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.