Congregation Beth Shalom Scrip / Gift Cards FAQ’s*
*Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I have heard about the scrip / gift card program at Congregation Beth Shalom. What is it?
A: “Scrip” is a form of private currency between two parties. At Beth Shalom, scrip takes the form of gift cards that you can purchase at face value from Beth Shalom and then use at certain stores to purchase items at those stores.
Q: Why is Beth Shalom selling gift cards?
A: Beth Shalom sells gift cards as an additional source of revenue. Beth Shalom purchases the gift cards at a small discount and then sells them at face value. The price difference raises funds for Beth Shalom and improves the synagogue’s financial condition.
Q: That sounds great. Could I do the same thing and make money for myself?
A: The discount is available only to registered nonprofit organizations.
Q: Oh. How long has this program been in place?
A: The scrip program started at Beth Shalom in December, 2008.
Q: For which stores does Beth Shalom sell gift cards?
A: QFC, PCC, Safeway, Albertsons, Starbucks, Home Depot and ARCO.
Q: Is that all? I do a lot of shopping at Fred Meyer. I’d like to use a gift card there.
A: QFC gift cards are also usable at any Fred Meyer store. The reason is that both stores are owned by Kroger. In fact, QFC gift cards can be used at any Kroger store or any store owned by Kroger.
Q: Which stores are owned by Kroger?
A: For a complete list of Kroger markets, see http://www.thekrogerco.com/. QFC and Fred Meyer are the only ones in the Seattle area.
Q: I’d like to help by buying some gift cards. How do I go about doing that?
A: You can purchase gift cards from Marjie Cogan in the front office at the synagogue during business hours. Alternatively, you can contact the synagogue’s scrip coordinator, Kevin Coskey, at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also sell you gift cards. Cards are also often available during Adult Ed evenings and at certain CBS events.
Q: When are business hours for the synagogue?
A: Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 9am-5pm with a break from 11-noon, and Fridays from 9am-2pm. You can also see the business hours listed here: http://www.bethshalomseattle.org/contact_us.php.
Q: How much of a discount does Beth Shalom get when purchasing the gift cards?
A: That varies among the stores. For QFC and PCC, the discount is 5%. For Safeway, Albertsons and Home Depot, the discount is 4%. For ARCO, the discount is 2.5%. For Starbucks, the discount is 7%.
Q: What do I do when I have spent the entire balance of my gift card?
A: That depends on the store for which you have a gift card. In most cases, you simply buy another gift card. In the case of a PCC card, you can keep the card, and reload it. You can add to the balance of your card at any cash register at any PCC store. Simply pay PCC the amount you want to add, and PCC will add that amount to your card. The minimum amount to add is $50.
Q: Wait a minute. If I add funds to my PCC card, how will Beth Shalom benefit? That transaction is between me and PCC, right?
A: When you add funds to your PCC card, PCC will set aside 5% of that amount and donate it to Beth Shalom later in the year. The number on your PCC card is tied to an account that Beth Shalom has at PCC. That way, PCC knows which organization will benefit from your reloading your card.
Q: What happens if my card is lost or stolen?
A: One of the benefits of using a PCC gift card is that in case it is lost or stolen, your balance can be preserved. As soon as you realize that your card is missing, contact the Beth Shalom scrip coordinator and inform him of your loss. He can contact PCC and have the remaining balance transferred to another card for you. You would then use that new card instead.
Q: Is that service available with the gift cards for other stores?
A: Yes. QFC and Safeway can issue a new card for the remaining balance of the lost or stolen card. Contact the Beth Shalom scrip coordinator if you are in this unfortunate situation.
Q: I’d like to know what the current balance is on my gift card. Is there a way to find out?
A: Yes, indeed. Here is a table of web sites and phone numbers that can be used for checking the balance of your gift card.
Q: I get the impression that I can help Beth Shalom simply by shopping with these gift cards. Is that right?
A: That is correct. You don’t pay anything extra when you participate in this program. When you buy, for example, a $100 gift card, you can use that to purchase $100 worth of items (groceries, gasoline, plywood, etc.), yet 2.5% to 5% of that money comes back to Beth Shalom, at no cost to you.
Q: If I have more questions about the Beth Shalom scrip / gift card program, whom should I contact?
A: Feel free to contact the scrip coordinator at email@example.com, or call Marjie Cogan in the Beth Shalom office at (206) 524-0075.