Alley Bar Gives Back With Monthly Community Partnerships

As a popular neighborhood bar, the Alley Bar owners wanted to find a way to give back to the vibrant and varied community that supports them.

The concept formulated by the owners was quite simple: give 10% of Thursday sales for an entire month back to a local non-profit organization. The program was tested in November with the Washtenaw County Homeless Shelter, and formally launched the following month after a successful test run.

Since then, Alley Bar has partnered with Neutral Zone, 826 Michigan, Growing Hope, Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, Event on Main and C.S. Mott’s Children’s Hospital, Ozone House and the Autism Alliance of Michigan to name a few. Benefactors can help promote their month by hosting meetings, events and get-togethers on any given Thursday during their respective month.

For Autism Alliance, October’s 2016’s partner, the partnership created an opportunity to drive extra awareness on top of raising money for their organization. As a second time partner, the group finds Give Back Thursday’s as a crucial part of its community outreach. Chairperson of the Young Professionals Board, Betsy Berry stated, “One of the goals of the Autism Alliance of Michigan's Young Professionals Board is to create events with low or no barriers to entry to help engage young professionals in the work for the Autism Alliance. GBT has offered us a perfect opportunity to do just this. Every week during GBT we meet many local professionals that had little to no idea about the autism community but came out anyway, and in the end learned a bit about our mission and passion for making a difference at the Autism Alliance of Michigan!”

She added, “Another thing we love about GBT, is the support and "no-pressure" attitude of the Alley Bar team. For so many nonprofits, putting on an event is a huge endeavor, but GBT has been just the opposite for us. All we had to do was create a fun invite, reach out to the community, and show up to share our mission (everything else was taken care of). If partnering with local organizations to fundraise and friend-raise was always this easy, we would hold events every month!”

Since the program’s inception last November, Alley Bar has already donated over $6,000 with each partner earning close to $600 in monthly donations.

Co-owner Robbie Schulz is thrilled with the success of the program and the ability to make such a big impact in the community for so many different groups. He added, “Pub is short for ‘public house.’ No matter what you call it...a bar, tavern, saloon or pub, they have traditionally played a greater role in the community instead of just being a place to drink. When we really started thinking about Alley Bar and its role in the community, it just felt right to try and take that community involvement one step further to support the community that has supported us. This is how GBT was born.”

To support Give Back Thursday’s, just stop in between 7pm and close on any Thursday evening and 10% of your bill will go towards the charitable partner of that month.