Chambers Family Foundation

OVERVIEW: This funder supports arts, education, medical, health and human needs in Lane, Benton and Deschutes counties in Oregon. It reviews grant proposals twice per year.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, education, medical, health, human needs

IP TAKE:  This is a great funder to know if you’re in Lake County, Oregon. It supports a broad range of issues, so pretty much any type of local nonprofit should look at CFF.

PROFILE: The Chambers Family Foundation (CFF) is based in Eugene, Oregon, and focuses on the counties of Lane, Benton and Deschutes. It was established in 1999 by Carolyn Chambers, who was a local businesswoman and pioneer in the broadcast and cable television industry. In 1960, she received a license for KEZI-TV in Eugene, eventually owning several ABC affiliate stations in Oregon, and was part of the Liberty Communications group. Chambers died in 2011.

Topics of interest for CFF are the arts, education, medical, health and human needs. It gives around 90 percent of grants to groups in Lake County, Oregon. It splits the other 10 percent evenly between Benton County and Deschutes County. This funder doesn’t typically provide capital project support for new buildings, but may be open to finishing costs at the end of construction, such as furnishings or equipment.

The foundation holds at least $18.4 million in managed funds and has granted over $12.3 million to local groups. More than 340 organizations have received this funder’s support over the years. About 27 percent of grants are $5,000. It's given some $1,000 grants, and others over $10,000. Form 990 information can be viewed here.

To apply for a CFF grant, you’ll need to download and print out a grant application form from the funder’s website. Electronic submissions are not accepted, and you must mail in the form with the other required paperwork, which includes a narrative explanation of the request, a detailed project budget, IRS determination letter, board of director information and current financial statements.

The foundation reviews proposals in May and November of each year, so get your proposal in by March 31 or September 30 for consideration at the next trustee meeting. The foundation may initially deny some proposals while suggesting they be resubmitted for consideration in a later cycle. The foundation prioritizes local projects targeted by members of the foundation. However, unaffiliated groups with great potential to benefit the community may be considered for funding, as well.

General questions can be directed to the foundation at 541-484-2419 or via email at admin@chambersfamilyfoundation.com. You can also send in an inquiry via online form. The foundation address is 800 Willamette Street, Suite 750, Eugene, Oregon 97401. According to Form 990s, the foundation president and CEO is John T. Chambers, and the treasurer/CFO/secretary is Constance Chambers, both of Palo Alto, California. John Chambers is a tech leader and the CEO of Cisco.

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