Looking for a passive fundraiser your supporters can easily use to help your organization? eScrip is a great idea. It’s fairly simple to get signed up, and once that’s done, the donations won’t be far behind.
eScrip has been around for years, and they say they’ve helped raise over $450 Million for schools and non-profits so far. It works by connecting your supporters’ grocery and drugstore loyalty cards, credit cards, and debit cards, allowing the merchants they shop with to pay you a percentage of sales.
As with any passive fundraisers, you’ll need to spend time getting people signed up and teaching them about the program at first, but after that, the work is done for you. As people do their normal shopping, at drugstores, grocery stores, and more, your group will earn money without any more work on your part.
You can even earn money when someone books a Cruise!
How Does eScrip work?
This program is perfect for people who regularly shop at a grocery store chain that has a Shopper Loyalty Program, because for them it will be a seamless way to donate money. Every time they head out with their weekly shopping list, they’ll also be helping your school or non-profit earn money.
It’s also important to note that it’s 100% free for your group to sign up.
First, you’ll need to create an account for your group with eScrip, unless one already exists. It’s easy to do; you’ll just need to have some information handy, like the mailing address, Tax ID number of the non-profit, etc. You’ll also need to choose how your group will receive their funds, like via an Electronic Funds Transfer, which happens monthly, or by Check, which happens annually.
Which way is better? That’s a question for your group to decide. Electronic Funds Transfers require you to link to your non-profit’s bank account, and some groups are wary of doing that or would simply prefer not to. The upside is that you’ll be able to access the donations on a monthly basis, but again – this is a decision for each group to make individually. Just be aware that you will only receive donations once a year if you opt to get paid by check.
How Do My Supporters Sign up for eScrip?
Once your school is registered, you’ll then need to ask your supporters to create an account on eScrip for themselves. Send them this link, and after they’ve signed up, they’ll need to register their cards, and choose your school (or nonprofit) as the recipient of the donations.
Some of your supporters may feel the most comfortable connecting their grocery loyalty cards, and they may not be ready to register their credit and debit cards. That’s OK. Start with what they feel comfortable with, and you can build up to more later.
Once they signed up, they don’t ever have to go to the eScrip website again, unless they want to. They will be able to login and see how much money they’re earning for your school, but only if they want to. In general, it’s a very easy way to ask people to donate.
What About Mileage and Points Credit Cards?
Here’s the cool thing about eScrip: you can essentially double-dip! That means you can pay with your credit card, earn Frequent Flyer Miles and Points with that card, and ALSO earn money for your school, once it’s registered. It’s a Win-Win.
Can I Support More than One School at a Time?
The answer is yes! eScrip will allow you to split your earnings between up to three schools and non-profits, which is pretty great, especially if your supporters have multiple kids and feel guilty about only helping one school. Problem solved: help them all!
What’s the Downside of using eScrip to Fundraise?
As with any passive fundraiser, the amount you’ll earn may be small. Because the percentages each merchant pays are small to begin with, the key to earning a lot of money passively is by doing a large volume. You’ll need to sign up a lot of people, and then they’ll need to do a lot of shopping for it to pay off.
The other potential downside to using eScrip is that they do not have a lot of participating merchants. If your school happens to be in one of the areas where they have some participating stores, and if most of your supporters already there, then it would be fine.
However, since the number of stores they work with is relatively small, and because they don’t have stores in every part of the United States, it may not make any sense for you to sign up.
Check out their website to see the current list of participating stores, see how many are nearby, read over all the FAQs, and then decide if eScrip is a good fit for your school. And let us know in the comments what you decide!
Sarah A. has been fundraising for her kids’ schools for years. She’s got the info you need and she’s ready to share it with you!