New PA Liquor Law is a HUGE Windfall for Nonprofits. Here’s why.


On Thursday Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that alters the Pennsylvania Liquor Code is some significant ways: a couple grocery stores in Montgomery County are now able to sell wine; some restrictions on holiday and Sunday liquor sales have been removed; more gas stations will now be carrying six-packs.

Governor Wolf called it”the most significant step the commonwealth has taken to reform our liquor system in 80 years.” That’s right: since prohibition.

The changes might also be a huge boon for nonprofit fundraising.

The bill Gov. Wolf signed also amends the “Special Occasion Permits” section of Pennsylvania’s liquor code to allow 501.C3 organizations to apply for special permission to sell alcohol.

According to the amendment, that permit “may only be used for six consecutive or nonconsecutive days; or ten consecutive days.” Grantees can use up the special permission all at once or six different, nonconsecutive days in one year.

So in about sixty days nonprofits can apply for a permit to sell alcohol at events sans liquor license. For fundraisers, that should be setting off a money alarm: imagine a cash bar at your next event run by a team of volunteers. All that money going towards your mission, not to mention cash saved by forgoing expensive open bar catering company shenanigans.

More details to come, as for now, nonprofit people should be thinking about getting behind the bar and ahead of the curve.

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