Our vision is to use local products to help support short-term missions, and short-term missionaries by providing products from those countries at price the local people benefit from, and the fundraisers can make a ‘profit’ from as well.
There are many ways to implement our program, and our flagship product, Salvadoran coffee provides many opportunities to raise money, both quickly and on an ongoing basis.
It is important to understand that we are providing the best quality products, in this example coffee. We want to promote the countries we are working in, and the only way to do that is to find the premium products each country has to offer.
We chose coffee because El Salvador produces large quantities of coffee for export, but to date the real quality is known only by the ‘coffee elite’, that is those people who comb the globe in search of the best coffees.
Most short-term missionaries experience with coffee in El Salvador does not come from the upscale coffee boutiques or sampling coffee varietals, but from either our favorite hangout Mr. Donut or from having cafecito in one of our hosts homes. Most Salvadorans don’t buy the better quality coffees because their budgets don’t allow, so you’ve most likely had the lower quality coffee; and nothing against Mr. Donut, but the coffee there is below average for a real coffee drinker as well.
Here are some quotes from real coffee people around the web:
“This is a great example of a classic Central American coffee. It boasts an approachable flavor profile, both elegant and structured. Finca San Luis exhibits a sweetness that dominates the cup with firm tones of brown sugar, and raw honey throughout. The mid-tones are laced with soft, floral notes and a bit of toasted almond….”
Sight Glass Coffee website.
“I am a believer: El Salvador has great coffee. Bourbon varietal coffees are one end of the spectrum, balanced, classic “Central” profile and also a good alternative to Brazil as a base for espresso; Pacamara varietal coffees are their opposite, quirky and full of character. High altitudes and good, dense, traditional varietals are a large part of it…” Sweet Marias website.
The bottom line: If you have not looked for the best coffee you most certainly haven’t found it. We have looked, and looked, and looked. We have tasted many blends, different roasts, different grinds, and I even roasted my own to find the best coffee. We believe our coffee is the highest quality coffee in the country, produced to exacting standards, and being provided to you at the most reasonable price possible.
The Fund Raising Plan
Our plan is based on a couple simple facts:
Churches use a lot of coffee
- I have gone to many churches over the years, many denominations, many different theological beliefs, and all sorts of worship styles. However, the one thing almost every Christian church seems to agree on is that for Sunday morning service you serve coffee, sometimes before church, sometimes after, and at the really good ones, both!
- Usually there is either a group of people responsible for the coffee and other items being served, or volunteers rotate who will provide the morning refreshments for the congregation, either way, the coffee is purchased from somewhere.
- What we propose is that the coffee served every Sunday, Wednesday night, etc. is helping to support something the church believes in and wants to help fund in some way.
Churches always need money
Whether for their own operating expenses, or to support the various causes they are lead to assist, there always seems to be more needs than finances. Some ideas to use the money collected.
- Deacons Fund contributions
- Sunday School supplies
- Adult education scholarships
- Scholarship funds for those wishing to do short-terms missions but cannot afford it.
How to raise the money
Let us use the Deacons fund as an example.
The Deacons purchase coffee at wholesale prices. For church use, we recommend buying by the Kilogram unless you have a congregation of less than 50 people.
- The suggested markup for 1 Kg. bags is $9.00
- The suggested markup for 1 lb. bags is $5.00
Deacons ‘sell’ the 1 Kg. bags of coffee to the fellowship committee, or whoever is responsible for refreshments for the retail price. They are already paying retail somewhere.
- This leaves $9.00 for the deacons’ fund for every Kg. used by the church. One Kg bag will make about 140 cups.
Deacons place brochures/and or 1 lb. bags of coffee on the refreshment table so everyone has an opportunity to purchase coffee at retail prices.
The order form on the brochures has a section for automatic ordering so those members who wish to have coffee ‘delivered’ every month can fill that out.
- Delivery can be just having the amount ordered put aside for Sunday morning pickup on a certain Sunday every month.
- For the ambitious, you can organize a delivery team. Making the deliveries in person can turn into an outreach and time of fellowship by itself, so we recommend this method.
If you are doing this as a one-time fundraiser, we recommend that you purchase just the coffee for the church services, and choose a date for all orders to be in by. Then you can collect the money in advance so there is no major outlay of money. We recognize that some churches will not be in a position to keep a stock of coffee for purchase by their congregations, and that is not a problem for us. We want to help, not create a financial burden.
- If any cash outlay is an issue, start with only pre-orders, than re-order with the money collected from those sales.
- We recommend using the coffee for your services for several reasons, obviously, the group using our program makes money for their cause, but just as important is the fact that the coffee will sell itself. If people know they are buying the same great quality coffee they are drinking, they are more likely to buy it. That being said, if you serve the leftover coffee you made for before church to the after church fellow shippers, you probably will not sell as much.
As I mentioned, there are many groups that can benefit from the money generated by the program, but there are a few options that apply for other causes, for instance; we are currently trying to raise money for specific needs here in El Salvador. In addition to the money you raise for your causes, we donate a portion of every lb. of coffee sold to various projects and families here.
The most pressing is the house that the C&MA is building for Tia Ana, for information about Tia Ana you can visit www.house4hope.org, a site built specifically for this cause. For that fundraiser we designed a custom label for the fundraising coffee. We can do similar things for you as well.