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


2014 Annual Report

  2014 Annual Report
Chambers Family Fund 2014 Annual Report

Our 2014 Annual Report includes information on:



Financial Overview

2014 Annual Report Grantees

2014 Annual Report Grantees


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)


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


Wyoming Women's Foundation $25,000


Clinton Foundation
Colorado Philanthropy for Early Childhood at Clinton Global Initiative America sponsorship (Project 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)


Rose Community Foundation
Startup funding for Early Milestones Colorado, a new early childhood nonprofit (General Support)



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
Secure justice and economic security for all Coloradans, with special emphasis on women's economic self-sufficiency (General Support)


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


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


State of Colorado, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)

Staffing for Family Planing Initiative (Project 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
Chambers-Grant Fellowships Fund for Minority Students (Scholarship Support)

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

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)


North Shore Country Day School
Scholarship fund for African American or Latina girls in the Upper School (Scholarship Support)



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


Glasgow School of Art Development Trust
Restoration of the fire-damaged Charles Rennie Mackintosh Library at Glasgow School of Art (General Support)


UC Berkeley Foundation
Lecture Fund in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (Project Support)

Grants Under $10,000 $55,302



Matching Gifts








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2014 Annual Report Highlights

Annual Report Highlights

Early Care and Education

Chambers Family Fund has consistently funded policy and systems change in early care and education. In 2012, Alliance for Early Success selected our state to receive a grant to expand early childhood policy and advocacy work in Colorado. In partnership with Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation and Rose Community Foundation, Chambers Family Fund provided general support funding as a partial match for the Alliance grant, and the three foundations also serve as advisors to the grant recipients. In its third year, the nonprofit grant partners – Clayton Early Learning and Colorado Children’s Campaign – researched, promoted and advocated for an impressive package of early childhood legislation, setting a record increase in funding for early childhood.

In 2014, Chambers Family Fund and five foundation partners provided start-up funding and support to create a new nonprofit intermediary organization, Early Milestones Colorado (Milestones). This new organization will operate with a core commitment to embrace the Early Childhood Colorado Framework vision of ensuring that children of all backgrounds are valued, healthy and thriving. Aligned with the Framework, Milestones connects community and state partners to innovation, best practices and systems improvements. It works with local, state and national partners to advance opportunities for children and families by bridging high-impact ideas with key stakeholders. As an intermediary organization, Milestones builds connections across the network of individuals who help families promote children’s health, well-being, learning and development. The foundations that created Milestones believe that Colorado will greatly benefit from a nonprofit partner that can innovate and incubate early childhood programs at a systemic statewide level.

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. In addition to supporting Ascend’s two-generation efforts, we led the development of a landscape of two-generation work in Colorado and provided pro bono office space for Ascend’s Colorado staff. In 2014, four Colorado organizations were selected to receive grants from Ascend and become members of the Ascend Learning Network that will advance two-generation strategies in Colorado. The Bell Policy Center received a grant from Ascend and is a member of the network.

When Chambers Family Fund partnered with community foundations in 2000 to create new statewide women’s funds in Wyoming, Montana and Oklahoma, our goal was to create a $1 million endowment for each women’s fund. We are proud that all three women’s funds continue to thrive, each with an endowment exceeding $2 million. Some 2014 highlights from these women’s funds include:

  • The Women’s Foundation of Oklahoma launched the SMART (Single Mother’s Academic Resource Team) Program at Rose State College. This program connects single-parent students to campus and community resources for academic and life success.

  • Wyoming Women’s Foundation has been addressing the wage gap in Wyoming – the highest wage gap in the country. The foundation launched the WAGE Project to bring understanding to the causes of the wage gap, benchmark salaries and help women learn how to negotiate for a competitive wage based on education and experience.

  • The Women’s Foundation of Montana led a successful state effort to reform payday lending and is focused on women’s leadership.

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 2014. We believe that the Bell’s leadership is essential for the state to make fiscal reform a priority for the future of its citizens. Funding of the Bell reflects our ongoing support of advocacy organizations that address systems change over many years, making progress on reform and meeting new challenges.

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 the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), CCLP published the State of Working Colorado 2014. This report highlights the struggle many Coloradans face to make ends meet, even several years after the end of the Great Recession. This report is designed to inform public policy across the state and provide better understanding of how the economy is working for Coloradans.

9to5 Colorado has been instrumental in improving systems that affect the lives of all working women. In 2014, 9to5 was a key member of the CCCAP Collaborative, a diverse group of county workers, child care providers and advocates, and organized low-wage mothers to speak at a national meeting of Office of Child Care administrators and a Women’s Collaborative focused on the challenges of childcare. 9to5 Colorado provides a voice for low-wage mothers to ensure that they are part of systems change efforts.

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 2014. The museum opened the exhibit Colorado Art Survey IX, featuring work by Colorado artists from the collection ranging from the 1880s to the 1980s.

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 six institutions, including the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, Denver International Airport, Denver Public Library, and the Arvada Center.

In January of 2014, Chambers Family Fund announced its funding for a new museum building for Kirkland Museum. The foundation’s financial support for the new building is not only an investment in the future of Kirkland Museum as a Colorado art institution, but also in the further development of the vibrant Golden Triangle Neighborhood and Denver’s nationally important art scene. For more information about the new building and relocation, visit the “Press” page at

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 provided essential operating support for several arts organizations in 2014, 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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2014 Annual Report Financial Overview

Assets and Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
As of November 30, 2014

Cash and Cash Equivalents   $ 6,203,640
Investments at Cost     37,135,773
Land and Construction in Progress - Kirkland Museum 8,045,213
  $ 52,140,595
  $ 52,136,928
  $ 68,895,742

Revenues, Expenses and Other Changes
in Net Assets – Income Tax Basis
For the Year Ended November 30, 2014

  $ 10,981,245
Grants Paid 1,915,834    
Direct Charitable Programs 230,223    
Grant Administration 76,724    
General and Administrative 167,066    
Investment Expenses  105,365    
Excise Taxes      77,000    
TOTAL EXPENSES   $ 2,572,212

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      Seeking upstream solutions