How to organize a charitable 5k walk/run for your health club.
Part of creating a strong health club presence in your community is your willingness to step up to the plate in the name of a good cause. Sponsorship of charitable events should play a key role in your health clubs marketing.
Not only does it serve the less fortunate but it reciprocates as a great way to build your health club brand in the community. As a bricks and mortar business, I’m sure you’ve been approached by members and charities looking for sponsorships and donations but have you ever considered hosting your own event? Charitable 5k walks and runs are a perfect way for you to build a presence within your community.
First find a local deserving charity that does great things in your community. Try and stay away from the large national charities as you will run into a lot of red tape and bureaucracy. Besides you want the money to stay local within the community. You will find most charities will jump at the idea and even split the planning and coordinating duties. Contact your city event planner to check date and location availability, set a date, and get to work.
Things you’ll need: T-shirts, a good band, beverages, food, advertising, a Facebook event page, pre-run coffee, flyers and a banner, water coolers and cups. The idea is to make money for the charity so your goal should be to find local vendors to donate/provide these items for free and co-sponsor the event. Start in your yellow pages and pitch the idea to local shirt embroiderers, printers, restaurants, and bands.
If you’re in a decent size city you should have no problem finding one of each who is eager to participate and donate their services. If you can’t find one you can always request they discount their services. It can be paid for out of the proceeds so price your tickets accordingly. Usually $25 should be enough to provide a sizable donation to the charity. You can also encourage participants to recruit their own sponsors to donate beyond the price of a ticket.
Next head down to your local TV, radio and newspaper providers to promote the event. Look for newspapers to do a write up in the local section. You want TV stations to do an early morning on-air interview about the event. The radio can either do sponsorship spots thru the morning DJ or for smaller stations they could donate air spots to promote the event.
Set up your Facebook page before hand and direct the media outlets to the page URL. The band will be hit or miss. Keep in mind you want a quality local band so taking whoever you can get for free might not be the best practice. The idea is to have a pleasant community gathering at the end with great live music and food.
The charity will take much of the burden off you and your staff so don’t get overwhelmed. Most have a coordinator experienced in planning and executing these types of events. The end result is increased community awareness for your gym and a positive standing in your community. Selling more memberships is just the icing on the cake
Until next time have a great and profitable week!