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Scrip Marketing
Remember, using scrip can be identified as behavior modification. On a daily basis, consumers buy goods and services with cash, checks, credit/debit cards and GIFT CARDS. While purchasing and using scrip requires preparation and forethought, with conditioning it can become a comfortable routine.
To stay in target with your fundraising goals, you’ll need to attain a heightened degree of awareness within your organization. Build awareness among your supporters that purchases made without scrip attributes to “lost income” to your organization. Think of it this way… you spend $100 at the grocery store and another $100 on gas and dining – purchases, if made with scrip, would have generated roughly $10 or more for your organization. It is at this level of awareness that will motivate you and your supporters to reach the maximum potential for the effort.
Look at all the communication channels for your organization. Do you have a newsletter for which advertising is available? Can the pastor mention the scrip program? Do you have regular meetings? Is there a chance to set up a scrip order center? Are you a school who receives regular visits from supporters (i.e. parents dropping off children, etc.)?
If your organization rarely has an occasion to interact with members and communicates generally by phone or mail, be sure to focus on the ways you “reach” them via any source of communication. Each of these is an opportunity to promote the program.
Remember, YOU are the single most prized commodity to your organization. Not only do you have an educated understanding of the group’s mission and the scrip industry as a method of fundraising, but you likely have some first-hand experience and feel the impact first-hand as well. YOU are the single most valuable promotion to your organization.
The following is a list of marketing concepts that can be implemented to escalate the awareness and understanding of the program:
Newsletters / Mailers / Print Communication
Always mention scrip in your communications.  If you have a newsletter, write an article and keep your members posted on your earnings.  As everyone sees the earnings grow individually and collectively, they may be motivated to do more… thus furthering the success.  Any mailer or print communication should have some reference… a simple blurb as a reminder to buy or perhaps a few thought-starters listing unique ways to use scrip.
Direct Scrip Sales
If you are an organization where members frequent a central facility (church, school, etc.), create a virtual “scrip store.” Order and stock inventory, circulate order forms, display promotions, and receive/fulfill orders on the premises. Schedule volunteers to support regular store hours of operation and encourage regular visits from supporters. Schools are perfect venues as they provide an automatic and direct distribution network where a large number of parents drop/pick up their children daily. By creating an easy access for your supporters, it is an ideal environment to conditioning your members to purchase scrip on a regular basis.
Today many Scrip companies provide direct ordering for your members. This is the best method as your supporters can go online and order at their convenience: Your best success can come from promoting these purchases…..check with your Scrip company for more nformation.
Special Events
Does your organization have special events such as baseball games, concerts, appreciation days, blood drives, craft fairs, open houses, carnivals, etc.? If so, these too are ideal environments to sell and promote. Set up and staff a booth to manage orders and real-time fulfillment. In this scenario, it may be beneficial to have a surplus of inventory on hand for a few sporadic or even last minute purchases – especially during holiday season. By enticing visitors to purchase, you’ll be promoting the concept while also inviting new membership. Many organizations have generated half of their sales with just a few major events. During the busy holiday season, you’ll want to extend the hours, inventory and staff to accommodate a significant increase in activity. Scrip is a tremendous “gifting” option and will drive funding!
Scrip Contest
Be creative! A school could hold a competition awarding the classroom that generates the highest value of scrip sales to a pizza party – a church could promote a scrip rally to support a picnic… tie scrip to a raffle – for every $25 purchased, you receive one entry to win. This type of program will generate excitement, motivate participation and will build awareness of the program.
Be Goal Oriented
This is fundamental. It’s important for the focus to be toward a very specific goal and not necessarily from the general monetary benefit to the organization. For instance, one particular youth group had been transporting children in a less than dependable vehicle. While the group had been offering a scrip program to its supporters, the funding was attributed into a “general” account and scrip sales could be categorized as moderate. However, one creative scrip coordinator decided to build a promotion around the purchase of a new van. In newsletters and announcements, the scrip promotion outlined that all earnings from the program would go toward the purchase of this new van. In fact, a picture of the particular van needed was displayed for the group supporters to visualize. Scrip sales from this promotion nearly tripled and within a few months, the van became a reality! This too can become a reality for your organization. Over the years, buildings have been constructed, computers purchased, salaries paid, and field trips organized all with the focused goal of achieving something specific and tangible.
Supporter Champions
Spread the word! Recruit key individuals in your organization to commit to shopping with scrip. For instance, a school could recruit the principal and teachers; a church could recruit the pastor and other members of the clergy; a sports team could enlist the help of the coach and some of the most active parents, etc. You’ll create a highly visible testament to your program – those shared experiences and positive views can be extremely enticing in influencing others.
E-mail
The Internet is truly the very best resource for just about anything. As such, you should use it as the most cost-effective means of promoting your scrip sales. Create an e-mail profile of each of your members and specifically, their e-mail addresses. Send communications targeted to remind them of scrip purchases, promote new merchant brands, provide a funding update, etc. This is an excellent way to keep you’re your program “front of mind”.
World Wide Web
Does your organization have a web site? If so, identify a section or page on your site to create a link to information about your program. Update this page periodically and keep information and updates fluid and engaging to encourage frequent visits from your supporters.
If you work with a scrip company, incorporate their existing communications into your own. Many of scrip companies are initiating online scrip programs that allow members to order directly so you can get the immediate sales benefit.
Business Scrip
How many of your members or supporters own a business? Isn’t your organization really a business? Does your school buy supplies? Or how about your church? These items can be purchased with scrip!
If you find business owners are members of your organization, have them use scrip for their travel such as airline tickets and hotels. One very creative volunteer found a building contractor in their supporter base and made a convincing plea for lumber purchases to be made with scrip. End result? That contractor purchases over $200,000 a year in lumber generating over $4,000 a year for that organization. And even better, the contractor usually buys the lumber in 50,000 lots so the scrip coordinator only makes four purchases a year for that return. What an impactful example!
Standing Order
Just as it sounds, it’s an order placed by a supporter that is purchased and fulfilled on an on-going basis (weekly, monthly, etc.). Members may consider this a tremendous value as it alleviates the burden of remembering to make the purchases – which may lead to lost revenue for your group. This is ideal for consumable purchases such as grocery, drug, fuel and dining.
For instance, Jane’s household spending is fairly predictable. A typical week includes $150 in grocery, $150 refueling the cars and dinner out at Red Lobster for roughly $50. As such, Jane’s monthly standing order may be:
Extended Family
Everyone has extended family such as grandparents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, cousins, and even godparents. All are potential scrip customers!
Invite your members to include their extended family and encourage participation on a regular basis. Online scrip is another great means for extended families to support your organization through online spending. During holiday season, invite extended families to shop with gift cards or give gift cards – all purchased through your program.
Phone Tree
Certainly, telemarketing solicitations can be an annoyance. However, when it is focused on a topic of interest and used to educate, telemarketing can be extremely effective and even welcomed from supporters. A subtle, yet effective telemarketing effort will increase participation from members and is a terrific means of getting the word out.
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