photographer: Michael Jurick Photography | planner: Bee Season Events | floral: Red Maple Leaf | venue: Rainbow Room
The Best of | New York | Fundraisers

Non-Profits Night Out Brings NYC’s Philanthropic Community Together Following Pandemic Lull

After a two year pandemic-induced hiatus, the Non-Profits Night Out (NPNO) made its grand return on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The annual event came back with a bang as nonprofit event professionals and fundraising strategists convened in New York City’s iconic Rainbow Room.

Steve Paster of Alpine Creative Group and Reed Baker of Sophist began NPNO with the primary goals of shedding light on the work of nonprofit organizations and providing a setting for those in the industry to connect both socially and professionally. Unlike other events in the nonprofit space, NPNO is free to attend. Not only does this mirror the philanthropic work of its attendees, it also means that every vendor’s goods and services are donated to the cause. As the only nationwide online resource that highlights the mission critical work of nonprofits, PartySlate was thrilled to partner with NPNO again as a media sponsor for this important event. PartySlate also offers inspiration, ideas, and vendor and venue recommendations for the philanthropic community. 

The pandemic hit the nonprofit sector particularly hard, as the industry generates over 80% of its revenue through live fundraising events. Thus, this year’s NPNO became a space to celebrate making it through the most difficult time that nonprofits have faced to date. In recognition of this milestone, a new element was added to the occasion: the “Essence of Philanthropy Award.” The award was created to honor exceptional support, leadership, and guidance in the nonprofit community. The deserving recipient of this first award was Meg Barnette, President and CEO of Nonprofit New York, an organization with over 1,600 nonprofit clients. During COVID, this “collective force for good” set up a fund to help keep clients afloat when the lack of events resulted in financial difficulties.

This year’s event was hosted in the Rainbow Room in Manhattan, a true New York staple with over 85 years of history. The stunning venue laid a foundation for the theme of the event: bringing New York back together. Per David Mack, Director of Sales and Development for Sophist, “It was a very epic New York venue and a night where we were helping and supporting the nonprofits that help the city. I think that the theme this year was very much built around the city…and that was supported by the venue itself.”

The stunning backdrop for NPNO was enhanced by the work of industry luminaries who brought elegance and style to this year’s event. Brian Dodson of Bee Season Events was the event planner whose brilliant work brought the celebration to life. Furniture and décor rentals provided by Taylor Creative provided spaces for gathering and contributed to the cohesive and elegant style. Saundra Parks, Creative Director at Red Maple Leaf, was to thank for the bespoke floral arrangements. PR for the event was handled by the talented team at LLG Events. And, in a time when safety is paramount, The Event Doc provided COVID testing services for attendees.

Darren Olarsch of On The Move provided the entertainment with live music a dance performance “choreographed (by Josh Leon) to a custom arranged version of Edith Pilaf’s ‘La Vie en Rose.’” Olarsch shares, “Since we have partnered with NPNO for every NYC gala since its inception…we really wanted 2022 to be special. Our creative vision for the event was inspired by ‘transformation’ as event professionals come out of the pandemic.” 

Collectively, the team assembled by Paster and Baker not only delivered — they exceeded every expectation and set a new standard in the nonprofit event industry. In an apt summary of the night, Paster stated, “The best description I can give for the night is that it was magic.” 

With a growing group of affiliates, a history of show-stopping events, and a fervent passion for supporting the work of nonprofits, the duo has big plans for the future. According to Sophist’s Mack, “it’s en route to becoming “the nonprofits’ version of the Met Gala!”If you’re an event professional or member of a nonprofit organization and are interested in attending future events, please submit a request to

Video from NPNO, NYC 2022 from Beard & Bowler

For creative themes and new trends for your upcoming galas, visit PartySlate’s fundraiser gallery.