It won’t be long before the weather starts to chill and with the dipping temps will come more frequent jaunts to Starbucks for soy chai lattes. It looks like now I’ll have an even better reason for shelling out dollars for a drink.
Starbucks customers can soon donate to a nearby school’s classroom project with a click of a mouse while waiting for their venti, nonfat, no foam, extra-hot whatever. With free Wi-Fi now available in nearly all Starbucks stores, the coffee chain is opening its own digital channel this fall to give you and I free access to various paid sites and services. The ‘Bucks has already joined with Apple’s iTunes, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, and Zagat, among others.
Called “My Neighborhood,” the site features one charity: DonorsChoose.org, a portal that allows public-school and charter-school teachers to solicit donations online for classroom projects. The community-based channel seeks to feature local content to help people connect with others in their neighborhoods. With the use of geo-tagging, the DonorsChoose.org portal will automatically match Starbucks customers in a particular city to local elementary and secondary schools whose projects need donations. They can choose which classroom project (among 15,000 projects currently on the site) to support and donate as little as $1.
Although DonorsChoose.org is the first nonprofit organization it has announced, Starbucks says it’s exploring adding other organizations that are “relevant to our customers, partners, and the involvement Starbucks wants to have in local communities.”
I love this idea. It’s taking the good powers of social media to the next level. As I raise my extra-coffee-soy-mocha-lite frappacino I say, here’s to you Starbucks for leading the way in the area of tasty drinks AND cause marketing dopeness.