Paper money

When charities come calling, SCK Design Inc. doesn’t sign a check and be done with it. Instead, the design firm contributes skill and product to organizations in need.

Its donations have included bundles of custom-made letterhead, invitations and banners valued in the thousands of dollars, removing that expense from the fund-raising equation for nonprofits in short supply of cash.

“The amount of cash we can afford to give is minimal, but our services are desirable and needed by most nonprofit groups,” says Barbara Cagley, CEO of SCK Design.

SCK’s donations are tailored to meet an organization’s specific needs. In 2003, it supported the American Heart Association’s American Heart Gala by designing all the printed material related to the black-tie event. The donation, valued at more than $12,000, helped the AHA raise almost half a million dollars.

SCK has also created print logos and Web designs for organizations including The Women’s Community Foundation, The Cleveland Green Building Coalition and The Great Lakes Theater Festival.

“We try to go beyond the expected,” says Cagley.

She is especially proud of her employees, who often take the initiative in giving back, and she encourages them to pursue their philanthropic efforts during work hours.

This year, Cagley and marketing manager/COSE volunteer award winner Patricia Ross each donated more than 100 hours of planning time for the First Annual Taste of Tremont, a free, outdoor event that featured more than 30 restaurants and attracted more than 5,000 visitors.

Because SCK is headquartered in Tremont, it had a unique relationship with this project.

“We could see the effects of what we did because it’s right down the street,” says Cagley.

Despite its relatively small size, SCK believes in giving to as many organizations as possible. That has been the case since Day 1 — when the company opened six years ago, Cagley was already emphasizing a generous workplace mentality.

“We had little money, but we had our time and materials to give,” she says. “We’ve never said no to anyone.” How to reach: SCK Design, (216) 522-9740 or