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Giving back to local organizations through volunteering or charitable promotions can be one of the best and easiest ways to make a name for yourself in your community. As with any brand, having a positive impression on the community can create that “Go-to Mentality” for customers when they think about bettering their health.
To support an organization or charity doesn’t mean you have to write a check from your club’s bank account. Think about the assets that your club has that would be of value to groups attempting to raise money. You probably have recreation areas and amenities that can make a huge difference to someone trying to plan/host a fundraiser event. The areas that you would typically rent for a fee could be offered for free — or at a reduced rate. All you have to do is provide the space, and the coordinating group or agency can run the event and charge what they want — all proceeds paid directly to the organization’s cause. You might be surprised at the number of charity groups in your area that just need a space to run an event.
You have a lot of expertise within your club — Zumba instructors, tennis pros, etc. Check with your instructors and find out what they would be willing to do for groups looking to raise money. Once you know the instructors that are willing to help the club get behind a cause, you’ll be able to tell organizations who they should contact for particular charity events.
There are, of course, other considerations to keep in mind. Some events will be as simple as offering a space and/or an instructor, but others will require a little more involvement from your facility. You should think about the same things that you would if you were running the event at the club yourself (insurance, parking, interference with members). It’s always a good practice to discuss the whole event with the requesting agency and your staff before agreeing to play host. Sometimes you might have to decline a request, but you want to make sure that you have thought it through first.
When you host an event, appoint a contact person for the club, or what I refer to as the liaison. This person should ensure that all of the event details are discussed in advance so that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event. A manager or instructor can usually take care of the event using the notes and instructions from the liaison.
Charity/fundraising groups will typically supply their own marketing materials. If you desire, ask the group if you can approach your local papers and radio stations and ask them to promote it. Keep in mind that you want to make sure that your facility is mentioned! Don’t forget to post it on your social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Check your local newspapers and let your members know that your facility is charity friendly. Reach out to charities and groups that need a little help raising money — it’s a win-win!
Susanne Nauseda has an Exercise Science Degree that she put to use in the Health and Fitness industry for 10 years, prior to joining Twin Oaks Software where she has worked for the last 11 years. You can reach her at 866.278.6750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.