During the holiday season, making consistent visits to the Fitness Center can be a challenge. Most gyms see a drop in attendance as members take time off for vacation or travel to visit family. They are consumed with Christmas shopping, baking, and entertaining.
As with most corporate fitness incentive programs, we naturally gravitate towards rewarding members with prizes for attendance and participation in particular programs. Gift cards, t-shirts, trinkets all come to mind. But this year, I opted for a different strategy to motivate our corporate Fitness Center members.
For November, we implemented a program where each visit to the Fitness Center earned money towards a donation to charity. Each new member who signed up earned more money towards charity. We used our budget money that would typically go towards prizes for members and applied it toward a charity chosen by those who visited the Fitness Center at least 15 times during the month.
When giving to the community is challenging due to personal budgets and money spent for family Christmas presents, this program provided an opportunity for members give without opening their wallets. Bonus for them - they also improved their health!
This program spoke to my heart and love of giving, so I was hopeful that it would attract the attention of members who enjoy doing the same. I must say, it worked well beyond my expectation… but in a way I wasn’t anticipating.
Even though it was November, we maintained a slightly higher visit rate than October. October had 22 business days; November only had 19. Not to mention, most people take off the whole week of Thanksgiving. One would anticipate a significant drop of 100 – 300 visits. Instead we had a small increase! We were able to raise $320 that would be sent to the Angel Tree Program through the Salvation Army.
But here’s the unexpected BONUS! The moment I sent out the email with the results, I received an email from a member requesting to meet with me. Sure thing! I went to meet her only to have a check handed to me?! What?! It was a check for the same amount - $320. The member wanted to match the amount we had raised. I stared at her dumbfounded. She explained that she had made the decision to match our donation when the program was advertised. On top of that, she has a special place in her heart for the Angel Tree Program. So when I notified every one of the chosen charity, she said it was more confirmation of her want of giving.
WOW. Warm fuzzy feelings. Heart swelling. People do care!
These results with corporate fitness incentive programs encourage programs like this tostick around for a while. Even if we have no matching donation, it has proved positive for the Angel Tree Program, holiday Fitness Center visits and my heart!