As a board and staff, the Duluth Area Chamber is very excited to launch a new initiative which will give us an opportunity to deepen our impact on our members, community, and economy: the Duluth Area Chamber Foundation.
Many Chambers, especially large ones such as the Duluth Area Chamber, operate with a Foundation. Over the past year, Chamber President Baumgartner and Board leadership were intentional in doing research on Chamber Foundations and even involved third party entities from outside our organization such as a strategic planning consultant, an HR consultant, and attorneys in employment and business law. Further, we consulted with accounting and finance professionals to ensure best fiduciary practices would be in place. This diligence only affirmed our realization that with a Foundation, we can do more in service to our members, businesses, and community.
Launching a Foundation, in conjunction with a policy and advocacy position, gives the Duluth Chamber the opportunity to deepen our impact on our members, community, and economy. Simply put, having a 501(c)3 arm of the Duluth Area Chamber opens the door for state and federal grants, private tax-deductible contributions, and other funding, which otherwise the Chamber may not be eligible for, and allows us to direct those funds to where we can have the most impact for our members.
Foundation funds may be used to help support local businesses and the community with initiatives like public policy and political advocacy work, workforce development and recruitment, market based research, equity and inclusion work, funding for the Duluth Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC) and Policy Committee, recruiting and supporting developers for much needed housing and other economic development projects, key Chamber programs like Duluth & St. Louis County Days at the Capitol and Leadership Duluth , and much more.