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Fundraisers should really be called “fun-raisers”—after all, they can be a lot of fun if you plan accordingly! Since our Like a Boss theme for January is “Fitness,” I thought I’d “walk” you all (yes, I’m full of puns today!) through planning a fitness-themed fundraiser by telling you about a Zumba fundraiser that I helped plan for my favorite nonprofit, She’s the First, last year while I was in college. If you’re gearing up to plan a fitness-themed fundraiser, this post is for you!
Plan Your Route: After deciding which organization you’d like to raise money for (perhaps fitness-focused, like Girls on the Run, or another one you’re passionate about), the first step is to pick what kind of fundraiser you’d like to have. A 5K run? A basketball game? You can turn any sport or fitness-focused event into a fundraiser if you plan accordingly. Last spring was She’s the First’s first Run the World Campaign, which encouraged She’s the First chapters, individuals and other teams of people to raise money for girls’ education in developing countries through creative fitness fundraisers. (On a side note, check out this awesome Like a Boss Q&A with She’s the First Campus Mentor Leonora Fleming!)
The chapter that I founded at Bryn Mawr College decided to pursue a Zumba-thon. Fun dance moves, aerobics and the opportunity for girls to go to school? Count me in! For our Zumba-thon, my chapter charged a certain amount of money to attend the class and included a donation jar in the gymnasium where we held the fundraiser. Connect with people at your school or in your community to help get your fundraiser going. One of our former executive board members at She’s the First—Bryn Mawr was also a Zumba instructor for our school-wide PE classes—bingo.
Fuel up: For fitness-themed fundraisers, it’s helpful to provide water and snacks for participants to enjoy before, during or after the fundraiser. (Plus, not gonna lie: incorporating food and beverages into your fundraiser is awesome advertising; if you say there will be food and drinks provided, people will be there.) While participants had to pay a little extra for them, we did bake cupcakes for the Zumba-thon, which helped us to raise even more money in the end!
Give rewards: Raffle off prizes! Along with food and drinks, a raffle is a surefire way to get people to attend. For our Zumba-thon, we partnered with Bryn Mawr’s athletic department, and they kindly donated water bottles and towels. We also made sure to give them a shout-out on our social media accounts.
Promote: I’ve found that a mix of fliers around campus or your neighborhood, social media and word of mouth is the perfect combination for building awareness. We created a Facebook event for the Zumba-thon and invited everyone we knew, and our Zumba instructor announced the fundraiser at all of her sessions.
Making the Cause Count: At your fundraiser, it’s great to remind everyone of why they are there in the first place. Tell a story about those impacted by the organization you are raising money for—and thank them for coming!
But most importantly, have fun! (It is a fun-raiser, after all.)