top of page
  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

Diversity Wine Club Creates Safe Space for All in Indianapolis

Updated: Mar 4

Bob Day is the founder of Diversity Wine Club, a monthly meet-up of wine lovers and those looking for an alternative to LGBTQ bars/clubs in Indianapolis. Each month a different member of the club hosts the event in their homes and guests are encouraged to bring a bottle of wine and food item to share. Pride Business spoke with DWC founder Bob Day about the clubs inception and his vision for the future.

When was Diversity Wine Club formed? 

Officially 2018. At www.DiversityWine.Club, we have about 6,000 photos of every event from 2018.

Why did you decide to form the club? 

In 2018, many venues that catered to the LGBTQ+ community were gone. We had gone mainstream. But there was always a big asterisk with fine print. Mainstream, yes, but… You couldn’t hold your husband’s hand in a restaurant. You couldn’t give your wife a peck on the cheek when you got up to get another round of drinks. Would you be stared at? Would you be judged? Would you be harassed? I felt there was a need for an ongoing LGBTQ+ majority get-together where you could let your hair down and be yourself. We have always had a mission statement and never mentioned wine. We are about community building.

Our events are more than gatherings; they're judgment-free zones intentionally welcoming all, championing inclusivity, and supporting local LGBTQ+ charities through fundraising. This reflects our deep commitment to impactful change. Our rapidly expanding community, rich in diverse identities and perspectives, attests to the broad appeal of our intentionally welcoming ethos. Business sponsors, crucial to this growth, enhance our capacity for meaningful change and demonstrate a shared dedication to diversity and community engagement. Each event, crafted by our passionate volunteers, celebrates empowerment, fostering connections, and creating transformative experiences for everyone involved.

When you began the club, what was your goal, and did it meet your expectations? 

We started with zero- zero people on our invitations list, zero business sponsors, and zero organization. Zero was everything. It was daunting. The goal was to have monthly events. From the beginning, our motto was to socialize, network, learn, and give back. Today, we have over 4,300 opt-in LGBTQ+ & Allies on our invitation list. We donate all the income from our events to five local charities and meet our expenses through the business community's generosity. Diversity Wine Club has exceeded all our expectations.

Over the past few years, what have you been the proudest of? 

Originally, the club charged an annual membership fee to attend our events. This is used to meet expenses. However financial support from the business community grew to the point where they covered our expenses. We decided to drop the membership fee and donate everything we take in at our events to local charities. Our selection criteria focus on charities that make individual lives better in our community. The club donating all its income to support local charities has been meaningful to all our attendees at our events and it also gives the club a purpose larger than ourselves. We are proud of what we do.

How can a business become a sponsor of DWC?

Sponsors have many motivations. But they fall into two broad areas: Altruism- Sponsors share our values of Diversity & Inclusion. They believe in our mission of building community. Mutual Support- Sponsors find that if they support our community, our community will support them. We are grateful to all of our Sponsors.

What are some pivotal moments in DWC history? 

Covid certainly changed the world. We had to suspend our events. We had trouble with attendance once COVID-19 had receded. We tried to be innovative during this time with Virtual Events and outdoor-only events (masks were required, no one could directly touch wine bottles, all appetizers were on toothpicks, etc.) I think we earned a solid reputation for valuing everyone’s safety. When we resumed our events, the response was overwhelming. People had been looking forward to it.

Talk about DWC’s growth over the years and your plans for 2024.

 Diversity Wine Club has always been an all-volunteer organization. We are expanding the army of volunteers who run the organization to do everything bigger and better and to make it self-sustaining. We have a newly formed Steering Committee to help guide us into the future. By the end of 2024, the organization will be self-sustaining for the next 100 years.

How do you promote DWC in the community? 

1. INVITE- Our INVITE is the invitation emailed to anyone who wishes to attend our events. It is sent to everyone before each event to give them all the details. Anyone can sign up for our invitation list. It has grown organically; we have never advertised.

2. Social Media- Our SM presence has expanded rapidly, and many social media Outlets are very friendly to our cause, and we promote our events on them as well.

3. www.DiversityWine.Club - We launched an all-new website in 2024. We do exceptionally well in Google searches, exposing us to many new people. The website covers everything from Events, Photos (going back to 2018), Blogs, Volunteers, Sponsors, and Charities, and the most visited page is LOL. At our December 2023 event, we had gentlemen joining us from Sidney Australia. In Sidney, he Googled ‘LGBTQ+ Indianapolis’, and we were the first on the list.

4. Word of Mouth- this has been extremely positive for us.


Talk about why you decided to change to a sponsor-supported model / charitable model.

Giving back to the community has always been part of our mission but it did take us a while to figure out what model worked. We initially tried a huge fundraiser, but it took an immense amount of work, and it was honestly too much for an all-volunteer organization. Today, we are known for our fundraisers in members' homes every month. Our website sells inexpensive tickets, and people make donations. The charities are very grateful for the fundraising and also for the exposure.

Where do you see DWC 10 years from now? 

DWC will continue to grow locally and expand to other cities. It will continue to be a sustaining factor for the LGBT+ community and our charities.


bottom of page