Financial strength and stability are essential for all successful non-profit organizations.
Our Chamber of Commerce possesses a legacy of financial strength and proper stewardship. Our sustainability can be attributed to membership retention and the participation of our members in our activities, advertising and sponsorship programs.
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, our Board of Directors possess three strong traits:
The Board then requested a market analysis of the annual budgets, membership fees and other cost structures of similar Chambers in our region. The research revealed our Chamber membership fees are far below the average of approximately 12 neighboring Chambers in the region.
As they reviewed historical financial performance, they noted 2018 will be the third straight year of deficit spending. (However, the 2018 deficit was planned to cover the cost of an executive transition.) If deficit spending continues, the Chamber would exhaust its reserves and cease to exist in a few years.
For the first time since 2015, the Board unanimously voted to restructure and increase membership fees, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The number of employee-tiered classifications will be reduced from nine to five. Partnership fees also will increase.
Even with the increase, three levels of membership fees will be below the market average and two will be at the average price.
After the Board unanimously approved the membership fee increase, it enabled them to unanimously pass a budget for 2019 with a 1-percent surplus.
No member services will be eliminated or reduced next year, nor will there be any staff reductions or salary increases. However, funds were approved for creating an employee retirement savings program.
When our members renew their membership with our Chamber—or a new business joins—the membership fee contributes to the fulfillment of our mission: promoting and supporting businesses throughout our region. Our member retention rate of greater than 85 percent shows our businesses value the Chamber’s mission and achievements.
Our staff and the Board of Directors pledge to continuously improve all aspects of our membership services and benefits. We hope you will continue to be a part of our organization as we serve businesses in our community and region.
The Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce supports, promotes & encourages shopping local and keeping business in Fenton. The organization also serves as a link between our members and the community, providing members with tools to succeed in business through networking, marketing, and educational opportunities.