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In this Post: Donating massage gift certificates may feel taxing, but I want to suggest that there are some huge business building benefits to doing so.
Massage gift certificates make the perfect silent auction item. Because of this, we as massage therapists, often get hit up for fundraising efforts.
It can be overwhelming sifting through these requests! When is it and when is it not appropriate to donate your services? While the answer varies, I want to suggest that as a whole, donating can be a great tool for building your practice!
While services like massage are not tax-deductible, there are still many wonderful benefits that come from contributing to a cause.
Benefits of Donating Massage Gift Certificates
Donating provides an opportunity to gain greater exposure for your practice. It is kind of like free advertising. All those potential clients see that you have a generous heart for a cause they believe in. Without the price tag of hefty advertising bills!
Not sure about you, but I would way rather “advertise” by promoting a worthy cause then throw my money at my local print advertiser!
Potential for Gaining New Clients
You also gain the chance to get your hands on potential new regulars. Hopefully, your best selling tool!
Every time I give a massage to a new client, I look at it as an opportunity to gain them as a regular client. As though they are interviewing me for the position of their new massage therapist.
I still think that the best way to sell people on the idea of receiving a massage is to meet them face to face. Fundraisers provide the experience of putting you in front of those who can afford massage, where you can surely sell them on your sparkling personality.
It Feels Good
It always feels good to help out with community fundraising efforts! This is pretty self-explanatory but definitely worth mentioning!
So how do you decide what to donate to versus what not to?
Here are some guidelines I try to implement when making these decisions.
- Is this a cause you believe in? There are a couple of different causes that I feel deeply connected with. Anytime organizations that represent these causes approach me, it is pretty much a given that I will donate.
- Has the person asking frequented my business? I am much more apt to give when the person making the request frequents my business. While it isn’t mandatory that this is the case, it does make it a lot easier for me to say “yes.”
- When was the last time I donated to a charity? You will have to figure out what a comfortable threshold is for you. For me, I feel comfortable giving about 1 massage per month.
There are times when I have donated to events and the certificates are never redeemed. This is a mixed bag. It’s great because you gain exposure, help raise money for a cause, and don’t have to do any work. But without actually getting your hands on a recipient, you missed the chance to gain a new client. Either way, good or bad, it is a factor to consider when setting a limit on the number of charities you feel appropriate.
Other Considerations When Donating
This past weekend my son’s school held their annual fundraising event. In a burst of generosity, I donated two as opposed to my normal one – one hour massage.
When I arrived at the fundraiser, I was disappointed to see that the school had grouped these massages together as one item.
Never was it my intention to have them grouped in this way. I wanted the school to raise as much money as possible from my donation. Which I believe would have been most possible if they had separated these certificates into two auction items as originally intended. I also wanted to get my hands on two potential new regulars, not just one.
This experience taught me a lesson. It taught me that if I have an opinion about how my gift certificates are used, I should make sure to express my thoughts very clearly when I gift the certificates.
His school did ask for feedback. I courteously questioned why they had grouped the two massages together. They said that they had debated for a while on this one, but having limited space for displays decided to pair them up. Had I known this was going to be the case, I would have only donated one massage.
Lesson learned. Next time I either won’t be so generous, or I will give explicit instructions on how I want my donation to be marketed.
Either way, it felt great to help contribute to my son’s school! And, they were so appreciative of the gift!
So, the next time someone asks you to donate to a fundraiser, don’t feel put out. Instead, look at it as a chance to network, gain exposure, and meet potential new regulars! Some of my most loyal clients I have met through charity events!
- Boulder College of Massage Therapy Graduate
- Nationally Certified through NCBTMB
- Colorado Licensed Massage Therapist
- Certified CranialSacral Level 1 through Upledger
- Certified Herbal Therapist through Nutrition Therapy Institute
- Certified Fujian Massage through Barefoot Masters
- Fort Lewis College - Majored in Art, Minored in Business Administration
- 6 Year Winner of Best Massage Therapist for "Best of The Boat" Competition
- Massage Business Owner Since 2008
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