If you’re in New York, why not devote some of your time to helping others? Charities and nonprofits of all types can be found in this city – if there is a cause near and dear to your heart, there’s a way to help, and have some fun while you’re at it, too!
Here are some of the city’s best and most unique charitable events that are open to the public. (Note: Some of these events require tickets, which can get quite expensive. If you can’t afford an event, you may still be able to attend as a volunteer!)
American Museum of Natural History Spring Lunch
April 26, 2017
This year’s spring lunch concentrates on climate change and the environment. Guests will listen to speakers such as Eleanor J. Sterling, chief conservation scientist at the museum, and Lynn Sherr of 20/20, while meeting like-minded folk. The lunch takes place beneath the museum’s infamous Giant Blue Whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Tickets can be purchased here.
AIDS Walk New York
May 21, 2017
This 10k takes place in Central Park and is the largest AIDS fundraiser in the world – in fact, it has raised over $140 MILLION since its founding in 1986. You can participate in the actual walk or sign up as a volunteer. Click here to register, donate, or to simply find out more!
BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Opening Night & Gala
June 7, 2017
The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival is an amazing program known for hosting free concerts in Prospect Park throughout the summer. Running all these awesome shows costs money, so at the beginning of the season they hold an Opening Night Gala. This year’s gala features a performance by the band Lake Street Drive, which is free to the public, along with a separately ticketed dinner. Tickets for the gala can be purchased here, and volunteer opportunities for the festival throughout the summer can be found here.
LGBT and HIV PROJECT Annual Cocktail Reception of the ACLU and NYCLU
June 14, 2017
This annual event is especially important this year. At this reception, you’ll get a close look at the work of the ACLU and NYCLU, with a focus on LGBT rights, while enjoying food and cocktails with your peers. More on the event and ticketing can be found here.
IAC Summer in the City Opening Night Gala
June 21, 2017
This culinary-centric gala benefits City Harvest, a nonprofit dedicated to feeding New York’s hungry, and features some of the city’s greatest chefs. Tickets can be purchased here – your ticket can help feed 700 hungry New Yorkers!
The Big Ride
June 24, 2017
This fundraiser is perfect for active types. At The Big Ride, you’ll ride your bike up to 40 miles throughout Brooklyn to benefit the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, an organization committed to creating and maintaining the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. After the ride is The Epic After Party featuring bands, drinks and more. More info can be found here.
The National Eating Disorder Association hosts walks all over the country, but NYC is usually one of their best and biggest. Usually held during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, the NYC NEDA walk raises money for eating disorder prevention and awareness. Read more about NEDA walks here.
National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters
This cause is close to the hearts of many New Yorkers. The National Stair Climb for Fallen Firefighters, which will be in its 3rd year in 2017, honors firefighters who died on September 11, 2001, as well as during other tragic incidents. Those who participate in the event at CitiField will climb the amount of steps it would have taken to reach the top of either tower. Find out more here.
ICE Foundation Granting Courage Casino Night
October 26, 2017
This extravagant casino event raises money for the ICE Foundation’s Granting Courage Scholarship Program, which grants financial assistance to survivors of human trafficking. Tickets can be purchased here.
New York Cares
Holiday Season 2017
Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most popular seasons for giving back in New York – in fact, these specific holidays are so popular that sometimes you have to sign up for volunteering opportunities way in advance. Check out New York Cares for referrals and more information on volunteering during the holiday season.
TBA, December 2017
Yes, seriously – Santacon is a charitable event! Over the years, the rowdy bar crawl has raised over $200k for charities in NYC. Look out for this year’s date on the official Santacon website.
Cycle for Survival
TBA, Winter 2018
Cycle for Survival takes place every winter at Equinox gyms throughout the country, including some in NYC. Benefiting cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, this huge fundraiser involves riding on spin bikes with your team in 50-minute sessions, relay-style. More info can be found here.
NYPD vs. FDNY Hockey Game
TBA, Winter 2018
Forget the holidays – if you’re a hockey fan or a supporter of the police or fire department, this is the most wonderful time of year for you in New York. This infamous rivalry game has been going on for 44 years and is so popular that it routinely sells out Madison Square Garden. Proceeds go towards both teams and the charities they support throughout the year. Next winter’s game hasn’t been announced yet, but you can read about the past games here.