By Katy Snyder, JVA Consulting
Continuing with our occasional theme of beer-related Friday posts (and in honor of this week being National Craft Brew Week), this blog looks into the phenomenon of bars that collect charitable donations or host charity events, which was recently highlighted in a British survey. Less common in the U.S., British bars, in particular, commonly collect donations from patrons, according to a new survey. The survey, which was conducted by a group of pubs and beverage associations looking to bolster the industry’s image, seems to accomplish its mission: According to the survey, 77 percent of pubs in Britain donated to charity last year, with even more expected to do so this year. Most of the donations came from raffles and “quiz nights,” followed by music/sporting events. The survey also found that over 90 percent of pubs surveyed had fundraising jars to collect donations at their bars.
Interestingly, the pubs surveyed found many and varied benefits from their charitable campaigns. According to survey results, 82 percent of respondents felt that donating proceeds to charities “demonstrated the pub’s commitment to the local community, ” while large numbers of respondents also cited bringing in more business and improving staff morale as benefits.
While the British have a long history of pub fundraising, the U.S. isn’t doing too shabby either in terms of mixing philanthropy and brews. Rather than taking the more traditional approach of fundraising jars and raffles that happen within bars, U.S. groups are more likely to bring the philanthropy out into the community. Read below for a handful of fundraising schemes that local pubs, breweries and beer-drinking groups are participating in.
Beer Church: A Seattle-based organization that gathers beer lovers for two things and two things only: enjoying good beer and raising money for charities. By organizing two charities events a year, Beer Church has been able to donate over $100,000 to a variety of charities since 1998.
Local Craft Brewers: Check out a past JVA blog about the great work that local brewers like ODell and Ska Brewing are doing to fund local nonprofits. And seriously, writing an application to New Belgium has to be more fun than writing a CGA, right?
Tour de Fat: New Belgium’s annual cycling extravaganza converges on Denver every September, with all proceeds going to local cycling nonprofits. Tour de Fat will be rolling though Denver on September 10 this year and Fort Collins on September 3.
So next time you need to fundraise, look to your local bar (or craft brewer). Considering the success craft brewers have seen in the last few years—despite the recession—they are in a great position to give back to the community.