Generosity has come a long way since feudal
ages when the “gentry” gathered up the wealth of the land and “generously” gave a little back to the common folk. Then, there seemed to be an obligation to do good, but only after one had done extremely well.
In today’s America, most of us common folk are fortunate not to be so pressed for every minute and every penny that we can’t spare a little time and money for a worthy cause. While generosity is still not one of the first characteristics that comes to mind as we view our society through the eyes of the news media, generosity is alive and growing. At least those of us who itemize our deductions for the IRS say we’re involved; deductions claimed for charitable contributions rose 11.2 percent from 1996 to 1997 (totalling $95.8 billion), continuing a decade-long trend.
I started thinking about this last month when Netpulse Communications, Inc., volunteered a prize valued at $15,000 to be enjoyed by one of this year’s winners of a Fitness Management nova7award (see story on page 8). That is generosity. Netpulse didn’t have to do that. But it wanted to support the innovative spirit of the industry it has come to serve. By posting such a valuable prize, Netpulse adds its encouragement to the cutting edge of the fitness services industry at the club level, and it sponsors the sharing of those new ideas for the benefit of the industry at the national level. Netpulse gets nothing back — or does it? Certainly the company will be seen in a good light; it is playing a responsible role in the industry that supports it.
The Netpulse example translates to the local fitness enterprise. Fitness centers are being seen in a better light (see page 10) as the public experiences better business practices. But it seems that a growing number of clubs are going beyond the basics of good business and becoming recognized as vital to the interests of the communities of which they are a part. It takes a little attention and money, but nothing shows the character of the club as much as what you do when you don’t have to do it.
If you can help kids in your community help others, a whole chain of good things begin to happen. You help the target charity, of course. You help kids feel that they can do something worthwhile. You make parents happy and impressed with the quality of your ideas and programs. You show your community that you are a responsible and creative part of it. You show potential clients that you are human, not just someone who wants their name on the dotted line before you ignore them, and that you might actually be trustworthy to meet their individual needs.
business , fitness , programs