Marketing, PR & Advertising, Nonprofits, and Small Business & Startups

Owners sell fundraising company

February 13, 2018
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ShopWithScrip online shopper art
ShopWithScrip is based in Grand Rapids. Photo via fb.com

A local gift card-based fundraising company has been sold to an out-of-state buyer.

Minneapolis-based Bold Orange, a digital marketing company, said yesterday it acquired Grand Rapids-based Great Lakes Scrip Center, or GLSC, which operates the website ShopWithScrip.com.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

GLSC’s former owners, Carol Smith and Jack Smith, said the company needed additional investments to bring scrip fundraising and GLSC to their full potential.

GLSC, founded in 1994, will remain open at its current location, at 2111 44th St. SE, and keep its name.

The company will retain all of its 90 full-time employees.

“After exploring various opportunities, (we) made the decision that Bold Orange, under Margaret Murphy’s leadership, would best carry on the mission of providing exceptional service to help school groups and other nonprofits achieve their fundraising goals,” Carol Smith said.

“Bold Orange will provide expertise and leadership to improve the digital experience to better meet the needs of today’s parents and volunteers running and participating in scrip programs around the country and enable more groups to use scrip for its fundraising needs.”

Jack Smith said Murphy and Bold Orange will use the platform that GLSC has built by “investing in the online experience and marketing tools to make GLSC even easier for organizations, their supporters and brand partners to engage.”

Bold Orange secured funding from Mountaingate Capital, a Denver-based private equity firm, for the deal.

Lincoln International served as the exclusive financial advisor to GLSC in the transaction, working with the company’s management team and shareholders throughout the process.

“Great Lakes Scrip Center has done a fantastic job of deepening connections among communities, loyal supporters and the brands they love, and we are excited to build on that legacy and drive greater engagement for our partner and retail organizations and the millions of families that are connected through this powerful network,” said Murphy, founder and CEO, Bold Orange.

“Together with their talented team of employees, we plan to blend traditional scrip fundraising with a more modern digital experience – connecting with people in ways that are even easier, more relevant and more meaningful.”

GLSC uses ShopWithScrip.com to sell gift cards for brands, such as Starbucks, Target, Best Buy and other companies. A percentage of each gift card purchase is returned to the related fundraising organization.

GLSC said its gift card program has been used by more than 48,000 local organizations and nonprofits, such as schools, community groups and churches, to raise more than $680 million for their needs, such computers, tuition and instruments.

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