Now Serving at Your Local Starbucks: A Cup of Economic Recovery

“Create Jobs for USA”.  You might presume this to be a new slogan spoken from a well-publicized political campaign – but it’s not.  It’s Starbuck’s bold new cause marketing initiative set to launch November 1 in partnership with nonprofit Opportunity Finance Network (OFN). The campaign encourages employees and consumers to make a minimum $5 donation, 100% of which will be aggregated into a nationwide ‘Create Jobs for USA’ fund at OFN that will support community businesses in underserved markets via affordable loans (including nonprofit organizations).  Consumers making a minimum $5 donation online or in participating stores will receive a patriotic-looking bracelet featuring the word “Indivisible”.

OFN’s math goes like this: for every $5 donation, $35 in community financing is possible.  One new job will be created or retained for approximately $21,000 in financing or $3,000 in donations.  At $5 a head, that’s 600 donors.  The Starbucks Foundation will kick things off with a $5 million donation to OFN.

The campaign undoubtedly helps CEO Howard Schultz put his money where is mouth is, coming on the heels of the CEO’s call for business leaders to withhold political contributions until a “fair, bipartisan deal” is reached on the national debt, revenues and spending.  The CEO also recently hosted a national call-in conversation and invited all “concerned Americans” to take part.

Based on newly-released findings from the 2011 Cone/Echo Global CR Opportunity Study, this is one campaign that should resonate loudly with consumers and employees alike.  Economic development was, overwhelmingly, cited as the top issue that companies should address (34% globally and a whopping 43% of US respondents).  The question remains as to whether consumers will be willing to tack on an additional $5 to their quad shot venti soy latte in support of this cause or whether they'll be content to sit back, sip their Starbucks coffee and let their coffee icon take the lead.

What’s your take on this campaign?  Will it resonate in your opinion?  Would you participate?  Let us know in the comments below.

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