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The Club Management Institute Foundation was created in 1988 by forward thinking club managers who recognized that education is a priority for successful leaders in the club industry. This idea led to the first 501 (c) 3 organization focused solely on the club industry. In the early years, the Foundation began by funding student scholarships to a small group of individuals seeking to expand their practical knowledge of the club industry. The Foundation’s leaders realized that they needed additional funding in order to maintain a long term program for the professional development of club managers.

With the 1990’s came the next step, a formalized campaign to generate the dollars needed to become a truly sustainable organization. To better align with the strategic direction of the organization, the name was officially changed in 1991 to The Club Foundation. From 1992 through 1998, the Campaign to Promote Excellence raised $3.5 million from CMAA members, CMAA Chapters, clubs, and the corporate community. This helped in two areas:

• The Foundation established a long term plan for the development of CMAA administered programs such as the Business Management Institutes (BMI), CMAA World Conference education, and website development.
• Scholarships and grants were awarded to fund CMAA Chapter education as well as hospitality Faculty through research grants and the Faculty Internship Program.

As the next century took hold, the need for education continued to increase, and The Foundation recognized the need for a more formal funding strategy. The Club Foundation developed the five key funding areas:

• Club Managers
• CMAA Chapters
• Faculty
• Students
• Club Industry

Student Scholarships, currently named after BMI creator Joe Perdue,CCM, CHE, have had a substantial impact on hospitality students’ financial scholastic needs. CMAA also added specific and in-depth business management courses to round out the essential core programs already in place. With the completion of these, club managers were able to obtain certification from CMAA. In 2001, The Foundation created the Willmoore H. Kendall Scholarship in honor of CMAA Past President Bill Kendall to financially assist club managers pursuing their CCM designation. In addition, The Club Foundation focused its energies on the industry at large with grants to organizations that would help drive the industry forward.

With the increased demand for education and programs to support the five targeted funding areas it became necessary for the Foundation to launch a second campaign. The Campaign to Promote Excellence…Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow raised another $4.5 million. Through this campaign, The Club Foundation increased not only the amount of dollars contributed, but the number of scholarship and grants given.

In 2006, The Foundation introduced the Corporate Alliance Program in conjunction with CMAA which helped to organize and cement both long term corporate contributors as well as cultivate new corporate donors. This new funding stream combined with new CMAA member contributors, long term contributors, and other CF fundraising events have continued to positively impact the club industry.

The Club Foundation currently funds over $500,000 annually back into the life cycle of a club manager’s professional development. As we embark on the next decade, the club industry continues to evolve and The Club Foundation is committed to keeping educational opportunities in line with current trends and making the highest possible impact on the future of the industry.