The Pittsburgh Social Exchange was originally formed in late 2009 in Pittsburgh, PA when a small group of successful business owners, doctors, and attorneys gathered at a local restaurant for networking over food and cocktails. The gathering was quite successful and the first-time guests asked when the next one would be held. Thus, The Pittsburgh Social Exchange was born. Communicating through social media, primarily Facebook initially, the group organically grew and soon reached a wide and diverse audience of local professionals.
In late 2010 the group began to dwindle and months went by without activity. The Pittsburgh Social Exchange President Ethan Nicholas of Pittsburgh, PA was appointed in late December that year. Under his team's new leadership, The Pittsburgh Social Exchange grew rapidly and the newly re-branded organization took great strides in providing its members with unique and beneficial networking events throughout Pittsburgh.
A major milestone in the growth of the organization came when the Pittsburgh Social Exchange began to help give back to the community. In 2011, The Pittsburgh Social Exchange celebrated its annual Limousine Scavenger Hunt and helped raise thousands of dollars for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. PSE later celebrated the United States Armed Forces with its Salute Your Troops Gala. This Gala raised thousands of dollars for Team River Runner (a national organization that rehabilitates wounded veterans through aquatic activities) and the Wounded Warrior Project (who provides unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members). PSE then added an annual golf outing to support the Homeless Children's Education fund. Unfortunately, those events have since been discontinued, but we still make an effort to serve a charitable cause at most events we host. PSE is a Limited Liability Company, not a 501(c)3, so charitable events are not a core competency anymore. PSE is among very few organizations in the region have the capacity to bring together so many business owners/leaders every month - so our 'social obligation' was born. Giving back to the community by helping to shift the spotlight onto worthy causes and other non-profit organizations at our monthly events has become the norm and we intend to continue our efforts in that regard.
Today, The Pittsburgh Social Exchange has grown to more than 30,000 subscribers and continues to grow weekly. The organization offers a wide variety of events for members and guests, including the monthly networking events with 250 - 600+ participants, but also an educational lunch & learn series, wine club, and cigar and scotch tasting events. In addition, PSE is always looking to partner with local humanistic non-profits and charities to raise awareness for valuable causes in our community.
The selected charity/non-profit can participate as an exhibitor and they are given a complimentary table. The organization is allowed to pass out material and market as they see fit to all of The Pittsburgh Social Exchange professionals that come to that particular event. We also grant them free admission for their staff so they can network and enjoy the evening as well. Our partners may accept monetary donations and items that they need. We often let our guests know about what their needs are in advance so they can bring them to the event and donate. If you know of a humanistic non-profit or charitable organization that is interested in partnering with The Pittsburgh Social Exchange at an event, please contact PSE President Ethan Nicholas or the events director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take note that PSE is not a 501(c)3 and any donations or items brought directly to events should be given to the partner we have chosen to spotlight.
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