Pour Generously Foundation

Have you ever wondered how one can help the needy while also exploring the entrepreneurial spirit?

A 2003 alumni of Puget Sound, Matt Scarlett and co-founders Ian McFarland and Gregory Ahn have created a wine club called Pour Generously in order to help support underfunded charities.  It works in a way that benefits all involved:  four times a year the co-founders sample hundreds of lesser-known but still remarkable wines and choose from those to ship to their subscribing members.  Half of the proceeds from each purchase go to undiscovered charities.

“We [the four co-founders] were discussing the oddities of the alcohol industry.  How there is so much money wasted because it is a multi-layered industry,” co-founder Ian McFarland said. “What can we do with that? The wine industry is huge! Why not take that money and give it to charity?”

The charity they are focusing on now is called the Ben Towne Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research.  This foundation is different from all others of its kind because it aims to harness the power of the immune system to help cure childhood cancer. The goal of the Ben Towne Foundation is to find and improve groundbreaking, targeted treatments for curing pediatric cancers while reducing or eliminating the need for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

The foundation was started in memory of the founder’s son Ben, who died of cancer at the age of three. Unfortunately this story  is quiet common; cancer is the leading cause of death for children in the United States.

“We started Ben Foundation… to change the way we treat and cure kids from cancer,” Jeff Towne said, who created the foundation along with his wife and Ben’s mother Carin Towne.

“The charity we are focused on now is amazing.  It is a non-invasive research medication that has an incredibly high success rate.  Nine out of the ten treatments have been successful,” McFarland said. “But it’s very expensive.  They give their money directly to the care of children.”

They are also focusing on raising money to expand their license.  Currently they only have the license to sell wine in Oregon and Washington.  However, they hope with their campaign on Indiegogo.com, which spreads awareness for charities, they will be able to expand their services to the entire country.  With this new license they would be able to help charities all over the U.S.  In order to achieve this goal they must raise $25,000 and have so far raised $8,670.

“We hope to expand to… those who are willing to break the model as far as their fundraising efforts go,” McFarland said.

If you feel inspired to help out, check out their page on Indiegogo.com.  Besides donating money, there are other things you can do to spread the word of Pour Generously’s mission. You can spread the word on social media and specifically target people who you know love wine.