eScrip Program Gives Boost to Nonprofts
The floundering economy has taken a toll on support for non-profits—including those having to do with the arts—but a program at a local supermarket chain makes donating to your favorite cause painless.
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, it's time to think about the things we are thankful for.
There are the obvious ones—health, a job, family and friends—but we sometimes overlook nonprofit organizations that add so much to the fabric of community life.
With money still tight for many, it's not always easy to support the organizations we value. It's even difficult to stretch the budget to help with fundraisers held by your kids or your neighbor's kids.
But Schnucks' eScrip program has made it easy to support your favorite nonprofit. When you buy groceries at a Schnucks store, you can put money in your favorite nonprofits' coffers.
Maplewood United Methodist Church, Maplewood Richmond Heights High School, Maplewood Baptist Church and Folk School of St. Louis are some of the local organizations that reap a monthly reward from the program.
It's easy to participate:
- Pick up an eScrip card at a Schnucks store (or from the organization you support)
- Register your card online
- Designate up to three organizations to support
- Show your card whenever you shop at Schnucks
Your organization will receive 1 percent for the first $300 you spend each month, 2 percent if you spend between $301 and $600, and 3 percent on sales between $601 and $999.
Groups receive a monthly payout. Larry Magio, marketing director for Schnucks, said the program is successful because everyone can easily participate.
"Instead of other fundraising programs where you've got to pre-buy something and resell it to make money ... you just present your card at check-out for what you do every week anyway—grocery shopping," he said.
The organization doesn't have to be a charity to participate. Maggio said schools, churches and booster clubs also joined the program.
Maggio said he could not discuss how much money Schnucks donates each year through the program.
He said the company has been involved in fundraising for decades.
"We get a lot of requests for donations for different things," he said. "This is really a win-win program. When you shop at Schnuck's, we can afford to give back verse just saying, 'Here's nine cases of water' or 'Here's 20 packages of hot dogs.'"
Lori Willis, communications director for Schnucks, agreed that the program is helpful to nonprofits and doesn't demand anything of the purchaser.
"For example, if your monthly purchases total $650, your contribution earned would be $10.50," she said. "And again, you've done nothing but show the checker your eScrip card."
Obviously the amount the organization receives depends on how many people use the card.
"In today's economy every little bit helps," Willis said. "The more people sign up, the more effective that program is going to be in generating the funds that groups needs to make its goals a reality."
Clinton Shurtz, executive director of Folk School, said the school began participating in the program just a few months ago.
"It really hasn't been anything that's made any significant amount of money yet," he said. "Some organizations out there really go out and market it."
Shurtz said he puts the cards out at all Folk School events but, as the school's only full-time employee, he doesn't have much time to market them.
"It's a great way to support the school," he said. "It's absolutely free and if that's where you do your shopping, it doesn't hurt at all."
If you're a Schnucks shopper, before you go out to buy your Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings, get an eScrip card and help the organization of your choice—and don't forget to add an arts organization to your list when you register.