Fundraising Through Weight Loss

Are you trying to lose weight to benefit your health? Well you might not have heard about such thing as a weight loss fundraiser, but many are using this charity event as the motivation they need to stay on track with their weight loss goals!

Measuring Tape

Weight loss fundraisers are not a new idea. You’ve seen this idea on television in the form of shows such as The Biggest Loser. It’s no surprise that about 66% of people in the US struggle with being overweight or obesity. Not only that, but carrying around excess weight on your body can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other unhealthy conditions.

With billions and billions of dollars being pumped into the weight loss industry every year, on fad products such as the weight loss patch, fat burning pills and a multitude of newfound exercise equipment and diets—why not put some of this money into the hands of those who need it—goodness knows, Richard Simmons doesn’t need the royalties from yet another fitness video.

Encourage employees to have a good wellness-work balance

Weight loss fundraisers are catching on in the workplace. It makes sense, after all there are thousands of company dollars lost to employee absenteeism and low productivity directly connected to conditions of those who are out of shape and need to lose a few pounds—maybe more.

With the price of obesity costing companies around $285,000 a year in increased medical costs and absenteeism—it’s no wonder that some CEO’s might try to encourage employees to take control of their health.

Just of late the corporate world is discovering the financial benefits of encouraging their employees to have a good wellness-work balance. There has been a ton of research to show that yoga classes, corporate gyms, running and walking programs have many benefits to the employee as well as the employer.

For the employee, fitness promises:

  • better concentration
  • positive attitude
  • more energy
  • improved overall health
  • stress reduction

For employers, fitness benefits in these ways:

  • increased productivity
  • happier workplace atmosphere
  • greater hiring incentive
  • decreased staff turn over
  • increased morale
  • greater teamwork
  • less absenteeism
  • lower medical costs

So that’s all well and good, but as an employer with these concerns, how do you get your employees interested in their health and well being? Well a fun challenge that the company does together can be a good first step. That is where the weight loss fundraiser comes in!

Fundraiser vs Weight Loss Challenge

Now this is the great thing about a fundraiser, compared to a weight loss challenge. People get turned off by the idea of competition—especially with co-workers and especially when it’s bringing to light the idea that they need to be healthier—maybe lose some weight. No one wants to be the center of a negative competition, especially if they come up the loser.

However, a weight loss fundraiser puts the focus on raising money for charity. So instead of one winner and a bunch of losers with a competition, with a fundraiser, regardless of who loses how much, everyone is helping to benefit the larger cause.

Now the main focus of your weight loss fundraiser should be raising funds for the charity. Take the onus off of your employees to lose weight. While it may be a personal goal for many of the participants, the larger goal, the one that will have them signing up and keep them motivated is the money they are raising for charity.

Also, you want to make sure that your weight loss program is accessible to all employees. This may challenge them to take on their weight loss privately, by going for walks or a gym.

However, if you do group exercise or events, be very sure to include everyone by keeping the events within everyone’s fitness level. You don’t want to be running marathons with employees who have never jogged around the block before.

Setting up a Weight Loss Fundraiser

To set up a weight loss fundraiser, all you need is a record-keeping program. The easiest way to do this is online or through some sort of pledge program.

This way volunteers can:

  • Sign up on the Website.
  • Weigh in (this can be done privately at home or by one judge).
  • Make the private commitment to lose weight.
  • Print out pledge sheets and go to friends and family to garner donations.
  • Or if they are more public about their weight loss efforts, pass the pledge sheet around to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers to solicit donations (donations can be anywhere from $1 to $10, but you should agree on a minimum donation).

Choose a timeline for your fundraiser, so that within a certain time period (make it realistic) contestants can have their weigh-in, collect donations, and have their final weigh-in to determine their weight loss efforts. When all is said and done, the final monies collected can be reported in bulk fashion.

You don’t need to highlight or separate everyone’s weight lost, but you can celebrate the final numbers as a collective. Keep in mind that the idea that their health is serving a higher good can be enough motivation to kick off a health program that has been in limbo for a very long time.

Sure, the charity of your choice will be the recipient of the funds, but the participants will feel better about their overall health, experience greater energy, and significantly reduce the stress in their lives.

It really is a win-win situation for all!


  1. Frankie Berry says:

    I would like to have a weight loss fund raiser for my church Many of the members are obese and have heart problems, high blood pressure, and asthma.

  2. Beckie Popp says:

    I would like to try and do a craft show /garage fund raiser. I know there is more ifs… how many people would come, would items sell. I take that chance every time I pay to set up at a craft far. I am disable and I am a victim of sexual abuse from the age of 12 to 22. And for many years of blocking it all out. We don’t have a lot of money and I would have to make a little money for myself. What do you think?

  3. Alick Munro says:

    26 and 2.6 are the magic numbers in fundraising at present. So let’s form groups of 26 overweight people who are provided with each other’s email addresses. We agree to sponsor each other’s chosen charities by an agreed amount every time we lose 2.6Kg – that’s 5lb. This usually takes about a month of disciplined diet and moderate exercise so as to maintain a daily deficit of 500Kcal. We also provide moral support to each other as we do so. The amount we choose to pay should be at least £1 per pound weight that is lost in order to justify the collector’s time. Ideally the amount we choose to pay is the same for all participants.
    At the end of each month, the collector asks each participant for their weight. They report the number of pounds they have lost. The collector is then enabled to request the promised donations from all 26 members and then to make the collective payment to the charities chosen by the successful participants. It’s a high trust arrangement and it takes several hours of the collector’s time per month. .
    This is likely to keep us mindful of the dietary discipline. We are all likely to be earning significant donations for our chosen charities each month while dieting, enjoying the support of colleagues as we do so. However we will want to reach our target weight as soon as possible in order to be relieved of the financial burden. Some of us will reach our target weight before others and then we are to be replaced by others.
    Let me know if this concept interests you. Alick Munro

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