MODESTO, Calif. — Save Mart Supermarkets here said it plans to relaunch an open-ended corporate donations program on Wednesday that it believes will make it easier for customers to raise money for organizations to which they belong. The chain will issue SHARES cards – an acronym for Support Humanities, Arts, Recreation, Education and Sports — that, when swiped at the checkstand, will automatically set aside 3% of qualified purchases that will be donated quarterly to designated schools, nonprofit groups or other organizations. To participate, organizations will be given up to 250 SHARES cards for free, which they can distribute to members to earn points that qualify them for donations. Save-Mart said it expects the SHARES program will generate total donations of up to $4.5 million annually. The chain has had a similar donations program — which was limited to schools and nonprofit organizations only — that required consumers to buy preloaded cards for groceries that, when swiped, qualified organizations for donations, but a spokeswoman said that approach proved too confusing. Save-Mart said it also plans to launch a six-month program today specifically to raise funds for schools. The program, Apples for the Students, enables schools to accumulate consumer receipts that earn points redeemable for a variety of school supplies and equipment.
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