7 Ways Your Gym Can Get Involved in the Community

It's easier than ever to integrate your club into the local community. Get started with these ideas for a community outreach project.

You've worked hard to build a friendly community environment inside your club, but what about the local community that your club services? If the task of community outreach seems daunting, and you are you asking yourself, "Where do I even start?" The answer is ... here!

We know running a successful gym can be all-consuming. That's why we've come up with seven easy ideas for your next community outreach project.

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7 Ways to Get Involved in the Community

1. Host an outdoor fitness event

Take advantage of local public spaces and warmer weather to get your members—and the public—outdoors. In Boston, several local health clubs—including IHRSA members like Healthworks—have led fitness classes outdoors as part of the Boston Public Health Commission’s “Summer Fitness Series” initiative to get more people moving during warmer months.

2. Support a local charitable cause

Open your club up to your community and donate the proceeds to a local charity. ACAC in Charlottesville, VA has been successful with a “25 days for $25” model, in which community members pay $25 for 25 days of membership at the club. Under this model club traffic doubled and 33% of participants joined the club following the promotion.

3. Organize a running team for a local 5K

Many cities and towns are home to walks or runs during warmer months. Create a running group and race in a local 5K with team shirts to get your brand out there. Allow non-members to join the team too, with training sessions once or twice a week and access to your club leading up to the race.

4. Exhibit at a health fair

Many corporations are concerned about their employees’ health, as healthier employees are often more productive and incur fewer healthcare costs. Offer to run a table at a company health fair, where you can give health and fitness tests and promote the solutions your club could provide to their employees. Events like this are also a great place to expand special programs for non-members.

5. Offer programs for the community

If you offer weight loss or other specific programs, try marketing them to the community. This can help introduce prospective members to your club before they may be ready to commit.

6. Go on local radio

Showcase your expertise by offering to go on a local radio show and discuss physical activity and health. Talk about the programs at your club, any upcoming community events, and the benefits of physical activity.

7. Get locals into your club

Consider offering one or two classes on the weekend that are open to non-members for a drop-in fee. These classes can add revenue and introduce people to your club who may never have come in before.

What's your favorite community outreach project?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

Author avatar

Alexandra Black Larcom @ihrsagetactive

Alexandra Black Larcom, MPH, RD, LDN, is the Senior Manager of Health Promotion & Health Policy for IHRSA. She spends her days working on resources and projects that help IHRSA clubs offer effective health programs in their communities, and convincing lawmakers that policies promoting exercise are an excellent idea. Outside the office you'll most likely find Alex at the gym, running on the Charles River, or, in the fall, by a TV cheering on the Florida Gators.