How The Club Foundation Benefits The Club Industry

Mission Statement

The mission of The Club Foundation is to financially support the club management profession through education, research, and outreach initiatives.


Club Managers, Students, Faculty, and Chapters all benefit from grants and scholarships from The Club Foundation. Your donation supports professional development and education throughout the club industry.


The Club Foundation funds research that provides lasting benefit for the club industry. These grants are typically given through The Foundations’ Faculty Research Grant program or through the Industry Grant program.

Outreach Initiatives

The Club Foundation supports one or more charities each year. In addition, The Foundation has also provided funds to support disaster relief in Florida, Texas, the Carolinas, and California.

What is The Club Industry?

The club industry is a vibrant, niche sector of the hospitality industry comprised of approximately 4,500 clubs nationwide inclusive of country, golf, city, athletic, faculty, yacht, town, and military clubs. Clubs are a key component of local economic and social activity sustained over a long period. The business mission of clubs is to provide exceptional service and amenities to members and guests but a club’s reach extends beyond its own members, contributing signficantlly to the surrounding communities as employer and driver of charitable giving.
Clubs employ 350,000 employees
Club payrolls equal $9.1 billion
Clubs serve 2 million members

Club Outreach Programs

Clubs hosted charitable golf tournaments in 2018 that raised an estimated $170 million for charities. In addition, clubs distributed more than $24 million in scholarship funding in 2018.

Economic Impact of Clubs

The total income for clubs in FY 2018 was $20.8 billion.
The total direct economic impact by clubs in 2018 was $24 billion, including all tax revenues generated as a result of club activities.
Clubs as a whole pay $2.1 billion in taxes, more than half of which supports local taxes.

Statistics based on the 2019 Economic Impact Report, prepared for CMAA by Industry Insights Inc.

History of The Club Foundation

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 to maintain a long-term program for the professional development of club managers.

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With the 1990s 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 dawned, 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, named for BMI architect and 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 Certified Club Manager (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 fundraising 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.



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.


Recognizing how much The Club Foundation has impacted their careers, the LaRocca Family stepped forward to give back to the industry by making a generous contribution to the Foundation. The LaRocca Family Executive Scholarship was created to both honor their commitment to professional development and to recognize their continued support of The Club Foundation. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to club managers interested in both furthering their own professional development, as well as helping others achieve their career goals.


The Club Foundation launched the Sally Burns Rambo Scholarship with a start-up grant from the Texas Lone Star Chapter of CMAA. As a mentor and role model, Sally Burns Rambo, CCM, was a pioneer who paved the way for the success of countless club industry leaders. To honor her memory and the legacy that she created, this scholarship provides financial support to female club managers interested in furthering their professional development.


The James B. Singerling Scholarship was created in honor of CMAA’s long-time CEO, Jim Singerling, CCM. The purpose of this scholarship is to make it possible for recipients to attend the CMAA World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo for the first time as a club industry professional.


The Chairman's Fund for Student Development was spearheaded by Eric J. Dietz, CCM, CCE, PGA and Mark A. Bado, MCM, CCE. The funds raised are managed by the Foundation and used directly to foster Association efforts that further develop, promote, and standardize a pipeline for individuals interested in club management careers.