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Nonprofit Coffee Shops: How A Special Blend and Oaks Are Creating Positive Change

Nonprofit Coffee Shops: How A Special Blend and Oaks Are Creating Positive Change

TLDR

Many coffee shops offer more than a pick-me-up; they're inviting spaces for remote workers and book enthusiasts. Some take it a step further, ensuring that your spending on coffee and treats directly contributes to rescuing animals, supporting disabled individuals, assisting underprivileged communities, or providing mentorship and employment opportunities for struggling youth. Examples like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee stand out by reshaping the traditional coffee shop model, transforming themselves into nonprofit enterprises that give back to the community. Through their java, friendly smiles, and generosity, these coffee shops uniquely uplift their neighborhoods.

The Rise of Mission-Driven Coffee Shops

The third wave of coffee has brought an emphasis on quality, origin, and fairness. Consumers now expect their coffee to be ethically and sustainably sourced in addition to tasting great. While mission-driven shopping has declined in some areas, mission-driven coffee shops are filling a need. Nonprofits like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee are crafting high-quality coffee and community impact.

Giving Back to the Community

To follow the mission-driven coffee shop model, it's worth mentioning that community involvement can be a game changer. These cafés are actively supporting significant causes, whether it's by giving various groups employment chances or donating a portion of their earnings to nearby charities. Being a part of such a movement not only feels good, but it also has the potential to resonate with customers.

Focus on Quality

Quality matters in this game. Serving the best coffee and treats can be a winning strategy for coffee shop owners. That could include investing in team training, teaching them the art of brewing, and providing excellent customer service. It could also include sourcing high-quality, ethically produced coffee beans from around the world. This commitment to quality attracts coffee lovers and also supports your business's community goals.

Adapting to Changing Times

Keeping up with the times is crucial. If you're running a coffee shop, don't shy away from technology. Incorporate options such as mobile ordering, delivery, and egift cards. It's not just about staying trendy; it's about staying relevant. Your customers will appreciate the convenience, and your business can thrive in the changing landscape.

Through a shared commitment to community and quality, mission-driven businesses can drive real social change. By creating job opportunities, donating profits, and crafting an amazing cup of coffee, these cafes are shaping a more equitable future for their cities. Your purchase helps make that future a reality.

How Nonprofit Coffee Shops Operate as Successful Businesses

Nonprofit coffee shops have found a way to blend business with social good. By offering high-quality products and great customer service, places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee have built a loyal following. But instead of distributing profits to owners, these shops donate them to important causes.

Funding Important Missions

A Special Blend aims to help 82% of unemployed adults with intellectual disabilities. Oaks Coffee also gives 100% of its profits to local charities and ministries in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thanks to the support of customers, they’ve donated over $150,000 so far.

Focus on Quality and Customer Experience

While the mission is key, nonprofit coffee shops must also operate as successful businesses to generate profits for donations. Places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee focus on providing high-quality coffee, food, and customer service. They leverage tools like mobile ordering and Square loyalty program to give customers a great experience and keep them coming back.

A Model for Social Enterprise

The nonprofit coffee shop model shows how business can be a force for good. By operating as social enterprises, these shops create jobs, boost local economies, and support important causes—all while giving customers an opportunity to make a positive impact with each purchase. The success of places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee proves that businesses with a meaningful mission and commitment to the community can thrive.

Looking Ahead

As the nonprofit coffee shop model spreads, more communities will benefit from these purpose-driven businesses. With continued support from loyal customers and donors, nonprofit coffee shops can expand their reach and donate even more to the important causes they serve.

Spotlight on Two Standout Charity Coffee Shops

A Special Blend

A Special Blend is a nonprofit coffee shop in Greensboro, North Carolina working to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing meaningful employment and training. Currently, 82% of people with disabilities are unemployed, but A Special Blend aims to shift that statistic. Through its interactive community, it empowers individuals and promotes an inclusive society.

To expand the impact, A Special Blend has recently opened a second location in High Point. Loyal customers fuel their mission by enjoying high-quality coffees, teas, and bagels.

Oaks Coffee

Similar to A Special Blend, Oaks Coffee in Chattanooga, Tennessee seeks to create positive change in their community. Oaks Coffee's goal is to craft high-quality coffee and food at an affordable price so they can give back profits to local charities and missions in Chattanooga.

Oaks Coffee believes that community is their passion. By offering specialty coffees, teas, and popular avocado toasts, it has given over $150,000 to charities in its neighborhood through 2023. Loyal customers and community support enable them to make an impact on important causes in Chattanooga.

A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee are standout examples of charity coffee shops creating meaningful change. By providing job opportunities and donating profits, these cafes are crafting more than just great coffee - they're building a more inclusive community. With the support of customers who value the mission as much as the menu.

Oaks mobile app is available on App Store

The Positive Impacts of Nonprofit Coffee Shops

Creating Opportunities

Nonprofit coffee shops like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee provide meaningful employment and skills training for marginalized groups, including adults with developmental disabilities. By offering jobs and apprenticeships, these businesses help address the disproportionately high unemployment rate within these communities.

Fostering Community

These coffee shops aim to create an inclusive environment where customers can connect over a shared social mission. Both A Special Blend and Oaks donate a portion of profits to local causes and charities, allowing customers to support humanitarian efforts simply by enjoying their usual cup of coffee. This business model cultivates a spirit of generosity and goodwill.

Sparking Broader Change

Nonprofit coffee shops demonstrate an innovative approach to enacting positive change on a grassroots level. They provide a blueprint for how businesses can operate sustainably while prioritizing social impact. If more companies adopted this model, it could help address societal problems like unemployment, lack of access to skills training, and social isolation on a larger scale.

How to Start Your Own Nonprofit Coffee Shop Business

To open a nonprofit coffee shop, you’ll need to establish it as an official 501(c)(3) organization. This requires creating a board of directors, developing your mission and vision, and filing paperwork with the IRS. Costs range from $100,000 to $600,000 to get started, so conducting thorough research and fundraising is key.

Build a board of directors.

A board of directors oversees the nonprofit and ensures its mission is fulfilled. Recruit knowledgeable community members to help guide your organization. Clearly define each board member's responsibilities at the outset.

Determine your mission and vision.

Why are you opening this nonprofit coffee shop? What impact do you want to make? Craft a mission statement that captures your purpose and a vision statement that describes your ultimate goal. These will shape every decision for your nonprofit.

Create a business plan.

A business plan is essential for opening any new business, nonprofit or otherwise. It will help determine initial costs, map out operational logistics, and set fundraising targets. Include details on your mission, vision, and community impact goals. Review business plans from similar nonprofits to determine realistic projections.

Fundraise and apply for grants.

Tap into your local community and networks to spread the word about your nonprofit coffee shop and raise money. Apply for grants from private foundations and government agencies. Fundraising events, crowdfunding campaigns, and partnerships with corporate sponsors can also help generate start-up capital.

File for 501(c)(3) status.

To operate as an official tax-exempt nonprofit, you must apply for and receive 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. This allows donors to claim tax deductions and exempts your organization from some federal income taxes. The application process can take 3-12 months, so start early.

Opening a nonprofit coffee shop is challenging work that requires passion, planning, and community support. But for those dedicated to positively impacting their local community, the rewards of crafting social change through something as simple as a cup of coffee can make all the effort worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

Through their missions and business models, A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee demonstrate that a cup of coffee can be so much more than a morning pick-me-up. These nonprofits brew purpose into every batch, changing lives and communities with each pour. So next time you need a caffeine boost, consider patronizing one of these exceptional shops. With your purchase, you support employment and training for adults with disabilities at A Special Blend or donations to local charities through Oaks. And in return, you get a delicious cup of joe crafted with care. More than a tasty beverage, it's an opportunity to create positive change.

Nonprofit Coffee Shops: How A Special Blend and Oaks Are Creating Positive Change

Nonprofit Coffee Shops: How A Special Blend and Oaks Are Creating Positive Change
by
Soma Amir
by
Doron Segal
by
Tomer Molovinsky
by
Olivia Terenzio
by
Jessica Buckley
by
Ashley Rodriguez
October 10, 2022

TLDR

Many coffee shops offer more than a pick-me-up; they're inviting spaces for remote workers and book enthusiasts. Some take it a step further, ensuring that your spending on coffee and treats directly contributes to rescuing animals, supporting disabled individuals, assisting underprivileged communities, or providing mentorship and employment opportunities for struggling youth. Examples like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee stand out by reshaping the traditional coffee shop model, transforming themselves into nonprofit enterprises that give back to the community. Through their java, friendly smiles, and generosity, these coffee shops uniquely uplift their neighborhoods.

The Rise of Mission-Driven Coffee Shops

The third wave of coffee has brought an emphasis on quality, origin, and fairness. Consumers now expect their coffee to be ethically and sustainably sourced in addition to tasting great. While mission-driven shopping has declined in some areas, mission-driven coffee shops are filling a need. Nonprofits like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee are crafting high-quality coffee and community impact.

Giving Back to the Community

To follow the mission-driven coffee shop model, it's worth mentioning that community involvement can be a game changer. These cafés are actively supporting significant causes, whether it's by giving various groups employment chances or donating a portion of their earnings to nearby charities. Being a part of such a movement not only feels good, but it also has the potential to resonate with customers.

Focus on Quality

Quality matters in this game. Serving the best coffee and treats can be a winning strategy for coffee shop owners. That could include investing in team training, teaching them the art of brewing, and providing excellent customer service. It could also include sourcing high-quality, ethically produced coffee beans from around the world. This commitment to quality attracts coffee lovers and also supports your business's community goals.

Adapting to Changing Times

Keeping up with the times is crucial. If you're running a coffee shop, don't shy away from technology. Incorporate options such as mobile ordering, delivery, and egift cards. It's not just about staying trendy; it's about staying relevant. Your customers will appreciate the convenience, and your business can thrive in the changing landscape.

Through a shared commitment to community and quality, mission-driven businesses can drive real social change. By creating job opportunities, donating profits, and crafting an amazing cup of coffee, these cafes are shaping a more equitable future for their cities. Your purchase helps make that future a reality.

How Nonprofit Coffee Shops Operate as Successful Businesses

Nonprofit coffee shops have found a way to blend business with social good. By offering high-quality products and great customer service, places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee have built a loyal following. But instead of distributing profits to owners, these shops donate them to important causes.

Funding Important Missions

A Special Blend aims to help 82% of unemployed adults with intellectual disabilities. Oaks Coffee also gives 100% of its profits to local charities and ministries in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Thanks to the support of customers, they’ve donated over $150,000 so far.

Focus on Quality and Customer Experience

While the mission is key, nonprofit coffee shops must also operate as successful businesses to generate profits for donations. Places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee focus on providing high-quality coffee, food, and customer service. They leverage tools like mobile ordering and Square loyalty program to give customers a great experience and keep them coming back.

A Model for Social Enterprise

The nonprofit coffee shop model shows how business can be a force for good. By operating as social enterprises, these shops create jobs, boost local economies, and support important causes—all while giving customers an opportunity to make a positive impact with each purchase. The success of places like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee proves that businesses with a meaningful mission and commitment to the community can thrive.

Looking Ahead

As the nonprofit coffee shop model spreads, more communities will benefit from these purpose-driven businesses. With continued support from loyal customers and donors, nonprofit coffee shops can expand their reach and donate even more to the important causes they serve.

Spotlight on Two Standout Charity Coffee Shops

A Special Blend

A Special Blend is a nonprofit coffee shop in Greensboro, North Carolina working to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing meaningful employment and training. Currently, 82% of people with disabilities are unemployed, but A Special Blend aims to shift that statistic. Through its interactive community, it empowers individuals and promotes an inclusive society.

To expand the impact, A Special Blend has recently opened a second location in High Point. Loyal customers fuel their mission by enjoying high-quality coffees, teas, and bagels.

Oaks Coffee

Similar to A Special Blend, Oaks Coffee in Chattanooga, Tennessee seeks to create positive change in their community. Oaks Coffee's goal is to craft high-quality coffee and food at an affordable price so they can give back profits to local charities and missions in Chattanooga.

Oaks Coffee believes that community is their passion. By offering specialty coffees, teas, and popular avocado toasts, it has given over $150,000 to charities in its neighborhood through 2023. Loyal customers and community support enable them to make an impact on important causes in Chattanooga.

A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee are standout examples of charity coffee shops creating meaningful change. By providing job opportunities and donating profits, these cafes are crafting more than just great coffee - they're building a more inclusive community. With the support of customers who value the mission as much as the menu.

Oaks mobile app is available on App Store

The Positive Impacts of Nonprofit Coffee Shops

Creating Opportunities

Nonprofit coffee shops like A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee provide meaningful employment and skills training for marginalized groups, including adults with developmental disabilities. By offering jobs and apprenticeships, these businesses help address the disproportionately high unemployment rate within these communities.

Fostering Community

These coffee shops aim to create an inclusive environment where customers can connect over a shared social mission. Both A Special Blend and Oaks donate a portion of profits to local causes and charities, allowing customers to support humanitarian efforts simply by enjoying their usual cup of coffee. This business model cultivates a spirit of generosity and goodwill.

Sparking Broader Change

Nonprofit coffee shops demonstrate an innovative approach to enacting positive change on a grassroots level. They provide a blueprint for how businesses can operate sustainably while prioritizing social impact. If more companies adopted this model, it could help address societal problems like unemployment, lack of access to skills training, and social isolation on a larger scale.

How to Start Your Own Nonprofit Coffee Shop Business

To open a nonprofit coffee shop, you’ll need to establish it as an official 501(c)(3) organization. This requires creating a board of directors, developing your mission and vision, and filing paperwork with the IRS. Costs range from $100,000 to $600,000 to get started, so conducting thorough research and fundraising is key.

Build a board of directors.

A board of directors oversees the nonprofit and ensures its mission is fulfilled. Recruit knowledgeable community members to help guide your organization. Clearly define each board member's responsibilities at the outset.

Determine your mission and vision.

Why are you opening this nonprofit coffee shop? What impact do you want to make? Craft a mission statement that captures your purpose and a vision statement that describes your ultimate goal. These will shape every decision for your nonprofit.

Create a business plan.

A business plan is essential for opening any new business, nonprofit or otherwise. It will help determine initial costs, map out operational logistics, and set fundraising targets. Include details on your mission, vision, and community impact goals. Review business plans from similar nonprofits to determine realistic projections.

Fundraise and apply for grants.

Tap into your local community and networks to spread the word about your nonprofit coffee shop and raise money. Apply for grants from private foundations and government agencies. Fundraising events, crowdfunding campaigns, and partnerships with corporate sponsors can also help generate start-up capital.

File for 501(c)(3) status.

To operate as an official tax-exempt nonprofit, you must apply for and receive 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. This allows donors to claim tax deductions and exempts your organization from some federal income taxes. The application process can take 3-12 months, so start early.

Opening a nonprofit coffee shop is challenging work that requires passion, planning, and community support. But for those dedicated to positively impacting their local community, the rewards of crafting social change through something as simple as a cup of coffee can make all the effort worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

Through their missions and business models, A Special Blend and Oaks Coffee demonstrate that a cup of coffee can be so much more than a morning pick-me-up. These nonprofits brew purpose into every batch, changing lives and communities with each pour. So next time you need a caffeine boost, consider patronizing one of these exceptional shops. With your purchase, you support employment and training for adults with disabilities at A Special Blend or donations to local charities through Oaks. And in return, you get a delicious cup of joe crafted with care. More than a tasty beverage, it's an opportunity to create positive change.

Soma Amir

About the author

Doron Segal

About the author

Hey I'm Doron, the co-founder & CTO of Per Diem — a mobile app platform for restaurants. I'm also a dad and a husband. I love to travel and meet new people.I love creating things, and see people using the stuff I built.Prior to Per Diem I worked at Saildrone, OpenTable, Apple, Beats Music, Siemens.

Tomer Molovinsky

About the author

A second time founder with a passion for building products at the intersection of hospitality and technology. I've had the pleasure of launching reservation systems, mobile payment solutions, and loyalty programs at OpenTable and Resy, and witnessed how operators were losing a direct connection with their customers online. We built Per Diem to strengthen the relationships that businesses have with those customers, and to ensure that local businesses can thrive in today's economy.

Olivia Terenzio

About the author

Jessica Buckley

About the author

Ashley Rodriguez

About the author

Ashley is a freelance writer and podcast producer based in Madison, Wisconsin. She hosts a podcast called Boss Barista and writes an accompanying newsletter with full transcripts of each episode and articles about coffee and restaurant work. You can check out her work here (ashleyrodriguez.work/).

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