SiSpa's Charitable "Give Back" Program

With a rotating cadre of partners, this spa rallies its clients around a <em>multitude</em> of worthy initiatives.
SiSpa creates fliers each month to promote its partnerships and highlighted services.

Even if people don’t volunteer regularly or donate a chunk of each paycheck to charity, most of us still like to associate ourselves with benevolent causes. Affiliating your spa with one (or several) can be an easy way to market your business and help strengthen your community, too. Take the simple yet popular Give Back Program in place at SiSpa at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa in Riviera Beach, Florida, which allows clients to turn an indulgent day of pampering into an altruistic act. Each month, the spa selects a partner charity and three services to highlight. When clients book any of these three treatments, the chosen organization receives 10% of the proceeds.

So far, the selection of recipient organizations has been an organic process for SiSpa’s staff. “Everyone is somehow associated with or knows someone associated with a nonprofit,” says spa director Natalee Lynch. “We have a lot of personal connections to different charities, so we target them for our fundraising efforts.”

These ties are what helped make SiSpa’s program successful from the start. Plus, “It was easy to get employees involved in this program because they want to nurture and help anyway,” Lynch reports. “I feel like giving back comes naturally to people in the spa industry.”

DAYSPA: What inspired you and your team to launch the Give Back program last fall?
Natalee Lynch: We all volunteer and support charities in various ways. Wanting to give back to the community is a part of who we are; it’s in our blood. We were already doing sporadic events but we wanted to make it a regular thing. We thought, what if we could become a ‘give-back spa’ and do something every month? So we held a brainstorming session just to ask ourselves how we could do it.

How does the program function?
Once we’ve chosen our recipient local charity for the month, we decide on three services that we’ll tie into the fundraising drive. In June, we supported Big Dog Ranch Rescue, which provides care for homeless dogs until a loving home can be found. The organization received 10% of sales from our Voyage of the Si massage [110 min./$215], Luxe Zen Manicure/Pedicure [80 min./$100] and O2 Resurfacing Facial [50 min./$135]. That’s the basis of the program, but we do special events, too. For example, we recently hosted a fashion show with a local vendor that also supported our charity to raise additional funds.

What is your personal connection to these charities?
When we decided to create this program, we agreed that it would be most meaningful if we chose partners to which we were personally connected. I’m a volunteer for Big Dog Ranch Rescue and one of our marketing girls is really involved with the American Heart Association. The issue of breast cancer is a big one with all of us. And then there’s the Comprehensive AIDS Program of Palm Beach County, which is a very reputable charity in our area, so it was important to us to help them as well.

Was it easy getting your staff on board?
It really was. This all started last October with Breast Cancer Awareness month. We were all eager to get involved and promote it to our guests, so we partnered with the American Cancer Society for its Look Good…Feel Better campaign. Our team was proud and excited about the donation we made—this sense of giving, and our desire to be a bigger part of our community, led us to becoming more of a give-back spa. We wanted to do something even greater in December to support the Junior League of the Palm Beaches’ holiday toy drive. Since I’m a member of the Junior League and the Florida Spa Association, it made perfect sense to rally support from these two larger organizations. We were ultimately able to collect 100 toys from clients to donate to St. Mary’s Hospital here in Palm Beach.
How do you promote the program?
Mainly through our PR company. We’re also on Facebook and have fliers at the spa. When people book a Give Back service, we explain to them exactly what they’re supporting. We don’t want to be preachy about the charity, but we do want to thank clients who participate. And to make sure they realize they’re paying it forward!

Do you think SiSpa has gained any business from the program?
There hasn’t been a huge financial gain so far, but in the long term I think we’ll see more. It’s still pretty new. We have had local radio stations promote what we’re doing, which has given us some wonderful exposure.

What does the future hold for the Give Back Program?
It’s definitely been a process of trial-and-error; we’re constantly trying to figure out how we can improve on the program. It’s successful in terms of our original expectations, but we’re now considering doing it bimonthly, so we can ramp things up and go bigger and better in promoting our causes. One of our greatest triumphs is that charities have told us how glad they are to be a part of our mission.

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