Tag Archives: philanthropy

“Philanthropubs” Used to Promote Charity

Julian Omidi discusses the opening of nonprofit bar/restaurants, where the revenue generated by the sale of drinks and food are donated to various charities.

Marrying fun with good deeds isn’t new; we’ve all heard of altruistic dance-a-thons, walk-a-thons, bake sales and car washes, but when was the last time you ordered a cocktail for charity?
One of the newest philanthropic phenomena is the nonprofit bar. Also called “philanthropubs,” the patrons order their drinks and support worthy causes at the same time.1

It’s a unique charity model. It’s one of the few that doesn’t pair an inherently G-rated activity with charity. It’s quite adult, and it’s also something that generates quite a lot of revenue.
San Francisco is the latest city to open a philanthropub, but these nonprofits have been springing up across the nation for years; Washington D.C., Portland, Oregon and Atlanta, Georgia all have charity bars which support diverse causes.

The San Francisco philanthropub will be called “United Libations,” after the group developing it. It plans on donating its proceeds to a fund for teaching English to Haitian orphans and developing a system for collecting rainwater in Uganda. Before the pub settles in a permanent site, it will host “pop up” fundraising events to introduce the concept to San Franciscans and, presumably, iron out any kinks in the project model before the actual philanthropub goes into operation. According to the United Libations mission statement, all of the profits will go to the charities the bar serves.

While some may take issue with this approach it might be an operation that provides a lot of revenue for worthy charities. As any restauranteur will tell you, most of a restaurant’s profits come from the bar – people only order one entrée, but they might (and often do) order one or two cocktails followed by several bottles of wine during the course of an evening. Many nightclubs offer table service, where a full bottle of liqueur is purchased at an outrageously inflated price for a table in a VIP section. If a nonprofit pub can harness this kind of money, then there will be ample opportunity for any number of charities to benefit.

It will be exciting to find out how this model progresses. The philanthropub in Washington D.C.,– Cause – began in late 2012 and seems to be going strong so far. The only issue is the overhead costs, since the liqueur and food likely won’t be donated from the vendors, and there is the matter of rent and operating costs. Nevertheless, if the operations are successful, we may be seeing other such philanthropubs springing up in cities across the U.S.

By Julian Omidi

1Groden, Claire: Proposed San Francisco Bar Pairs Drinking with Charity Time Magazine 6/25/2013 http://style.time.com/2013/06/25/proposed-san-francisco-bar-pairs-drinking-with-philanthropy/


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Underreported Stories of Philanthropy in 2012

As a philanthropist, Julian Omidi feels it is important to highlight both noble philanthropic efforts and issues they deserve increased awareness. Here Julian Omidi looks at five underreported stories of altruism and struggle from 2012.

Sometimes we need to be made aware of people’s acts of kindness as well as the deprivation in the world, even if only to remind us to be grateful for all of our own blessings. Neither acts of philanthropy nor news of people who need help typically receive a great deal of attention from our news or social media. Unless a celebrity is involved, important humanitarian issues generally go unreported.

Here are what we believe to be five of the most underreported philanthropic news stories of 2012.  Some of these stories involve people and institutions who work to improve the lives of people in nearly hopeless conditions; others are stories that remind us of all of the work that still needs to be done.

1.  The widespread distribution of vaccines for pneumonia and diarrhea in Ghana.  Without anyone in the rest of the world noticing, Ghana became the first African country to combine the pneumococcal vaccine with a rotavirus vaccine in order to eradicate two of the leading causes of childhood death around the world.  Enough medication to vaccinate every single Ghanan child was given to every health clinic.

2.  Climate change could introduce malaria back to parts of the world that had it under control.  It is believed that in 50 years, regions in Africa will be so altered by climate change that malaria-carrying mosquitoes will begin to flourish in regions previously unaffected, and thwarting all of the efforts made to eradicate the disease once and for all.

3.  The police officer who bought shoes for a homeless man.  On a chilly New York sidewalk, a police officer noticed a shoeless homeless man, so he stopped by a local shoe retailer and bought him a pair of shoes.  The whole event was captured on a passerby’s smartphone camera and broadcast across the internet.

4.  Childhood malnutrition in Yemen.  Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, and was reported that three quarters of a million children are classified as being chronically malnourished—double the statistics of 2000.  The Arab Spring uprising and internal insurgencies has caused many citizens to flee to remote areas for their own safety, where there is little food, poor sanitation and rampant disease.

5.  The 100th million meningitis A vaccine was administered in Nigeria.  Meningitis A is a deadly disease that threatens more than 450 million people in what is known as the meningitis belt, a length of sub-Saharan countries that stretch from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east. Over the course of two weeks over 16 million people were vaccinated in Nigeria.

By Julian Omidi

Vaccinations in Ghana

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