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


2012 Annual Report

  2012 Annual Report
Chambers Family Fund 2012 Annual Report

Our 2012 Annual Report includes information on:



Financial Overview

2012 Annual Report Grantees

2012 Annual Report Grantees


Clayton Early Learning
Construction of the Clayton Educare Center, a high quality, birth to five child care and early education center on the Clayton Campus
(Multi-Year Capital Support)


Early Childhood policy initiative funding, restricted to starffing for policy research and development (Project Support)


Colorado Children's Campaign
Challenge grant to launch and match initial contributions for the Champions Circle (Multi-Year General Support)


Qualistar Early Learning
Improve the school readiness of Colorado's children through the implementation of programs and initiatives that support Colorado's Quality Rating and Improvement System (General Support)


Tools of the Mind/Third Sector New England
Increase children's future academic success by developing and expanding this new pre-school curriculum (General Support)



9to5 Colorado, National Association of Working Women
Advancement of public policies that strengthen working women's ability to achieve economic justice and equal opportunities (General Support)


Global Fund for Women
International grants for women's groups that increase girls' access to education and advocate for and defend women's human rights around the world (General Support)


State of Colorado
Colorado Department of Human Services Ascend Fellowship
(Project Support)


Women's Funds Initiative
Endowment challenge gifts and operating support to expand women’s philanthropy and provide a permanent resource for women and girls in the states where the Chambers family’s oil business operated


        Wyoming Women’s Foundation


        Women’s Foundation of Montana


        Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma


        North Dakota Women's Network



The Bell Policy Center
Public education, nonpartisan research and policy development to create opportunities for individuals and families to move toward self-sufficiency (General Support)


Colorado Center on Law and Policy
Poverty reduction leadership and coalition building for systems change (Multi-Year General Support)


TBD Colorado/The Denver Foundation
A collaborative public engagement effort to create informed and constructive conversations among Coloradans regarding issues facing the state (General Support)


NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Foundation
Public education and community organizing that promote access to reproductive rights and health care in Colorado (General Support)


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services, advocacy and educational programs in the Rocky Mountain region (General Support)


The Smithsonian Institution
National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall in Washington, D.C. (Capital Support)



The museum and its nationally significant display of 20th century decorative arts, world-renowned exhibitions, Colorado artists and retrospective of Vance Kirkland (General Support)


Art Acquisition (Capital Support)



Arts and Culture

Aspen Music Festival and School
World class music education and performances presented by this internationally renowned classical music festival and school (General Support)


Clyfford Still Museum
Construction of the Clyfford Still Museum to advance the understanding and appreciation of Clyfford Still's art and legacy (Multi-Year Capital Support)


Colorado Ballet
Superior quality classical ballet and innovative dance through performances, training and education programs that enhance the cultural life of the community (General Support)


Colorado Symphony Association
Quality musical performances and programs that contribute to the cultural vitality of Colorado (General Support)


Opera Colorado
Promotion of opera to a wide audience through educational and cultural activities that create passion and excitement for the art of grand opera (General Support)


Challenge grant to raise gifts from new donors (General Support)



St. John's Cathedral
Leadership and resources for the church and its outreach to the surrounding community (General Support)

Grants Under $10,000 $116,021



Matching Gifts








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2012 Annual Report Highlights

Annual Report Highlights

Early Care and Education

For more than a decade, Chambers Family Fund has consistently funded policy and systems change in early care and education. Significant developments in 2012 advanced the early care and education system in Colorado. The governor established the Office of Early Childhood in the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) by Executive Order. This new office will consolidate public programs and funding streams within CDHS that serve young children and their families. Legislation will be required to expand this office to include programs from other state agencies, and the establishment of the new office was a major step forward for the early care and education system in Colorado.

Chambers Family Fund supported the state’s application for the Early Learning Challenge Fund in two ways. First, in partnership with several other foundations, we provided a grant to the Colorado Children’s Campaign for the writing of the revised grant application. Second, Chambers Family Fund assisted in planning, reviewing and providing feedback on drafts of the application. Colorado will likely receive $30 million to support early care and education systems building activities and programs.

Clayton Early Learning, the Colorado Children’s Campaign and Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) collaboratively submitted a proposal to the Birth to Five Policy Alliance requesting support for an expanded and coordinated early childhood policy initiative in Colorado. The alliance required a match to fund staffing for policy research and development. In partnership with the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and Rose Community Foundation, Chambers Family Fund made a matching grant to leverage funding from the Birth to Five Policy Alliance and to create a new policy position at Clayton Early Learning.

Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency

Chambers Family Fund partnered with Rose Community Foundation to support the Denver Women’s Collaborative. The collaborative is comprised of nine organizations serving marginalized women, girls and their families. Its purpose is to craft a collective voice in response to opportunities in policy reform, advocacy and two-generation strategies. The foundations funded the strategic planning process and provided general support to the organizations to participate in the collaborative. The Denver Women’s Collaborative plans to create a greater collective impact to assist women and their families attain social, emotional and economic well-being.

For the second year, Chambers Family Fund contributed to the work of Ascend, a program of The Aspen Institute. Ascend designed and facilitated the 2012 ThinkXChange conference. The conference engaged experts and strategic partners and elevated conversations on two-generation strategies that simultaneously address early childhood education and development and economic outcomes for their parents.

Justice, Equality and Opportunity

The Colorado Initiative was launched in 2007 with the goal of reducing the rate of unintended pregnancy among low income and uninsured women and girls in the state. The initiative’s partnership with the Colorado Department of Health and with public schools to provide low-cost or free contraception has had a significant impact on reducing unintended pregnancy. Chambers Family Fund supports the advancement of this work in Colorado, linking the reduction in unintended pregnancy to women’s future economic security and positive outcomes for low income children. In 2012, Chambers Family Fund also provided office space for the initiative.

Since the Bell Policy Center was co-founded by Chambers Family Fund in 2000, the foundation has provided annual operating support for the Bell’s leading research and collaborative work. This financial support has benefited the Bell’s work in addressing Colorado’s fiscal challenges, a priority for the foundation in 2012. Funding of the Bell reflects our ongoing support of organizations that address systems change over many years, making progress on reform and meeting new challenges. We believe that the Bell’s leadership is essential for the state to make fiscal reform a priority for the future of its citizens.

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art receives annual funding from Chambers Family Fund, enabling it to maintain a nationally significant decorative arts collection and to provide a permanent venue for the display of Colorado art. Kirkland Museum hosted more than 13,000 visitors in 2012. The museum opened the exhibit Colorado Art Survey VII, featuring work by Colorado artists from the collection ranging from the 1880s to 2012. The museum showcased Colorado sculptor and painter William Joseph in a solo exhibition.

A portion of Chambers Family Fund’s grant and other restricted contributions allowed the museum to enhance the collection with 885 new objects, including 205 works by Colorado artists. Objects from the museum’s collection were loaned to shows at five institutions, including Denver Art Museum, Denver Public Library, Arvada Center and a first-time loan to Milwaukee Art Museum.

Other Funding

In recognition of the important role they play in our state, the foundation makes grants to select organizations that fall outside of our program areas. In 2012 Chambers Family Fund was pleased to provide essential operating support for several arts organizations, including the Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado, Colorado Ballet and the Clyfford Still Museum.

The Chambers Family Fund board of directors is grateful to the many outstanding organizations in Colorado and around the country that work each day to provide opportunities for success and improved quality of life for those who need it most.

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2012 Annual Report Financial Overview

Assets and Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
As of November 30, 2012

Cash and Cash Equivalents   $ 2,480,059
Investments at Cost
  $ 41,493,782
Leasehold Deposit   $ 3,597
  $ 43,977,438
  $ 43,977,438
  $ 57,288,850

Revenue Collected, Expenditures Made,
and Changes in Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
For the Year Ended November 30, 2012

  $ 2,040,982
Grants Paid $ 1,837,571    
Direct Charitable Programs $    134,582    
Grant Administration $    102,438    
General and Administrative $    175,854    
Investment Expense $    130,582    
Excise Taxes $      39,253    

Our 2012 Grant Distributions

* Chambers Family Fund was not required to make charitable expenditures in 2012 because it exceeded the charitable expenditure requirement in prior years.

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      Seeking upstream solutions