The Charity

The Costa Foundation

Our mission is to improve the life chances of boys and girls in coffee growing communities by providing the opportunity of a safe, quality education and our vision is to eradicate poverty in coffee growing communities.

The Costa Foundation has the strapline “Change a child's life story” – and aims to help coffee growing communities grow through education.

  • What & Why?

    What is it?

    It is a registered charity (charity number England and Wales 1147400 and Scotland SCO43414) set up in 2012.

    Background and history

    The Costa Foundation originally started in 2007 operating under the charitable status of Charities Trust, which was already a registered charity. From 2007 until 2012; Charities Trust handled the administration and finance of the Costa Foundation. This arrangement allowed the Costa Foundation in its early stage; to minimise overhead costs and enabled the management team to concentrate on determining which projects to support and to get behind their people’s fundraising efforts.

    How does it support coffee growing communities?

    The Costa Foundation supports coffee-growing communities by:

    • Building new schools or extending existing ones
    • Furnishing the new buildings
    • Investing in water supplies
    • Providing electricity
    • Providing computers
    • Developing land for families to grow crops
    • Building teacher accommodation
    • Building latrines

    In which countries does the Costa Foundation operate?

    Why did Costa originally set up the Foundation in 2007?

    Costa recognised that without the farmers and co-operatives that grow coffee, they would have no business. They are an integral part of Costa’s success; giving long-term support where possible seemed like a natural thing to do.

  • Funding & Projects

    How is the Costa Foundation funded? 

    The Costa Foundation is funded through a number of mechanisms:

    • Direct annual donation from Costa
    • Match-funding by Costa Coffee
    • Store Fundraising activities
    • Individual team member fundraising outside of stores (i.e. sponsored walks)
    • Adhoc customer donations 
    • Payroll Giving contributions
    • Cause related marketing activity
    • Donations from partner organisations and suppliers
    • Annual national centrally driven campaigns

    What are you doing to ensure the long term sustainability of the Foundation’s work?

    The ‘grant-application’ process, which is there to provide additional resources for existing projects, has no time limit – this will ensure the long-term sustainability of the projects.

    Examples of such grants are:-

    • Colombia – extension of Anatoli School to provide kindergarten and primary school facilities including canteen and new playground. 
    • Uganda – All 10 of our Ugandan high schools have been expanded over the last 2 years including classrooms, boarding accommodation, teachers accommodation and water storage tanks. 
    • Vietnam – Expansion of 4 of our nursery schools due to increasing numbers of children, specifically at Eatar Nursery School, Cu Kuin Nursery School, Cu Pang Nursery School and Hoa Dong Nursery School. 

    How do you choose the projects you are working with?

    The Costa Foundation works closely with a number of delivery partners all of which have a close relationship with the co-operatives, Local Authorities, Governments and communities in the countries we support. The decision-making process is based on the following criteria:

    • Identifying a real need in terms of education
    • Must be in coffee growing communities
    • Identifying a strong partner to support the delivery of the project in the countries we support.

    Where is the money going?

    The Costa Foundation has supported 72 school projects in 10 countries around the world. Children are currently benefitting from Costa Foundation funded facilities in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Uganda and Vietnam and Zambia. 

    How can you prove that the money the Costa Foundation invests is actually used for the projects?

    • We work closely with our delivery partners who have long-term relationships with the Non-Government Organisations, Government, Regional and Local Authorities, Co-operatives and the communities. It is the delivery partners who are ultimately responsible for the day-to-day project management in the countries we are supporting.
    • In certain countries, the Costa Foundation employs Project Managers who are responsible for all budget management throughout the project-build and beyond.
    • Regular project updates are provided and there is a robust auditing process in place to evaluate and measure progress. The staged release of funds is based on achieving agreed project targets.
    • Delivery partners are audited by the Costa Foundation annually to verify budgets, invoices and payments are accurate. 
    • Costa Foundation accounts are independently verified to ensure transparency of payments direct to the projects at source.
  • Strategy & Planning

    Why don’t you help schools in this country?

    • Our state school system in this country has many issues; however in all but very rare cases all children here have access to schooling. The amount of government funding and non-governmental attention in the UK means that children here do not require the same level of urgent charity support as those in remote, rural coffee growing areas. For example, only one in four children in Uganda has access to a high school education.  

    Does the Costa Foundation pay for teachers and/ or run the schools?

    • No – Before starting a school project the Costa Foundation agrees with the government and local education authorities that they will fund the training and provision of teachers for the life of the school in return for the Costa Foundation providing the capital to build the infrastructure. So in effect; the schools are handed over to the government upon completion.

    Our Theory of Change

    Our Theory of Change
    Click the image above to see the full-size version…

    2017 Strategic Plan

    Click here to see our strategic plan for 2017.

    Privacy Policy

    Click here to see our privacy policy.

2012/13 annual report 2013/14 annual report 2014/15 annual report 2015/16 annual report 2016/17 annual report 2017/18 annual report 2018/19 annual report


Thanks to you we've built over 600 classrooms in 10 countries giving
84 coffee growing communities access to education

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Your donations go towards funding projects in the
coffee-growing communities we are supporting.

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To improve the life chances of boys and girls in coffee growing communities
by providing the opportunity of a safe, quality education.

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Simply send an SMS message to 70070, with the word COFO16 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 e.g. COFO16£5 

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