Fitness and Fundraising

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 | 0 comments »

By Team Beachbody

As you may have noticed, at we're focused on giving you meaningful goals to help you focus on achieving a body transformation. Combining a charitable event with your fitness goals can be a great way to keep you motivated and put a little pressure on yourself to see a program through to the end.

Recently, Beachbody sponsored the Revlon Run/Walk for Women, an annual fundraising event that this year raised more than 3 million dollars for breast and ovarian cancer. With Tony Horton and Debbie Siebers there to warm-up the crowd, we were proud to be part of such an event, where more than 60,000 people gathered together to raise both money and awareness about cancer.

"I felt like a rock star," exclaimed Debbie Siebers about the experience. Looking across a sea of people mimicking Tony and Debbie's every move was a visual beyond verbal description - you had to see it.

"It was totally different than anything I'd been involved with before," said Debbie. "We were all there in order to help others, which created this amazing camaraderie."

"There is nothing better than being connected to something inherently good," added Tony. "To see so many people gathered together to raise money for Women's Cancers gave me a powerful feeling of hope. It was mind blowing to see throngs of people doing some Power 90® moves. Debbie and I felt truly honored to be part of such a special day - and it was great to see people combining their own fitness with a great cause.

"To be able to take part on such a scale was one of the highlights in our company's history. But these grand-scale events, while being the paragon of fundraising, are just a manifestation of what is, at heart, a very grass roots act, one of combining your own objective to raise money and elevate awareness for others that cannot do it alone.

Fitness events have become synonymous with charitable causes. Probably because most fitness endeavors have some physical "suffering" associated with them and those that can afford to be charitable prefer to channel their money to those whom they feel earn it. Since any race or competition has only one person that will cross the finish line first, this is a way that we can find our own challenge and a way to "win" the competition. Most are not world-class athletes and the desire to run a 10K or do a triathlon is a personal challenge. Fundraising is a way to heighten that challenge; to turn your event into your own personal Olympic Games. And it's also a great way to keep yourself motivated so that you don't give up on your own fitness objectives. You can easily parlay your personal quest into a philanthropic event. By tying a charitable event to your fitness goals, you add a "bigger than you" aspect that provides extra incentive to keep going during periods where you lose steam.

Where to start

It all starts with you. You must decide on something that you'd like to do, which isn't always easy. For someone that used to run, a marathon is a natural choice. However, if you've never run but think it sounds fun, perhaps a 5K would be more realistic. If you have rarely been off the couch, perhaps a 5K walk would be a considerable challenge. From triathlons, treks, bike rides, and bungee jumps, to sailing around the world or climbing Mt. Everest, there is really no limit to what you can attempt. But the key, at first - just like exercise - is that you have to start. Pick an athletic endeavor and then do some research about charitable events involving your sport. Or do the opposite, pick an issue or cause that you'd like to support, and then find an event that raises money for it.

Large events vs. Small ones

Events like the Revlon Run/Walk are a simple way to get your feet wet. The event is set up so that it's physically attainable to most anyone. Its fundraising strategy is firmly established. You simply sign-up and are given a list of what to do and ways to go about it. You know the event will go well and be inspiring. Large events like this are a "no-brainer" and a great place to start. Check out: for some large, celebrity-filled events. Most major cities will hold at least a few per year.

Small events, on the other hand, usually require more work from you, and their outcome and effectiveness is often in question. However, if you believe in the cause, then don't let this deter you. While not having a guarantee of success is scarier, it can also lead to greater rewards and the feeling that you've really made a difference. An excellent reference is, where you can search nonprofit organizations to find one that you'd like to support.

The other way to go is to start your own event. Most huge events started small, including the Revlon. At, Jason Mittman came up with his own challenge, did his own pr (with help from the web site), and was able to raise $30,000 for cancer in just three weeks. While Mittman did have a background in fundraising, his template was followed by Kenji Haroutunian, who raised $4,000 for the environmental organization, Friends of Joshua Tree, in spite of the fact that very few people had ever heard of it. Similarly, marathoner Hal Higdon has been fundraising individually for years. When he did 7 marathons to celebrate his 70th birthday he was able to raise an astonishing $700,000! Certainly, this type of fundraising presents the biggest challenge, since you are in charge of everything.

If you decide to start your own event, there are many different organizations to help you out. The obvious will give you some ideas but is mainly set up for corporate fundraising. Other similar organizations, like can provide useful information and a "jumping in" point. You will also want to check and as well. There are also many fitness-oriented companies that will provide help with events, like Jamba Juices' Banana Man . These are just a few of many examples. Once you get started you will see opportunities at every turn. Over the last decade, global fundraising for charitable causes has increased 100 fold. It benefits you, benefits others, is fun, challenging and rewarding; why not give it a shot?