So you are interested in a scrip fundraiser, but you are not really sure how everything works?

Well, here are a few details regarding scrip.

What if I told you that you can go do your grocery shopping, rent a movie for the kids and order pizza and without ever spending a dime extra, you have just made your kids school some money. Possible? Completely so!

This is the world of school scrip fundraising. Scrip fundraising began around since 1988 when a private school in California needed to raise money or the doors would be closed. The way the program works is similar to that of a gift certificate. Schools, districts or other organizations would go to different merchants such as Blockbuster, Pizza Hut and the local grocery store and purchase "scrip" at a discounted rate.

Families then purchase this scrip at face value for the grocery chain or movie store from the school and then use it at face value. The difference from what the school purchased the scrip for and what you purchased the scrip from the school at is the profit for the school. Simple as that!

There are a number of different merchants nationwide that participate in scrip programs. Such merchants include, but of course are not limited to, Safeway, Macy's and Office Max. Let's say for instance you shop at Office Max while participating in scrip fundraising and you spend $100. Office Max might give a 3% discount on the scrip so in essence you just made your child's school $3.

True, this might not seem like a lot, but take all the families that have children in that school and if they all participate in some form or fashion the profit for the school will really add up. On average, schools can make anywhere from $3,000 to $25,000 a year. There are a number of schools that do even far better than that by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars with a scrip fundraiser. Just like everything there are a few drawbacks, but nothing that should stand in the way.

One is that you have to 'train' the parents to purchase the scrip from the school before they do their shopping. The other is that depending on the area you live in, although many merchants are willing to participate with open arms for they are pretty much guaranteed sales, you might have to contact a number of merchants in order to find some that will participate.

This is not a fundraiser that is put in place to take the place of the schools traditional fundraisers, such as selling cookie dough and candy; it is simply a great addition to the method in which schools raise money for their activities.

Although the majority of scrip fundraising is in the western U.S, it is a growing trend and could very well be a part of your fundraising efforts soon!