Contact name: Jennifer Wheatley
Project URL: www.dutchbros.com
Organization Name: Dutch Bros. Coffee
Project: Love Abounds Foundation
Location: The United States
Projected Impact: Thousands
Our Cup Runs Over
“My cup is full and running over, so I can now fill another.” – Travis Boersma, Co-founder of Dutch Bros. Coffee
Dutch Bros. has given millions of dollars in its lifetime and continues to give over a million dollars annually.
The coffee company began with two brothers, Dane and Travis Boersma, a big dream, a limited budget, and one pushcart in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon. In 1992, changing industry policies had impacted the family’s dairy business, and they decided to sell the farm. They jumped into the coffee trend that was growing in the Pacific Northwest, and Dutch Bros. Coffee was born.
Immediately a company philosophy was developed that was about people. Travis has been known to say, “We are not in the coffee business. We are in the relationship building business and this cup (of coffee) is just a vehicle to build those relationships. It is not about what is in the cup, but what happens around it.”
With a mission of building a coffee business and serving people as the driving force, Dutch Bros. has focused on putting smiles on people’s faces and ensuring that every person who visits a Dutch Bros. leaves feeling cared for. It is our hope that they leave inspired to do the same for someone else.
“From the beginning, our community supported us,” said Travis. “They supported us when we started by bringing friends and family to the cart for coffee. They supported us when our warehouse burned down. They supported us when my brother, Dane, our co-founder, passed away. We are trying daily to return the favor and love they show us each day.”
Dutch Bros. loves the communities it serves. The company prides itself on our stores being locally owned and operated, and our stories are a reflection of this.
Franchisees are equally philanthropic. They are a part of the Dutch family and have been born because of us and grew up in the company’s giving culture. Dane was known to say, “Love abounds!” This caring and giving philosophy is an important part of the cultural fabric, and franchisees carry that torch as they grow in the company. It cannot be divorced from them, as they become owners.
Pouring into Our Communities
As a result, much of our giving is focused in the communities we serve. Franchisees often take on opportunities in their neighborhoods to support local organizations and families in need.
There are unending examples of the generosity of our franchisees in the communities they call home. We have seen incredible impact with these projects, like “A Cure for Cat,” which raised funds to help a young woman who is dealing with the devastating symptoms of CREST syndrome. Another example is “Water For Juan,” in which the proceeds from the sales of water for one month in one community went to support seven year old Juan, while he went through surgery and recovery from a severe intestinal issue and hopefully allowed him to be off a feeding tube for the first time in his life. “Shake it for Brooke” is another example, in which proceeds from the sale of Dutch Frosts for two weeks went to support nine year old Brooke’s leukemia treatment; and, recently on Mother’s Day, 15 stores banded together to support Make-A-Wish. These four days raised nearly $100,000 to support these local causes. These are just examples of the philanthropic work that happens within the Dutch Bros. system. We have as many local stories as we have stores.
Pouring in Together
In addition, all 225 stores in the Dutch Bros. family participate in three company-wide events each year, which are both local and cause related. It is a part of our mission to pour back into our communities both financially and with awareness support.
Every Valentine’s Day we celebrate “Dutch Luv Day,” in which all stores band together with a local food bank to help collect non-perishable food items. To encourage participation, each location offers a drink deal to customers who bring in food items. In the last few years, Dutch Bros. has donated over 500,000 pounds of food to its local food banks.
After a devastating diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for Dane in 2005, the company started an annual awareness and fundraising day called “Drink One For Dane.” Dane passed away in 2009 due to complications from ALS. Since the inception of “Drink One for Dane,” the company has donated well over 1.26 million dollars for ALS research and support services for families dealing with ALS. In the history of “Drink One For Dane,” Dutch Bros. has used our large social media presence, media coverage, and the opportunity to talk to thousands of customers at the window to raise awareness, as well as funds, for ALS.
In December, a month known for celebrating, honoring, and providing fun for the child in all of us, Dutch Bros. hosts its annual “Buck For Kids” day. All locations donate proceeds from the day to youth programs selected by the local franchisee. These organizations range from regional Boys and Girls Clubs to Christmas toy collection programs. Buck For Kids has been happening for many years, and in just the last few years, over $415,000 has been raised for kid’s organizations in the seven states where we serve.
Today, the habit of philanthropy is strong company-wide. With Dane’s wise words driving Travis and the employees, Dutch Bros. is currently developing “Love Abounds,” a foundation that will become a part of, and even further, this culture of giving. While Love Abounds is still in development, we know that it will serve Dutch Bros. communities in many ways. The company will continue the three company-wide give back days, and franchisees will continue to give as it is written on their hearts. The foundation will support franchisees as they invest in their communities, and provide employees ways to support their communities and passions for helping others.
We will continue to put a great deal of effort into making sure our communities are sound, families are provided for, and kids, in particular, are cared for.
We hope that others in our industry will act similarly, that they will be aware of what is happening in their local communities. Sometimes the best philanthropy is the simplest. Sometimes a small gesture has incredible impact – a ripple effect that can be felt by many. We work hard to make big gestures, and we also listen closely to those on the ground in our communities. Our baristas and franchisees have a great deal to do with the local stories we become a part of each day; they are an important part of our local philanthropy.
Travis is often heard quoting thinkers and artists. A quote regularly heard is from the Beatles song, The End, “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make…” Something Travis and all of the Dutch Bros. family takes to heart each day and with every moment.