gift cardsLast Christmas season I noticed just how popular gift cards had become.

Our grocery store even had a kiosk of cards from a variety of other stores and restaurants like Home Depot, Chili’s and many more.

With the great popularity of gift card programs so opens up a great opportunity for fundraising! By using a program called “scrip” your group gets to sell gift cards and make a commission on each and every one.

Here’s a basic idea of how it works:

1. A non profit group or school works with local retailers directly or through a scrip company to purchase gift certificates or gift cards (referred to as scrip) at a discount.
2. Parents purchase the gift cards from the organization at face value. The difference in price is kept by the organization.
3. Parents use the scrip at the retailer just like cash.

This fundraiser provides something that your supporters already want and need. Most scrip programs offer cards from places that you already shop from, such as grocery stores, video stores, restaurants, and many more.

How much can your group raise?

Most scrip programs offer between 2.5 and 10% cash back to the school or group,. The terms may vary by scrip company and/or by retailer. The profits from scrip can really add up, especially when you have many families participating over the course of a year.

Here’s an example: If a family spends $100 per week on groceries and other scrip purchases, that adds up to $5,200 per year. At an average of 5% profit the sponsoring group receives $260. And that’s just one family! What happens when you get most of your families to sign up? Imagine…with 50 families that would equal $13,000 per year. All on something that the families need anyway – groceries! With the popularity of gift cards, it would be easy for families to stock up on gift cards for birthday and holiday gifts too.

A Fundraising Program That Grows Each Year

One of the things that I have heard from schools that use scrip is that it can be difficult to get people to get on board with it the first year.

It may be a new concept to some people and they may wonder if there’s some kind of catch. Assure your supporters that the retail companies offer the cards at a discount in order to gain customers and support the community. The family pays and redeems the scrip at full face value while a portion of the card value goes back to the sponsoring organization.

Scrip works even with just a handfull of people participating. The first year you may just have a few families participating, but that’s okay. Once your supporters realize how easy it is and what the fundraising potential may be, it will make it easier to get more participation in the future.

Scrip Companies

While here at Step by Step Fundraising we do not offer the scrip service, there are several companies that do.  These companies provide management for scrip programs like working with the retailers to get the discounted gift cards.

Please click the links below to contact one of these companies if you are interested in learning more about scrip.  These are the two largest companies that offer this service, so they have a lot of experience and resources to help make the program a success for your group.

Great Lakes Scrip Center works with groups in the United States

FundScrip helps groups in Canada

Posted on 23 July 2007

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