I love creative approaches to charity fundraising, so this article in the New York Times made me smile: In New Pubs, Good Cheer and Good Works. Writer Kirk Johnson details the growing beer-for-charity movement. Basically, pubs and brewhouses are opening up in cities around the world with the pledge of donating all profits to charity.

Johnson’s article focuses on the Oregon Public House in Portland, Ore., and Ryan Saari, one of the charitable pub’s board members.

“More people will want to support your business than if you’re just doing it to pay for your second home,” said Ryan Saari, a minister and a board member of the Oregon Public House, which is preparing to open here as soon as next month in a residential neighborhood, pledged by its charter to donating all profits to charity.”
The Oregon Public House will have a small staff of paid employees, forbids board members from drawing a salary and is opening with no debt to repay. This means that a higher portion of sales will be pure profit and this profit will go straight to charity.

Opening a business without debt is a lofty goal but the Oregon Public House crew is taking the tortoise approach to opening the business. Instead of taking out a loan to hire a team that could quickly remodel the property, the bulk of the remodeling has been completed by volunteers with contractors donating their time and knowledge to the project.

Once opened, the Oregon Public House will feature a rotating tap menu, with the eventual goal of building an in-house brewery. Profits from the business will support charities on a rotating basis with up to 10 charities being supported at any given time.

Currently, the Oregon Public House plans to donate profits to the following five charities:

  • My Voice Music – A music program for marginalized youth
  • The Mentoring Project – Local Portland-area mentoring program
  • Compassion First – Local organization dedicated to fighting the sex trade
  • Habitat for Humanity – Popular nonprofit housing organization
  • Black United Fund – Social organization dedicated to ethnic diversity
While there is no set open date for the Oregon Public House, Saari told the New York Times it could open up as early as next month. The pub is located at 700 NE Dekum St. in Portland.

As I mentioned at the start of the article, I love creative approaches to nonprofit fundraising, and in my opinion, the Oregon Public House falls into this category. Would you be more inclined to visit a pub that donated profits to a charity you supported?

Related on MNN:

Beer-for-charity movement growing
Pubs with this nontraditional business model are cropping up around the world.