Before you begin planning your gym fundraising activity, understand who must participate to make it worth your effort. If it involves your staff, check for any schedule conflicts. If you’ll need gym members to participate, get a general idea of who is willing to help out. For fundraisers that depend on the community, find out if there are any other major fundraisers going on during your selected time. Once you have commitment from participants, plan your fundraiser on as big a scale as possible, but do not go beyond your abilities. Keep in mind the capacity levels in your facility, costs to support the fundraiser and the participants' motivation.
Dollar Per Mile
Staff and gym members can participate in this fundraiser. Use your spinning bikes, pool, track or outdoor walking/running course. Have each participant register and pay a small fee, up to $25. This money should cover fundraising expenses so it doesn’t come out of the gym’s budget. The participants get sponsors to donate a specific amount of money for each mile or lap they complete. If someone gets a sponsor to donate $3 per mile completed and he runs 7miles, that one sponsor pays the gym $21. These donations add up quickly when each participant gets multiple sponsors.
Pay Per Pound
Hold a weight-lifting competition at your gym. Charge a small amount for the entrance fee, up to $25, and have each entrant find a sponsor. The sponsor agrees to write a check out for the highest amount of weight his entrant benches. The competitors can have as many sponsors as they want, but they must have at least one to compete.
Gyms are full of talent and knowledge, things people pay big money for. So hold an auction and let community members bid on personal-training sessions, used equipment, swimming lessons, kickboxing lessons and use of the climbing wall or pool. After the winning bidder uses her sessions, she may even sign on as a new gym member.
This works well in the spring, when members are motivated to lose weight for bikini season. Ask willing members to register for the weekly weigh-in. By doing so, they commit to getting weighed at the gym each week on an assigned day. If someone loses weight, she pays the gym half of the amount she lost in dollars. If she lost 3 pounds, she would pay $1.50. However, if she gains weight, she pays double the amount she added to the scale. A gain of 2 pounds would cost her $4.
Jennifer Erchul has been a freelance writer since 2002. Writing primarily about family and travel, her work has appeared in the "Idaho State Journal," "Portnuef Valley Parents Magazine" and "Western Flyfisher." She writes for numerous websites and is a published author. Erchul studied English and psychology at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.