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Make your night out a night of helping out. (Photo credit: Elizabeth Wagner)

A multitude of emails in your inbox; ads in your local mags and papers; the posters all around the East End — it’s impossible to ignore the glut of parties with a price tag, imploring you to crack open your wallet and give. It can start to seem like one big rosé soiree (and cash suck), but here’s the thing: be it the arts, the beautiful environment that surrounds you, the growing minds and well-being of local kids, or the keepers of history and the work they do preserving it, not-for-profits largely depend on donations to survive and do the good work they do.

Many people mistakenly believe that not-for-profits get their operating expenses from federal and state grants — the truth is, that’s not a large part of how the lights are kept on. According to the National Council for Nonprofits, foundation grants represent only a small bit of the total dollars received annually. The majority of funds come from individuals who care.  

Don’t wait until the December holidays to give. Here are a few upcoming not-for-profit parties worth your while with tickets to sell over the next few weeks. And hey, the price of admission is tax deductible and you get to have a good time. Get gussied up and step-out under the stars for one of these worthy fundraisers — your good time will go to a good cause.

Catch a synchronized swimmer performance at HMI’s annual “Schools Out” benefit. (Photo credit: Rafael Jimenez/WMC Creative.png)

Hetrick-Martin Institute’s “School’s Out” party, Saturday, July 15, 5:30-7:30pm

The vulnerability of queer and trans kids is an area of care that touches a multitude of at-risk aspects —mental health, homelessness and access to healthcare among the list. The Hetrick-Martin Institute provides these support services and so much more for kids 13 to 24. Support their excellent efforts this weekend (and get to hang out with cool people like Kelly Ripa and Queer Eye’s Anthony Porowskiat) at HMI’s “Schools Out” cocktail party, with music by fashion designer and DJ Timo Weiland and a special synchronized swimming (seriously!!!) presentation at the stunning Water Mill home of Nathan Orsman and Jose Castro (you’ll get the addy when you buy a ticket, which you can procure here, starting at $500). 

Duck Creek’s DRAWaTHON Benefit Party, July 15, 5 to 7 p.m.

Housed in the historical John Little Barn, the Arts Center at Duck Creek (127 Squaw Road, Springs) was founded to bring together and support artists of Springs and the surrounding towns, giving a place to display work, make art, and learn and grow as creatives. Fittingly, their very first benefit gathers local artists to sketch works which will be on display (and for sale for $200 each) the evening of July 15, where you can also bid on a Mercedes Matter painting donated by gallerist Mark Borghi. Tickets start at $150, and include a night of music, local bites and beer from Springs Brewery.

South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center’s 34th Annual Summer Gala, July 29, 6-10 p.m.

The first of its kind in the Hamptons, the South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center (377 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton) was founded in 1988 in order to spread the word on what we naturally have right under our noses here on the East End (and teach us how not to take it for granted) via a bounty of exhibits and programs, and is an absolute treasure. The theme of this year’s party-for-the-people is “The Nurturing Power of Nature,” aimed straight at benefitting environmental and educational programs on the southerly fork. General admission to the main reception is $550, so wear your most glammy and you’ll be rubbing shoulders with co-host for the evening, actor Liev Schreiber, along with star chef Alex Guarneschelli and Susan and David Rockefeller, among many other local and far-flung luminaries. Honorees include rock climber and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Dan and Raie Emmett, Annette Sabin and New York State DEC commissioner Basil Seggos.

The Parrish Art Museum. (Photo credit: Hazel Hutchins)

Parrish Art Museum’s Midsummer Magic Benefit Weekend, Friday, July 14, 8 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, July 15, 6 to 10:30 p.m.

The Parrish (279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill) does a lot of good in our local world. Sure, the 125-year-old art institution is home to ground-breaking, thought-provoking world-class art exhibits and talks, but it also historically offers robust, inclusive and very committed programming for kids, seniors and the community at large. Come show your love at one of two parties on tap this weekend. On Friday, get sweaty and dance, dance, dance all night under the stars in the Mildred C. Brinn covered terrace to the righteous beats of DJ br0nz3_g0dd3ss (aka, New York non-binary artist, Maya Monés) and Narcissister — tickets are $400 and you can grab yours here. Or, if you’ve got that kind of room in your bank account and a sit-down is more your vibe, $2,500 will get you a splendid evening of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a served, sit-down, elegant dinner catered by Canard Inc. (plus dancing to super-spinner DJ M.O.S.—you have to work off that meal, after all).

Save the oysters at “Shell It Out” August 29. (Image courtesy of South Fork Sea Farmers)

South Fork Sea Farmers Benefit, August 20, 4 to 6:30 p.m.

We love puns! And oysters! “Shell It Out” is the fifth annual fundraiser for East End aquaculture from the grass-roots group South Fork Sea Farmers, a 501(c)(3) non-profit committed to educating and raising awareness the delicate state of our local marine aquaculture through promotion and encouraging public oyster gardening (yes, you can do this, too!) and other sea farming, with an eye toward keeping the bays, sound and ocean clean and healthy. Tickets start at pocket-friendly $125 for a late afternoon of canapes, raw bar (of course!), cocktails and a pearl of a silent auction with prizes like a round of pickle ball with Oscar-winning actor Timothy Hutton, a great white shark tagging expedition, round-trip plane tickets to anywhere (!!) in the United States and VIP tickets to the Hamptons Film Festival this fall. Sweet!

Shelter Island Historical Society ‘70s Dance Party, Saturday, July 29, 6 to 10pm.

Historical societies are by and large a labor of love, often powered by energetic and earnest volunteers and all-too small staffs who want to make sure our town’s histories don’t wind up forgotten or, worse, in the trash heap. With that in mind, last year the Shelter Island Historical Society decided to switch things up, trading in their prior, more formal fundraiser for a fun night of ‘70s throwback clothes, dancing and just out and out good, groovy vibes. Beer from the super-cute Top Hops beer truck and wine from wonderful Wölffer along with bites from beloved local chef Jamie Cogan of All-Seasons Catering. Grab your platforms and tickets (they’re $125 and you can get yours here).