Whoever said capitalism and philanthropy are mutually exclusive clearly has not been around for the past 40 years of corporate donations to charitable causes as part of marketing campaigns. The newest thing is profitable charities, like commercial microfinance. While the ethics of using charity to drum up business and make profits is occasionally questionable, the end result - the flow of money to where it’s needed - often justifies the means. This is certainly true today, with almost 80 Chicagoland restaurants joining in Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraiser for AIDS research. It’s a pretty simple deal: go to one of the participating restaurants for lunch or dinner, and a portion of your check will go to fight HIV/AIDS. The event is taking place in 40 cities around the country, and this is DOFL’s 14th year in Chicago.
It’s one of those rare occasions where everybody wins: researchers get an infusion of cash, restaurateurs get to do good (and a reputation for doing good), and you, the diner, get to feel involved in helping fight the global AIDS crisis without additional expenditure of money, time or energy. We say, make it a double: after your meal, sign up for an AIDS marathon and burn off those calories!
[Photo: Dining Out For Life]