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Why Nonprofits Should Help Their Fitness Participants Train

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By helping participants to physically train for a fundraising event – whether a walk-a-thon, marathon, cycling ride or other fitness event – you can increase participation rates, while raising more for your cause.

While there is no requirement for nonprofits to assist their fundraisers with training, it can provide a variety of additional benefits. Some of the key advantages to consider include:

Raising participation. Many people feel hesitant to participate in fitness events, particularly if they aren’t in excellent shape. Offering training to participants can attract a wider range of fitness levels, allowing nonprofits to reach more people. Also, participants may be more likely to return year after year if they feel that they not only truly benefited a cause, but also met or exceeded their personal fitness goals.

Keeping participants informed. While people may be eager to participate, many may lack the athletic experience needed to excel in a run, walk or ride. Providing guidance and tips to help them prepare for the fundraising event can improve their performance.

Increased fundraising.  Fundraisers that are actively training may be more likely to share updates to their donor base, including repeatedly reminding donors to financially support the event they are training for.

How Should You Help Your Fundraisers Train?

Helping fundraisers train needn’t consist of physical training programs organized by your nonprofit. Rather, focus on communicating with fundraisers online and providing them with a plethora of resources to encourage their training regimen. Some methods to consider are:

Providing training pamphlets: Nonprofit organizations can create training pamphlets (whether printed or digital) that can be used for multiple events throughout the year. The training pamphlets should include information about how to train for the event, including diet and exercise routines. The pamphlets should also include tips for the day of the run, walk or ride, such as eating a light but nutritious breakfast, staying hydrated, and stretching before and after the activity.

Arrange meeting groups for participants: People are often most motivated by like-minded people, so arranging meetups for your walk-a-thon / marathon / cycling fundraisers can help to boost their excitement and encourage them to train harder. Consider hosting a weekly meetup where fundraisers can gather and train together, enabling them to connect with one another and work collectively toward their goals, as well as to socialize.

Create open channels of online communication: Offer fundraisers open channels of communication between one another, so they can connect as a community and give each other support throughout the training process. Email, social media, and forums are all effective in building a fitness community among your fundraisers.

Leverage mobile apps and fitness trackers: In addition to using mobile fundraising apps to help your fundraisers manage and send updates about their walk-a-thon / marathon / cycling training, you can also have your participants turn to fitness trackers – such as FitBit, the Apple Watch, etc. – to help them train. Another option are apps that work with just a smartphone, such as RunKeeper. Finding ways in which the stats and achievements from these devices and apps can be voluntarily shared between participants may help motivate your participants as a whole to both train and fundraise.

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