In addition to receiving the toolkits, participating salons also will be added to the salon’s search function/map on their website. Mondays at Racine is asking interested salons to donate $500 to help them cover their legal costs.
“We’ve found that being involved in this program over the last 11 years has served us and our business right back—it’s truly addressed every part of our soul,” says Sansone. “My mother was a good business woman and she always wanted her daughters to do well,” says Sansone. “I know she’s she looking down and is extremely proud of this program.”
Before embarking on fundraising activities, salons should consider the administrative and staffing ramifications. The Teddie Kossof Salon Spa, which has 88 employees and has been in business since 1975, has set up an online portal, called Bidding for Good, to track incoming requests. “We never say no to a donation request,” said Alan Kossof, who is now a partner with his father, Teddie Kossof. When the salon is unable to provide a monetary donation, they will offer a gift certificate for services instead. The salon goes so far as to proactively solicit non-profits if they hear they’re having an event. “This approach is warmly welcomed by non-profits – it sometimes even shocks them – and helps us form strong connections with local leaders,” noted Kossof.
The Bidding for Good services comes with a nominal fee. “It’s definitely helped us get more organized since we have a high volume of requests,” said Kossof, noting the salon donated to more than 150 organizations and volunteered their time at eight fashion shows in 2012. “It’s also helped us reduce a lot of paper in the office and forced us to be a little more tech savvy.”
The salons all agree that their community activities have contributed to a sense of teamwork among staff. “It definitely helps with retention, and the show is great for letting our people get those creative juices out,” noted Ihloff.
It also creates a culture of giving in the salon, but it wasn’t without some bumps along the way. “The idea of giving back can be a challenge for any salon culture, but every employee that gets hired is informed that we graciously expect (him or her) to contribute to the community,” explained Kossof. Auberry agrees. “I only hire people that I feel have values in alignment with ours,” he said. Ihloff says her salon also has a list of “non-negotiable” criteria for hiring, and community involvement and a commitment to their annual show are among them.
Collectively, these salons and their staff contribute remarkable amounts of money, time and services each year, ranging from $30,000 to $175,000. And while that is certainly impressive, Gregoire says a lot of time salons feel like they have to do something big, when really “even a small donation like our One Tip, One Child makes a big difference.” So whether you do numerous small fundraisers or one large event every year, the mere act of getting involved will create win-win scenarios for your community and your salon.