Cheers and laughter filled the room on October 24, 2012, as a boisterous crowd of people from Washington, D.C.’s nonprofit and social enterprise scene descended on 9th Street, in the city’s trendy Shaw neighborhood. It was opening night for Cause, the first “philanthropub” to open in the nation’s capital, and supporters had every reason to be enthusiastic. Cause promised patrons an opportunity to be philanthropic while doing what they might have been doing anyway—going out for...

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