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3A Blog — non-profit

One Year of Three Avocados

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Today, we celebrate one year of Three Avocados. April 9th, 2010, was the first day we started accepting orders for our coffee. It’s the day we were officially open for business. And this year, it’s the date we’ve chosen to make a pretty exciting announcement. We are proud to announce that we have partnered with International Lifeline Fund to fund well (borehole) repairs and rehabilitations in Northern Uganda. The initial schedule is that the first group of repairs will be completed by the end of June, with additional repairs continuing through October. Each of these repairs will provide clean water to approximately...

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The Three Avocados Model

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Recently, I’ve received a number of questions about our financial model. I’ve also seen some blog posts where people are taking a stab at what it might be. I think that’s absolutely wonderful that people are interested in the model behind Three Avocados. Based upon the interest, I wanted to take a few minutes to write a simple blog post describing the model. Simply put, in many ways, Three Avocados is no different than any other business…well, except that we give away 100% of our profits. The easiest way to think about our model is just that of a regular...

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Why We Went Non-Profit

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I’ve gotten a lot of questions about why we went the non-profit route vs forming as a social enterprise. It would probably be  a little bit easier to be a for-profit organization and just donate 100% of our proceeds. For me though, there was two main reasons to form Three Avocados as a non-profit organization. The first reason is for credibility. By forming as a non-profit, our customers are ensured that no employee or board member may take a distribution from the organization. This doesn’t mean we’ll never pay employees. Quite the opposite. We’re going to have to have employees,...

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The Local vs Global Debate

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Lately, I’ve really been getting into the whole local vs global charity debate. We are a US-based non-profit that raises money for developing countries, so I’m sure you can already guess what my view is on this. However, I don’t think it’s a right vs wrong debate. I’m in no position to judge who needs help more than the next person. And you’re probably reading that going, “Yeah, but you give to other countries, so you must feel they are more needy”. Point taken. You’re right, I do. But that doesn’t mean I feel people here in the US are...

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Why Sell Something vs Ask For Donations?

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I’ve seen the argument plenty that if you want to do something charitable, then just give your money to a charity. The theory is that it will get used better by a charity than a socially responsible organization (or, in our case, a non-profit selling a product). OK, I’ll agree to that. 100%. For example, $9 would go further with World Vision towards providing clean water than that same $9 will go if it’s used to buy our coffee. True. Here’s the problem: That’s not for me. I’m not good at asking for money. There are TONS of great charitable organizations out...

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