- What are the ways that participant fees for gym memberships can be covered?
- Should participants be required to pay?
- What happens when participants graduate from InSHAPE?
Making gym memberships affordable and accessible to InSHAPE participants and alumni is an important priority for InSHAPE Program Managers. I know it can be a real challenge. Here are few recommendations:
- Participant co-pay. I encourage you all to consider the efficiacy of having participants pay a token amount for their gym membership. A modest co-pay (no less than $5 to 10 per month) creates a sense of personal investment and many observe that participants show-up more consistently when they are making a personal contribution to the fee.
- Multiple gyms. It’s generally a good idea to have a partnership with more than one gym. Smaller gyms offer a different atmosphere and can be more affordable. Consider privately owned facilities, hotels, and other types of fitness facilities.
- Swimming pool. Water exercise is very effective and popular with older participants and those with injuries. If you don’t have a partner offering access to a swimming pool, find one that does.
- Access for alumni. I know that keeping memberships accessible to program graduates can be difficult. It does offer an appealing opportunity for donors and a meaningful for way for them to support the program. It’s important, though, to coordiate with your agency’s development and donor relations staff.