ScripCents, LLC Makes Strides Providing Effective Fundraising Options to Non-Profit Organizations

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Since its inception in 2005, ScripCents, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has successfully offered non-profits a faster, easier, and more profitable way to meet their fundraising goals. With over 150 merchants to choose from, everyone is able to participate in buying things they strictly want or need without spending a penny extra. As a result of their drive and dedication, Presidents and Co-Founders of ScripCents, Jane Leeuw and Mary Ellen Murphy, have received recognition as National City Business Women of the Month in December 2006.

Presidents and Co-Founders of ScripCents, LLC (http://www.scripcents.com), Jane Leeuw and Mary Ellen Murphy, saw a need for a more effective way to fundraise. Like many of us, they had participated in the traditional fundraisers selling candy, wrapping paper, and popcorn as well as helping on far too many car washes.

Since its inception in 2005, ScripCents, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has successfully offered non-profits a faster, easier, and more profitable way to meet their fundraising goals. From schools, churches, youth groups, sports teams, band boosters, and beyond, ScripCents is dedicated to maximizing a group's fundraising return, while minimizing the effort an organization has to put into it.

By purchasing gift cards in volume from national, regional and local merchants, ScripCents receives a discount. The company then passes along the discounts to the non-profit organization. Whenever an organization buys these discounted gift cards (scrip) from ScripCents and resells them to its members at face value, it realizes the difference as profit. Everyone needs food, clothing, and gasoline. With over 150 merchants to choose from, everyone is able to participate in buying things they strictly want or need without spending a penny extra.

Ordering from ScripCents is simple and organizations can customize this process to meet their needs. Some groups prefer to take orders in advance from their members and then submit one order to ScripCents. Payment from members has typically been received by the group coordinator before placing this type of order, thus funds are readily available at the time of purchase. In other instances, an organization may prefer to purchase cards up-front and retain frequently purchased cards on-hand for its members.

In the last month, ScripCents has introduced another form of ordering which allows individuals from a respective non-profit group to register directly with ScripCents, using their organizations non-profit code assigned to the organization at the time it registered. In this instance, the individual buys directly at face value, uses credit card as his form of payment, and receives the cards directly from ScripCents. Because the individual has paid face value, ScripCents forwards a check to the non-profit organization for the earnings (face value less discounted price). ScripCents is the only scrip company currently accepting credit card as a form of payment for scrip.

Currently, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is piloting this program throughout Michigan with the future goal being to implement this concept throughout the country. Regardless of what method an organization wishes to order, it's obvious that filling orders is a top priority for ScripCents. The turnaround time reflects it; an order received prior to 1 p.m. on any given business day is packaged and ready for shipment by 4 p.m. the following business day.

The list of vendors working with ScripCents continues to grow. From restaurants, department stores, and local specialty businesses, to grocery stores and various types of entertainment and gas stations, most merchants welcome the opportunity to increase sales. As mentioned by many participating merchants, "People often times spend more than they initially planned once they come into the store." Not only do merchants appreciate programs that keep customers regularly doing business with them, many gain satisfaction from supporting non-profit organizations. One local merchant writes, "ScripCents has helped me build my "regular customer" base while giving me the opportunity to support non-profit groups at the same time."

The number of non-profits continues to grow as well. What began as a small venture in Kalamazoo, Michigan has now expanded to Indiana, Ohio, California, Texas and Florida.

As a result of their dedication and drive, as well as National City Bank's confidence in their business model, Jane and Mary Ellen received recognition as National City Business Women of the Month in December 2006.

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HILLARY NORFLEET

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