Starbucks to Begin Collecting Donations to Stimulate U.S. Job Growth

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Starbucks hopes customers will be willing to pay at least $5 more when they stop in for their morning cup of Joe.

Starting Nov. 1, Starbucks will begin collecting donations of $5 or more from customers to stimulate U.S. job growth through its “Jobs for USA” program. The Seattle-based coffee chain is collaborating with the Opportunity Finance Network, a nonprofit that works with nearly 200 community development financial institutions to provide loans to small businesses and community groups. Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses.

Starbucks, which pioneered how Americans drink coffee, declined to estimate how much money it plans to raise, but millions of people visit its nearly 7,000 company-owned U.S. stores each day. Customers who give will get a red, white and blue wristband that says “Indivisible.”

“This is about using Starbuck’s scale for good,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks Corp.’s CEO.

The program is the latest effort by Schultz to address the nation’s economic woes. In August, he sent more than 200,000 Starbucks employees a memo urging them to do what they can to help business thrive. Then, he asked fellow CEOs to stop contributing to political campaigns until the nation’s leaders reached a long-term economic solution. After that, he hosted a national telephone forum, bought full-page ads in two major newspapers and started a website,

Schultz said he feels personal responsibility to do something to stimulate the U.S. economy. Starbucks is hiring about 200 people a day in the U.S. as part of its efforts to remodel thousands of stores and add about 200 more locations in the next year. But Schultz said he wanted to do more.

Starbucks is covering the operational costs to get loans out through the program, which will run indefinitely. Its charitable arm, The Starbucks Foundation, is giving $5 million to get the program started, with the hope that funds will be invested in communities within a month of a donation being made.

Opportunity Finance Network works with 180 financial institutions — banks, credit, unions, loan funds and venture capital funds — that give loans in low-income communities that don’t have easy access to credit. The organization, created 27 years ago, has invested $23.2 billion and generated nearly 300,000 jobs through 2009.

Loans through the network have supported everything from charter schools to grocery stores nationwide. The organization found that, even during the recession, more than 98 percent of the money loaned out has been repaid, which is in line with traditional lenders.

Through the program, businesses will apply to financial institutions, which along with the Opportunity Finance Network will assess their potential for adding jobs. Preference will be given to applicants who can add jobs within six months. An outside organization will audit the program within a year.

“We want to match up every person who has $5 to share with every person who can’t spare $5,” said Mark Pinsky, CEO of Opportunity Finance Network.

The effort has the potential to be successful, say some experts. Community institutions succeed, they say, because they understand the needs in the areas they serve.

“I think it’s a really worthy effort,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “In theory, this is a great idea and should have impact.”

 (© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • flowerplough

    “Starbucks, which pioneered how Americans drink coffee,”


    • Irish Mike

      Yeah, it’s like they invented coffee-drinking…what a crock of BS.
      I have a better idea!
      Let’s all:

      Song of the year, 2012: “Hey Buddy, can you spare a dime?”

      • Luke

        I like your thinking.

      • Curly BIll

        Actually, “Buddy can you spare 5 Bucks?

  • Mike Mathea

    Fools, they know the problem is demand not available credit. The banks are sitting on 2.6 Trillion in excess reserves sitting in FED accounts.

    • James Hoffman

      Fools, the problem is too much credit wasted on kooky ideas in the first place, eventually soaking us all in bad debt. Starbucks Socialism! LOL.

    • mark

      Starbucks has increased their own cash reserves from 500 million to nearly 2 billion over the last three years during a time when all the rest of us are struggling to stay afloat. Now they want US to fund for FREE a loan program they will profit on


    • Fred Carson

      Ask me for a $5 donation after spending over $5 on a purchase? Go **** yourself!

    • colonelkurtz

      I wonder if this patently Dem program will “add or save” jobs just like Obumster did.

      • Barry's CT. SSN 042-68-4425 FAILS 'E-VERIFY'

    • prettyinpink09

      So let me see if I have this correct.

      They want DONATIONS so that the money can be given as LOANS?

      Get bent.

    • fredlave

      Starbucks customers are already kicking in their $5 when they pay that for their $1 cup of coffee. (Sorry if my arithmetic is a little off but you get the point.) BTW, does anyone have any WIN buttons for sale?

  • Lewis Barry

    so in reality this is a campaign donation to obama, just because people are willing to pay a couple of dollars for your lousey cup of coffee doesnt make them stupid, obama is intent on destroying the country and starbucks supports this. I think if i were one of your customers I would start getting my coffee some where else

    • icansayit

      When did STARBUCKS become a hidden branch of the DNC, and Obama campaign committee?
      Anyone who leaves a 5er for that purpose deserves to pay another 10 for their coffee…and a good CHOKE as well.

    • JohnDave

      They charge way too much for their coffee anyway. The biggest thing they could do
      would be to start a fund to impeach Holder and the Liar/Traitor-in-Chief.

    • woodNfish

      “just because people are willing to pay a couple of dollars for your lousey cup of coffee doesnt make them stupid,”

      I’m pretty sure it does.

      • B Rye

        From the article: “Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses”

        So if it is a loan, who gets the money back?

        If anybody is really interested in stimulating a local business, go to them donate or purchase their goods.

        This is a general comment to all of us…

        We really need to stop being so naive and trusting of business or governments for that matter, just because its a brand name or familiar. Even I have been guilty of this.

        Smells like another scam.

      • tville_dad

        Only $76,000.00 per job already created

      • Chicago Nick

        @tville_dad and only 300 thou donated per job ‘saved’!!!

        These liberals are OUT OF THEIR FREAKING MINDS!!! Donate money to SB so THEY Can donate it in loans to someone else? Talk about robbing peter to pay paul….that’s all the left knows.


        I agree woodNfish…but, not only stupid but idiots laughing in the face of those who can’t even afford a lousy cuppa joe! I believe that corporate heads, billionaires, multi millioaires shouls all, academics, celebratries, union thugs, professors, media should take 90% of their own liquid assets and send them to the Treasury and then sell off 75% fixed assets, not take the capital gains, pay regular and send that to the treasury….including the President, the 50 senators, Buffett, Gates, Geffen, Peterson!!! Until that the time they do that; STFU!!

    • the swami

      Here’s a better idea. Just give out FREE cups of coffee (about $5.00) and give the savings directly to your customers. How about that?

    • Mark

      From 2007 to today, Starbucks has increased their own cash reserves from 500 million to nearly 2 billion. This during a time when the rest of us are struggling to keep our heads above water.
      Now they want us to fund a loan program for FREE where they will collect the interest?

      Don’t fall for it.

      I wonder how long it will take for this comment to be deleted.

      • mirted

        I see nothing wrong with a voluntary effort to stimulate the economy. Whether or not it will be structured and effected so as to ensure some “productive” outcome that exceeds the expenses is another matter.
        To Sharinlite: Money to the Treasury, unless directly applied to debt reduction, will be just as wasted as all the stimulus money and money “created, not saved” QE1,2,3 etc has been. This is the real reason to first, get the cost of government under control and downsize it to be productive, then reform the tax system to take out the huge inequities that exist. At this point, any new revenues to the Treasury will just go to growing government and papering over its lack of productivity.

    • colonelkurtz

      I’ve already made the switch to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Obama’s got to go and maybe Starbucks with him.

      • JustAGuy

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!

        Will you report me? I want to be reported. Should I say something bad about Obama first? OK here goes.

        Obama has a Conneticut SSN but he never lived in Conneticut.

        Will that do?


        @ JustAGuy
        Google “Obama Fails E-VERIFY”


        I just reported you to

      • Bert

        I already made the switch to not drinking coffee.

    • MLee

      This is just a marketing ploy by Starbucks. Today, 10/04/11, Starbucks raised the price of their regular coffees an average of $.20 per cup. This extra money will more than pay for Starbucks to administer this program. Why CBS report the “WHOLE” story. This is just another ripoff of the American consumer.

      • Steveo

        $.20 per cup could be used to administer the program. Right. That’s assuming that Starbuck’s themselves aren’t trying to just cover the cost increases in this economy. Have you seen the cost increase in coffee imports? Or do you assume Starbucks have no costs cause they own all the coffee in the world?

  • Russ in OR

    “Starbucks says 100 percent of the donations will go toward loans for firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses.”

    Loans? When these loans are repaid, who keeps the money?

    • Kathy

      They will be repaid the same way government loans are repaid – NOT

    • Amy Sterling Casil

      Good catch, Russ – same with numerous similar “programs.”

      • HonkyLips

        Definitely a good catch. They dont need loans, they need cash flow to support expansion and the creation of new jobs. So Starbucks is going to generate revenues for other companies?? Now that’s an interesting business model.

    • stopthe

      Did you read the article? Starbucks is not making the loans. They are collecting donations for the Opportunity Finance Network, which links together local private financial institutions.

      And… HonkeyLips a loan does add to cash flow. Just because you pay interest on it doesn’t mean it’s not cash flow.

      I’m glad you’re bringing some skepticism to your reading of the news, but a little more reading comprehension is in order as well.

    • John Politano

      That was conveniently left out of the article!

    • sleepingtolive

      The loans will most likely be paid back to the organization in order to provide more loans.

    • gil

      Repay loans? Do people actually do that? I though all friends of Obama just took the money and then had the corporation declare bankruptcy

    • cougar

      Russ, you nailed the problem. Starbuck’s is not a bank to loan $, buy getting donations from regular Joe (unemployed, underpaid, and with the future uncertain because of the financial condition of irresponsible and incompentent, greedy government people e.g. Solyndra and Pelosi, banks who got money for nothing, etc.) what rules will they abide to, who pays for the processing? why the victims should pay for someone else’s irresponsible beahvior? Why isn’t Schultz paying from his bil or mil? How come he has even the nerves to do something like this? I understant he did it for PR (Starbuck’s involved in community etc.) but actually it is offensive to many unemployed people and OR has plenty of them!

      • Don

        Do the unemployed go to Starbucks. I’m employed, make my own coffee, and in rare moments buy a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for half Starbucks’ price. That never ending unemployment insurance lets them spend more on non-essentials than the working stiffs whose taxes provide it. Who would have thunk it?

    • OMG

      another ploy by a company to show they “Care” . YOur coffee is too expensive and if you want to help hire more baristas. So who is going to report the dollar $$ amts? Sounds like another slush fund for the DNC

  • Pete

    I would like everyone to give me $5 also. It, the donation, would allow me to “stimulate” the economy in my area also.

    • Ernie

      There’s a panhandler down the street that has a similar jobs program.

    • zombierocket

      Me too. This is just so absurd…

    • cougar

      Pete, add me to the list, pleast

  • PM

    Or what?
    Support Obama’s economy or we at Starbuck’s will spit in your grande venti…
    Overpriced, overhyped coffee to boot and a backer to this wretched president, I will never spend a dime on their product.

  • Brian Richard

    Fire the President, Fire Congress, get rid of the IRS and create a flat tax of 16% on EVERY citizen and company in America and 90% or more of the financial problems would be solved. Almost forgot, get rid of the professional politician by establishing term limits Congress as well as getting rid of the extensive “benefits” for all in public office.

    • Stephen Masek

      So how would that be fair? Those who earn more, and earn is the key term, would pay far more. Does the defense department watch our houses depending on how much we earn? No. Do any other federal services vary depending on our income? No. Therefore, the only fair taxes are equal, or head taxes, and use taxes such as fuel taxes to pay for highways.

      • Wehttam

        Why do things always have to be ‘Fair’? It is not the government’s role to make things fair, it is there to keep everyone following the same rules.


      How dare you bring logic and solutions to the table. How are we to go bankrupt under President obama if the likes of you bring good sollutions. Hold your tongue and we might let you live.

    • Retired SOF guy

      Enough with the idea of taxing corporations already. News flash: those taxes are considered a cost which is passed on to the consumer. Corporate taxes are ultimately paid by the consumer. This government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it was an un/extra-Constitutional spending problem (ever notice the first thing libs want to cut is the military–which is Constitutionally mandated–and not welfare, etc?)

      • Retired SOF guy

        Sorry, failed to add that I agree with a flat tax–no inheritance tax, no capital gains, etc. We pay one tax one time.

    • stopthe

      Taxing companies makes no sense. It only costs jobs. They pass the tax onto whoever buys their products.

      The only idea that makes sense is the FairTax.

    • John Politano

      Sir….Sir….move along, you have made your comment and it will be reviewed, thank you now move along. Yes, sounds good, move along….next….next…!!
      I’m sure you understand why your fantastic suggestions will never be implemented. We need term limits first. Career Politicians will never agree with shortening their careers. Why fix a problem when you can spend a career managing a problem. Why ask everyone to pay the same tax rate, you can’t create class warfare with a fair system. Why should public servants get the same benefits as the common folks, they work so much harder. Sarcasm intended.

      • aaron

        How dare you be sarcastic knowing there are hundreds and thousands protesting in cities all across the country claiming rights to occupy the land. How dare we as a people have any logical ideas that aren’t corraled into corners and left to duke it out while they steal and loot behind the scenes. WE don’t need accountability or anything similar to that, we just need you to continue to bleep like sheep and let us sheer, thanks and have a nice day!

    • paul

      Awesome Brian

    • Alex Holzer

      …and get rid of all the crooked lawyers along the way; which would be ALL the lawyers/

      • LibelFreeZone

        Never use “always” or “never” in a debate. It makes you look stupid.

  • Kth Rhodes

    I thought paying too much for their overpriced coffee stimulated the economy. What a crock

    • jamescharles

      The leader/owner of Starbucks needs to start all sorts of funds for the US – the 1st fund is for the reeducation of dummbies on bitter overpriced coffee.

      James Charles

  • Martin

    Just so we’re clear this will hurt the economy, not help it. The economy needs savings and production, not more wasted consumption. The last thing we need to be doing is propping up unproductive jobs. That is sure way to stagnate the economy even further. This entire country has lost its mind.

    • AlexJonesWasRight

      You hit the nail on the head!

      • Teacookies

        I like your ID. He almost always is.

    • stopthe

      Community-based lending is not going to hurt the economy; and unemployed people cant’ save or invest. I don’t follow you.

      This money goes to a charitable organization that helps underwrite loans made by local financial institutions to local businesses, who create 90% of the jobs.

      How is that bad??

  • paul

    I just went to starbucks for the last time this morning .

    • leelee

      me too

    • Kathy

      Now that I know where they stand, me too. there is better coffee at the small shops in town.

  • bubba johnson

    Sounds like Schultz wants to get ahead of the curve here before the clown-like “occupiers” come after them as the next big evil corporation. From a biz point-of-view, it makes sense, but from a common sense stance, it’s PR BS. Schultz is full of it. Want to give money to the economy, cut your prices in half so people have more of their money to spend elsewhere in the economy. But the mindless minions won’t catch on.

  • sunny black

    So basically, Starbucks is holding out their biodegradable cup and, not just asking for any spare change — as most decent vagrants would, but specifically for FIVE Dollars.

    Gimmeabreak, the employees are lucky I throw in the spare change I have into their tip jar. Five dollars is asking WAY too much.

  • nateinseattle

    This coming from the man who is personally responsible for sending the Supersonics to OKC. We will never forget Howard. One day you will get yours!

  • Shemp Howard

    How about if I take the $5 and spend it at McDonald’s instead

  • Thadwick

    Starbucks Liberalism

    Can’t figure out if I should be appalled or highly amused…..

    $5 for a Starbucks lap dance —make that $5 “stimulate” something twice!…

    • Tim

      That’s funny.

  • Archie

    “firms and organizations that can add jobs or stem job losses”…wow…that doesn’t sound very specific. I think we’ve all learned not to trust things like this. How about announcing that you’ll be transparent by showing where the money goes and report how well the program is doing every 3 months. $2.25 for coffee is bad enough. Just take $1.12 out of what I’m already paying you and put that in the bucket.

  • alkdjhfadlkfs

    Kiss my ass starbucks.

    • WJR

      Brief…to the point…well said.

  • Tim

    This is a joke right? We PUMPED nearly a trillion dollars into the economy a couple of years ago – a TRILLION – and we’re still hovering over 9% unemployment. It didn’t budge. All this is, is another feel-good equivalent to ribbon wearing from our liberal side of the aisle. It won’t make a bit of difference other than make people think “Boy, I really did something”. I hope reality sets in soon. These good intentions with no results are bankrupting our country.

  • snapper

    If free money – as was provided by Stim I, Cash for Clunkers, 2 years of unemployment, foreclosure programs – could help it would have already. Why would I give money to Starbucks rather than spend it as I choose?

  • WJR

    I always found the superior attitude of the Starbucks employees…particularly the “Baristas”… rather absurd. Their new plan to funnel money to the obama campaign has sealed my decision to never spend another cent on any of their products.

    • Pete

      Well, they do get people to pay them $5 for something they can make for $0.25 at home or office. and stand in line 15 min waiting for it. If I could get people to do that, I’d have a superior attitude too.

  • mg

    “Schultz said he feels personal responsibility to do something to stimulate the U.S. economy.” And that “something” was to ask other to donate money? LOL

    • Jim

      A leftist to the core, generosity = redistributing other peoples wealth

  • Reveredn Reginald Bacon


    I wonder how many of the recipients of the $ will just be front groups for the democrat vote cheating machine

    Sounds like Schultz is on track to burn himself by being a dupe for the clown Obama jus like Buffet did

    Amazing the cult like hold that guy has on people

    I never go to Starbucks – the coffee is indeed overpriced and not the best – perfect for the ggeny and younger crowd – all image and hype and diigital utopia or whatever

    they are the ones they have been waiting for

  • Buck O'Fama

    How about Starbucks gives me a sawbuck to stimulate my economy. Leave it to a liberal idiot corporation to come up with this numbskull plan.

  • Jewfromhell

    Hey Howie, take a coffee enema!

  • mg

    “Schultz said he feels personal responsibility to do something to stimulate the U.S. economy.” And that “something” was to ask others to donate money? LOL

blog comments powered by Disqus
6 Business Card Mistakes New Owners Make
Watch Now: Live Video & Video Highlights

Listen Live