Gift CardsOver the past few years gift cards have become extremely popular. With the great popularity of gift card programs so opens up a great opportunity for fundraising!

By using a program called “scrip” your school gets to sell gift cards and make a commission on each and every one.

Actually scrip fundraisers have been around for a long time, but with the widespread use of gift cards and improved technology, scrip fundraisers are even more popular and easy to use.

Here’s a basic idea of how scrip fundraisers work:

1. Schools work 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.

It’s that easy.

This fundraiser provides something that families 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 school 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

Companies that provide management for scrip programs may focus on a particular country, region or state/province. Here are a few of the most popular scrip companies for various areas:

United States Scrip Companies
Great Lakes Scrip Center

Canadian Scrip Companies
FundScrip