Giving back is a core part of the American culture. In 2021, according to The Annual Report on Philanthropy individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $484.85 billion to U.S. charities in 2021 — a 4% increase from 2020. As a key player in your community, it may be time to offer a lending hand.
At In-Shape Health Clubs, its mission is to inspire and support local communities to “Live Life Well,” and they’re always seeking ways to do that.
One major way is through the In-Shape Fight Cancer campaign. What started out as a fundraising campaign in 2015 is now an integral part of the team and culture.
“In addition to raising funds for the American Cancer Society and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and supporting our local community in a meaningful way, our Fight Cancer campaign is about connection,” said Kris Mulkey, the chief marketing officer at In-shape Health Clubs. “And I’m not sure there is anything more important than that. Social connections are so essential for our health and well-being — in fact it’s the No. 1 factor in longevity.”
Mulkey said just like supporting members on their physical and mental health journeys, their Fight Cancer campaign has become part of who they are. In October 2022 during its eighth annual campaign, the In-Shape team raised $127,000, surpassing their goal of $100,000. To date the company has raised and donated a total of $703,000 to local chapters of the American Cancer Society and to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“The campaign helps us connect to our community, but it’s also a way our team connects,” said Mulkey. “We rally together to come up with new ways to educate and engage our members and inspire them to donate and get involved. All month long the energy from the team when you walk into our clubs is palpable. It’s contagious and really is the best of In-Shape — passion, drive and kindness. Members and team members are inspired. We all know how good it feels to do good.”
But In-Shape’s giving spirit doesn’t stop at the Fight Cancer campaign.
Throughout the year In-Shape looks for ways to connect with the community and support local businesses anywhere from holiday toy and food drives for local charities to inviting local businesses to open house events. The company also sponsors a charity pickleball tournament every spring and has partnered with regional Special Olympics groups to work with their athletes.
“Companies always wonder if they should support a lot of different causes and donate small amounts throughout the year or go all in with something big,” explained Mulkey. “There is no wrong answer. But we have found by going all in for a month you have a better chance more members will see your message, will participate in your events, and will understand the cause and why you’re passionate about it. This leads to more donations and money raised.”
If your facility wants to give back but doesn’t know where to start, Mulkey recommended selecting a cause your team and members are passionate about.
“Think of ways to connect your team to the cause in a bigger way, to connect your team to one another, to inspire them to work together to support something you are all passionate about,” said Mulkey. “Find an organization that’s smart about the way they are supporting the local community. My advice is to think local, but also think about the impact in your club, region, etc.”