San Francisco based 501c3 Reason to Party produces “Parties with Purpose” and is teaming up with Swaager to bring you coverage of San Francisco’s hottest events, nightlife, and music. Reason to Party provides the community with great parties by bringing non-profits, awesome music, and a young crowd from all parts of the city together for a night that will surely be remembered (with their crazy professional photo booths), or more likely well-forgotten (thank you open bars). Not just another party, it’s a reason to party - and party hard - for a cause. A unique organization with a mission that is impossible not to believe in, make sure to join us behind the scenes and out on the dance floor of all of RTPs upcoming events.
What is Reason to Party?
Read below and check out what RTP's Executive Director’s had to say in Swaager's exclusive interview with him further down.
Parties with Purpose. Reason to Party harnesses the power of social media and personal networks to bring together young professionals for spectacular parties that support good causes. Reason to Party has become one of California's hottest young charities, which has garnered the attention of Forbes Magazine, NBC, and even Former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom, who declared a "Reason to Party Day" in San Francisco. Started in San Francisco with outposts forming simultaneously in Los Angeles, New York, and Sacramento, Reason to Party has become an internationally-recognized space for the emerging non-profit, high-tech, artistic, and enterprising cultures to connect, give back, and share a powerful new reason to party.
Arsen Ari Kalfayan, Executive Director, Reason to Party
SWAAGER: Tell us how you got started…what was your inspiration for Reason to Party (RTP)? ARSEN: The organization stemmed from a group of friends. We all liked to party, and we all liked giving back to charities, so we had this idea to do both at the same time. We also noticed that there is a real divide in San Francisco among young people - they like to hang out in different parts of the city and there doesn’t tend to be much crossover. North Beach is “fratty,” The Mission is full of hipsters, Union Square is for young professionals, Castro is gay, and SOMA is for the hardcore. We wanted to design a new space that would bridge the divide and draw people from all of these places to a single space; thus Reason to Party was born. Each event has a universally welcoming environment where frat boys, hipsters, gays, and young professionals can all come together and have an equally great time drinking, dancing, and socializing. The best part is that you’re not just getting a great deal on an open bar, great music, a breathtaking venue, and hopping crowd, but all of the money you pay is going directly to charity.
SWAAGER: What do you hope to achieve with this organization? ARSEN: San Francisco is lacking a great event, and we hope to change that. The city has lots of little events and things to do, but each are small, sectored, and somewhat exclusive. RTP hopes to create great events that everybody talks about, thinks is worthwhile, and that draws a diverse crowd. Our goal is to throw the best events and give to charities in the process.
SWAAGER: How do you choose your charities for each event? ARSEN: We have a committee that gets together to talk about potential charities and that ultimately votes on them. We have two charity liaisons who go out and find organizations that would be a good fit and that evaluates ones that reach out to us, filtering it down to a manageable size for us to vote on who will be the beneficiary for each event. We try to contribute to a variety or charities that support a number of causes.
SWAAGER: RTP was incubated in San Francisco. Why the decision to move to Sacramento, and any plans for future expansion? ARSEN: It was started by a group of us who lived here in San Francisco but some of our best friends are in Sacramento. Sacramento is really close by so we decided to let them take the lead and try launching an event under RTP there. So far it has been a huge success, and we plan to expand to other cities soon. Our goal is to have a presence and do at least one event in New York City by the end of the year. It’s a great successful thing that more cities should have access to.
SWAAGER: What makes one of your events different from any old sport team beer bust? ARSEN: We work with great corporate sponsors, so we always have the parties at upscale venues with lots of swag. We always have an open bar so you can drink as much as you’d like. There are networking and mingling opportunities, as well as dancing as the music starts in the second half of the night. It’s really an engaging event with special décor, a photo booth, and all sorts of interesting people around. It’s an occasion to get somewhat dressed up for, drink, and let loose. Plus, you feel good about it at the end of your night because even if you don’t remember it you know you’ve just donated to charity and not just the bar’s safe.
SWAAGER: You’ve gotten names like Sam Sparro in the past and have Dylan McIntosh of BLVD for your upcoming Winter Gala. As you are growing do you plan on recruiting even higher-level musicians? ARSEN: Definitely! They are generous enough to donate or very affordably charge us for their time DJing/performing. We would love to have some bigger names come out for events, but again we’re limited to cost since it is a charity event so we do the best we can with what we have. We plan on holding the events at a few more awesome venues and attracting some bigger names for the upcoming parties.
To check out their next event or the organization, visit reasontoparty.org. To contact RTP about partnerships, donations, or press please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.