How to Do a Lift-A-Thon Fundraiser

by Gail Cohen

Lift-a-Thons are a healthy way to see which athletes can hoist the greatest amount of weight in the name of charity. The sponsoring organization receives a much-needed financial boost for projects they might otherwise not be able to afford. You might want to consider getting your group into high gear by hosting a Lift-a-Thon. It’s never too early to teach kids that muscle is good for the body, but charitable giving is even better for the soul.

Get athletes on-board by explaining your objective to football, baseball, soccer and other sports team members. Cite groups like the Grafton Bearcats (WOWK-TV link below) whose efforts have raised more than $100,000 toward the purchase of practice gear and weight room improvements for their school. Seek permission from school, club, parents and other authorities to stage the event. Select a venue, date and time, and recruit volunteers to help stage the fundraiser.

Encourage athletes to set a reasonable donation amount for their per-pound lifting goal. You want to make sure that those with less cash are still able to contribute without feeling that their pledge is insignificant. Consider 25-cents per pound of lifted weight, for example, so those sponsoring athletes will donate a dollar to the cause for every four pounds lifted. Provide a place on the sponsorship sheet for those who would like to give more to make a one-time pledge.

Publicize your effort to build enthusiasm for both the athletes and the cause. Consider giving hand-made buttons to those making pledges so they get bragging rights. Contact merchants, organizations and public venues about posting flyers announcing the Lift-a-Thon. Put contact information on these signs, so people will know how to find out more or where to send their pledges.

Encourage additional activities, such as bake sales, on the day of the Lift-a-Thon to make additional money for the cause. Also arrange for entertainment or an awards ceremony at the end of the event. Print a program acknowledging major sponsors, donations of food, goods and services. Be sure to list participating athletes and event organizers.

Gather pledge sheets from athletes just before the event. Stage the lifting competition using any mix your volunteer group chooses, such as three basic lifts: bench, squat and dead lift. Ask judges to compute the maximum lift for each participant to help you calculate the tabs of sponsors.

Things Needed

  • Fundraising goal
  • Pledge sheets
  • Posters and flyers
  • Competition venue
  • Program
  • Waiver

About the Author

Based in Chicago, Gail Cohen has been a professional writer for more than 30 years. She has authored and co-authored 14 books and penned hundreds of articles in consumer and trade publications, including the Illinois-based "Daily Herald" newspaper. Her newest book, "The Christmas Quilt," was published in December 2011.

Photo Credits

  • IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images