When looking to build local partnerships, CrossFit Humanity starts with its mission.
That’s how the gym came to partner with Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) and GiGi’s Playhouse. “We have chosen to team up with these nonprofits because their mission closely aligns with ours and vice versa,” said Zach Walters, a co-owner of the gym located in San Diego, California. “At CrossFit Humanity, we pride ourselves on our amazingly close community. So, we asked ourselves, ‘How can we leverage our special community to have a positive effect on the greater community of San Diego?’”
VVSD is a local nonprofit with five locations throughout San Diego County. Walters shared it’s the only program of its kind that serves homeless military veterans. The program assists those veterans in need by providing shelter, food, assistance with addiction issues, job training, job placement, etc. “This is a special partnership to CrossFit Humanity because two of the three owners are active duty military, and the third owner has been sober for 10-plus years,” said Walters. “VVSD’s mission and what they do for our community very closely aligns with our ideals and sense of purpose.”
The other partnership the Box has is with GiGi’s Playhouse, a nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers. It has free, results-driven programs for individuals of all ages. CrossFit Humanity provides an outlet and service to the families and members at the local GiGi’s Playhouse.
Choosing these nonprofits not only aligned with the gym’s mission, but also were what the members and gym’s team could get behind. “It makes the process that much easier when you genuinely want to help and your sense of mission co-aligns,” said Walters.
In terms of advice for other gyms looking to build local, nonprofit partnerships, Walters said it really comes down to a genuine desire to help. “If you approach them by saying, ‘Here’s what we can offer: we have the skill sets and the ability to take a holistic approach to health and fitness,’” said Walters. “More often than not they would love your involvement. You also have to understand that sadly a lot of nonprofits get taken advantage of from companies looking to somehow profit from their grant money or 501c3 (nonprofit) status. You have to approach with a giving mindset, not a receiving one. Focus on helping and you most likely can’t go wrong.”
If you’re interested in building relationships like CrossFit Humanity has done above, you can reach out to Walters with your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.