The positive energy surrounding Indeed We Can is contagious. The program is Indeed Brewing Company’s way to give back: every Wednesday of every week, a different nonprofit organization is chosen to be the recipient of the taproom’s net proceeds from that night. Organizations have ranged from Trylon Microcinema to KFAI community radio to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to the Guthrie Theater, all chosen by the brewery’s staff.
The story of Indeed We Can began back in 2014. Indeed had already committed to its “1% for The Planet” plan, in which the company gives 1% of its annual profit to environmental efforts. But they wanted to go beyond that. “We wanted giving back and charitable donation to be part of the company model,” says Kayla Erbach, Indeed Engagement Manager. “We felt like we could be doing more.”
Around the time they were brainstorming about how to do more, they were also expanding their taproom hours from Thursday–Saturday to include Wednesday nights. Dedicating the extra night to something other than business profit was presented as an idea, and Indeed embraced it. “We weren’t counting on that money from the taproom in the original business model,” Erbach says. “So to open it and give that money to charity just made sense.”
— Indeed Brewing Co. (@indeedbrewing) January 20, 2016
Indeed We Can allows each of Indeed’s 40-some employees to select a nonprofit they’re passionate about and, pending approval by Indeed’s owners, have that organization be featured on one Wednesday of the year. In 2015, the program supported over 40 nonprofit organizations. In 2014, over $100,000 was raised.
Erbach works with the partnering nonprofit to plan how big an event they would like to host at the taproom. Some Wednesdays appear to be business-as-usual, with little designating the night as different than any other.
Some organizations, however, go all out for their Wednesday, hosting films, trivia, or other activities to drum up support. It is what they make of it, Erbach says, with each organization bringing their own style to their night. And because the model is built on the organization receiving all taproom revenue instead of a set percentage or sales of a certain beer, an organization can stand to raise a significant amount of money in those eight hours. As Erbach puts it: “The more bodies you bring in, the more money you make.”
— Indeed Brewing Co. (@indeedbrewing) February 17, 2016
What truly defines Indeed We Can beyond the opportunity for an organization to raise money, however, is the chance for their staff, Indeed patrons, and nonprofit supporters to identify with each other on a personal level.
By bringing charities to the taproom, Indeed visitors are able to make face-to-face connections with them, bridging the gap between just giving money and truly understanding how that money will be used. It’s a unique way for disparate businesses to find middle ground and, together, make a difference.
— MNHistoricalSociety (@mnhs) February 26, 2016
The nonprofit beneficiaries of upcoming Indeed We Can nights include the Minnesota Historical Society (March 2), Feline Rescue (March 9), Guthrie Theater (March 16), and Lionsgate Academy (March 23). Click here for a complete list.