Local Restaurant Gives Back to Community

Fundraising can be a nightmare, from soliciting donations, convincing potential donors that you’re a worthy cause to cold-calling it can be daunting to secure essential funding from the community. B2BABQ wants to make fundraising easier for all non-profits in Albuquerque. B2BABQ is two restaurants in town, B2B Bistronomy in Nob Hill, and B2B2 Barrio in Albuquerque Uptown. Just about every Sunday each restaurant hosts a local nonprofit during an event called Giving Back Sunday. During the event, a nonprofit earns a percentage of the food sales, and at the end of the day takes home a donation up to 25% of the food sales that day. This unique idea came about in 2012 when Sham Naik, the owner of B2BABQ looked around and noticed a need to give back to the community.

According to a 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study, 87 percent of restaurant customers want to know that their favorite local restaurant is as focused on society and community as it is on making delicious food. Seventy-two percent of customers said they were more likely to recommend a restaurant that gives back to the community. For Naik and B2B the concept of giving back is fairly simple. A nonprofit approaches Naik about hosting an event, and then markets the event to their community, such as their volunteers, board, and social media audiences.

On the day of the event volunteers from the nonprofit hang out in the restaurant from noon until 9 pm and let customers know that a portion of the evening's proceeds will benefit their organization. The size of the donation is completely up to the nonprofit, Naik says. The donation amount is a percentage of the total proceeds at the restaurant during the event, a nonprofit can earn anywhere from ten to twenty-five percent. That percentage is based on how much the restaurant makes during the event.

Since Giving Back Sunday began B2B has grown into a second location, B2B2, and more than a hundred local nonprofit organizations have benefited from Giving Back Sunday. Any nonprofit can participate. Recent organizations include the Blackout Theatre group, SAGE ABQ – a group that supports and advocates for LGBTQ elders, and the New Mexico Breastfeeding Taskforce. Naik started Giving Back Sunday for a few reasons. He says that Giving Back Sunday creates a stronger sense of community, each Sunday almost feels like a neighborhood picnic. Members of each week’s organization invite their friends and family to the event, who in turn invite their friends and family. Everyone knows everyone, and B2B starts to feel like an extension of the dinner table, a place for family and friends to gather, have great food, and give back to their community. As a result, the community around the restaurant feels a bit closer, and a bit stronger. B2B becomes the center of the community.

Naik also says that the money donated to a given organization at Giving Back Sunday stays in the community, which is just another way of giving back to the community. The events are a valuable opportunity for smaller or newer nonprofits to get their name out into the community, and for larger and established nonprofits to let the community know more about what they do. Through Giving Back Sunday numerous organizations have found new volunteers.

In Naik’s ideal world, every restaurant would host some form of weekly giving back event in their community. For now, however, B2B and B2B2 are the only restaurants in Albuquerque that give back to their neighborhoods in this way. The New Mexico Restaurant Association states that 75% of restaurant owners in the state report that their restaurant has donated to a charity. 85% report donating leftover food to the community. Many restaurants in the Albuquerque area have ways an organization can request a donation, but B2B and B2B2 are the only restaurants that partner with any nonprofit organization that contacts them and donate to a local organization every single Sunday. Since starting with a local high school basketball team in 2013, Naik and B2B have given over $100,000 to dozens of community organizations. Naik hopes that more restaurants will join him in giving back to their communities and that someday every restaurant will donate to nonprofits in this way.

Nonprofits interested in participating can find more information at www.b2babq.com, or by emailing [email protected] and requesting more information. Absolutely any nonprofit is welcome to host a Giving Back Sunday.

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