CHICAGO Looking to add a feel-good factor to an event without incorporating a full-blown fund-raising component? Here are four vendors that support charities while serving an event's purpose.
1. Based in North Lawndale, WomanCraft is a social enterprise of the nonprofit organization Heartland Human Care Services. The company provides transitional jobs for women who face obstacles in employment, hiring them to create custom invitations, name cards, and gift tags. All products are made out of recycled office paper and reclaimed wildflowers. In 2006, the company received Mayor Daley's GreenWorks Award for leadership in environmentally responsible products and services.
2. Shannon Downey, owner of Pivotal Production, works off her so-called “Lean, Mean, and Green” checklist when producing events such as art openings and product launches. In addition to following basic eco-friendly practices such as recycling waste, Downey produces three to five pro bono events for various charities each year and donates 10 percent of Pivotal's proceeds to local and national nonprofits.
3. Like Pivotal Production, Monogramme Events and Catering is a certified B corporation, which means that the company must adhere to socially and environmentally responsible practices. Monogramme serves sustainable cuisine made with local ingredients, and when a client referral results in new business, Mongramme will make a donation to a charity of the client's choice.
4. Sweet Miss Givings, a bakery on the the near north side, donates more than 50 percent of its proceeds to Chicago House, an organization that supports AIDS-affected locals and operates a jobs program for disabled adults. Able to cater meetings and events for groups of any size, the bakery once prepared 5,400 frosted cookies for a corporate client. Sweet Miss Givings' signature items include red velvet cupcakes, oatmeal-raisin cookies, and morning glory muffins. Gift options include boxes of homemade chocolates and tea baskets filled with organic blends from Midwest supplier Rishi.