Scott and Lisa Asai (photo courtesy Jane Sha Photography)

Scott, Kayla and Lisa Asai (photo courtesy Jane Sha Photography)

CITYWIDE — About 11 months ago residents Scott and Lisa Asai fell in love with the city by the sea in daily walks around the neighborhood with their baby daughter Kayla in tow. They grew attached to the parks, the kid-friendly activities, restaurants, architecture and organically grown food Santa Monica had to offer.

Both wanted to give back to the city that meant so much to them and would be home to their child, so they came up with the Community Perks Fundraiser Card, a rewards card that gives special offers or discounts from 28 businesses and donates the proceeds from sales of the card to 13 local nonprofits and pre-schools.

The fundraiser will officially launch next month, but the couple hopes the card helps form partnerships between those involved, as well as boost the local economy.

“(Scott) had a background as an entrepreneur and my background is in education and we put our expertise and skills together [to] help those business owners,” Lisa Asai said.

So far, during the soft launch of the fundraising campaign, they have sold around 50 cards, which are available for sale at http://coperks.org/ for $20 each. The website has a full list of nonprofits and schools and businesses participating, including Cafe Zella, The Lobster, The Painted Turtle and Connections for Children.

Half of the purchase price of the card goes to a person’s favorite nonprofit or school, Scott Asai said. The card is good to use until August of next year.

“It encourage card holders to support and buy local,” he said.

CleanBeeBaby, a mobile, eco-friendly cleaning service for car seats and strollers based in Santa Monica, joined the fundraising campaign in May. The company, which launched in 2011 and in New York three months ago, will offer 10 percent off one service when using the perks card, Jennifer Beall, founder and CEO, said.

“It’s another way for us to market our business to our core demographic, which is parents of young children, and at the same time give back to the local community,” Beall said. “To me, it’s a no brainer.”

Scott Asai said the main way the card is marketed is through the organizations because they’re the ones that will benefit from the proceeds. He found out about CleanBeeBaby through Connections for Children, Beall said.

Lisa Daggett, fund and business development director of Connections for Children, which hooks up parents with trusted childcare professionals, said the nonprofit is always looking for great programs to partner with. She learned of the initiative when the couple came into the nonprofit on Ocean Park Boulevard asking about their services.

“They’re a wonderful company, obviously a start up, but they have a great background and he’s a coach and expert in marketing, and Lisa is a pre-school teacher, so it’s a perfect match,” Daggett said.

Scott and Lisa Asai hope to add more local businesses and nonprofits to the list. Lisa Asai said they’re looking to reach out and fund raise with schools in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

“We really want to give back,” she said.

 

ameera@smdp.com