Thanks to Pour for More, a collaborative micro-grant program, a pint of beer benefits injured birds of prey and a smoothie helps teach children’s gardening classes. By making a mindful purchase when visiting select local beverage establishments in Northern Michigan, all these ideas become reality with the help of this program.
Pour For More utilizes a simple, crowd-funding platform to make significant local impact. Over the course of a year, patrons purchase select menu items available at 18 different Northern Michigan breweries, coffee shops, cafes, bars, cideries and wineries. From each purchase, $1.00 is automatically donated to the crowdfunding pool and subsequently distributed to 12 different area nonprofits.
Rare Bird Brewpub owner and brewer Tina Schuett created the program in 2016 with thoughtful ideals behind it.
“I was approached by a nonprofit downstate that was doing something similar, but the donations were going statewide, and even to larger national nonprofit organizations,” she said. “I really liked the concept, but I wanted our donations to be kept local and have a direct impact on our community.”
Schuett tested out the concept first at her business. Once it worked seamlessly, she asked if other places would be interested in participating, then it took off. Since that first year, over $200,000 has been distributed to almost 40 unique nonprofits.
Schuett also said she developed the program to showcase the giving nature of the partnering establishments.
“Sometimes we get negative attention for problems associated with drinking,” she said. “As a responsible pub owner, I wanted to showcase that not all of us are part of the problem, and we strive to be a positive part of the community. I think it’s so important to give back to the people that support us everyday and not take everyone’s support for granted.”
The local nonprofit partners are grateful for the additional support to connect their missions to patrons of the establishments.
TLD partner the Grand Traverse Area Children’s Garden, located on the grounds adjacent to the Traverse Area District Library’s Woodmere Branch on Boardman Lake in Traverse City, is one of the 12 recipients for 2020. The support from Pour For More will help with both short-term programming and long-term projects.
“We offer gardening programming from seed to plate to our children and their families or sponsoring organizations for free, so the funds generated from Pour For More is a major help to us in fulfilling our mission,” said Emily Kuschell, GTACG Development Director. “Some of the funds will also help us to replant the landscaping surrounding the property that are great public spaces for all to enjoy.”
Kuschell said the GTACG plans to partner with other area nonprofits, farms and nurseries to further the impact of the funds received. “Keeping the integrity of the program by leveraging as much local impact as we can is important to us as well,” she said.
Where to Find Pour for More
If you would like to support this program, you can find Pour For More at TLD partner venues Rare Bird Brewpub, Earthen Ales, Short’s Brewery, Taproot Ciderhouse, Cultured Kombucha, Chateau Chantal, Oryana Community Co-op, Tandem Ciders, and The Little Fleet, along with 8 other establishments. For complete information on 2020’s participating venues and nonprofit recipients, please visit pourformore.org.
Kimberly Conaghan is the Northwest Local Food Coordinator for TLD. She is a fan of Rare Bird Brewpub’s Lamb Cheeseburger Tacos and Kushy Punch IPA. Contact her at [email protected].