Chambers Family Fund
Chambers Family Fund Foundation, creating women's funds foundations, children early care and education, systems change, Merle Chambers, Denver Colorado, Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women, economic self-sufficiency, democratic values, funding for women and girls, philanthropy


2004 Annual Report

  2004 Annual Report
2004 Annual Report

Our 2004 Annual Report includes information on:



Financial Overview

Annual Report Grantees

2004 Grant Distribution


The Clayton Foundation
Early Childhood Education Resource Institute — for a new staff position to expand strategic partnerships and work on cross-program evaluation


Colorado Children's Campaign
General Support and Endowment — to increase funding of the organization's endowment initiated by Chambers Family Fund in 2001


Colorado Foundation for Families and Children
Colorado Early Childhood and School Readiness Commission — for research and evaluation to develop a comprehensive state early childhood system


Educare Colorado
Educare/CORRA Merger — to support the merger to create Qualistar Early Learning, dedicated to ensuring high quality child care and assisting parents in finding care for their children


Rose Community Foundation

Denver Early Childhood Education Summit to convene and engage business, civic and early childhood leaders to identify strategies for quality early care and education for all children in Denver



City and County of Denver
Colfax Safety Project — for research and planning to create a pilot program to address and treat the root causes of prostitution and to reduce prostitution in Denver


Colorado Alliance for Microenterprise Initiatives
Inaugural Report on Microenterprise in Colorado — for research and publication of a review of the microenterprise industry in Colorado and recommendations for ways Colorado can improve opportunities for development


Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute — for research and planning to develop an online benefits calculator for Colorado using the updated Self-Sufficiency Standard


Colorado Women's Agenda
General Support — to support efforts to organize and advocate for a public policy agenda for women and their families across Colorado


Colorado Women's Hall of Fame
General Support — to support their work to educate society about the ways women have created, shaped and changed our state and nation's history


Global Fund for Women
General Support — for women's organizations around the world working to address critical issues such as gaining economic independence, increasing girls' access to education and preventing violence against women


Afghanistan Projects — to support organizations serving women and girls in Afghanistan


Secure Source

General Support — for start-up funding to create this national organization to address the need for a reliable, affordable and long term source of contraceptive supplies for family planning organizations


Women's Foundation of Colorado

Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women — for the capital campaign to build a new home for the Women's Foundation of Colorado and the Women's College


Women's Funding Network

Quantum Leap Donor Circle — for the Women's Funding Network to leverage its resources to increase funding for the creation and support of women's funds


Women's Health
Reproductive Equality Fund — to increase the fund that subsidizes services for low income women and for general support to provide safe and affordable reproductive health services to women in Boulder County



Girl Scouts-Mile Hi Council
Magic Sky Ranch Nature Center — to support construction of an activity center with a space dedicated to environmental, science, astronomy and math programs for girls attending the new camp


Human Services, Inc.
Florence Crittenton School — to provide comprehensive support services, child care and education for pregnant or parenting teen mothers


Mi Casa Resource Center For Women
Mi Carrera Program — for the OWL Managed Technology Lab to develop computer and core technology skills of middle school girls



Communities Foundation of Oklahoma
Women's Foundation of Oklahoma — for matching endowment funds, re-granting dollars and research and operations


Montana Community Foundation
Women's Foundation of Montana — for matching endowment funds,
re-granting dollars and operations


Wyoming Community Foundation
Wyoming Women's Foundation — for matching endowment funds,
re-granting dollars and operations



Alice G. Reynolds Memorial Fund
Rebels Remembered — to complete an educational video series and associated curricula for Denver Public Schools documenting Denver's civil rights movement


The Bell Policy Center
General Support — for this research and advocacy organization committed to making Colorado a state of opportunity for all by reinvigorating the debate on policy issues affecting the well-being of families and working adults

Opportunity Lost Report — for printing costs of a report revealing the many and complex forces that keep working Colorado families from earning enough to be economically self-sufficient


General Support — to encourage community based philanthropy to increase resources available to nonprofit organizations working for social and economic justice and equality for all


Chinook Fund
Social Justice Institute — for strategic planning to strengthen and expand this institute that teaches basic community organizing and activism skills

Colorado Public Radio
Bridges Broadcast Center to support construction of a Music Reference Library in the new broadcast center


The Denver Foundation
Housing and Homelessness Funders' Collaborative for a pooled fund to invest in projects expanding affordable housing and reducing homelessness in Colorado

Lundy Foundation
Partners for Collaborative Change — to develop and sustain collaborative leadership in organizations working together to strengthen the LGBT community in Colorado


NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Foundation
General Support — to promote access to reproductive rights and health care through public education and community organizing projects in Colorado


National Trust for Historic Preservation
Rosenwald Schools Initiative — to support the preservation and renovation of schools for African American children that played an important role in the civil rights movement

Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Power the Promise Campaign — to develop six initiatives that will build a legacy of social action and public education


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
General Support — for comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services, and advocacy and educational programs in the Rocky Mountain region




Sylvia Clark Fund — to support the creation of this memorial fund to ensure high quality reproductive care to low income and uninsured women


Political Research Associates
General Support — for research and public education to rebuild and revitalize a progressive movement around a common vision for an open, democratic and pluralist society


Women Donors Network/Political Research Associates Study Group — to support a partnership with Women Donors Network to create a progressive donor education program


Jean Hardisty Legacy Fund — to support the creation of this legacy fund for research projects


Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP)
Women and Religion Program — to support current activities and partnerships that focus on women's leadership in religious institutions, and policies in government and religious institutions that affect women



In addition to our priority areas, we award community grants at the initiative of the family trustees. Our Community Grants Program provides an avenue for their individual interests. Generally, these grants are made for unique, one-time funding opportunities or for ongoing support to arts, cultural, religious and educational organizations. Community Grants Program support is given to organizations in which the family takes an active interest or has an established connection.

Arts and Culture

Colorado Ballet
General Support — to strengthen the ballet as a world-class dance institution in Colorado


Colorado Symphony Association
General Support — for the symphony to continue to provide a broad spectrum of quality musical performances and programs in Colorado

Denver Art Museum
General Support — to support the museum's comprehensive collection and exhibition of world art


Denver Center for the Performing Arts
General Support — for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Denver Center Theatre Company’s 2004-2005 seasons


Foothills Art Center
Carol and Don Dickinson Sculpture Garden — to support the creation of a sculpture garden and outdoor event and education terrace


Music Associates of Aspen, Inc.
Aspen Music Festival and School — for this internationally renowned classical music festival and school that presents world-class music in an intimate, Colorado mountain setting


Opera Colorado
General Support — to promote opera to the widest possible audience through educational and cultural activities



North Shore Country Day School
General Support — for co-educational, college preparatory education focused on community, democracy, artistic and physical development and global consciousness for students in the Chicago area


Northwestern University
Transportation Center — for construction costs of Chambers Hall and conferences and events celebrating the Center's 50th anniversary


University of Denver
Graduate School of International Studies — to support the 2004 Korbel Dinner and the graduate school



Episcopal Relief and Development
General Support for global disaster relief and sustainable development programs that identify and address the root causes of poverty


St. John’s Cathedral
General Support — to provide faith-based leadership and resources to the community


The Denver Foundation
For grants to support the arts

The Denver Foundation
Hopkins Family Fund to create a fund in honor of Don Hopkins


Matching Gifts




Community Grants Under $5,000






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Annual Report Highlights

  2004 Annual Report Highlights

Our first five years of creating women's funds culminated in 2004 with the Wyoming Women's Foundation and the Women's Foundation of Montana reaching their initial endowment goals of $1 million. They each raised $500,000, which was matched by Chambers Family Fund. These foundations have secured permanent endowments dedicated to lasting change for women and girls in Wyoming and Montana. The new endowments will provide reliable, permanent sources of grants to invest in lifelong economic self-sufficiency for women and brighter futures for girls.


With a $25,000 Venture Fund grant from the Women's Funding Network, the three women's funds completed a collaborative marketing and public relations plan to guide individual marketing efforts, including the creation of websites and electronic newsletters to expand their ability to communicate effectively and efficiently.


The Merle Catherine Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women was dedicated in September 2004. The state of the art center on the University of Denver campus houses the Women's Foundation of Colorado and the Women's College of the University of Denver. Together at the Chambers Center, each organization continues its individual efforts while mobilizing to promote a society where the talents and skills of all women are valued, developed and utilized.


With the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, we provided funding to the City and County of Denver to develop a pilot program and create a multidisciplinary treatment model for prostitutes in Denver. Based on best practice research, the project is considering a residential program specifically designed for prostitutes that provides the continuum of care they need, including substance abuse treatment, childcare and employment training. This program is part of a multi-city effort to improve safety and enhance neighborhoods along the Colfax corridor from Lakewood to Aurora.


The right to control her reproductive destiny is a human right fundamental to the well-being of a woman. To address the increasing threats to reproductive health and rights, we provided initial funding for Planned Parenthood of America's Power the Promise Campaign.  This national campaign includes six major initiatives to ensure the future of reproductive health care, including changing the way Americans view sexuality through a new social marketing campaign.


We supported the next step in promoting the use of Colorado's Self-Sufficiency Standard by providing funding to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy's Fiscal Policy Institute to research, analyze and develop a plan for an on-line Self-Sufficiency Benefits Calculator. The results of their research led us to bring together a group of funders to support the development of a calculator for Colorado. The calculator will increase access to Colorado's standard by case managers, individuals and employers and provide accurate information about the level of income required for families to become self-sufficient, based on their family composition and geographic location.


Partnering with Rose Community Foundation, we funded the first-ever review of the microloan and microenterprise industry in Colorado, which was conducted by the Colorado Alliance for Microenterprise Initiatives (CAMI). This inaugural report provides an historical review and essential information about the use of microenterprise as individual, community and economic development strategies in Colorado. CAMI's report makes recommendations for improving and enhancing opportunities for microenterprise development.


In our ongoing commitment to early childhood education (ECE), we joined five other foundations to fund a staff person for the Colorado Early Childhood and School Readiness Commission. The Commission was established during the 2004 legislative session to study, review and evaluate school readiness and early childhood care and education and create a comprehensive early childhood system.


In 2004, Chambers Family Fund and Rose Community Foundation published Then and Now (*PDF) , a report describing how funders collaborated to secure the future of the Colorado Children's Campaign by committing multi-year general operating support. The report was distributed at the Grantmakers for Children, Youth and Families conference and shared with funders interested in similar collaborative efforts.


Our goal to make children a top priority in Denver led us to support the first Early Childhood Education Summit in Denver in February 2004. Attendees heard demographic and economic arguments for the importance of ECE from leading national speakers and participated in action teams. The summit convened 300 business leaders, elected officials, nonprofit executives and community leaders and engaged champions for quality early childhood education.


The Clayton Foundation's Early Childhood Education Resource Institute was created to improve professional development for early care and education teacher training at Metro State College and the Community College of Denver. We co-funded a new staff position to expand strategic partnerships and work on cross-program evaluation. The new staff will expand the Institute's partnerships with CCD and the Mayor's Office, while investing leadership and energy in cultivating a strategic partnership with Denver Public Schools.


In recognition of her philanthropic leadership, Merle Chambers received two awards in 2004. She was inducted into the Colorado Women's Hall of Fame that recognizes women who have made significant and enduring contributions to their fields of endeavor, elevated the status of women and opened new frontiers for women and society. Merle received the Josef Korbel Humanitarian Award from the University of Denver's Graduate School if International Studies that recognizes individuals who have given concrete expression to the values underlying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through unusually generous philanthropic work within the Denver community.

*PDFs require the Acrobat Reader.

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Annual Report Financial Overview

Cash Basis — Balance Sheet
As of November 30, 2004

Cash and Cash Equivalents   $     615,961
Investments at Cost

Cash Basis — Statement of Revenues and Expenditures
For the Twelve Months Ended November 30, 2004

Grants Paid
Direct Charitable Activities
General and Administrative Expenses
Total Qualifying Distribution
Investment Management Expenses

2004 Distributions

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      Seeking upstream solutions