How does Cause work?
Cause operates like any other bar. We seek to attract as many customers as possible and make sure our customers have a great time, while also trying to maximize profits. The key difference is what we do with those profits. We donate 100% of our net profits to selected organizations, operating both locally and internationally. We believe that this is an innovative way to combine having a good time with helping a great cause.
Will people make me feel uncomfortable by asking me for donations when I come to Cause?
NEVER! (Can you tell we are pretty adamant about this?) Our goal is to provide a comfortable (hassle free) environment for you to enjoy fine food and beverage with your friends. You will NOT be bombarded with information or guilted into making donations. If you are interested in learning about the organizations we are supporting, just ask, and we will be more than happy to provide you with details. If you would rather just drink a beer, chat with your friends and ignore the whole charitable giving part, that is perfectly fine by us. The profits from your check are still going to a great cause, and you are making a difference (whether you want to know about it or not).
How much of the money I spend at Cause is donated to charity?
This is a good question and a tricky one to answer. It boils down to this: the more money we bring in, the more money we will be able to donate. We have fixed overhead costs that we have to pay each month (e.g. rent, utilities, staff, etc.). The more money spent in the bar, the more profit we make, which is then given to our selected organizations. This is why we need you to tell all your friends!
It is our promise to always be 100% honest with our customers, and to that extent, we will be entirely transparent in showing you where the money is going. Once we have been open for a few months, we will be able to give a better estimate of the percentage of our total sales that we are able to donate. Further, when possible, we will post our accounting information so you can see where your money is going.
Is the money I spend at Cause tax deductible?
No. Unfortunately, complicated IRS rules force us to be organized in a manner that does not allow tax deductions. If you decide to independently donate to the organizations we feature, your donation given directly to them may be tax deductible.
Is there a way for me to know what the charitable organizations are doing with the money they receive?
Yes. Each organization that receives money will report what they are doing with the money and will update us on their progress. We will provide this information to our patrons in two ways. First, updates will be provided on a bulletin board in Cause. Second, for those that wish to receive email updates, we will provide progress reports.
How do you select the organizations that are featured in Cause?
First, we recognize that there are countless organizations out there doing inspiring work and we are only able to feature a select few of them. We plan to feature 3-6 organizations per quarter. At the end of each quarter, we will disperse the profits to the beneficiaries and select 3-6 new organizations to feature. We hope that as Cause grows, we will be able to highlight more and more organizations.
The process of selecting our beneficiaries is overseen and controlled by our Advisory Board. It begins with reviewing applications and combing through existing resources such as GiveWell, Charity Navigator, andCatalogue for Philanthropy, organizations solely focused on evaluating nonprofit organizations. We also receive recommendations from our network of nonprofit development professionals. From those organizations selected through these sources, we evaluate them on four criteria:
1. How sustainable is the work being done by the organization?
By sustainable, we are interested in whether the assistance the organization is providing will eventually reduce the beneficiaries’ dependence on outside help OR whether the actions of the organization will allow it to become less reliant on donor organizations.
2. What is the potential for scaling this solution to assist more people in need?
We are looking for organizations with projects or solutions that can expand to meet ever increasing needs.
3. How much will the organization benefit from being featured in Cause?
4. How attractive is this organization to our customers (thus increasing the chance of our customers staying engaged with the organization outside bar operations)?
If I have a charity that I think you should consider what do I do?
Email us, or come in and tell us! We are always open to new ideas, and we love to hear from our patrons. If you are with an organization that you would like to have featured, please apply on the Our Causes page
Has something like this been tried before?
Surprisingly, we haven't found any large examples of this being done in the past. We have been in contact with a bar in Portland that is trying to raise funds and another that is hoping to open in Melbourne, Australia that have similar premises. We think that both of these initiatives are great! But at the same time, it seems like there is so much room for these kinds of establishments. This is why we are so excited to open the first Cause in Washington, DC and then hopefully rapidly expand to other cities and countries.