Fit Kids Foundation
Fit Kids Foundation (Fit Kids) currently offers opportunities for physical activity to young children in disadvantaged elementary schools and community organizations. Their Core Program is offered during two different seasons at schools and community organizations in East Palo Alto, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. For the Core Program, Fit Kids coaches provide after school activities to kids. The Core Program is offered at no charge to the school and includes programming, equipment, and coaches. The program is designed to be attractive to all children regardless of their abilities. In 2015, Fit Kids implemented a scalable Charter Program to meet the physical activity needs of children outside the local area. This program is available to disadvantaged schools and community organizations and utilizes each school’s on-site staff to run the program. School teachers and/or volunteers receive a shipment of equipment, online training, and access to the Fit Kids curriculum including video instructions. The Charter Program does not require the involvement of Fit Kids coaches – the subscribing school is responsible for providing staff for the coaching role.
The Charter Program is proving very successful and provides a low-cost method for expanding the program beyond the local level. Fit Kids has received expressions of interest from non-qualifying schools (less than 50% on federal lunch assistance) and organizations providing programs for children, such as community centers that offer after school activities. Since the program would be beneficial and attractive to all kids, Fit Kids believes that there is an opportunity to generate significant earned income through the sale of the program and equipment to otherwise non-qualifying entities.
The ACT team was asked to research possible strategies for generating additional funding for Fit Kids through implementation of fees for services. The team was also charged with considering possible strategies for stretching available dollars and for generally improving the organization.
The team’s first step was to visit a school site, where it observed two Fit Kids sessions with two different age levels so the ACT volunteers would have a good understanding of the actual product. Then the team set about to personally interview fourteen people including Fit Kids coaches, site directors, site coordinators, board members, donors, and knowledgeable people in the field. The ACT team was able to gain a good understanding of the program and how all the various involved parties view the program and funding for the program.
The ACT team made six recommendations: two related to general revenue by charging for services, one related to stretching existing dollars, two marketing recommendations and one recommendation of a general nature.
Fit Kids is a wonderful program for exposing disadvantaged young people in the community to fitness activities and the importance of fitness to their lives. We believe Fit Kids will continue to appeal to donors who recognize the importance of its impact and that there are fee for services and dollar stretching strategies available to help expand that impact.