Raising Funds and Telling Stories Through the City Wide Donation Programs
Four years ago, St. Louis-based 4 Hands Brewing Co. launched a program to foster local nonprofits. The idea was to make supporting the community as easy as buying a beer.
To date, the independently owned brewery has raised more than $200,000 through sales of two of its signature beer brands: City Wide American Pale Ale (with donations given to four nonprofits in a different niche each year) and City Wide Pils (partnering with local workspace incubators to provide resources to local creatives and their innovative projects).
President Kevin Lemp founded 4 Hands in 2011 with a philanthropic mission at heart, and the City Wide APA program exemplifies this. Here’s how it works: For each case of City Wide it sells, the brewery donates $1 to designated nonprofits. Throughout each recipient’s quarter, 4 Hands collaborates on events and projects centered around its mission.
The four nonprofits City Wide supported in 2019 include:
• Mission: St. Louis, which seeks to fight poverty in our region, one neighborhood at a time. The organization works with a holistic approach in mind, addressing gaps in education and employment to create equitable environments for all St. Louisans.
• Kids Vision for Life St. Louis, which brings eye exams and prescription glasses to students all over St. Louis at no cost. In the last 10 years, it has provided children with more than 23,000 pairs of prescription glasses, improving their chances of academic success.
• Forest Park Forever, a nonprofit conservancy supported by private donations that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain our beloved Forest Park as one of America’s great urban parks—now and forever. In addition, the nonprofit delivers experiential educational opportunities to teachers, students and adults, and it provides information and guides for the park’s 13 million annual visitors.
• The Ollie Hinkle Heart Foundation, which is committed to fighting pediatric congenital heart disease and strengthening heart families through loving and compassionate support, education and funding for pediatric heart research. One in 100 children is diagnosed with CHD each year, making it the leading birth defect in the U.S. From its start as one local family’s way of coping after a devastating loss, the foundation has grown to touch the lives of parents and children in St. Louis and beyond.
“Working with 4 Hands and the City Wide team and being a part of this campaign was an incredible opportunity for us to tell our story. To work with a company that views what they do as not only impactful to our region but also helping to provide support to area nonprofits such as us. It’s examples like this that are ensuring the prosperity of our entire region.”
—Mission St. Louis (First quarter recipient)
“Kids Vision for Life St. Louis was extremely honored to be selected as one of the City Wide Foundation recipients this year. Not only did it bring in financial support to our organization for children to receive vision exams and glasses, but it also brought recognition to our work within the St. Louis community. It felt wonderful to be recognized for the hard work we are doing by an organization that has a rigorous vetting system when selecting whom to support. Dining at local restaurants and seeing our logo alongside the other City Wide recipients’ was exciting, because it meant that others believe in our mission and consider our work as something worth paying attention to. We at Kids Vision for Life St. Louis feel that being selected to the elite class of recipients was not only the beginning of a partnership but also a lifelong friendship.”
—Kids Vision for Life (Second quarter recipient)
Visit the 4 Hands website to learn more about the City Wide donation programs—including a full list of local recipients since 2016 and details about a statewide expansion in 2019.
This post is brought to you in part by the mentioned organization. Thank you for supporting the companies that keep ALIVE and Guided growing.
Images courtesy of 4 Hands Brewing Co.