Athletic participation helps instill core values in a person, such as teamwork, accountability, respect, and discipline. Fundraising, for a team’s own purposes, is an excellent and common way for players to learn these values. However, these same values and efforts can be applied with a more charitable twist.
Volunteering focuses our energies on aiding in the development of the community at large. It not only is an opportunity to support a cause that you feel strongly about, but a way to develop new skills and experiences within the team, while also positively benefiting others. This mindset can be incorporated into your team dynamic with a fitness fundraising challenge.
A fitness fundraising challenge incorporates the value of giving back among your own team, while also integrating fitness into your players’ daily lives. The first step is brainstorming and coming up with a charity or cause that your team would like to support. Try looking for organizations close to home in your local community. This makes the activity even more special because the players are able to see and feel the direct results of their efforts. It is also important to establish a time frame for your project. Take into consideration how long your season is. A month and a half to two months is good guideline for what your time frame might be.
After choosing a cause, your next step is to select an exercise that you would like to be the focal point for your fundraising challenge. You could pick something simple such as, push-ups or a mile run. You could even tailor the exercise to your team’s specific sport. For example, basketball could be free throws made, soccer consecutive juggles and lacrosse a set wall ball routine.
Once the exercise and timeline have been set, encourage every player to reach out to friends and family to request sponsorship. Set up predetermined rates of sponsorship for your project. For example, every push-up equals twenty cents or every mile is two dollars. At the end of the project, the total sum of all the physical activity is converted by the individual’s sponsor(s). The more exercise the player does the more money they are raising for the selected cause.
In addition to each player’s individual sponsorship, look for a local business or organization to help sponsor your activity. The sponsorship could range from publicity, hosting your event or even matching funds.
It is important to have each of your players create a log where they can keep a record of their personal physical activities. The goal is for the players to incorporate these exercises into their daily routine, in addition to the team’s regularly scheduled practices or workouts. By logging their own work, players can keep track of their efforts and it holds them accountable for the time they put in. Bonus points for coaches that participate as well!
The clock is ticking and the real work begins! Remind your players that this activity is a positive one, and should not be stressful. There’s a misconception that in order to make a difference, you also have to give a lot of time. Good news, that is not the case for our fitness fundraising challenge. For a challenge involving push-ups, practice could be as easy as 10 push-ups when you get out of bed in the morning, 15 before you take a shower, and 10 more before you go to bed at night – quick and easy! To learn about other misconceptions about volunteering check out this blog post.
As important as it is to give back financially to those who are less fortunate than you, the impact of actions can leave a more lasting mark because the efforts are hands on. Volunteers bring a unique contribution to the group that they are working with, but it also creates an atmosphere that fosters relationship building. If your team has decided to donate to a cause like children’s cancer, reach out to a local children’s hospital and set up a day where your team can come spend time and do an activity with the kids as well as present them with a check of your collective donation. Or if your team has decided to donate to a charity supporting environmental protection, you can set up an event where you clean up a local park or beach. A day like this encompasses all that you have worked for and allows your team to put a face to those who their hard work is impacting. There is no limit to what you can do, so just be creative, have fun and get ready to get fit.