common questions  about MS Readathon


Common Questions

Registration

I did the MS Readathon last year - do I have to register again for this year?

Yes, we need you to register at the beginning of each year's program so we know that you want to do the MS Readathon again.

How do I register?

Whether registering as an individual participant or a school, online registration is easy!

To register as an individual participant: if you are under 18, Mum, Dad or Guardian will need to provide parental consent. Registration is free. Simply log onto the MS Readathon website and click the "Register" button. Then you will need to select "Join a Team" where you will be required to select your school as part of your registration. If your school is not taking part this year, select "Individual Participant." If you prefer to send us a Registration Form instead, you will need to print the form from our downloads page and send it to us.

To register your school: if you would like to raise funds together as a school, please complete the school registration form. You will be set up a with an online fundraising page, which all your students will link to when they register and which you can even provide to the school community to enable them to donate online.

What if I live in NT, SA or WA?

Please contact us on 1300 677 323.

What is a 'Starter Pack'?

Your starter pack consists of a reading list and a sponsor list to help you keep track of the books you have read and who has sponsored you. The starter pack can be downloaded from the downloads page.

How do I update my contact details?

You can update your contact details either by calling the MS Readathon team on 1300 677 323 or by sending us an email to msreadathon@ms.org.au.

Do I need a receipt book?

Receipt books are not necessary and are only issued on request. If you request a receipt book, it must be returned to us whether it is used or not. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and some people may request a receipt for tax purposes. You only need to issue a receipt for cash or cheque donations over $2 and you do not need to issue a receipt for anyone who donates online as they are automatically sent an electronic receipt. You can order receipt books at the time of registering online or simply send an email with all your contact details to msreadathon@ms.org.au and let us know how many receipt books you require. There are 10 receipts in each book. If you have filled your first receipt book, we can send you another. Just email us on the details stated above.

Payments

More than one payment has come out of my credit card - what happened?

In the unlikely event that your payment has been processed twice, a refund can be arranged. Please click here and provide the following details for us to be able to process your refund:

  • Participants user name or full name and date of birth
  • Date or payment
  • Amount
  • Name on credit card used
  • First 6 and last 3 numbers of the credit card.

Providing these details makes it easier for us to locate your transaction and speed up the refund process. Alternatively, contact us on 1300 677 323. * Please note: depending on your financial institution, it can take up to 5 working days for a refund to be processed.

What credit cards are accepted?

Accepted credit cards are Visa, Amex and Mastercard.

Is your website secure?

Registration, payment and personal homepages are secure. You can simply see it in your URL address if it is showing https. https stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and it is a combination of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and a cryptographic protocol. The MS Readathon website is encrypted with a high-grade encryption (RC4 128 bit). Encryption makes it very difficult for unauthorized people to view information travelling between computers. It is therefore very unlikely that anyone can read a https page as it travels across the network.

I received an error message, did my payment go through?

If the payment does not appear on the homepage after an hour, please contact us on 1300 677 323 and we will look into it.

I made a payment and never received a receipt.

You might have entered an incorrect email address. Please contact us on 1300 677 323 and we will check for you. We can send you another electronic receipt or issue you a written receipt for your payment.

How do I record offline/cash donations?

To have your offline (cash) donations included in your total fundraising, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Collect all the cash donations and pay them off at the end of the fundraising period when you complete your MS Readathon
  2. Pay the donations online via credit card and keep the cash - that way money will be shown in your total straight away. The sponsor's name can be entered at the time of the payment with the credit card in the "Name to appear on page" field. Children will need to ask their parent or guardian to help them with this!
  3. Send us a cheque in the amount of the collected cash and let us know who the donations are from (and how much each donor has paid) and we will add them to your page.

Completion

How do I complete the MS Readathon?

Once you have finished your reading and fundraising, it is then time to return all of the money you have raised. If you have any cash donations, it is much easier to just pay these by credit card online through your fundraising page.

However if this is just not possible you can pay:

  • at any Westpac bank branch or via online banking (you will need the Payment Form)
  • by calling 1300 677 323

If you are depositing funds at a bank branch or using online banking, you will need to download a Payment Form from the downloads page and send it to us so that we know that you have made the payment. If you are depositing cheques, make sure they are payable to "Multiple Sclerosis Limited".

If you have collected all donations online through your homepage and no further cash is to be received, there is nothing else you need to do.

If you requested a receipt book, please ensure you send it back to us. If you have lost your receipt book, you will need to complete a Statutory Declaration form which can be downloaded from the downloads page. If you have given out receipts, you will need to have a Justice of the Peace witness the form. If no receipts were issued then a signature from your parents is sufficient.

Please send your receipt books back to: MS Readathon National Processing Centre Locked Bag 900 Blackburn, 3130 VIC

When do I need to send my money in by?

The official end date for money to be received is 31 October. This is the cut-off date for all Fundraising Awards. Any money received after this date will still go towards your fundraising total; however, the amount added after October 31 will not be shown on your Certificate of Appreciation.

What is a completion form? Do I have to send one in?

A completion form was used in previous years and is no longer required.

How do I bank cash donations received for the MS Readathon?

See 'How do I complete the MS Readathon?' above.

I've completed the MS Readathon, but have extra sponsorship, can I add it to my total?

Yes, you can. However, if you are adding this amount after October 31, this extra amount may not be added to the total on your Certificate of Appreciation. If in doubt, please contact us on 1300 677 323.

I have lost my receipt book what should I do?

As per Taxation Office requirements, if you requested a receipt book when registering, it will need to be returned to us. If you have lost a receipt book, you will need to send a statutory declaration form which is available for download from our website at download forms page. If any receipts were written from the lost books the form will need to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, otherwise a parent's signature is sufficient.

I didn't receive a receipt book; do I have to send you a statutory declaration?

During the online registration process, you were asked if you wanted to receive a receipt book. If you did not request a receipt book none would have been sent to you and therefore we do not require a statutory declaration form. If, however, you requested a receipt book but did not receive one, we will require a statutory declaration form stating that you did not receive the receipt book. As no receipts will have been written from the book, we do not require the form to be witnessed by a Justice of the Peace, a parent's signature is sufficient. If the receipt book was not received or misplaced and has NOT been used the Statutory Declaration can be signed by a parent or guardian. If receipts were issued from the book then a Justice of the Peace will be required to witness the form.

What if I didn't read any books or get any sponsors?

For many reasons kids don't always finish the MS Readathon and that's ok. We would ask that you let us know by giving us a call on 1300 677 323. Please ensure that you return any receipt books we may have sent you.

Reading

What can I read?

Anything! The MS Readathon does not have a set book list. We think reading is great no matter what. You can count any reading you do during Term 3, including reading you do for school, homework or other reading programs such as the Premier's Reading Challenge or Reading Eggs. You can also count magazines, comic books, websites, audio books and books that your parents read to you as well as tablets and e-readers. The Children's Book Council of Australia recommends some fantastic books for children of all ages. On the site, you'll find the latest winning books in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award.

For more ideas and inspiration, visit our Booklist page.

What is timed reading?

With timed reading you are sponsored for the time you spend reading rather than the number of books you read. For example Uncle Jim may sponsor you 50c for every twenty minutes that you read. If you read for a total of 600 minutes (20 minutes a day for 30 days) Uncle Jim would give you $15. Timed reading is a great choice for people who love to read big, thick books or who find reading a challenge and want to focus on the time they spend reading rather than having to finish as many books as possible.

Can I read books with large type and lots of pictures?

You should read books at your usual reading level. The MS Readathon is about having FUN, as you read for a reason. Perhaps discuss your book selection with a parent or guardian, or your teacher.

What about books with chapters?

You can take part in our timed reading which means counting how long you spend reading. This way it doesn't matter how many chapters are in a book, just how long you spend reading it.

I read throughout term 3, but I love reading - can I keep reading?

Yes! As long as it is okay with your sponsors, it is fine with us. Don't forget that, if people have sponsored you per book or for the time you read and you read for more than Term 3, it might cost them more than they planned so check with them first to make sure they agree.

Schools

How much work is involved for schools?

The MS Readathon has been set up so most of the work is done for you. All we ask is that, once you have let us know your school is taking part, you promote the MS Readathon at your school through classroom or assembly announcements. We have prepared some fantastic lesson plans to help you incorporate the program into your everyday classes. Please continue to encourage your students throughout Term 3 to keep the motivation levels high.We will also send you updates regarding key information throughout the program that we would ask you to promote in your newsletter. It is the responsibility of each participant and their parents to register, collect donations and complete the program.

Can I do the MS Readathon at the same time as the Premier's Reading Challenge or Reading Eggs?

You don't have to choose between the MS Readathon and Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) or Reading Eggs - you can do them together. You can count all the books you read for the PRC or Reading Eggs as books read for the MS Readathon. The PRC booklist is a great way to find new books to read for the MS Readathon. Find out more about how the MS Readathon works.

What's in it for schools?

Kinder children → we encourage community awareness and giving back. Through the simple and enjoyable act of reading and fundraising, we are empowering children to make a difference.

Smarter children → we encourage reading! We receive positive feedback every year from parents who tell us how much their children's reading and comprehension have improved because of their participation in the MS Readathon. Of course, this helps with their schoolwork across the board.

More confident children → children grow confidence through feeling empowered

Can we have a school visit at our school?

To enable all schools to enjoy a presentation, we offer an online video that you can view at your school assembly, library or classrooms. There may also be an opportunity for an MS Ambassador school presenter to come and give a talk at your school. For more information on whether this is possible at your school, please contact us on 1300 677 323. For some lucky schools we are also offering some visits by Penguin authors and also Bosko our mascot, towards the end of Term 3. If you would like such a visit please make sure to encourage as many of your students to register for this year's program.

How long does a school presentation take?

The MS Readathon presentations vary in length according to the size and age of the audience we are speaking with. The average presentation will be between 10 and 15 minutes. All presentations include interactive demonstrations for the children and students, and a comprehensive overview of MS. We are happy to discuss variants on the presentation time with you when you arrange a school visit by calling our office on 1300 677 323.

How do I add my MS Readathon fundraising page link to my Facebook page Or Twitter?

Simply click on 'Share on Facebook' or 'Share of Twitter' in the 'Share My Page' section on your online fundraising page.

Technical Support

I entered emojis online but it is showing as a question mark or some other sign

The issue is caused by the device used. Characters usually displayed are boxes, question marks etc. For instance, question marks appear to be often linked to Samsung and Windows phone input mode. If your message is not displayed correctly, you can contact us and let us know, we will change it for you. If you own a Samsung device, you may also find this video useful: