SOLON– With the new Solon Scrip program, raising funds for the school district by selling magazine subscriptions and chocolate bars door-to-door might be on the way out for good.
Solon Scrip raises money for all three school PTOs through gift cards offered by both local and national vendors.
“When people go and purchase a Scrip card, they’re purchasing a gift card,” explained Amy Kruse, Solon Scrip coordinator. “Those gift cards are provided at face value to the community. Our program has purchased that gift card for a percentage less than face value. The difference in price turns into our profit.”
There are several ways to take advantage of the Solon Scrip program. For parents, an email is sent out bi-monthly with a printable form attached that can be filled out and returned to any of the school offices along with payment in the form of cash or check. The ordering periods occur weekly during the holidays to allow for the convenient purchase of Scrip cards as gifts.
There is also the option of purchasing Scrip cards at any time via shopwithscrip.com. On the website, one can either opt to have the physical gift cards delivered during the next fulfillment period or print out a coupon that can be redeemed immediately. Online, one can choose to pay using PrestoPay, a payment method that links directly to your checking account.
For those who use Scrip cards often, there is a reload option available.
“You order the plastic card one time and then register your card on shopwithscrip.com,” said Kruse. “Then you are able to go in and pick which card you want to add money to and then use your PrestoPay account to reload money back onto that card. It takes effect within five to 10 minutes. For people who are concerned about our environment, to stay green and not go through so much plastic, it’s a good option.”
Scrip “To Go” cards are also available for immediate purchase in the office of each building. A list of Scrip cards that are available can be found on the Solon Scrip website. Scrip “To Go” cards can also be purchased at several school events throughout the school year.
“It’s just really nice to be able to benefit the schools just with your regular daily life without doing anything above and beyond,” said Brandi Radcliffe, who is in charge of the Scrip “To Go” program. “Scrip is something you can still do, because it doesn’t cut into your budget at all.”
On average, the vendors offer a five percent kickback to the schools. The number of vendors is consistently growing, with two recent additions being Sam’s Main Street Market and May’s 3rd Street Bakery. Both are currently signed on as 10 percent vendors.
Radcliffe indicated that the program doesn’t just help raise money for the school district; Scrip cards also help generate business for surrounding venues.
“If I’ve got a Scrip card for Panchero’s in my bag, I am far more likely to go to Panchero’s than McDonald’s, simply because I’ve got the card with me,” explained Radcliffe.
Some of the most popular vendors include Target, Wal-mart, Texas Roadhouse, and BP. Several hotel lines are also signed on with the program, including Marriott and Choice Hotels.
“If (people) plan ahead,” said Kruse, “their spring break trip could benefit the schools.”
The Solon Scrip program was implemented in July 2012. In the first year, the program generated $1,800 dollars, which was used to get the Scrip “To Go” program up and running. This year, Solon Scrip is expected to double that profit, and that is not including the profits gained from the “To Go” program.
“Scrip has huge potential,” said Radcliffe. “A lot of neighboring districts also use Scrip, and they have huge profits because the people understand it better.” Radcliffe also added that, in just one year, the Regina school district earned a $50,000 profit from their Scrip program.
The money from the Solon Scrip program will be distributed evenly to all of the three school PTOs and will be used toward such projects as updating the technology needs, providing teachers with materials on their wish lists, and funding field trips.
“I’ve always viewed other fundraising techniques as above and beyond someone’s budget,” said Kruse. “This fundraising technique can become part of your normal daily spending habits. I think as the program grows and we have more money to give to all three schools, it’s going to be beneficial when we start expanding our district.”
For more information, visit the Solon Scrip website at http://solonscrip.wix.com/solonscrip  or contact Amy Kruse at email@example.com .