free massage and more

There so many ways to leverage your local community to boost your business and establish the like, know and trust factor for clients — while also giving back.

And giving back doesn’t necessarily mean giving free massages.

One of my favorite ways to give back is by partnering with nonprofits that I am enthusiastic about or that directly relate to my industry.

Benefits of Partnering with Nonprofits

You can capitalize on your volunteer efforts by partnering with nonprofit organizations, and in most states you can also receive tax breaks by donating.

Here are some tips:

  • Choose a nonprofit that you already volunteer with or donate to, and feel very enthusiastic about. Local nonprofits = local email lists in your area.
  • Volunteer with or donate to a nonprofit. Take photos for social media, if allowed, and tag yourself and other subjects in the photos.This lets your client base know you are a significant part of the community. For example, I assist with trafficking-awareness presentations at local businesses; many times, the same businesses where I also offer chair massage. I also help manage the social media account of the trafficking organization I volunteer with.
  • Instead of discounting during the holidays like every other business, I prefer to donate a portion of the proceeds to my chosen charity. Your clients are likely to leave a higher gratuity and purchase for others when they know they are contributing to a cause.
  • Use the nonprofit’s email list to build your own list and reach target clients that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to reach. During the holidays or slow times, I will create a graphic with my logo plus my chosen nonprofit logo, and the organization will send out that graphic to their email list.

The last time they sent out an email blast for me, my business name easily reached over 8,000 people on their local email list and I gained several new clients. (Specifically, this was an e-blast campaign that advertised, “Vida Pura Spa will donate 25% of their proceeds to Trafficking Hope.”)

Silent Auctions, Galas & Fundraisers

Give something that can reach a broad audience, not just a free massage for one person. For example, I donate two hours of corporate chair massage valued at $250 with the stipulation that the free massage must be used at a corporate business or a school. I would rather reach 20-plus people at a business and build my email list than allocate my time to just one client who may not return.

By donating two hours of complimentary corporate chair massage, the spa usually makes additional income by having upgrade options such as an additional therapist and extra time to accommodate more people. Even if the company doesn’t upgrade, we have reached a handful of people instead of just one.

Free Massage and More

If you donate products, add a gift certificate for a short service, so the recipient visits your office and will likely upgrade to a longer service. Make up baskets to target your ideal client or specific condition — pain relief, sports recovery, prenatal relief or organic skin care, as examples. You may also want to add restrictions that the person who requested cannot win the item and have a short redemption date. 

Do not be afraid to say no to organizations that ask you for free massage or other donations. You do not have to say yes or be guilted into giving to every organization that reaches out to you. I often respond with, “We have allocated all of our charitable donations for this year, but we will keep you in mind for next year.” Donating too much can easily eat up income and time.

Attend the nonprofit’s events. Sometimes when you donate, the organization will let you attend their fundraiser for free. Go ahead and buy a ticket and support a good cause. A lot of fellow business owners attend fundraisers and galas, and you can then network with them. I have gotten several clients just from chatting with local business owners at events. 

 If you donated to the auction, take a photo of your item for social media posts.

Treat fellow volunteers. Why not give a special thank-you to your fellow volunteer buddies for being charitable? It’s a great way to add even more potential clients to your list. I often give a $25 gift voucher toward services to the hardworking volunteers to encourage them to visit our facility.

Good for All

Donating to a nonprofit is a good thing to do, for the betterment of society — and partnering with a nonprofit and letting your clients know of this affiliation will help them feel good bringing their business to you, too.

About the Author

Rebecca Brumfield runs Badass Bodyworkers, a business that creates a thriving, empowering and supportive community of people who nourish and encourage each other to be total badasses and super rockstars in their healing abilities. She has been in the spa industry since 2008.