Creating a Culture of Giving Through Your Coffee Program
Updated: Jun 7
As we start coming out of the worldwide pandemic, the common theme I am hearing from churches around the country is, “how can we create a better way to build back community and fellowship?” The past year and a half have given all of us the opportunity to look at the world and our community in a new light. We all realize the importance of in-person contact and the desire to have strong community ties, but in today’s world, it goes much deeper than it seems.
Most of us have or know of someone who has been greatly affected by the pandemic. In this time of need, our churches and local communities have greater calls for help. Missions around the world are in desperate need of support. So much is happening so quickly that as the dust settles, we are all getting used to a new normal.
This also means we have been given a great opportunity to make a difference in our local and worldwide communities. There seems to be a bigger draw by people to want to be a part of something bigger, to somehow support those in need, and to know that we all can play a part in this rebuilding process. This is the basis of what I call: Creating a Culture of Giving Through Coffee. Before I go further, please note that this information is only a suggestion for one way to build a culture of giving. I know for many their coffee program is something that always has been operated a certain way and thus looking at change can be difficult to do. However, I ask that you maintain an open mind as we layout a program that will:
For as long as I can remember, free coffee and church have gone together like the Gospel and Sunday brunch. When we ask our churches today, why they still offer “free” coffee, often the response is, “Because we always have” or “to build fellowship”. It has become so ingrained in the church culture that we no longer think about it. The problem is, most often, the coffee is no longer doing the job it was meant to do.
As the coffee culture grows, so has the desire for good/great coffee, especially in the age group of 20 to 40-year-olds. Brands such as Community, Folgers, and Starbucks are no longer attractive or a reason to stay after service and build fellowship. Instead, the sub-50-year-olds are often heading to their cars and skipping out on the fellowship that the coffee was supposed to be creating. Instead of creating the community we want, the “free” coffee seems to be missing the boat with the young adults we all want to see more of in our churches. Even worse, we have churches that are spending thousands of dollars a year on their “free” coffee programs, making it anything but free.
However, as people come back to services in person; we are giving a great opportunity to create a new way of doing things that will attract the under 50 crowds, save money and create a sense of purpose for all.
There are 3 basic steps to Creating a Culture of Giving Through Coffee:
Nothing against Folgers or Starbucks, but most millennials (and non-millennials) do not like those coffees. Specialty grade coffee, like King’s Coffee Company or a local high-end roaster, served in a white paper cup with lid and sleeve may cost a couple of pennies more per cup, but it does make for a much better tasting coffee AND a reason to stay behind to enjoy a cup and build fellowship. Basically, it will look and taste just like a coffee from your local high-end coffeehouse, with a total cost of about $.33-$.38 per 12 oz cup. Even if your church stopped there and just upgraded the coffee you serve, you will attract many more young people. But why stop there?
This will do a couple of things. 1) It will pay for the coffee and cup, thus saving your church thousands of dollars in the future. 2) More importantly, it will provide people with an opportunity to make an impact in the world. I can not stress the importance of this enough. People want to give. People want to make an impact. It is up to us to provide a simple way for them to do so. Everyone may not be able to give $20 inside the sanctuary each week, but almost everyone can spend a dollar on a great cup of coffee.
If you charge $1 for a cup of coffee and it cost under $.40, then you will have about $.60 to go towards missions or to make an impact in your community. It is especially important that you follow these two steps so they can see the impact:
1. Let people know precisely what the money is going toward. It can NOT be something general like “missions”. The more precise, the better. Studies have shown that millennials need to know exactly where the money is going in order to participate. For example, there are programs that can feed 3 children for $.60, so you would want to promote it to your community with signage by the coffee stations. It could read, “Thank you, your $1 cup of coffee just helped feed 3 children”. This step is very important to the success of the program, however, even more, important is...
2. You must tell people what they have accomplished. Using the example above, the rest of the sign would say something like, “Last week, our coffee program fed 1362 Children. Thank you for making a difference.”
By telling people what they have accomplished you will quickly be creating a culture of giving in your community. You will have given people the gift of realizing that even $1 can make a huge impact in the world. Yes, this program will save your church a lot of money on coffee, but the bigger picture is that you will be creating a “community of purpose” with your guest while providing them the gift of knowing they made a difference in the world today.
Owner of The Daily Java / King’s Coffee Company
To request more information, or for help getting this program started in your church.