Fundraising is essential to support your fitness community and local charities, and a meaningful option to add to your marketing efforts. Traditional live fundraising events are a really effective way to raise money for a worthy cause while bringing your community together in a motivating way.

When you’re planning a fundraiser for your fitness studio you should consider what your customers love to do and unique ways to inspire them to get involved. You have the freedom to think outside of the box; you don’t necessarily need to have a fundraiser that involves your core fitness services. 

A successful fundraiser focuses on how to encourage a lot of participation. It is important to make fundraising easy for everyone and to provide different levels of involvement. Some of your community members will want to join the action and get competitive, while others might want to donate online or simply share the cause with others in their network. You should promote direct participation, but also set up an online donation link and promote the event in a way that can be easily shared across networks. A good option for online donations is to set up a GoFundMe or a Fundly page. 

You can also explore sponsorship support for your fundraiser. Sponsorship is an ideal opportunity for other local businesses to promote themselves to an audience that they may not have reached otherwise and could be their target customers. There might be a local cafe looking for marketing opportunities within the community or another fitness business you can partner up with. Think about any local businesses in your area where there is health-focused brand alignment for potential sponsorship opportunities. Check out numerous motivating fitness fundraising ideas below.

Get creative with the “a-thons”

You can use your imagination to come up with any type of “a-thon” that your customers would get excited about. Examples include jog-a-thon, cycle-a-thon, dance-a-thon, walk-a-thon, marathon, or maybe even a jump rope-a-thons. These “a-thons” are all ways you can inspire your community to join the competitive fun. 

How do you raise money with an “a-thon?” Participants can get sponsored for the number of a-thon units completed, or they can collect donations or pledges from their network. Alternatively, sponsors can always donate a fixed amount regardless of the outcome. 

Organize a themed Fun Run

Organizing a 5k or 10k race is a timeless way to fundraise and usually have high turnout rates. Races are also an amazing way for your clients and their network to train and get really active! Encourage even more participation by adding a fun run costume theme such as the eighties, neon colors or disco-themed. You can also motivate people even more by offering prizes and refreshments throughout the fundraiser and after the race. 

Make sure you determine a location and route for your run and create a unique name that includes the cause. It’s really important to promote, get people registered and get sponsors.

You can raise money through the runner registration fees and sponsorships — participants can collect donations from their supporters. When your participants know they are running for a good cause, they are more motivated to fundraise and bring their friends and family along with them.

Set up a pop-up workout social event

You can organize a pop-up workout event somewhere local within your city — at a park, the beach, town center or any other place where your community likes to spend their time. Once you have an event planned, you should promote the event online and in your studio where you can sell tickets and collect donations. 

You can host workout classes and also incorporate different competitions, contests, or relay races. Bringing a DJ or some form of pump-up music also makes the event more engaging. To make the event even more social, you can have volunteers or sponsors bring food and refreshments. These pop-up events are the perfect time to bring in a local food or drink sponsor. Pop-ups are also a great way to meet a new audience of potential visitors.

Start a fitness challenge with a cause

Start a studio challenge for a small registration fee and encourage participation through healthy competition and incentives. This challenge could be a 30-day pushup challenge or a 60-day themed ride challenge. You can publicly track progress and post a leaderboard in your studio that shows who is leading the way and the amount of money you have raised. Fitness prizes for the leaders like gift certificates to a local business, free classes or some workout gear are a great added element.

Seasonal events

Change of seasons, especially during the holidays, is a perfect time to inspire your customers to get festive and join the fundraising spirit. As fall approaches, you can host fundraisers like studio pumpkin-carving, Halloween-themed challenges or “Race into Fall” fitness competitions. 

Fitness Raffles

Raffles are always an effective “go-to” for raising money that you can easily set-up throughout the year. Put a fitness twist on the raffle by giving out tickets out for workouts/challenges completed or referrals given. You can raffle off any type of prize and place a few raffle donation bins around your studio. Maybe the prize is a series of free classes or studio branded workout gear. 

Make and sell workout gear 

Retail is always a great way to raise money and sell branded swag to your community. You can sell retail at all of your fundraising events. This includes t-shirts, yoga pants, water bottles, socks or even headbands. It is important to create a design that people will want to wear or use on a regular basis that also includes your branding or the charity cause. 

To save money making the retail for fundraising efforts, consider printing on demand so you don’t have to stock ahead of time. You can rent a screen printing machine for the fundraising event, and all you need is your design and some volunteers to help print them as they are ordered. 

Now that you have some fundraising ideas, the most important way to be successful is to strategically promote your event and encourage as much participation as possible. As soon as you have your money-raising event plan in place, promote your fundraiser across your social media, email, website, donation page and of course promote with high energy in your studio.