge. This promotes independence, responsibility, and confidence. 

Other Give-It-Up Challenge Ideas

A phone detox is a version of the traditional give-it-up challenge fundraiser. If you like the idea but don’t want to make giving up phone use the only option, you can let students choose anything to give up or limit. Other common options include:

  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Going out to eat
  • Desserts