Barstool Fund Becomes Permanent Charity, Founder Dave Portnoy Seeks Director


The Barstool Fund is here to stay. 

Barstool Fund Dave Portnoy Penn NationalBarstool Fund Dave Portnoy Penn National
Kenney’s Irish Pub in Michigan expresses its thanks to the Barstool Fund and founder Dave Portnoy last year. Portnoy revealed this week that the charity is now a permanent resource for businesses enduring hardship. (Image: FOX 2 Detroit)

Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy says his nonprofit, formed last year to assist small businesses, is becoming a permanent charitable organization. 

Portnoy established Barstool Sports in 2003. He sold a 36 percent stake in the digital media turned sports betting company to Penn National Gaming in January of 2020 for $163 million.

The Barstool Fund launched in December of 2020. To date, it’s received more than $41.5 million from 230,867 supporters. Portnoy launched the charity with $500,000 of his own cash. The fund has so far assisted 443 businesses. 

We’ve decided to turn the Barstool Fund into a full-time charity — something that will be existing not only during COVID, and hopefully COVID doesn’t come back, but for decades,” Portnoy explained on social media. “I truly believe entrepreneurs are the backbone of the United States.”

The Barstool Fund update included Portnoy revealing that the charity is seeking an experienced nonprofit executive to lead the organization. The job posting requires an applicant to have at least five years of managerial experience leading a 501(c)(3) organization, good business judgement, and strong sense of stewardship. 

The long-term goal, Portnoy says, is to “make a huge difference not only during COVID, but for the future small businesses of the United States.”

Barstool Rise

Barstool Sports no doubt resonates with the “bro culture.” It amassed legions of fans through its viral digital media content that is continually shared, liked, and loved across a variety of channels. 

The American Gaming Association (AGA) says nearly 70 percent of “core sports betters,” those who place a sports bet at least once a year, are male. The majority are also under the age of 34. 

With that data in mind, it’s no wonder why Penn National believed investing $163 million into Barstool Sports was a sound endeavor. Its January 2020 deal with Barstool additionally provides Penn National with the rights to acquire the remaining stake in the company in what could run $450 million in total.

Following Penn’s investment in Barstool, the online brand soon ventured into the sports betting space. The Barstool Sportsbook is licensed and operating in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. Barstool’s online interactive casino is live in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Various Businesses Assisted

The Barstool Fund’s original intent was to provide financial aid to struggling restaurants amid the pandemic. But since then, the charity has stepped in to help numerous businesses in varying fields. 

Bowling alleys, laundromats, salons, indoor sports facilities, mental health services, yoga and dance studios, and clothing manufacturers are just a few examples of the diverse businesses assisted. 

To qualify for help, the small business must continue to pay their employees and refrain from reducing jobs. For those deemed qualified, the Barstool Fund typically issues a grant in the amount that will allow the business to survive another 30 days. 

Businesses are able to receive further donations from the fund to make sure the original benefit isn’t for nothing. 

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