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.


Chapters, Club Managers, Students, and Faculty all benefit from grants and scholarships from The Club Foundation. Your donation supports the professional development of club managers through four signature scholarships: Willmoore H. Kendall Scholarship, LaRocca Family Executive Scholarship, Sally Burns Rambo Scholarship, and James B. Singerling Scholarship. Undergraduate students receive funding through the annual Joe Perdue Scholarship.


The Club Foundation funds research that provides lasting benefit for the club industry. CMAA’s 2016 Millennial/Generational Insights Research was funded in part by The Club Foundation, providing valuable insight into what potential club members are seeking and uncovering generational attitudes about club memberships, specifically the Millennial demographic.

Outreach Initiatives

Caddy For a Cure, Nextgengolf, and Tee It Up For The Troops are the three charities that The Club Foundation supports on an annual basis. In addition, The Club Foundation also supported Hurricane Relief efforts Florida, Texas, and the Carolinas as well as for disaster relief for Napa and Sonoma and a donation to GLIDE in San Francisco, site of the 2018 World Conference.

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 into the role of significant community contributor as an employer and charitable driver.
Clubs employ 345,000 employees
Club payrolls equal $9.3 billion
Clubs serve between 1.8 and 2.1 million members

Club Outreach Programs

Clubs hosted an estimated 16,000 charitable golf tournaments in 2015, raising an estimated $150 million for those charities.

Economic Impact of Clubs

The total income for clubs in FY 2015 was $20 billion.
The total direct economic impact for clubs in FY 2015 was $21 billion, including all tax revenues generated as a result of club activities.
Clubs spend $2.6 billion on goods and an additional $2.1 billion on services in their local communities.
Clubs as a whole pay $2.4 billion in total taxes; $1.6 billion of which are local and state taxes.

Statistics based on the 2016 Economic Impact Report, conducted in conjunction with Club Benchmarking.

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 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 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.