INSIGHTS AND IMPACT
Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy
Taking the Unintended Out of Pregnancy report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment details an intensive effort by the Colorado Initiative to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy to dramatically reduced unintended pregnancies in the state by expanding women’s access to the most effective birth control methods.
Ascend at the Aspen Institute
Ascend at The Aspen Institute is creating opportunities for both children and parents to move up the economic ladder together. The Ascend website offers a wide array of information on the two-generation approach, including case studies such as The Colorado Guide to 2Gen , along with policy ideas, tools and a messaging guide.
The Bell Policy Center
The Bell offers a wealth of informative, timely advocacy and policy resources ranging from family economic security, education and training, and fiscal and budget issues. The Bell identifies systemic barriers to opportunity in Colorado.
Early Care and Education
After a strategic planning process in 2019, the Chambers Fund Board of Directors decided to significantly increase grantmaking in the foundation’s Social Justice and Women’s Economic Security program areas, and to discontinue its Early Care and Education (ECE) program area. In March 2020, Merle Chambers and foundation staff personally shared one-on-one with core ECE grantees the change in the foundation’s funding priorities and discussed transition grants. We have committed to providing consistent funding through 2022 to the foundation’s exiting ECE grantees. Although the foundation will not make any new grants in the ECE program area, it is important that our core ECE grantees have sufficient time to plan for their own transition away from the support of Chambers Fund.
The early childhood landscape in Colorado has transformed dramatically during our more than two decades of funding in this area. Chambers Fund focused on improving the early care and education of children by partnering with organizations leading systems change, educating the public and advocating for children and their future. Over the course of 22 years, the foundation has invested more than $4.8 million dollars in this program area, making 134 grants to 28 different organizations. We are proud of our investment of time, leadership and grantmaking that has contributed to the health and well-being of Colorado’s youngest children and their families.
The decision to narrow the foundation’s grantmaking focus is part of a broader philanthropic endeavor fueled by a heightened commitment to social justice within two main program areas of equity and democracy, and women’s economic security by both Merle Chambers, personally, and Chambers Fund. We are excited to share more about this initiative at Chambers Initiative.
Learn about the science behind this powerful approach to early brain development, and see how a wide array of organizations and agencies are equipping Colorado parents and caregivers to use Vroom in their everyday lives.
Creating a Women’s Fund Within a Community Foundation:
A Philanthropic Strategy for Women and Girls
Based on Chambers Fund’s experience championing women’s funds in Wyoming, Montana and Oklahoma, this report shares lessons learned, provides strategies to make such partnerships work and offers recommendations based on our experience.
Creating a Women’s Fund:
A Philanthropic Strategy for Women and Girls (2nd Edition)
Chambers Fund collaborated with Dallas Women’s Foundation to write a second edition of the report. Released in 2017, the updated report includes information on creating a stand-alone women’s fund in addition to a women’s fund within a community foundation.
Early Childhood Colorado Framework
First released in 2008 and updated in 2015, the Early Childhood Colorado Framework serves as a guide for comprehensive early childhood systems work in Colorado. It unites the early childhood community around a set of common goals and objectives across early learning and development, health and well-being, and family support and education.
Then and Now: How Engaged Philanthropy Helped Revitalize an Advocacy Organization for Children
This report chronicles the intensive effort by a consortium of Colorado funders to stabilize the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Documented by Chambers Fund and Rose Community Foundation, the account illustrates how this collaborative, hands-on process resulted in an open exchange of ideas that led to a transformation of the advocacy organization
New Kirkland Museum
Merle Chambers Fund provided the funding for a new museum building to house Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art near the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver’s Golden Triangle Creative District. The new museum offers visitors an enhanced experience while staying true to the salon style and intimate atmosphere for which Kirkland Museum is known. Groundbreaking was held at the new museum location in September 2015, and the museum opened in March, 2018.
Vance Kirkland’s studio and art school building (built 1910–1911), which is preserved as part of the larger Kirkland Museum, is the oldest commercial art building in Denver and the second oldest in Colorado. The three room Arts & Crafts structure was relocated and connected to the new modern museum building on Bannock Street. Merle Chambers provided the inspiration to move the existing Vance Kirkland studio and art school building to the new site from its former location at 13th and Pearl.
Kirkland Museum has three primary collections. The international decorative art collection includes notable examples from every major design period from Arts & Crafts to Postmodern and has been called one of the most important displays in North America. It is shown in salon style with the other two collections – Colorado and regional art and a retrospective of Colorado’s distinguished painter, Vance Kirkland (1904–1981).
Kirkland Museum and other arts and culture organizations are important in creating and sustaining a vibrant and livable community. Not only do these organizations strengthen the fabric of our community by inspiring civic pride, but they also educate and engage in-state and out-of-state visitors. Merle Chambers Fund’s financial support for a new home for the museum is an investment in the further development of the vibrant Golden Triangle Creative District and Denver’s nationally important art scene.