Lose weight for myself and a charity?

I got this idea from a story about a guy who lost 200 lbs and did a fundraiser while he did it. He donated all the money to a charity. I can’t remember where I read the story, otherwise I would cite it, but it got me thinking.

I fell off the band wagon back in November/December, so it’s time I get back on it, why not try and do some good for the world as well as for myself. I’m still laying plans, I might try to get my dad and others involved, or I may just go it alone.

What do you guys think? Any ideas on charities which I might donate too? Perhaps a group that fights child-obesity or some other health organization? I was considering Bono’s RED or ONE, whichever it is called, as the idea of me losing weight and raising money for those struggling to gain weight seems fitting - but it may also just be over the top.

So what do you guys think?

– IG`

Cool idea. You might also consider something like the American Heart Association, since cardiac issues often arise from obesity. Or a diabetes-related organization.

Good for you!

What exactly does it entail? You get sponsors to give you $1 per pound lost or something? People will sign up like those walk-a-thons?

gigi, good idea! I’ll look into it.

samm, yeah it would be setup with a target date. Originally I was going to have people donate per lb or a flat rate, but I began thinking that perhaps it would be cool to allow people to donate per lb, per body fat % or on some other metrics. It would allow me an opportunity to educate some people who may not know these things otherwise. And also they would of course have the option to donate a flat amount.

The more I think about it, the more I think it’s a cool idea - but I don’t know if I want to do it alone or try and get a group together.

– IG

How do you feel about getting labs done before and after and folks could pledge based on your blood pressure, cholesterol (bad down and good up), glucose levels, etc. This would again highlight the various health benefits and not just the “looks” aspect.

You might want to consider something like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training.

While you wouldn’t be getting sponsorships for your weight loss / fitness directly, training for a marathon, triathlon, or century (100 mile) ride should help accomplish that as well. For example, I’ve lost 75+ pounds since spring 2006, mostly by cycling. Starting in March, I’ll be doing at least one organized century each month.

I have no personal experience with the Team in Training organization, but on my ride yesterday I passed a group that was training for the cycling leg of a triathlon or a century. Mixed in with the new participants were more experienced “mentors” that were providing advice and encouragement. Based on what I saw, they have a lot of work to do, but it looks like they’ll have the tools and support to do it.

I would be all for it! I was pondering this sort of idea as well. The plan is beginning to take shape as a 90 timespan. So perhaps rather than just before and after, also doing it during the time. Maybe monthly or every other week.

I’ve got a lot of ideas for this. I even came up with a catchy name: “ThinaThon”

I would love to find a trainer to work with. Maybe even a dietician. I’m going to lay out the whole idea and approach the local YMCA, see if I can get them to chip in (either through membership or some sort of sponsorship.)

I’m open to having other people join me in this, but no one I’ve mentioned it to seems all that eager.

On the donations side of it, I still haven’t decided on a charity. I was toying with the idea of just letting people pledge to a charity of their choice, but that takes away some of the immediacy of it all.

So we’ll see, plans are being made and preparations are being laid.

– IG

Here’s a few things I would suggest.

One, target a specific nonprofit organization. If your goal is to (1) raise money and (2) to raise awareness while (3) loosing weight, then having a specific nonprofit whose mission you are supporting will go along way with your sponsors (or donors). Plus, just about any nonprofit would jump on something like this for the publicity it will create.

Two, find a business to support your goals, say a health club, a local chapter of Weight Watchers, a local grocery store (eating healthy), a hospital or doctor’s office, sporting good store, etc. This will bring greater awareness of your purpose.

Three, contact your local community foundation to see if they will set up a project fund for this. This will add a BUNCH of legal credibility to this and provide donor with (1) a way to track their tax deductible giving and (2) verification that the funds are being distributed to the nonprofit, not heading into a third party’s pocket. (Not that I’m saying you’d pocket the money, but why even put that into people’s minds to begin with?). Also, your community foundation should be able to do all the administrative work for a small fee (thank you letters, etc.). This all, of course, depends on your community foundation.

Four, it may help to raise money faster/easier, etc. to have a group of people do this and raise money. Of course, you’d need a way to keep track of it–maybe a “Weigh In Sheet” that each person receives, and their weight is tracked by their physician?

It sounds like a terrific idea. So many health problems are associated with obesity, and it’s a great way to bring awareness to it, while still loosing weight and raising money. Good luck.

If you’d like more info about community foundations, just email me.