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.

1. Step 1

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.

2. Step 2

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.

3. Step 3

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.

4. Step 4

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.

5. Step 5

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 You Will Need
  • Fundraising goal

  • Pledge sheets

  • Posters and flyers

  • Competition venue

  • Program

  • Waiver