When you're away from your bank, ATM surcharges can get expensive. But at some places around Onondaga County, portions of those fees are now helping non-profits. It happens through "ATMs for Good." Alana LaFlore explains how it all works.
Pascale Italian Bistro at Drumlins was without an ATM until Friday and the decision to add one was a no-brainer.
The choice to bring in an "ATM for Good" into the busy restaurant was just as easy.
"Seemed like a win-win," said Nick Pascale." Kill two birds with one stone. We have a lot of places that are cash only in the building."
The "ATMs for Good" -- installed by Syracuse ATM -- automatically donate money to local non-profits.
Now the bistro at Drumlins, along with Cafe Kubal and the B'ville Diner all have the machines at their locations.
The B'ville Diner supports Maureen's Hope Foundations, which aids cancer patients and people with other diseases.
"Not-for-profits are often looking for ways to reach the community, and this gives us a great chance to reach folks who haven't heard of us before," said Michelle Lester, of Maureen's Hope Foundation. "Also appealing was the chance to earn donations we wouldn't have otherwise and to have a stream of donations in coming in or a little while."
When you use one of the ATMs, at least 15 percent of the surchage is given to the nonprofit of the location's choice.
All you have to do is swipe your card and it's all taken care of.
"$2.50 is the standard fee in this area. It's not a higher fee because we do this," said Kathryn Bolster, owner of Syracuse ATM. "When you're using the ATM, there's nothing additional. It's not asking if you want to donate. The idea is to kind of build community and support the community through something you're donig every day anyway."
So far, there are about six locations with the "ATMs for Good."
The initiative only started about a month ago and is already the Rescue Mission, Ophelia's Place, Griffin's Guardians, Syracuse Poster Project, Paige's Butterfly Run, The Boys and Girls Club and Maureen's Hope Foundation are all being helped. Cafe Kabul, Funk N Waffles, B'ville Diner, Basta's Italian Restaurant and Pascale's Italian Bistro at Drumlins all have the ATMs.