Does Kidcents make sense ?

Enroll in KidCents to round up your purchases at Rite Aid and give the change to programs for kids in our communities.

Rite Aid has long been committed to helping our communities live well. That’s why we’re introducing an easy way for wellness+ members to make a difference.

The Rite Aid Foundation developed KidCents as a way to do even more to help the kids in the communities we serve.

You know many major corporations create “do good” foundations.. and they fund them from the profits of the corporation..

Rite Aid seems to be taking a different path.. asking customers to allow Rite Aid to round up their purchases to add to help fund Rite Aid’s Foundation.

From their website … Through our long-standing support of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other Rite Aid Foundations efforts, we have raised and donated over $60 million for kids.

So their customers make the donations – major or minor – and from this statement … Rite Aid …  seems to take most of the credit for the funds.

I am always skeptical of some “do good programs”… So Rite Aid is asking their wellness + members to add “cents” to your purchases.. one time or every time and since it is based on your wellness + member number and/or phone number.. if one person in the family signs up to make these donations.. everyone in the family may end up making donations and not even realize it.

These “cents” are added at the time of purchase and basically put in Rite Aid’s coffers that day. The question has to be asked.. how long do these donations sit in Rite Aid’s coffers… before it is turned over to the Foundation. Since the typical Foundation only reports their income and activity once a year on a Federal returns/forms..

I am just asking the questions…  inquisitive minds want to know !

15 Responses

  1. Hi Pharmacist Steve, I know you left this post some time ago but it’s been an ongoing anomaly. I currently work in Pharmacy/Store that has this program. At first I didn’t question it. But it started to make me wonder based on a comment from a coworker that it does not make total sense. So lets put this in parts because your question old or new is great one, especially from a fellow Pharmaceutical person. Part #1 Where does the money go? Looking at the site…it tells and shows little of where the money actually wins up. #2 Is Kid cents itself a non-profit? It does not state one way or the other, if it is or isn’t. R.A. created a “Middle Man” entity to act as an extra toss to charities that already exist.
    #3 let’s estimate some realistic math. There are 2600 stores open 365 days a year. Many customers opt in and so many are unaware it’s permanent (I like your comment about a family member opting and the rest of the family having no clue). So lets say by default at the register for each store the change rounds up transaction after transaction all day every day. Lets be modest and say its 30$ a store (on average comparing high & low traffic stores that sounds like a fair number but low on purpose). Now lets add the fact along side that… employees are made (by an unknown non-profit or not), while being paid on the clock during their shift to ask every customer to donate and its pasted with the amount and name somewhere in the store. Some stores are very strict about asking and some are focused on actual work and it gets bare minimum attention. And corporate does in fact send demands that every employee ask on a regular basis (let’s not forget that fun fact). So lets jump our modest 30$ to say 45$ (When asked, about 1/3 of people give 1-10$ on average. So a modest 30$ at registers & 15$ from employees (Don’t forget I’m being very modest & fair in this estimate). #4 We finally have our general estimated equation 2600x45x365 a simple estimated equation that anyone could make. The answer is a staggering 42,705,000 $ a year. #5 And finally the answer to your inquiry. Does Kid Cents make sense? No. It does not. Based on the facts from the site, which are very vague at best. No one knows where that money is or went. Some made it to charities. But the rest? That is left up debate. Since 2013 when you asked this question… that number rose from 42,705,000 $ that year to 256,230,000 $ to today and what was raised before that even… who knows the real numbers. All we know is that they are BIG. 6 years later, someone in the same field curious like yourself asked the same question. Many people ask this question. But like most things… people have better things to do and who has time for this? Someone should.

  2. don’t shop Rite Aid. they are adding the donation to your receipt and not even asking permission. this is stealing. I called a rep, she’s having an upper manager call me. i’m furious. and I see this has been going on for at least 3 years. why hasn’t this stopped? The BBB will be notified.

  3. I can’t find where to go to find the total donations for 2015 for income tax purposes. Please advise. WE spend several thousand dollars a year at the store.

  4. I just stumbled upon this after finally getting fed up with seeing this on my receipt at rite aide. My question is, how can they keep taking this money without my permission? When I asked what it was at the store the other day, the cashier couldn’t even tell me, just said it was tax, which is why I’m looking it up now. Can anyone help with this? How do I avoid them charging me for this “donation”?

  5. Good topic.
    No matter the cause being touted by the organization, one should always investigate any and all donations made to corporations (re:RiteAid) or foundations BEFORE donating money. *The Better Business Bureau sets the minimum donation percentage of 65% of all income for a foundation/corporation when assessing its expenditures . CharityNavigator recommends 75%.
    My take on giving to charities is to donate to the particular charity itself rather than through a solicitor. Even this does not guarantee that the money will be handled correctly but why pay for what is basically a ‘middle man’. Unfortunately an organization’s ability to raise funds for worthy causes can be severely damaged for a long time due to one bad seed or incident. I witnessed this firsthand as the manager of day to day operations of our local Human Society. Despite being years removed from the scandal and the perpetrator indicted, the public was still leery of giving to our nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter due to the stigma associated with her embezzlement while serving as active director.

    As a patient with systemic sarcoidosis I was glad to see the Bernie Mac Foundation still operating years after complications associated with the disease took the talented entertainer’s life (RIP). Being such a rare disease, sarcoidosis desperately needs all the publicity and attention it can get.

    The good news was that his foundation still received attention and funding even after his passing, unfortunately it was mostly negative.
    The Bernie Mac Foundation received poor reviews when their financial books were inspected. During the period covering 2007-2012 expenditures showed that the foundation was giving as little as 13% of its revenue to charitable organizations and research facilities (!!!!), mainly The University of Illinois and Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research(FSR). All the while board members (mostly family of Bernie Mac) drew salaries for their positions.

    Even the organizations with great name recognition (The United Way) and obvious excellent charitable work are not immune from this issue.

    Keep up the good work Steve,


  6. they are adding kids cents without asking at the register i saw it when i got home and was upset to see this at two locations N.Y and last months receipts i was never asked.It should be investigated. Mayor red flag consumer affairs department.

  7. The article regarding the scam in Tampa Bay is about the Kid’s Wish foundation. It’s not the same as KidCents.

  8. OK … but can you handle the truth? Just type in a search engine (like GOOGLE) the words Kids Cents Scam and see the not too long ago CNN news story, and follow a link to a Tampa newspaper article in full. The kids are lucky if they see anywhere between 3% to 1% of the money…guess who gets to keep the rest of the money?
    thanks for pointing that out .. I was skeptical of the program’s operation and altruistic intent !

    • You are welcome. I need to keep my pitiful work hours until another job comes my way, but maybe when I am set free I will let you know more about wrong things that happen in the so called rite places.

  9. I asked myself the same question about this. The cashier couldn’t name to which organizations the funds go. Does Rite Aid receive a tax credit for this “charitable donation”? What % or processing fees do they deduct from the donations?

    • Organizations (businesses) who take money in for Kids Cents get to keep a lot of the money as their part of the “overhead” costs of taking money from good hearts who have no idea they are being scammed. Cashiers are not told about the scam…just read the Tampa newspaper article about Kids Cents and take a look at a CNN news story about Kids Cents by using a search engine of your choice on the internet…I simply typed the words “Kids Cents SCAM” which led me to the truth. The truth shall set you free!

  10. So Steve, what is the answer? Also- as a new riteaid donor, are 100% of my rounded up cents actually going to the organization?

    • Google “Kids Cents SCAM” in order to read about what is really going on! Then read the Tampa newspaper report and CNN news story about the fact that Kids Cents only allows about 1 cent to perhaps 3 cents from each 1$ one dollar donated to actually get to the kids! You figure it out…its a scam being put upon innocent kind hearts who are donating at cash registers with their change, but not really knowing what is happening with their money. Poor kids with needs being used to garner more money for gangsters who pose as good people.

      • Cathy, I don’t see KidsCents or Rite Aid listed anywhere in the article you mentioned. Kids Wish is mentioned several times, but Kids Wish KidsCents.

        I’m interested in finding out which organizations are helped by KidCents and how much of the money that is donated actually reaches the organizations and the people they help. While I’m skeptical of the program, I’m certainly not going to blame it for the faults of other programs.

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