Customers of TeamUp, the fitness management software, have collectively raised over $15,000 and counting for the war in Ukraine. Donation-based classes are a creative way to both generate awareness and give back to the community while working out
TeamUp’s primarily UK-based studios hosted fundraising “bonus” classes to drive awareness and raise funds for Ukraine. In a press release shared by TeamUp, they outline the success of the studios’ efforts to provide relief for the war-torn country. Some studios hosted pay-as-you-wish classes, others conducted raffles, and some even live-streamed workout classes from instructors in Ukraine.
TeamUp Marketer Jessica Armstrong spoke to Athletech News about the success of the donation-based classes, “The reason donation-based classes and events are so successful is that people want to place a higher meaning on the actions they do. Even if they don’t attend the class or event at all, the act of doing something—donating money or clothing—extends beyond themselves.”
Studios like Karen Grinter’s Northants Pilates and Sam Beagle’s uFit team found the donation-based classes successful both in terms of raising funds for Ukraine and as creative marketing campaigns. Grinter had already been planning on hosting an open house at the studio, and decided to combine the two ideas. By reducing former barriers to entry and making classes donation-based, Northants Pilates not only raised over £1600 to date, but also generated awareness. Sam Beagle and the uFit team created a free workout that was accessible to anyone, and in the sign-up link, added a donations option to the United World Cultures Foundation. Everyone who signed up and contributed was entered into a raffle to win free memberships and other prizes.
Beagle attested, “This is definitely something we will do again. It brings everyone together in the community. There’s a deeper purpose and meaning behind it when you’re working out and donating to an important cause that’s bigger than yourself.”
Body Control Pilates had a donation week with 100% of proceeds going towards the British Ukrainian Aid. The studio had 30 live stream classes, including ones streamed from Ukraine. Anastasiia Viekua and Halyna Dobrovolska wanted to give back to their country, and taught their classes live from the war torn country. Sarah Bargeron, Body Control Pilates’ Business and Partnerships Manager, shared, “[Anastasiia] has said she’s hoping that there aren’t going to be any air raid sirens or cutting off the network during the class. It made you realize the day to day situation they are having to live with.”
TeamUp outlined more specific studio stories about donation-based classes in a blog post.
TeamUp hopes to encourage more of the fitness and leisure community to stand with Ukraine and host fundraisers. Armstrong said, “For other studios and gyms that are eager to take part and host their own donation-based events for Ukraine and for other charities and organisations, every little bit helps. No matter how much you earn, that you did anything at all is an incredible act of support and generosity.“