Donate money to a bar to help it donate money

August 2, 2013

Cause, the Philanthropub has made its name by essentially being a non-profit: All of the proceeds from selling beer and food are given away to local charities. The bar says more than $10,000 has been donated so far. It's a great idea, but maybe they should have kept some of those funds in reserve for a rainy – or warm – day.

Cause
Cause, the Philanthropub, donates all its proceeds to local charities. (Scott Suchman for The Washington Post)

Today, Cause launched an indiegogo fundraiser to raise $11,000 for a new air-conditioning unit for the bar. "We don't want to take it out of our operating funds, because that means less money for our charities," the appeal says. Instead, they're asking for donations of $11, which can be exchanged for a free drink on a future visit. "If you give us $11 now, we will have a cold one waiting for you the next time you come in. Essentially, you are just pre-purchasing your next drink!"

Unless, that is, you're a beer drinker, because most drafts cost $6. (A Yuengling is $5, or $3.50 cans of Keystone for the ultra-thrifty.) Prefer wine? A glass will set you back between $6.50 and $9, depending on the style and vintage.

You're welcome to give more than $11, too: A $20 donation gets a Cause T-shirt, while $109 is good for dinner and drinks for four (not including tip).

We're sympathetic to Cause's plight, but this seems like an essential operating cost the business should bear. After all, if people show up, find the AC gone and head down the street to get drinks at 1905 or DC9 instead, that's money flowing out of a charity's pockets anyway.

As it stands, with six days left, 11 people have donated $11 each.

Fritz Hahn has written about bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. A product of Prince George's County public schools, Fritz majored in journalism at the University of Maryland and lives in the District.
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Maura Judkis | August 2, 2013