Holy Cow Donates Over 40,000 Quarters to Local Nonprofits

This post was originally featured on Causetown's blog by Kevin Markham. 

holy_cow_25_centsThe idea originated last year after a citywide fundraising day for nonprofits in Alexandria, Virginia. Restaurateur “Mango Mike” Anderson, the owner of Mango Mike’s, and John Porter, executive director of the community foundation ACT for Alexandria , wanted to give local charities a new way to raise funds year-round to supplement their normal fundraising activities. So when Anderson and his business partner Bill Blackburn launched a “gourmet burger joint” called Holy Cow in November 2012, they decided to donate a quarter for every burger sold to a local nonprofit of the customer’s choice.

This was no real surprise within Alexandria, because Anderson has long been known as a philanthropic businessman dedicated to the community. He has operated and launched numerous restaurants in the community over the past 30-plus years, and in 1999 was named Business Leader of the Year by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce (and has since joined their Board). He has run many fundraisers from his restaurants, almost all of them focused on supporting local charities. Anderson even traveled to Virginia’s capital earlier this year to testify in support of a bill that would make it substantially easier for restaurants to donate food to local nonprofits.

Since the launch of the “quarter donation program,” Holy Cow has donated well over $10,000 to more than 100 local charities (and growing). It has been excellent word-of-mouth advertising for the restaurant, as well as a great way to engage their customers. “People are in line fighting over what charity to donate to,” said Anderson .

Earlier this year, Causetown became the technology partner facilitating the reporting and logistics associated with these donations. Through our platform, recipient nonprofits now have access to a detailed donation history , including the disbursement status of all funds from Holy Cow and any other Causetown businesses. Nonprofits that have raised at least $25 will receive monthly donation checks from Causetown, and all nonprofits have free access to our promotional tools to help spread the word among their supporters about fundraising opportunities like this.

“It’s a worn out phrase ‘giving back to the community,’” Anderson said . “It’s almost a cliché. For us, this is more like paying it forward.”

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