Do you ever wonder how often Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sings John Lennon's "Imagine" to himself? ("You may say I'm a dreamer ...")
Mr. Schultz, who announced an initiative last October with the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) called "Create Jobs for the USA," was both cheered and jeered for his efforts. Funds raised go to the OFN, which represents 180 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the U.S. These have been established to provide financing in areas where traditional lenders are in short supply. Institutions in the program have a 98 percent repayment rate.
As part of the "Create Jobs" campaign, Starbucks asked customers to donate $5 and receive a red, white and blue wristband with the word "indivisible" on it. The Starbucks Foundation also donated $5 million to the effort.
Earlier this week, Banana Republic and Google announced they were joining Starbucks in getting behind the jobs effort. The two companies announced promotions that would bring an additional $4 million to the $7.5 million raised to date. Starbucks told Reuters, the amount raised would help to create or sustain more than 3,800 jobs.
Google joined with Starbucks in offering a daily deal through Google Offers, which closed this morning. Consumers could purchase $10 Starbucks vouchers for $5. Google said it would donate $3 for each voucher purchased up to $3 million.
Banana Republic said it would donate up to $1 million from purchases made in two four-day sales events with the first to start on April 19.
How likely are consumers to patronize companies based on their involvement in efforts such as "Create Jobs for the USA?"