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GiveFitness gives $10,000 to local nonprofits after first year 

Give Fitness Health Club staff

Give Fitness Health Club staff, from left, Laura Jangaard, owner Josh Donovan, Hayden Mislavsky, Cory Chalker and manager Tiffany Donovan. Photo by Heather Young

Atascadero business owners plan to expand health center locally and globally

Give Fitness Health Club opened more than a year ago on March 15, 2014, in the Vons Center in Atascadero. The health club is owned by Josh Donovan and Matt Holguin. The gym is under the umbrella of Working to Give, which was started by Holguin in 2005 when he was completing his Masters in Business Administration at Azusa Pacific University. The intention was to create a company that was purpose-driven rather than profit-driven.

Give Fitness Health Club owners Josh Donovan, far left, and Matt Holguin, far right, present a check for $5,000 to the El Camino Homeless Organization.

Give Fitness Health Club owners Josh Donovan, far left, and Matt Holguin, far right, present a check for $5,000 to the El Camino Homeless Organization.

It’s with that purpose that Give Fitness operates. Once it’s generating a profit, Donovan said, 50 percent of the profits will go to nonprofits.

“This year there wasn’t a true profit, because we’re a baby [business],” Donovan said. However, he said the business did achieve a positive cash flow in the first three months, when he was expecting it to take three years to get to that point. Though the business does have positive cash flow now, Donovan said there wasn’t much profit, but he and Holguin did not want to end their first year of business without giving.

So GiveFitness donated $5,000 to the El Camino Homeless Shelter, the only homeless shelter serving the North County, and Parents for Joy, which is building a fenced in playground that will accessible to children with disabilities.

Donovan said that many nonprofits were considered, but he felt that both of these exemplified GiveFitness’ vision which is to donate to programs that “strengthen personal character, create value in people and provide opportunities for personal growth.”

Members of Parents for Joy receive a check for $5,000 from Give Fitness Health Club owners Josh Donovan and Matt Holgiun.

Members of Parents for Joy receive a check for $5,000 from Give Fitness Health Club owners Josh Donovan and Matt Holgiun.

At the anniversary party on March 28, Donovan and Holguin announced that Donovan’s sister, Tiffany Donovan, has taken over as the club’s manager, allowing Donovan to focus on the big picture, such as expanding the club to other areas locally and globally. One place on Donovan and Holguin’s radar is South Africa. Donovan said they current sponsor an orphanage there.

“Our model is we want businesses in the communities we are supporting,” Donovan said. “Our goal is to really grow our gym in South Africa.”

The partners traveled to South Africa in February to scope out the area to see if opening a gym there would be feasible. Donovan said they found that it’s definitely worth pursuing, so he is planning to return to South Africa this summer with his family for six weeks. While he’s not exactly sure where in the country they’d like to open a gym, they are looking at Johannesburg and Capetown.

In the meantime, Donovan said, they will be working to open other GiveFitness Health Clubs on the Central Coast. After a year of business, the Atascadero gym has 3,000 members and employs 40 people.

“We shattered all expectations we had,” Donovan said. “We weren’t expecting to hit these numbers until year three and we did that in month three.”

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