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Functional Fitness + Fundraising: Doing Good While Looking Good

You’ll hear us talk a lot about community on this blog, and for good reason. It’s the community of functional fitness that sets it apart from other types of group exercise. Many athletes become friends with their fellow gym members and do stuff together besides WOD. One example of outside activity is philanthropy. Athletes are an extremely generous group. In my time as a athlete, I’ve seen multiple fundraisers for a range of causes, from breast cancer to wounded soldiers.

As a gym owner you can kill two birds with one stone when you arrange a fundraiser: build a tighter community at your gym and raise money for a great cause. It’s a win-win situation. Here are a few of my favorite charities.

1. Barbells for Boobs

Who They Are: Barbells for Boobs helps provide funding for breast cancer screening and early detection programs. Their message is simple: SAVE A PAIR, SAVE A LIFE. They were founded in 2009 with by three Southern CA affiliates. Today, they have grown to over 800 affiliates and raised over $1M in 2012 alone.

Get Involved: Barbells for Boobs has an easy-peasy online guide that allows you to create an individual or team fundraiser website. They don’t have any specific guidelines for how to raise money–it’s entirely up to you! Many affiliates host team competitions.

2. Steve’s Club

Who They Are: Steve’s Club is a national program that helps provide functional fitness to low-income and at-risk youth. Steve’s Club seeks to break the cycle of crime and violence that these kids fall into and provide a positive place to learn and grow after school. Founded in 2007, today there are 11 Steve’s Clubs (Local Clubs) nationally serving hundreds of at-risk youth.

Get Involved: There are two ways to get involved with Steve’s Club. One is to set up a Local Club at your own box for at-risk youth. Steve’s Club helps provide all the administration so as a gym owner you’re not burdened with the extra work of non-profit management. If this sounds like a lot of work you can host a Beat the Streets Fundraiser at your gym. This is simply a one WOD competition where your affiliate collects donations to participate. All money raised goes to Steve’s Club, which is then send out to new Local Clubs to help them defray costs.


Who They Are: GORUCK is 8-10 hour event patterned after Special Forces training. Founded in 2010 GORUCK Challenges and other events serve as fundraisers for the Green Beret Foundation. $20 of every event registration goes to the Green Beret Foundation. While not 100% functional fitness related, per se, the Challenges are physically and mentally taxing and many use functional fitness to train for them.

Get Involved: GORUCK hosts Challenges nationally, so all you have to do is sign up and do one. They also offer custom events, so if you wanted to do a Challenge with just members of your affiliate that’s an option too!

These are 3 of my favorite fundraisers. Does your gym have a favorite charity you fundraise for? Let us know in the comments!

Categories: Business.

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