Wait! Scrip is not just for churches and schools anymore. Increasingly, nonprofit cultural centers, health clinics, civil rights organizations and environmental coalitions are finding scrip to be a comparatively easy way to raise funds:
How does scrip work, anyway?
With regular scrip (which is issued as a gift card) a group -- let's say a disabilities center -- buys 50 gift cards from a grocery chain (or gas station, etc.). Each card has a face value of $100, so the total has a face value of $5,000. But the nonprofit pays only $95 per card for a total of $4,750.
The nonprofit sells the gift cards at the face value to clients, staff, volunteers, and others. In other words, a family might buy 2 gift cards worth $200 total and pay $200 for them. The family uses the cards at one of the designated businesses. If the family shops there anyway, they don't experience any difference in the expense, and the disability center nets $250 from its $4,750 investment (the typical commission for a nonprofit is 5% of the face value).
But 5% doesn't sound like much to raise!
True. But suppose you have just 15 board members or staff or volunteers . . . Read more