Youth Combine kids workout and sports camp


Youth Combine is a non-profit organization that provides fitness programming and wellness education for youth. With the mission of combatting childhood obesity, Youth Combine takes pride in giving unlimited access to all fitness classes, at all of their locations, for just $20 per child per month. The non-profit opened in 2012 with just forty students and they now have one hundred active members in their program.


In the beginning, Matthew Howland was the only employee and served as the owner, accountant, web designer, member management supervisor and coach. Time was tight and he was forced to do everything manually. All member management data was organized in separate spreadsheets, Every time there was a change in member information, Matthew had to make the change across multiple spreadsheets. For example, every time a member joined or left all spreadsheets needed to be updated to reflect the change.

This not only took a very long time, but it also led to data accuracy problem that impacted Youth Combine’s ability to manger their members. Some members were missing email addresses or phone numbers which made it difficult for Matthew to contact them. Other members were missing important fitness benchmark and progress data, making it impossible for Youth Combine to keep track of member fitness gains.

Billing was the biggest challenge for Matthew. Youth Combine members either received a PayPal invoice each month or they paid via cash or check. Chasing down the money was a nightmare that took over ten hours in the final week of the month. The bulk of this time was spent collecting money, issuing reminders for payment due and taking a mix of cash and checks to the bank. Plus, Matthew faced the added frustration of members who month after month failed to pay on time.

Like all fitness business owners who spend an unnecessary large amount of time on administrative duties, Matthew grew discouraged. He knew the time spent sorting through spreadsheets could have been spent on program development, member relationships, marketing or fundraising. Matthew was eager to improve Youth Combine and their ability to reach more students and was unable to focus on this due all the time he spent on administrative work.


Matthew had heard of Zen Planner from other gym owners in his city who used the software. But, because Youth Combine was a young non-profit, he didn’t feel like he could rationalize the cost of fitness client management software. Finally, a friend and fellow business owner helped Matthew recognize the value in making the switch. Matthew realized that the ten-plus hours per week he was spending on spreadsheets cost him more than Zen Planner’s monthly fee. In fact, the cost of Zen Planner was a just a fraction of the real cost of his time spent sorting through spreadsheets and chasing down payments.

Every member management struggle Youth Combine faced was solved with Zen Planner. Today all of Youth Combine’s member data is centralized, easy to access and accurate. Along with automated billing and collections, Matthew no longer has to worry about the stress that always came with the end of the month. He says, “I run the business and Zen Planner gets us paid.”

Once I decided to try Zen Planner, it was love at first click. In the first couple hours of setting up the software I knew I found the solution that would be with our organization for as long as we existed. ~ Matthew Howland, Owner of Youth Combine

Zen Planner reduced the operating expenses of my non-profit organization by 20%. A 20% reduction in operating expenses revolutionizes what a business can accomplish with the freed up capital.

Matthew also raves about the Zen Planner service team. He notes, “I remember the first time I called Zen Planner. The phone rang twice and a human answered. A glorious day, a real human! Even better, the person who answered the phone was from my city, and we had some of the same friends. We ended up talking for thirty minutes. I feel like I’m calling my friends, not some unhappy person who bitterly answers the phone just to collect a wage.”

Zen Planner saves Youth Combine $480 per month or $5760 annually in what was previously the cost of client management. The real savings is in the reduction of operating expenses. Matthew raves, “Zen Planner reduced the operating expenses of my non-profit organization by 20%.”


  • Saves Youth Combine over $5,000 annually and 20% in operating expenses.
  • Saves Youth Combine over ten hours a week in administrative tasks.
  • Makes collecting membership fees effortless.
  • Keeps student records up to date and accurate.
  • Helps Youth Combine track fitness gains for their members.


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