ArmenZone: A website that raises money for Armenian schools and non profits

ArmenZone is a website created by the Armenian Cultural Foundation Trust Fund to help Armenian schools and non-profit organizations throughout the country. The ArmenZone website contains links to various popular online shopping websites such as Barnes and Nobles–Walmart–and Travelocity. When you shop at one of these stores through ArmenZone–the participating store donates a portion of the sale to Armenian schools and organizations–at no cost to the consumer. Mourad Topalian–head of the Armenian Cultural Foundation–explains just how ArmenZone works and why it is so important for the Armenian community.

Q. What is the Armenian Cultural Foundation’s relationship with ArmenZone?

A. The Armenian Cultural Foundation was created in 1976 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code.

Our Mission is to advance and preserve Armenian heritage and identity through educational and cultural programs. We also want to promote fellowship and awareness among Armenian communities worldwide.

ArmenZone was created by the ACF Trust Fund to financially help our community’s schools and non-profit organizations across the country. The proceeds will be distributed equally to the participating schools and organization.

Shopping online is the fastest growing service industry in America today; it is a multi-billion dollar industry. During Thanksgiving weekend alone over $300 million worth of products were purchased online. The Armenian community has a tremendous amount of economic buying power that it has not capitalized on. This power can be utilized to get great prices and donations for Armenian schools and non-profit organizations by purchasing online using the ArmenZone website.

Many companies pay commission to websites who refer customers to their site. So you can go to the ArmenZone website–click on any of the hundreds of stores listed–do your shopping and our schools will get a donation from the store you shop at. This donation will be at no cost to you.

Q. Who else does this and is this successful?

A. Many major private schools–ethnic groups–and non profit organizations use similar website-based shopping methods. They have raised millions of dollars for their favorite cause or school. The Armenian community should try to get some of this free money too. We’re buying anyway. So why not buy from a store listed on ArmenZone and have the business donate–at no cost to you? That is why I say “free money.”

The percentage we get from each store varies according to the amount our shoppers spend at the store–which makes good business sense. A large customer gets bigger discounts than a small purchaser.

Q. How can that add up to be a significant donation?

A. Just imagine if our family of organizations: ARF–ARS–AYF–ANC–Homenetmen–Hamazkayin–AYF Juniors–locally and regionally bought just paper or office supplies from–for example Office Depot.

Now add to that all of our schools–the school board–the Prelacy–Asbarez–Horizon–all the different sub organizations i.e. Irana-Hye–Iraqa-Hye–Bolsa-Hye etc. Then add all the organizations that represent various villages or towns; Vanatsies–Malatiazies–Moushetzies etc.

Just in office supplies we spend over one million dollars a year. If we centralize our buying and get a ten percent discount from just Office Depot; that would equal $100,000 a year in “free money” coming to our schools at no cost to any Armenian.

We hope over time that many Armenia’s will eventually do their personal shopping through ArmenZone. Can you imagine how much we spend in total throughout the year? 500,000 Armenia’s have tremendous economic power. We should use it to help our community.

Q. Am I getting the best price available when I shop at ArmenZone compared to stopping into the actual store?

A. Yes–you pay no extra fees or charges. You are buying directly from the merchant. You will receive the current sale prices and be able to use any discount coupons you have. The store will give you or your company the same discount received when shopping in person.

Q. What is in it for the shopper?

A. The best available price–plus the merchant donates a percentage of the purchase price to a cause that is close to your heart–Armenian schools. The Armenian Cultural Foundation distributes the donation to Armenian Schools and non-profit organizations.

Q. How much does the merchant donate to the schools?

A. Depending on the merchant and the total amount of the purchase–merchants will donate 1% to 10% of the total purchase price–at no cost to you. The percentage varies according to total amount spent at the store each quarter.

Q. Does ArmenZone keep records of my purchases and credit card numbers?

A. Absolutely not. You purchase directly from the store and only they have your information. It is against the law for them to share your personal information with anyone else. You are as safe and secure as if you walked into the store in person and paid with a credit card. We do not know what you purchased or how you paid. All purchase records are kept by the merchant and the donations are made to the ACF quarterly.

Q. Can I use my company discount for my online purchase?

A. Yes–just give them the correct security information and shop.

Q. Which schools and organizations benefit?

A. Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian National Committee (ANC), Armenian Relief Society–Homenetmen, Chamlian Armenian School–Glendale–CA, Holy Martyrs Armenian Elementary and Ferrahian High School–Encino–CA , Holy Martyrs-A.R.S. Ashkhen Pilavjian Preschool, Krouzian Zakarian School–San Francisco–CA , Mesrobian Armenian School–Montebello–CA, Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian School–Hollywood–CA, Tavlian Armenian Pre-School–Pasadena–CA
Tufenkian Armenian Pre-School–Glendale–CA, Ari Guiragos Minassian Armenian School–Santa Ana–CA.

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