Community Benefit

Chamber of Commerce

Please Take Note: The information provided does not constitute legal or tax advice. The material is provided for informational/educational purposes only. Please consult with counsel regarding your organization's particular circumstances.

Question: Our hospital is very supportive of our local Chamber of Commerce. I see from your Guide that we can count in "Category F2–Economic Development" our participation in the Chamber. Does that mean that we can count all that we do with the Chamber, or do we have to be selective and only count certain activities with the Chamber? Here are the specific things we do related to the Chamber:

  • Sponsor the Annual Meeting (cash donation)
  • Sponsor a table at a benefit
  • Participate in the Executive Roundtable
  • Sponsor and attend a State of the City Luncheon
  • Pay dues to belong to the Chamber

Recommendation: The Guide for Planning and Reporting Community Benefit includes participation in the Chamber of Commerce as a Community Building activity in the Economic Development category (F 2 when the issues impact the community's health and safety..

  • Count as a community benefit (Cash and in-kind services — Category E) if the activity for which funds or services are donated is related to health care, responds to a community health need and meets a community benefit objective. This would include activities such as community-wide obesity programs and health care access initiatives.
  • Count as a community building activity if the activity responds to a community health need and is related to economic development or other community building objectives, such as housing or environmental improvements in the community. Examples of community building activities include participation in a homeless coalition, literacy strategies and executive participation in economic development activities such as an executive roundtable or a "State of the City" event.
  • Do not count activities when the primary purpose is business related and/or are part of the cost of doing business in the community. This would include dues to the Chamber of Commerce and, in most instances, financial sponsorship of events.
  • Include the dollar value of time spent by salaried employees in health related community activities if the employee is participating during paid work time, rather than on his or her own time, and if participation in these activities clearly is part of the individual's job responsibilities.

(April 2009; Updated November 2015)