Live well and share

Live well and share

Effective Coffee is powered by a simple idea, summed up in just four words.

Live well and share.

That’s our motto and it captures how we think about what we’re up to and why we’re doing it. But careful observers of Effective Coffee may notice an interesting contradiction at work in our operation.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

How we live well

We want to have a meaningful and measurable impact on the world. Our subscribers do too. But to maximize the good done through charitable giving, it’s always the case that one could simply do without (for instance, skip buying coffee) and send that saved money to charity. By cutting out the middle man, and depriving yourself of a small pleasure, you can boost your impact. If you’re moved by that idea, then we hope you act on it! The math is undeniable.

Doing good in the world matters a lot to us. But we also believe that to maximize our impact in the long run, we must enjoy being alive. It matters to us that, even despite the structural inequality which allows for comfort and pleasure and well-being to be so unevenly distributed, we still make space to truly enjoy the comforts and pleasures we are afforded. Even if those luxuries are random – and unfairly – distributed.

It’s a fine line to walk, and sometimes we’ll get it wrong, but we’re committed to taking that walk nonetheless and to do so in public.

How we share

We share in two ways.

First, we prioritize donating a substantial portion of our revenue to outstanding giving opportunities, as estimated by charity evaluator GiveWell. And with your help, we want to grow that portion big time. It matters a lot to us that our charitable dollars – which you make possible by subscribing – are spent addressing some of the world’s most tractable injustices as effectively as possible.

The second way we share is by paying quite a lot more for our raw green coffee than is common. We believe producers everywhere deserve to profit from their work. Effective Coffee is designed to run lean whether it’s small or large. By being lean from top to bottom, we can afford to operate a little differently from other coffee roasters.

In fact, of the price each subscriber pays for our coffee, a substantial portion is spent on a combination of the weekly donation and the high price we pay for green coffee. Currently, that portion is about 29% on average. Even better, we believe we can grow that to 45% or more and still function as a viable, healthy business.

So that’s how we share.

We’re asking a lot

In a way, Effective Coffee is asking a lot and we’re making a bet that you’re up to it.

We’re asking that you not need photos of deeply poor people to be moved by their plight.

We’re asking that you recognize the price for coffee at the grocery store is not truly sustainable for all the parties that made it possible.

And we’re asking you to believe in the idea that living well and doing good belong together.

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