Getting Started with Chamber Foundations

Are you thinking about starting a Foundation?

The following blog is based on my notes from a recent seminar I attended at the ACCE Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

The presenters were Megan Lucas, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance, Joe Venhuizen, Envision Greater Fond du Lac and Adrian Cain, Charleston Metro Chamber, and they were great.

I hope this helps you decide on whether to start a Foundation at your organization or reengage what you already have.

They started by saying 65% of chambers today have Foundations.  Some are dormant and some are re-thinking their role with the chamber structure.

They talked about how you can run your educational programming through your Foundation and not the parent.

It’s a great tool to have when a community initiative comes up and your Foundation will give you the capacity to fulfill that role.  Think of it as a different revenue stream for your chamber even though those dollars can come from existing members.

When creating a Foundation, it must be education, charitable or scientific focused.

Think workforce development.  It is important that your Foundation stay true or focused to your mission.  You can’t just create a Foundation to solve issues outside your program of work.  However, all your current educational program of work can be run through the Foundation since it is already mission focused.

Just a reminder, you have to say no to that funder who wants you to do something that is not part of your chambers mission.

When asking for money for your Foundation you need to be very focused and they recommended you give a very specific reason for why they should give you money for a very specific project.

For a great article on navigating the rules of a Foundation by a lawyer go HERE.