Fundraising With Scrip

By Kathy Doker

If you haven’t heard of scrip, you could be missing out on major fundraising dollars for your ministry or church. Scrip is a system where churches or nonprofit organizations pre-purchase “substitute money” from major retailers at greatly discounted rates. The organizations then sell the scrip to their members at face value, and thereby raise funds without members having to spend any extra money. Here’s how it works.

* Purchasing Power – When families purchase scrip through your ministry, they’re purchasing negotiable gift certificates (dollar for dollar) that work just like cash. National and local retailers issue the scrip where many families already shop. It’s a win-win situation because participating merchants want to support non profit organizations, and families who purchase scrip certificates actively support the retailers participating in the program. And above all, the church, school, or nonprofit organization wins because purchases from a scrip-participating retailer provide a steady source of revenue. Your organization buys scrip cards at a predetermined discount, so revenue’s earned with every purchase.

* Silent Fundraising-Families use scrip to purchase everyday, needed items such as food, clothing, prescriptions, and fuel, along with other nonessentials, such as movie rentals, restaurants, and hotels all from scrip-participating retailers. An organization of 150 families easily spends between one and two million dollars per year on food, clothing, and other essentials, ac cording to the Great Lakes Scrip Center (www .glscrip.corn). If these 1 50 families use scrip for their purchases through the year, together they could raise as much as $40,000 to $80,000 for their organization without extra spending.

* Easy Set-Up – Many scrip suppliers such as Great Lakes Scrip Center already act on behalf of churches, schools, and other nonprofit organizations, so setting up a program is relatively easy. You can order scrip through a pre-order process or hold inventory on-hand for immediate purchase. There are also several computer- tracking programs available to make managing your scrip program easy and efficient.

* Covered Bases – Do your homework. Check the financials of the scrip supplier you choose. Research the supplier to determine reliability and services offered. Assign an organized volunteer to manage your program. Take time to ad equally educate your leaders, team members, and families about how scrip works.

Article “Fundraising With Script” written by Kathy Dokter is taken from

This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”