NOV 2018

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[ 58 ] • # dayspamagazine • november 2018 struggling to make ends meet," she explains. "This not only helps our community but also our business, since it demonstrates how kind and compassionate we are." Ensure Your Impact It's also smart to vet charities by visiting their websites. This will provide a clearer sense of the work they do and allow spas to verify the organization's 501(c)(3) status, notes Lauren MacVean, owner of Beach House Day Spa in Birmingham, Michigan. "Find out what percentage of your donations will go toward the cause, versus operating costs," she suggests. Brown adds that you can look up organizations on, which rates a wide range of nonprofi ts based on their commitment to best practices and transparency—thus ensuring that you'll truly be making a diff erence by partnering with them. Crunch the Numbers Checking a charity's 501(c)(3) status is crucial if you're hoping to get a tax write-off —and you'll defi nitely want to keep careful track of your contributions. You should also discuss the specifi cs with your accountant to make sure you're getting the biggest break for your buck, and that you're categorizing contributions correctly, among other specifi cs. "Spas should set a monthly, quarterly or yearly budget to allocate toward charitable donations," adds MacVean. "They need to log every donation for it to be deducted from their taxes, so it's a good idea to check that their systems can track those payments." Enlist Employees Chances are you'll want to involve your staff in your fundraising eff orts, but don't take their participation for granted. "Talk to your team about what they're willing and able to do before committing them to something too big," advises Brown. "If it involves their direct income, such as everyone donating their tips or commissions on a particular day, you obviously need to get them on board fi rst." If the cause involves customer contributions—for instance, a percentage of purchases going to the charity—MacVean recommends creating an in-house protocol detailing how to process donations and address client questions, such as where the money is going or whether or not they'll be eligible for a tax deduction. Spread the Word For your charitable eff ort to succeed in helping the benefi ciary and your business, you'll want to engage as many people as possible. To do so, most spas use a targeted mix of online and in-person promotional eff orts. For instance, Willinger markets through direct email, social media and in-spa signage. If it's a big event, you can send press releases to local media and announce it to nearby businesses. MacVean recommends asking the charity about its own promotional eff orts as well. "We fi nd out if there will be any kind of advertising, whether on the local news or via marketing campaigns, where our name will get out there," she explains. Get Giving Spas need not host huge events to have an impact. Donating goods or services is a simple option, with the added potential to attract new clients. "The gift certifi cates we donate are used in giveaways and auctions that promote the spa to a wide audience in a positive way," says MacVean. Some businesses also like to off er treatments directly to people in need. "We participated in a national eve nt called 'Sparks of Light,' providing spa services to cancer patients," says Willinger, who notes that her employees are generous with their time and talents. "As spa professionals, we have the unique gift of making others feel good with our healing touch." No matter what form your contribution takes—from a raffl e to a fun-run to free facials—with a bit of planning, the benefi ts to others and your business stand to be substantial. u winning ways © GETTY IMAGES

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