Host an Online  Make Shift

Coffee House

You choose the topic and secure 5 participants. We handle the rest.
The topic should be controversial and represented by an open-ended question. The participants should have dramatically different opinions on the question, and be unafraid to share their stories.
We will moderate your discussion in the tradition of Make Shift Coffee House and broadcast it on Facebook Live for your community. We handle all the tech. We have the format, the infrastructure, and the expertise.

How to Inquire

Look over the roles below and make sure you're good with everything. Then write let us know what you have in mind, especially dates. Send an email to

We are offering Online Make Shift Coffee Houses to libraries, civic groups, nonprofits, governments, and businesses for $400 each, for free if money is a problem.

Please drop us a line.  Let's get YOUR Make Shift Coffee House on the schedule.

Make Shift Coffee House Role (That's us)


Facilitation. Unlike many other online places, Make Shift Coffee House conversations are expertly facilitated to maximize respectful discussion. Our primary purpose is to help people understand each other. Not persuade. Not agree. Just understand where people are coming from. With good listening and good questioning, we help make that happen.

Topic Guidance. We will collaborate with you to choose your topic and key questions. Words matter. Let us help you get them right. And neutral.

Technology. We will set up the online platform (Zoom), and will send you and your participants the information to join the Online Make Shift Coffee House. We handle all technical aspects of running the Online Make Shift Coffee House on Zoom and broadcasting it on Facebook Live.

Publicity. We will encourage people to watch your Make Shift Coffee House. And we will allow watchers to share written comments. We will promote your Make Shift Coffee House to our growing fan base on several social media channels. We also have a large email list. We will provide you with branded graphics to use in your own publicity. We will also maintain a live recording of your Make Shift Coffee House at our website and promote that also.

Host Role (this is YOU)

Choose your topic. We will collaborate with you to choose your topic and key questions.

Secure participants. Ensure differing opinions. When you recruit participants, interview them to be sure that they have different beliefs about the topic, and different backgrounds.  This is critical so we can have conversation across differences. The ideal Online Make Shift Coffee House has 5 participants engaging in the conversation, with dozens of people watching and commenting in writing.

Establish date and time. Determine a date and time for the Online Make Shift Coffee House that aligns with our facilitator availability, and your participants’ calendars.

Financial Support. We are able to offer and Online Make Shift Coffee House for a $400 charitable contribution from the host. All revenues will go to our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor: Friends of the Maine State Library. If $400 is the only barrier to you hosting a Make Shift Coffee House, let's talk.

Local publicity. Vigorously promote your Online Make Shift Coffee House to your existing networks. Spread the word. List the event on community calendars. Provide promotional blurbs to be inserted in newsletters. Speak up about it in meetings. Generate a local buzz.

Participant Role (5 people invited by you)


We love participants who get what Make Shift Coffee House is about, explained right here.

Participants understand and agree that their video image and voice will be on Zoom and on Facebook Live, publicly available. We do not tag participants on Facebook but they are free to do so themselves.

Each participant provides a brief bio in advance so the facilitator can say a few things about each person at the start of the session. Shoot for 100 words or so. Up to 200 words is fine.