After getting feedback about the Gift Card Ministry (formerly Scrip), we decided it would be beneficial to highlight this ministry for Christmas. Here’s what it looks like:
Some thoughts on the design:
- I went simple on the design, using the motif of a Christmas tree. The explanatory text continues the image of the tree, making it appear like a larger tree.
- The catch phrase “serve others in Jesus’ Name” is accented in red. This is consistent with the next flier we’ll release in February/March.
- I intentionally focused on gifts people might give, not every card available. It seemed breaking them out by price group was the way to go for listing those options.
- The order form looks very different from the front page, but matches our regular order form. My hope is that when people see the “usual” form, it will be familiar once they get this flier.
- You’ll notice an extra line at the bottom of the order form for gift card wrappers. We’re giving away wrappers with every card valued at $10 or more. We’d lose money on cards that are $5 or less. There are currently only about 5 cards that we sell that are below that threshold.
Thanks for all the feedback on the Scrip program over the past couple days! Here’s a summary of what I heard, both online and off, from this group of readers and research in other programs:
- Increased visibility of point-of-sale. It’s hard to find it and when you do, it’s really crowded. A sign would be helpful. Also signs to help navigate from the information center to the ministry support center.
- Increased awareness. People forget it exists, don’t know it exists, or just plain don’t know what it is. Fliers, skits, video commercials and more are options to help here. We also want ways to easily share the information with friends/family that might be interested in partnering with us. Quick access to what’s in stock and what needs to be ordered is helpful as well.
- Incentives. Gift card wrappers at Christmas (and possibly other times), key-chain Sharpie marker with purchases over X dollars, one entry into a drawing for a $25 gift card of your choice for every X dollars.
Today’s questions then:
- Check out these gift card wrappers. Most are 16 cents per wrapper when ordering 1000. At best, we can order two designs. Do we go with one more generic “A gift for you” type card, a Christmas themed one, or one of both?
- Here’s a flier about the Gift Card Ministry. It answers three basic questions about the program: Why, What and How. It’s intentionally emphasizing the “why” we do it and frames profits in terms of how many trips it paid for. It also draws the “why” into the “what” and the “how” using the recurring phrase “serve others in Jesus’ Name.” We do it to help students serve in Jesus’ Name and when you purchase gift cards, you serve in Jesus’ Name through us. The back side is not done yet. Any wording that’s confusing? If you can, show it to someone who’s never heard of Scrip and see what they think about it.
- Which incentives would get you buying cards? Most are self-explanatory. The marker idea was so that people could have it with them to track the balance. Also, what should X be for pens and drawing entries? Markers cost around $1.20, so we’d lose money on sales of $25/50. We’d make money at $100 on all cards except Wegmans/Tims/Target where we essentially break even.
I’m looking for ways to increase sales for our Scrip program, one of three ways we pay for Short-Term Missions around these parts. I’m starting to work on two publicity pieces for people:
- A new “What is Scrip and Why Should I Care?” type of brochure. There are still lots of people who don’t know much about the program I imagine.
- A Christmas Scrip flier.
So I’m looking for some help:
- What are questions you have about Scrip?
- What are things people who’ve never heard about it would like to know?
- What gift cards are especially important to have in stock at Christmas?
- What would make cards sell better at Christmas?
Really, any ideas you have for raising awareness and/or sales, I’d love to hear them, so post them in the comments, please!
It’s been a very busy—and good—weekend. I spent Saturday morning with Abby, Anna and Randy at the Bon-Ton selling coupon books, plus saw some of Heide as she was shopping. (Glad she was there because I wanted a new shirt/tie and have no fashion sense, so Heide helped pick out the one I was wearing Sunday.) We sold 46 books in 2 hours on Saturday morning, plus we sold 14 on Friday evening at the store. Not bad.
Then it was off to church to finish getting ready to preach on the Trinity. It’s funny how God works. I wasn’t entirely happy with the sermon because I felt there was so much more to get into but there just wasn’t time. Yet I got more people talking to me about this one being great stuff than any other it seems. The Spirit must have been transforming my words between my mouth and everyone’s ears. 🙂
After worship, I stopped by the Scrip table to help Pam close up shop. It took a long time because we sold almost $8,000 worth of Scrip. No, really. Our previous high was probably not quite half that. The last order we placed gave us a 7.9% return rate. This one should be lower because there were a lot of Wegman’s cards in there. But even at a conservative 3%, we’ll still make $240 in profits. That’s more than a third of the cost of a Workcamp trip. Awesome stuff!
Next I left for the Stone’s house to do rooted. A strange day with many of the youth suffering from sleep deprivation because of some sleepovers resulting in late nights. Still, fun to be with them. Then there was a quick dinner with the Stone family before our Life Group meeting, which was also a fun time. It was the first time our entire group was together in months.
- Make it easier to read
- Highlight most purchased vendors
- List more vendors overall
- Prepare for a special Christmas sales push outside our church
After more than 2 years on the job, Cindy is stepping down as our Scrip Coordinator. I remember approaching her with the idea of starting this Fundraiser at some event in the Gym. I’m not sure I even remember what it was. Tenley, one of our friendly faces selling the gift cards, is also leaving the team as she’s moving to Florida (we’ll miss you guys!).
The idea is that we sell gift cards for face value, but purchase them for a discounted price from Great Lakes Scrip. Since May 19, 2006, here are some statistics for this Fundraiser:
- Total Value of Gift Cards Sold: $124,934.55
- Total Profit, after shipping expenses: $6,593.21
- Average Return Rate: 5.28%
- Top 5 Gift Cards Sold by Total Value:
- Tops — $65,850
- Panera Bread — $4200
- Red Lobster — $3,525
- Disney — $3,000
- Sunoco — $2,400
- Families Participating: 135
- Families Purchasing More Than $500 Lifetime: 47
- Top Family Amount by Total Purchased: $10,915
- Top Family Amount by Contribution (Profit to us): $486.85
Cindy has been instrumental in getting this program off the ground and running. Tenley has been helping sell the gift cards since the very beginning also. I’m so thankful for their efforts these past 2 years! If you see them this weekend, be sure to tell them thanks for all they’ve done for our youth!
And in case you’re wondering… Yes, the hunt is on for a new Scrip administrator. It’s mostly administrative work, scheduling the other volunteers and occasionally finding more people to help sell at the table. If you think that might be you, or you know someone who might be interested, shoot me an email.
One day, I hope to be raising between $10 and $12,000 per year through Scrip. With our growing number of kids in Crossroads attending Workcamps, we’ll need it!