Frequently Asked Questions

I am writing my synopsis and think that looking at a sample synopsis would help get me started.  Do you have any examples you could share?

Yes!  We actually post the previous winners with their synopses on our website.  These synopses should serve as excellent examples.  Previous Winners

What is the cost to apply for Chamber of the Year?

The application fee for Chamber of the Year is $250.

The chamber's 990 for this year will not be complete for the application deadline.  Are we still eligible?  What should we submit?

Yes, you are still eligible to apply for Chamber of the Year if your 990 is not yet complete for the year.  Send us your last three 990s (ex. 2010, 2011, 2012) and write on your application when you expect to complete your current (ex. 2013) 990.  We may ask that you send it later.

What kind of audit are you looking for?  Our accountant has said there are many audits to choose from.  Which is best for this award?

A financial audit or a financial review is probably sufficient.  A financial audit will be completed by an accountant in accordance with the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).  Chambers have financial audits and financial reviews done by an outside accountant or firm.  An audit is more in-depth (and more expensive) so many chambers, depending on size, will choose a Financial Review instead, or in some cases flip flop between the two every year or few years.  The key is an outside organization’s review of the chamber’s finances.

Are we allowed to provide supplemental information for the essays? Such as pictures, flowcharts, graphs, etc? If so, what is the best way to do this?

Yes, supplemental information can be provided as it relates to the essay question.  They should be included as attachments to the essay question.  Please clearly title your attachments and refer to them within your text. This will help the judges locate the correct supporting documents.

Just a note…more does not always mean better.  We are reviewing a lot of information so keep it relative to the essay.

With the change in eligibility requirements – requiring a chamber to wait three years after winning to apply again – is it three years from the winning year or three years from the year that corresponds with application submission materials?

A winning chamber will need to wait three years from the winning year, meaning if you win a Chamber of the Year award in 2010, the winning chamber will need to wait until the 2014 Chamber of the Year awards to apply again.

We want to submit long term initiatives for both synopses, is that acceptable?  If so, do the supporting materials need to be only from the current year or can they be from previous years?

As long as the program was completed in the last two years, it is eligible for the synopsis.  You can use any supporting materials, regardless of what year they are from.

What revenue category does my chamber fall into?  If we accept government funding for economic development or CVB activities, can we leave that out of our total revenue number?

If government or affiliate funding is used to fund (in part or in full) one of the highlighted program synopses from your application or if primary fiduciary oversight of said government or affiliate funds is the responsibility of your chamber board of directors, then that funding must be included in Annual Total Revenue.