The end of October marks the beginning of the “Season of Giving”, the time of year when the holidays remind us that nothing is more important than generosity and community. At Elsmere, we’ve made it our mission to give back to the community we love through the whole year with our Nonprofit Nights. As the holidays approach, we reflect on the success of our past Nonprofit Nights and celebrate the idea that has allowed us to truly connect with and bring value to our community.
Our Mission to Give Back
When we opened Elsmere in August of 2013, one of our most important goals was to imbed ourselves as a social cornerstone in the neighborhood. In order to accomplish this, we needed a fair, cohesive and comprehensive way to serve as good stewards of the community. We wanted to go beyond traditional means of giving, and instead focus on bringing like-minded people together in a way that would provide long term benefit. From this inspiration, our Nonprofit Nights were born in 2015, and nearly 3 years later we’re thrilled to look back at the memories of so many local Nonprofit organizations who have benefited from them.
“The best thing about hosting a Nonprofit Night is that it is a great opportunity for our families to all get together and be together, while supporting Youth and Family Outreach. I just love seeing all of the friends of our organization come out to support us and catch up. It’s also nice to be able to educate and inform people who might have never heard of our organization who come out and eat. It is a great atmosphere and great food and always a good time. The money we make during the Nonprofit Night enables us to continue to offer quality educational programming for our community's neediest of families. For this we are grateful.” ~Michelle, Youth and Family Outreach
A Different Kind of Charity Event
Hosting Nonprofit Nights at Elsmere allows us to offer our space as an open forum for community interaction and betterment. The benefits of the event are unlimited, with the Nonprofit host receiving 8% of food sales from that night, including take out. Without the usual hurdles of finding a location, caterer, etc. the Nonprofit can instead focus all of its attention on promoting the event. By combining forces with Elsmere to share and promote the event on social media, supporters of the organization and regular Elsmere guests flock to the event, bringing their appetites for good food and a helping good cause.
“Hosting a Nonprofit Night brought public awareness to our Nonprofit, allowed us to network and provide information on us and the organization that we did our fundraiser for. We were able to make a donation to our Relay for Life Team which is a fight against cancer. The best thing about hosting a Nonprofit Night at Elsmere BBQ was bringing family, friends and community together for a wonderful night of food, spirits and awareness.” ~ Alice, Alex Tanous Foundation
Connecting, Educating, and Eating
Once guests begin to arrive, Nonprofit representatives have an unmatched opportunity to meet, greet, and provide information about their cause. While many supporters come with prior knowledge, others are learning about the Nonprofit for the first time. For all who attend, the event is a chance to connect and show support while buying a meal that gives back - long after the leftovers are gone.
“In addition to our Elsmere BBQ Nonprofit Night raising money for our organization, it provided us with an opportunity to share information about our venue with new audiences. We shared information about the types of music and events we host, about other ways to support the organization like our membership program. We even signed up a new member right there at the restaurant! It was a great night for our staff and board to connect with the community.” ~Liz, One Longfellow Square
While the long list of Nonprofits who have benefited from their own night makes us proud, it’s the testimonials from past hosts that truly reaffirm our original mission; pushing us to make each night even better than the last. These are just a few more of the touching thank yous we have received from the incredible organizations who have seen first hand what the combination of generosity and community can do.
“It helped us to raise funds for our Out of the Darkness Walk in September and was able for us to invite people to come and be part of our walk.” ~ Marjorie, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Greater Portland Maine Out of the Darkness Walk
"Great night last night. HUGE thanks. We got a lot of awareness and interest, and I'm sure World of Change and our partner Furniture Friends will get some mileage out of this." ~Matt, World of Change
”I just want to thank you for the opportunity that Nonprofit Night gives us. The South Portland Lion’s Club has done two nights so far. We have raised a little over $500. This in our eyes has been fantastic. This has definitely given our club community exposure and generated some conversation with many of the patrons.” ~Shawn, South Portland Lion’s Club
The Feeling is Mutual
We value all of the incredible community members and organizations who we’ve had the privilege of meeting and working at our events. Learning about these causes and seeing them benefit from our fun and memorable Nonprofit Nights is invaluable to us, and we can’t wait to see what this new season and the new year will bring.