“The Resources to Succeed”

If you want to gain an understanding of what drives an organization, go look at their budget. The numbers won’t lie. Seeing how the money flows is the easiest way to decipher what is really going on day-to-day. For our organization – your Chamber, the budget tells one consistent story: members are our lifeblood and they drive everything that we do.

As we near the end of another fiscal year and prepare to launch a new one, the Chamber Board of Directors is preparing to approve our annual budget. Most members may not be versed in the finer points of those spreadsheets, but there are a few important things you should know. For starters, our revenue comes from three key sources – membership dues, event fees and sponsorships. From those funding streams, our team can put on a year’s worth of programming, conduct everyday advocacy, produce content about our business community and most importantly, work with members to generate new opportunities to grow their business through our network. Thanks to our members, our budget is a little more than $1.7 million for the coming year.

We like to tout that the Chamber is “Business Strong, Member Driven” and those words are particularly true when it comes to keeping the doors open. If not for our members, then the Chamber could not succeed as an organization. There are numerous examples of how this rubber meets the road throughout the various activities of our organization, but nowhere does it ring truer than with our annual Total Resource Campaign.

The Chamber’s Total Resource Campaign is how we generate the sponsorship dollars that account for nearly a quarter of our annual revenue. This effort is critical to our success and it involves a small army of member volunteers. “TRC” is powered by dozens of dedicated members who team up each Fall to sell the wide variety of sponsorship opportunities that are associated with The Chamber and our affiliate programs. This week, we kicked off the 2019 TRC Campaign.

To launch this year’s TRC Campaign, our team held a lunch at the Gathering in Collegetown to bring all our volunteers together. This year’s campaign chair, Jay Smith of Ajax Building Corporation and several team captains have helped remind our volunteer members why their effort is so important. Fortunately, this group didn’t need too much motivation because they clearly believe in what we do.

To be blunt, the folks that were in that room are some of our most fervent fans. Through years of engagement in our network, they have developed strong business relationships and sales funnels. When they go out into the community to sell what the Chamber does, it remains effective because they speak from their personal experiences.

Our TRC volunteers come from an incredibly diverse range of companies and professions. Bankers, engineers, accountants, builders, web developers, architects and salesmen are all among the folks who help to make the campaign successful. It is a true microcosm of our larger business environment.

My favorite part about dropping into the kickoff lunch this week was seeing just how much everyone enjoys coming together to promote an organization they all believe in. The fact that it’s the organization I work for is icing on the cake.

Beyond our volunteers, it is important to note our key staff that make this campaign function each year. Dana Noles and Corrie Melton are incredibly impressive in how they shepherd our volunteers and provide them with the infrastructure to conduct the campaign. I’m always proud to see how well our team performs under the gun, but what these two do for the TRC Campaign is among the most critical work done all year.

Between the unwavering commitment of our volunteers, the confidence of our sponsors and the hard work of our team members, the Total Resource Campaign is a testament to what the Chamber stands for. In short, TRC is a representation of the power our network holds. Because numerous people, companies, volunteers and staff all share a common belief in building a better community, we can construct a program of work that makes a lasting difference. Because of our members, we continue to find the resources to succeed together. If you look at our budget, that is the story you will find told year after year.

For those who may be interested in the vast array of Chamber and affiliate program sponsorship opportunities for 2020, or have interest in serving as a volunteer on the TRC Campaign, please contact Corrie Melton or Dana Noles.

Jay Revell

Vice President