Start Something that Matters, a book by TOMS Chief Shoe Giver, Blake Mycoskie, challenges readers to make a positive change in the world and start a project that matters to them. Whether it is a unique business idea with a giving element or a school assignment to improve the community, each project contributes to making a difference. We’ve received many stories from like-minded individuals that have been inspired to start something that matters. Here’s one from two guys in Washington D.C. who coined the term “philanthropub,” and are bringing it to life..
Gathering at a bar or restaurant with friends is the perfect payoff after a long work-week. We unwind over good food and relax with friends and family. Usually when you reach to pay the tab, you know your money is going back to the establishment and stakeholders in the company. When you walk in to the newly opened Cause DC, however, your bill goes toward a charity of your choice.
Founded by Nick Vilelle and Raj Ratwani, Cause is a new gastropub in Washington D.C. that donates all profits to charitable causes. While working on his PhD, Raj felt an immense desire to do more and start something that matters. After returning from the Peace Corps, and with knowledge of what charitable donations can do for a country or organization, Nick met with Raj for drinks and the idea of donating to charity through the restaurant business was born. They coined the term philanthropub, “a bar where having a good time helps a great cause.” Cause partners with 3-4 charitable organizations per quarter to donate their profits to. These beneficiaries are chosen by an Advisory Board that evaluates the applicants to make sure they are sustainable and will benefit properly from Cause.
The DC community has welcomed Cause with open arms. Busy business men and women are able to do their own part in making a difference by donating to charity just by grabbing a drink or sharing a meal. As an added bonus, when the bill arrives, customers have the ability to select which of the four beneficiaries they’d like their donation to go to. The founders of Cause want to make sure they aren’t solely known for charity. They’ve enlisted top chefs and a skilled staff to create a unique dining experience. Nick explains, “Raj and I have said from the very beginning that we want to be one of the best bar/restaurants in the city and just have it be a bonus that we give all of our profits to charity.” Cause hopes to make giving more accessible to the community and aims to spread awareness to their featured organizations.
Nick left us with these parting words for our TOMS friends looking to start something that matters, “The model and timing will never be perfect. If you wait for everything to fall in line, you will never do anything. Do your homework and then get started.”
We’re looking forward to seeing more Cause bars pop up in the near future. If you are near DC, be sure to check out Cause.
Photo credit: Edward Perry