The purpose of this file is to provide information about "scrip", a popular 
fundraiser used by a number of our list bands across the country.    

The only URL I can find after running a "scrip" search on Alta Vista is, but that address currently yields only 
an "Index" and no further information.  The National Scrip Center, though, 
is the one Steve Friedman refers to in his message below.

There are two types of scrip programs.  Besides the National Scrip Center, 
store based scrip programs are offered by several grocery chains, including 
Safeway, Kroger, Albertson's and Texas chain HEB.  Kroger and Albertson's 
offer a credit card size card with a bar code which is swiped through a card 
reader before you check out, with a percentage of your purchase going to your 
band.  Albertson's pays quarterly, I think Kroger pays monthly.  Albertson's 
calls theirs the "Community Partner Card".  Kroger call theirs the "Kroger Card".  
Suzette Crim's Arlington Bowie band uses the Kroger Card.  Her address is  HEB doesn't have a card program, but sells "Nifty Gifties", 
really gift certificates, at a discount of one to three per cent, depending on 
your monthly purchase volume.  Arnold Gladson's Leander band uses these.  His 
address is .  The "swipe" cards are by far the easiest to use, 
since there is no need to buy and distribute scrip, as is the case with the 
National Scrip Center, or an inventory of gift certificates, as with HEB.  
AND there is nothing to keep your band from distributing the swipe cards to 
friends and family as well.  The National Scrip Center seems to be far and away 
the broadest based, offering discount scrip from national chains from coast to 

Bill Gremillion
Churchill Band Parents
San Antonio

"Without the band, it's only a game."

Here is Steve Friedman ( of the  Thousand Oaks 
Lancer Band and Color Guard replying to Sally O'Donnell of the Temecula, CA   
Platinum Sound Marching Band said about how Thousand Oaks operates their Scrip

>Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 17:30:35 -0700
>From: "Sally O'Donnelll" 
>To: "Band" 
>Subject: FW: Our Ambitious Fund Raising Program
>Message-ID: <000301bd7498$5bb0b400$9c0e8ad0@od>
>Steve,  How did you get your Scrip program up and running??  We need some
>help and ideas.  No one buys into ours..The gal in charge has sent slips
>home, I've published blurbs in our band newsletter, she has put blurbs in
>our school newsletter and she just recently went to staff meeting with the
>director to explain to the teachers how the program works and still no
>orders!  We are amazed at the no response.  Any help will be appreciated.
>Thank you
>Sally O'Donnell / Secretary
>Chaparral High School Band
>Temecula,  CA

We do a couple of things to keep the scrip program moving along. Some years
it's up. Some years are not so good, but here is what we do. So many
organizations sell scrip. So, we have to do a few things to keep the
program moving.

1. We share the proceeds from scrip sales with the families who buy scrip
by putting 1/2 of the income received from their scrip purchase directly
into their student's scholarship account. So, each family who participates
gets a direct benefit from buying scrip. For the National Scrip program
which provides larger percentages, the boosters maintain their 2% cut and
put the remaining share into the student scholarship funds.

2. For their first year of membership in the organization, we offer
families of "new" band members (usually freshman) the full scrip income
from July 1 through September 30th. That gets them into the program. We
have had a few families who have figured out that they can buy $5,000 in
scrip during this period, keep all the income in their scholarship
accounts, and never help the boosters out. So, we now cap the amount of
scrip they can buy during the period. I don't remember the limit, but I
think it is about $2,500.

3. We offer a wide variety of scrip. All local super markets. Two local
(Nationally or regionally known) drug stores, several department stores,
and the National Scrip program. And, NEVER, NEVER RUN OUT of scrip. This
means that you need to build up a large inventory. You can't do this

4. We have two to three families who sell scrip from their homes. So
booster members can call just about any time and get scrip.

5. Marching band (fall), color guard (fall and spring) and drum line
(spring) all have class during period 7 (an extra period at the end of the
day). We have a scrip salesperson stationed at the school gate by the band
room at the end of these practice periods. Also, our freshman and
sophomores who are not in color guard or drum line must take a period 7 PE
class. There are a lot of band and color guard parents around at the end of
day to pick up their kids. And, we make it easy for them to buy scrip.

6. If we have a special event planned, like a concert of even another fund
raiser (like a pancake breakfast), we always have a scrip sales person around.

7. We always remind our boosters about the program. They are reminded in
special mailings, our monthly newsletter, and at all booster meetings.

8. A few families have gotten their family and friends to help out by
buying scrip in the booster families' name. The booster family gets the
benefit. Some boosters do quite well in this area. They buy the scrip and
hand carry it to their extended families and neighbors. It works.

The bottom line is we make it easy for our band booster parents to buy
scrip. We provide direct benefits to them for buying scrip. It works. We
still only have less than 50% of the families participating, but we still
do OK. We always tell the boosters that if everyone participated, we could
double our scrip income. That would be great, but then some families buy
scrip to support other organizations, religious groups, and schools. It's
always a tradeoff. We just hope that our boosters will buy scrip from us
because it benefits them directly.

Steven Friedman  

Also from Steve, May 7, 1998:
I have been checking for scrip resources. So far I have found two
organizations which sell a wide variety of scrip to REGISTERED non-profit
organizations for a small commission and handling charge. They are:

Great Lakes Scrip Center
Wyoming MI USA

National Scrip Center
1220 North Dutton Ave
Santa Rosa CA 95401 USA

Both services handle scrip for a wide variety of commercial establishments
including restaurants, department stores, drug stores, specialty shops, and
some food markets. The benefits of using a scrip service is that you can
provide a large assortment of scrip through one contact. But, you will pay
some sort of commission on every transaction. You will find that the
percentage returns for organizations varies greatly. Some restaurants and
specialty shops provide as much as 15% return. But, most will be within the
3-5% range.

We have used National Scrip for about 6 months, after Scrip-Plus folded. We
have had no problem using their service. I have never heard of Great Lakes
Scrip before. I asked them why I should choose them instead, and they said
they have a really good customer service department. If you are looking
into a scrip service, I would check them both out. Both groups will send
you an information packet upon request.

Finally, we use National Scrip to supplement scrip that we directly
purchase from local food store and department store chains. To date, more
than 95% of our scrip  purchases are still via our local connections, but
our National Scrip segment is growing. 

On a good month, we move between $25K and $30K in scrip transactions.

From Carolyn Mc Farland, El Toro, CA, Royal Blue Regime,, May 6, 1998:
Our scrip program has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to our scrip
chairperson who has put alot of time and effort into making it
convenient for everyone to purchase the scrip.

We purchase most of our scrip through the National Scrip Center which is
a nonprofit organization operated by the Catholic Archdiocese in Santa
Rosa, California.  We purchase most of our grocery store scrip directly
because we earn more money that way.  We purchase Ralphs, Vons, Lucky's,
and Smart & Final directly.  This is set up easily by contacting a
market manager and signing a simple agreement.  Scrip purchased direct
is picked up at a local market.

We keep a stock on hand of the most popular items so we can fill orders
immediately if necessary.  In previous years we did not keep stock on
hand.  Orders were collected with payment, and it would be approximately
five days before you could pick up your order.  We also have started to
sell scrip at our recycling bin on the third Saturday of every month.
This has added to our success -- many people know we will be there and
purchase all their scrip for the month at that time.  Our scrip
chairperson has a box outside her front door to collect scrip orders and
distribute scrip when she is not home.  The scrip is delivered by UPS to
one of our band parents who is home during the day.  We always require
UPS to get a signature at delivery.

Proceeds from scrip go directly into the individual students accounts,
less a 10% postage fee. Scrip money is handled through a separate
checking account.  The scrip chairperson is not a signer on the scrip
checking account, as with our other checking account, four of our
officers are signers.   National Scrip Center deducts money directly
from that account.  Checks are used to purchase the grocery scrip
directly.  Very accurate records are maintained of orders, inventory and
moneys distributed into student accounts.  Records are also retained for
a few years, in case there are any questions later.  We also ask parents
to keep a copy of their orders and to check their account statements for

I am attaching an example of our scrip order form (in MSExcel format)
for your reference.  (Editor's note:  I couldn't open the file - maybe 
because I'm running a Mac?  Ask Carolyn direct at

Carolyn McFarland
El Toro High School
Instrumental Music and Pageantry Boosters
Lake Forest, CA

From Ned Barber, Park Ridge NJ Marching Owls,, May 24, 1998:

OK Here's the deal.  Most major supermarket chains, Shoprite, all the
A&P owned stores, and many others, sell certificates which are worth
face value for food and medicine purchases (not liquor). The band pays
95% for them. So for example I just ordered 2500 from Shoprite for our
bi-monthly delivery. I sent them a check for $2375 and when the
certificates are delivered to band families and we get their checks we
have $125 profit for the band fund. The certificates come in $10, $20,
$50 and other denominations. 

Some of the store programs require you to pay up front, most let you pay
at the store when you pick up your batch of certificates. You can work
out many different arrangements with your families. We do deliveries on
the first and third Thursday of each month. We are a small
(geographically) town so we have four people who actually drop them off
at band families houses that Thursday evening. Other bands have people
pick them up at school if the distances are large. Some bands have set
up a phone number for people to call and place orders which the band
association then fills. Whatever works for you.

It's the best fund raiser because people spend the money they always
spend on food and the funds raised come from the supermarket chain.

Home Up

Last changed: 10/08/2002

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