Giving Review :: 2017
(Originally Posted May 28, 2018)
We are excited to be closing in on $100,000 donated through Purpose Coffee and our related projects! When we helped start this business just a few years ago, we had no idea that Purpose would be able to give so much in such a short amount of time.
In 2017, because of your donations and purchases, we were able to send and donate over $46,000** to various non-profits, charities, and causes – locally and abroad. Wow! Your contributions and support have meant so much and enabled each of the gifts Purpose Coffee has sent around the world or invested locally!
As always, we want to provide you guys with as much information about how and why and where we are working. We want you to feel confident that our funds are used the way we say they are – and that any purchases you make or sponsorships you give are handled with integrity. Even though we aren’t a 501(c)3, we believe in their commonly held practice of providing an annual review.
2017 was, without doubt, a year of growth, reaching new heights and also feeling growing pains. We’ve learned so much – about coffee, about important needs in our world, about health department regulations and tax codes, about ourselves, and most importantly, about God’s faithfulness.
We know that 2018 will be another great year – and can’t thank you enough for being on this journey with us.
All the best,
Julia and Russell Williams
**Some donations were made in Q1 of 2018, but were based on funds raised and purchases made in 2017. Additionally, some funds remained from 2016 and were donated in Q1 of 2017 and are included in this figure. Includes monetary and in-kind donations from Purpose Coffee, as well as external contributions that were collected by Purpose Coffee and dispersed in full to the designated causes.
Purpose Coffee Co.
2017 was a big year for Purpose Coffee, as it was the first full year that we operated independently, running our store and coffee shop, in addition to the online store. We had a great year, sharing many cups of coffee with friends (new and old alike!), hosting meetings and events, and highlighting many other businesses with purpose behind them. Although it wasn’t our first year of business – in many ways, it felt like it, as we shifted and grew and adapted to our new methods of operation.
Purpose Coffee, as a company, donates its proceeds, with a focus on supporting projects that make a long-term and sustainable difference in the well being of children. Purpose Coffee was able to donate just over $12,000 to our charity partners, as well as to local causes and events.
In 2017, all of our donations – including sponsorships, company donations, and individual donations were housed in a separate bank account, that we call our Child Wellness Fund. In addition to the sponsorships outlined below, the Child Wellness Fund had $9,700 in external donations from individuals.
Using these donations, as well as additional funds available in our Charitable account from the previous year, we sent:
- $7606 to Empower International to support their education work in SE Asia and the Middle East
- $9000 to Our Trees Our Future in Uganda to fight cyclical poverty
- $1000 to the Houston Food Bank, based on our sales of Texas Strong following Hurricane Harvey
- $1500 to Portal Bikes, which helps impoverished families generate income
- In-kind contributions to The Purpose Market and Purpose Run, Turkey Trot in support of the Ministerial Alliance, St. Anthony’s Oktoberfest, the XIT Chapter of the Texas Tech Alumni, Eta Upsilon, and more.
The Purpose Market and The Purpose Run
In addition to our regular business operations, we helped launch a local Farmers Market last year, along with a series of free community events, with entertainment, games, giveaways, and more for anyone and everyone to enjoy. Our annual Purpose Run was held in conjunction with the Market, as the last and final event of the 2017 season.
As part of the Market – and as we normally do for our Purpose Runs – we collected sponsorships from local businesses, with additional funds supporting agriculture related projects and child wellness globally.
Our amazing and generous community donated $17,450 in sponsorships and donations for The Purpose Market and our annual Purpose Run – as well as a number of in-kind donations not reflected in that total. We collected race registration fees for The Purpose Run, which covered most of the costs of that event, with the additional costs being covered by Purpose Coffee. Those funds were donated as follows (additional donation funds coming from Purpose Coffee sales and previous donations):
- $1500 Ziyada Rooftop Garden in India
- $3000 additional to the Empower International Education Program
- $1500 to Cherish: Uganda to fund their secondary school
- $1000 to the Francois Bere Foundation, which is the school we helped expand with our first Purpose Run
- $3000 additional to the Our Trees, Our Future Initiative in Uganda
- $8300 to Heart for Africa to buy Dairy Cows
Additionally, we were able to donate to our local United Way and schools through the fundraisers we hosted at the Market. These donations totaled $750.
We have been so lucky to meet amazing people working around the world to benefit kids and we are excited to use this little business to help support their work. Our giving plan for 2018 looks as follows:
- Q1 proceeds – Empower International Education Program, Calvary Road Ministries working with the Maasai People
- April & May proceeds – Cherish Uganda’s Secondary School
- The Purpose Market Season – South/Central American Agriculture Projects
- September & The Purpose Run – TBD
- Q4 – Rapha House’s efforts to rescue girls out of trafficking
- Ongoing – Love Like You Mean It Ministries for #liveonpurpose purchases
- Ongoing – Texas based charities for Texas Strong purchases
In 2018, we do plan to host our annual Purpose Run (details coming before you know it!), but we are not operating as the host entity for The Purpose Market, and all sponsorship funds for the Market will be handled separately and used exclusively to put on the free events for the Dalhart Community. We do look forward to joining the Market as a vendor, serving up delicious coffee and our popular cold brew!
It has always been our stance to donate all that we can. But, like all companies, we do have to cover our costs and expenses. And 2017 was an expensive year. We increased our offerings greatly – which meant new equipment. We offered way more products – which meant more inventory costs and risks, as well as more display items and merchandising costs. When we look at where our expenses were last year, they lay overwhelmingly in cost of goods sold, with additional expenses being spent on (in order) rent and office expenses; equipment, furniture and fixtures; taxes and licenses; insurance and business services; advertising; and other miscellaneous costs of operation.
But – this business exists for the purpose of giving. So, we are committed to donating $5 per bag of coffee and $3 per branded merchandise item, as a standard donation every quarter. Our hope – and plan – for Purpose Coffee is to get to a place where it is fully self sufficient, and the company is able to donate far beyond our standard donation amounts.
Until then, it is our joy to cover the additional costs of operating the business, as a loan to Purpose Coffee. And, along with our friends and business partners in the building, we subsidize the cost of running the store and shop including utilities and labor costs.
In full disclosure, since we own Purpose Coffee, we did see financial benefit in terms of slightly lowered income taxes because of the operating loss (not to mention we get coffee at wholesale prices and occasionally enjoy a free latte when we are working at the shop!) We maintain our commitment to serving the concept by volunteering our time. And, if you want to talk about the spiritual and emotional benefits – we receive those in droves.
Going forward, we do still have a separate account for our company donations – but we no longer maintain a relationship with a registered 501(c)3 and cannot accept individual donations. We hope that if you feel led to give, that you will considering giving directly to one of our charity partners!
They are doing amazing, life saving, life changing work all over this globe. And we are proud to use this little business to help contribute to it. Because we really do believe that coffee tastes better when you’re helping change the world.