What Does the Future of Our Community Look Like?

This is a very exciting time at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce. We always start our new year with a fresh Board vision along with an inspired team ready to meet the year head on. We carefully plan ways to consistently improve the value of our organization. After all, if we’re not constantly thinking about what we can do better for our Members, we fall short.

As we prepare for our State of the City, I can’t help but think about the great partnership between the City of Naperville and the Naperville Development Partnership. These organizations, although we are not financed by them, have the same goal, to support the growth and prosperity of this great city. When the business community is strong, so is our community.

As we look to the future we continue to ask ourselves, “What can we do better to have a greater impact on our businesses and the community we serve?” Part of the answer is continuing our partnership with the city and NDP. When they bring in a business, they are quick to add the Chamber in to the discussion to assure the business becomes engaged and committed to our community. That affects the success of our community. Imagine, if every new business that comes to town utilizes the Chamber for connecting and growing? 

However, since 2004 the Chamber has done little in keeping up with the ever-changing world of technology. That presents a problem on many levels. First, our staff cannot work as efficiently both from an administrative perspective and a communication perspective. Further, we want to have more effective ways of not only engaging our Members but providing relevant information that can assist in growing their business and bringing in new customers. This is possible with updated technology, i.e. new website, new client management system, enhanced capabilities to provide improved resources for businesses.

Last fall, we quietly launched our Future Forward Campaign. We reached out to Members of the community that understand the impact the NACC has on our community. We have a goal of raising $250,000. During this quiet phase, we have come much closer to our goal, but now it’s time to include you, our Members.  We want you to be part of assuring the future of this organization and the community. If we are to become more impactful to our community, we MUST update our technology. Think about it, Facebook launched in 2004 and Twitter was founded in 2006.

So, why would a Membership organization ask for money? Well, your Membership does a great job of supporting Operations, but we are ONLY funded through Memberships and Sponsorships. No city, state or federal dollars support this organization. As a 501 (c) 6 we are a business organization that needs your support above and beyond Membership dues. In nine years, we’ve only raised dues once. Imagine, never raising your prices even though vendor costs, rent and salaries increase. I had to raise our dues when I came in because it was necessary. And we’re trying to catch up through this initiative.

We hope you will be able to support us and be part of the exciting future of this organization. Without your support, we can’t continue the level of community support necessary to maintain a thriving business community. You can support us in one of three ways:

  1. You can donate online here. Any amount is appreciated and will help us get closer to our goal.
  2. You can share this initiative with others and get a “TEAM” donation to support the goal.
  3. You can volunteer your time to be part of our focus groups.

We will have opportunities throughout the year at some of our events to donate. Your support assures the future of this organization —strong Chamber, strong community.

Make it a great day!


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