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


2013 Annual Report

  2013 Annual Report
Chambers Family Fund 2013 Annual Report

Our 2013 Annual Report includes information on:



Financial Overview

2013 Annual Report Grantees

2013 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)


Colorado Children's Campaign
Improvement of outcomes for Colorado's children and families in the areas of education, child health and youth initiatives (General Support)


Colorado Forum Fund Inc.
Public awareness campaign for the value of quality education (Project Support)


Qualistar Colorado
Improve the school readiness of Colorado's children through the implementation of programs and initiatives that support Colorado's Quality Rating and Improvement System for childcare (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)


Ascend at The Aspen Institute
Two-generation strategy for moving families beyond poverty (Project 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)


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


Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma


Women’s Fund of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Region


Women’s Foundation of Montana


North Dakota Women's Network


Wyoming Women's Foundation $25,000


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)


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


NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado Foundation
Capacity building of the organization during leadership transition (General Support)


Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services, advocacy and educational programs (General Support)


Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Systems and infrastructure to manage insurance and Medicaid payments in response to the new national healthcare system (Project Support)


Comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services, advocacy and educational programs in the Rocky Mountain Region (General 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)


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)


City and County of Denver
Construction of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House at Quigg Newton Denver Municipal Auditorium (Multi-Year Capital 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
The New Home Capital Campaign (Multi-Year Capital Support)


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)


Denver Art Museum
First major American museum exhibition of Abstract Expressionist works by women artists (Project 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)

Payment of loan guranty to reduce debt of the organization (Project Support) $25,000


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

Grants Under $10,000 $85,441



Matching Gifts








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2013 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 2013 advanced the early care and education system in Colorado. In partnership with Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and Rose Community Foundation, Chambers Family Fund made a matching grant to leverage funding from the national Alliance for Early Success to support early childhood policy work in Colorado. The Colorado Children’s Campaign, Clayton Early Learning and Executives Partnering to Invest in Children (EPIC) formed a coalition to apply for this funding and work together toward a common agenda for policy change. In addition to providing a matching grant, foundation staff served on the project’s advisory team. In 2013, the policy coalition prioritized work in the following areas:

  • Redesigning of Colorado’s tiered quality rating and improvement system
  • Proposing policy to provide state funding for quality improvement grants to ECE programs participating in the Colorado Preschool Program
  • Reinstating basic elements of quality and child health in the state’s draft rules for child care licensing
  • Improving Colorado’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP) to expand
    access and promote healthy child development and school readiness

Over the course of 2013, Chambers Family Fund convened a small working group of early childhood leaders to evaluate the landscape of services in Colorado for children, prenatal to age three, and their families and caregivers. The outcome of this work will be the identification of opportunities to:

  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of available family support services, such as home visitation programs or resource and referral services
  • Expand access to resources and programs for underserved populations
  • Highlight promising parent and caregiver education programs and policies
    that could be scaled up to address gaps and improve child outcomes
  • Identify policy priorities

Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency

Chambers Family Fund continued to work closely with the leadership of Ascend at the Aspen Institute to promote the use of two-generation strategies to provide educational and economic opportunities for low-income women and their children. Ascend has chosen to invest in Colorado because the state exhibits a number of strengths and characteristics that make it well-poised for innovative two-generation approaches to address a rising poverty rate. To support two-generation efforts in Colorado, Ascend hired a full-time staff person for whom Chambers Family Fund provided pro bono office space. We have partnered with Ascend to convene a group of cross-sector leaders to create an overview, or landscape, of two-generation work in Colorado.

In September 2013, the foundation participated in a national Early Childhood Forum organized by Ascend and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to elevate two-generation innovations in the early childhood field. We have actively supported the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to introduce and expand two-generation strategies. CDHS is partnering with the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) to plan the launch of a statewide children’s savings account program for low-income families that will build family assets for education and increase financial literacy.

Justice, Equality and Opportunity

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 2013. 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.

To achieve its mission of justice and economic security for all Coloradans, the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) works in collaboration with others and embraces the need for a multi-pronged strategy for reducing poverty. In partnership with All Families Deserve a Chance Coalition (AFDC), and with funding from Chambers Family Fund and The Kresge Foundation, CCLP published the Colorado Works Handbook in 2013. The handbook explains the major parts of the Colorado Works Program, also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Written for consumers, the handbook provides information on support services, including child care, to help clients navigate the system and avoid the cliff effect as they become independent and self-sufficient.

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 12,000 visitors in 2013. The museum opened the exhibit Colorado Art Survey VIII, featuring work by Colorado artists from the collection ranging from the 1880s to the 1980s. The museum showcased Colorado painter Phyllis Hutchinson Montrose in a solo exhibition and displayed newly acquired decorative art objects in its exhibition entitled New Explorations in International Design, 1878-1993.

A portion of Chambers Family Fund’s grant and other restricted contributions allowed the museum to enhance the collection in most major categories including painting, sculpture, furniture, glass, ceramics, textile and metal. Objects from the museum’s collection were loaned to shows at seven institutions, including Denver Art Museum, Denver Public Library, Arvada Center, Byers-Evans House Museum and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

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. Chambers Family Fund was pleased to provide essential operating support for several arts organizations in 2013, including the Colorado Symphony, Opera Colorado, Colorado Ballet, Aspen Music Festival and School 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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2013 Annual Report Financial Overview

Assets and Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
As of November 30, 2013

Cash and Cash Equivalents   $ 2,239,560
Investments at Cost
Deposits     53,597
Construction in Progress     19,964
  $ 43,727,895
  $ 43,727,895
  $ 61,227,832

Revenues, Expenses and Other Changes
in Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
For the Year Ended November 30, 2013

  $ 3,107,470
Grants Paid $  2,732,041    
Direct Charitable Programs    193,547    
Grant Administration 82,251    
General and Administrative    205,357    
Investment Expenses     104,931    
Excise Taxes       38,886    
TOTAL EXPENSES   $ 3,357,013

Our 2013 Grant Distributions
* Chambers Family Fund was not required to make charitable expenditures in 2013 because it exceeded the charitable expenditure requirement in prior years.

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      Seeking upstream solutions